How to Pack for a Stress-Free Move

There are two ways to look at packing for your move: as a wonderful opportunity to declutter, donate, and start fresh in a new space with only the things you need, or as the most dreaded job ever… [read more]


There are two ways to look at packing for your move:

  1. A wonderful opportunity to declutter, donate, and start fresh in a new space with only the things you need.
  2. The most dreaded job ever.

I happily fall into that first category and can’t wait to get my hands on some cardboard. If, on the other hand, you currently have the urge to reach for a pack of pencils instead of the packaging tape, these tips will help make your job a lot less painless!

Tip #1: It’s Never Too Early to Get Started

Even if your move is several months or even a year away, you can start preparing now by selling or donating things you no longer need and beginning to collect packing supplies.

Begin packing for your move as soon as you know there are items in your home you will no longer use between now and your move, starting with out of season items. As your move gets closer, pack things you use infrequently (waffle iron, china, guest bedding, etc.), leaving your most frequently used items until closer to moving day.

Starting your packing early enough will help you stay organized, allow you the time to pack your items appropriately to prevent breakage, and prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.

Tip #2: Get Your Packing Supplies for Free

No matter how many boxes, bags, or packaging items you think you’ll need, you’re going to need more. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers to save their boxes, old newspapers and plastic shopping bags for you. Need more? Contact local stores and ask to pick up empty boxes on their shipment days. Grocery stores are another great resource for boxes (make sure they’re clean) and you can also ask to raid their plastic bag recycling bin. Plastic shopping bags are an excellent substitute for tissue paper or newspaper when it comes to individually wrapping dishes and other breakables, so make sure you have a ton on hand. (The best part? After you unpack you can return them to the recycle bin!)

Tip #3: Protect Your Stuff Like a Pro

With all the time, energy, and money you invest into moving, the last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and discover your precious belongings were damaged in the move. Take the time to do these simple things now to save yourself a headache later:

Are You Moving? Protect Your Stuff Like a Pro from

Tip #4: Labeling Boxes

Packing rooms individually and boxing similar items together will go a long way toward keeping you organized and making unpacking a breeze. Labeling each box is another must! Write on the sides of a box versus the top, so you’ll know what’s inside even when the boxes are stacked. Write on two sides of each box (a short side and a long side) so you can see what’s inside, regardless of which direction the box is stacked.

Label each box with the following:

  • The room it should be delivered to.
  • A brief list of items in the box.
  • Any special instructions, such as “FRAGILE,” “HEAVY” or “KEEP UPRIGHT.”
  • “Unpack First” for any items you’ll want to unpack right away when you arrive.


Tip #5: Procrastinating Allowed… Just This Once

Packing for your move is all about planning ahead, but there are a few things you can save until the end to satisfy the procrastinator in you.

Pack an essentials box (or suitcase) for everyone in the family. This should include clothes and any personal items each person will need during the move before everyone is unpacked and settled. This is similar to packing for a weekend getaway, but remember, you’re not staying in a hotel – you’re moving into an empty house or apartment. Don’t forget to include things like towels and bedding.

Pack (and keep separate) boxes of things you’ll need right away in your new home, including food, dishes and supplies needed to make and eat easy meals, toilet paper, dish and hand soap, a shower curtain, a small emergency kit, pens and paper, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, tools to reassemble furniture, and a flashlight.

Moving is a process that requires a lot of patience and whole lot of planning, but these packing tips will have you well on your way to a peaceful first night’s sleep in your new home! For more tips on moving, visit’s Idea Gallery.

Website | See more posts by this author

Dusty Rogers is the blogger, mother, maker, decorator and drinker of the wine at All Things G&D - a lifestyle blog where home décor, DIY and organization, healthy meals and kid-friendly snacks, party planning and entertaining all happily play together in the sandbox. Dusty lives in Madison, WI with her husband Greg and their daughter Kate, and she spends her days balancing high maintenance tendencies with a desire to keep things simple.

One Reply to How to Pack for a Stress-Free Move

  1. Craigslist is also great for buying and selling boxes. We’ve purchased boxes on Craigslist for past moves, for the most recent out-of-state move we bought all new boxes then sold them on Craigslist after for a quarter of what we paid. Yes we lost money, but we still recouped some money and didn’t have to try to get rid of 100+ boxes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *