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Getting ready to move? The key to a smooth moving process is organization. Here are some tips on the best way to pack when moving out of your home, whether you’re moving across town or relocating!

Packing Materials

The first step to pack like a pro is getting all your packing supplies together. Depending on the number of rooms you have, make sure you have plenty of sturdy boxes that close. You should also have enough packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing tape, markers, box cutters or scissors, and packing paper. Gather enough old blankets for delicate items like hanging mirrors or framed pictures. If you are renting a truck it may come with a dolly. If not make sure you rent one in advance.

How Many Boxes Will You Need?

To determine how many boxes you will need, add up the number of rooms you’ll be packing. If you have a large number of stored items in the basement and garage, count as 2 more rooms. The living room and dining room will need at least 4 boxes each, bedrooms will require at least 5 boxes each. Bathrooms require at least 3 boxes. Packing supply centers have packing calculators to help you find the right amount of boxes to move your home.

When in doubt purchase more than you need rather than running out of them on moving day. Some packing supply centers will allow you to sell back unused boxes. You’ll want as many medium size boxes as possible. For most items, they are easier to pack and easier to carry than large boxes. Uniform-sized boxes also stack easier in the truck.

Once you have all your supplies ready, get ready to pack.

Create “Priority Boxes”

Pack a couple of Priority Boxes with items you will need as soon as you get to the home: soap, paper towels, toilet paper, a can opener, first aid kit, cereal, etc.  Pack a small box of tools (screwdriver, hammer, etc.) as well, and load this last since you’ll need these items as soon as you arrive. Label these boxes “Unpack First.”

Packing the Box Itself

Spread packing peanuts on the bottom of the box (unless you are packing books). Heavy items go on the bottom, and then medium-weight items followed by lighter items. Wrap each item carefully. Make sure to cushion each layer so items don’t rattle around in the box. Don’t leave empty space at the top of the boxes because they will be stacked on top of one another. If there’s space left, fill it with peanuts and tape it shut. Each box should not weigh more than 30 pounds. That way they will be easier to move, and they won’t fall apart if they are too heavy. Always make sure the box is completely taped shut.


Label boxes by which room it’s going to as well as what contents are in the box. For instance, “Dining Room: Dishes.” This will make the process of unloading much faster. And label every side of the box so no matter which way it is stacked in the truck you will be able to read it.

Stacking the Truck

Begin moving items by the order you want them packed in the truck. Your Priority Boxes will go last. You want to make the best use of every available inch of space in your truck.

  • Disassemble furniture such as entertainment centers, tables, bed frames, etc. Remove shelves from bookcases. If you’re moving large appliances, face them opposite each other: refrigerator across from the washer-dryer to keep the weight distributed evenly. Pack electronics and other fragile items on the shelf near the cab of the moving truck.
  • Large furniture gets packed first, then smaller furnishings, and then heavy boxes (such as books or electronic equipment) and light items and clothing last. Stack items floor to ceiling.
  • Use pillows, blankets, and other soft items to cushion furniture and fill in spaces between items. Stack odd-shaped items such as lamps in spaces or on top of boxes and furniture. Be sure to pad fragile items with blankets.
  • Face bureaus towards the back of the truck so drawers don’t open in transit. Protect furniture with blankets and padding so they don’t get damaged. Stack mattresses on their side to take up less space.
  • Use the truck straps to secure furniture and large groups of items to the tie-downs on the inside walls of the truck.
  • The goal is to stack items in the truck as tightly as possible so items will be supported during bumps along the way.
  • Once all the items have been packed and secured into the truck, make one last check to make sure there aren’t any stray boxes or items left in the house.

Overwhelmed? Hire the Right Moving Service

If the thought of packing up you’re entire life and then fitting it into a truck gives is a bit much for you, consider hiring a moving service! If you’re moving long-distance, make sure to use a reputable, insured moving company. The company you hire should handle these types of moves frequently if they’re going to be carrying all of your possessions. It’s a good idea to get a few quotes from different companies because some may have fees on what you’re moving, boxing and packaging services, as well as storage fees. Make sure to look at the various insurance options from the moving companies and look over any written contracts before signing.

Bonus Tip:

The fewer items you have to move the easier moving day will be so be sure to declutter your home and have a yard sale a few weeks before.

Happy Moving!