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Moving Tips: How to Pack a House in 9 Easy Steps

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

“Moving is so much fun,” said no one ever! So you've decided to move, but the very thought of having to pack up your entire life is totally overwhelming. I put together this list to ease your stress and give you some guidelines to packing up your home so when you arrive in your new, fantastic dream home, unpacking will be the fun part!

Plan Ahead:

The more you plan ahead and streamline your move, the easier it will be for you.

Give yourself some time. When you know the move is imminent, prioritize so you're not stressed at the last minute randomly throwing items to boxes with no organization. Planning ahead will help you stay organized and focused and also give you the time you need to tackle the move one step at a time. Also, when you plan your move ahead of time, it will help you move smarter, faster and hopefully cheaper.  

Downsize and Donate:

Have you been watching the Netflix series, Marie Kondo? She says if it doesn’t bring joy to you when you hold an item, toss it. I laughed out loud thinking I’d throw my entire kitchen out if I could since I hate cooking, but that’s not reality. But she was definitely onto something when she discussed sorting items one room at a time. Same goes for you and your move.

Pick a room and tackle your home, literally, one room at a time. In each bedroom start by sorting your closets, drawers and bathrooms. Then move onto to the kitchen cupboards and pantry, attic, basement and garage. As you go through each room, have three bins ready and sort your belongings into 3 specific sections.

The first section is for belongings that you're going to keep and bring with you.

The second section is for items that you'll donate.

The third is what you can try selling at a garage or estate sale or online in some FB groups.

The basic rule of thumb is if you haven't used an item in over 6 months to a year, it's time say goodbye. It clearly doesn’t bring you joy-LOL

The good news is, the more you get rid of, the less you have to pack, move, and organize in your new home too.


You will have to sort through paperwork. Keep legal documents and important papers to transport with you. All other paperwork, that is older than 7 years, can be shredded. If you don’t have a shredder I recommend getting one. It’s a safer option rather than trashing it and opening yourself up to identity theft. Put any appliance manuals you have in a folder for the new owners of your home. They will love you for it!

Stock up on Moving Supplies:

Consider used boxes. U-haul has a great program called; take a box, leave a box. It's where customers can drop off their moving boxes for other customers to take and use for free. Boxes from your grocery store may work well too and doesn’t cost you anything. If you’re hiring a moving company, many will have a deal where you can rent moving boxes or bins from them and then return them after you’ve finished unpacking.

I always suggest the best way to keep items clean is by using packing paper, rather than newspaper. But, if you really want to use newspaper, make sure you wrap dishes in tissue paper first to avoid and print transferring onto your items. This alone will also save you time when you unpack. Stock up on plenty of packing tape and sharpie markers. You will probably need more than you think you do. You'll also want to have bubble wrap, scissors, and labels on hand.

What to Pack First:

Start by packing off-season items and non-essentials several weeks before your move. Knick-knacks, picture frames, photo albums, sports equipment, books, framed art and anything else you won’t use until you are in your new home can all be packed early.

Designate an area in your garage or your home to store the packed boxes until moving day.

Here’ a tip-Pack the heavier items in smaller boxes, and lighter items in larger boxes. This will prevent you from making any box too heavy. I’ve been guilty of this! It will also help prevent someone from dropping it accidentally….ooops!

Leave Some Tools Handy:

Make a “just in case” checklist and keep those items handy. You might need a screwdriver to take the top of your hutch off or to take the mirror that’s attached to your dresser off too. Not to mention several last minute projects that will definitely come up. You’ll need the tools handy at your new home anyway. You will also need lightbulbs, power strips, extension cords, along with light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc.

Label Each Box Carefully:

This will be a lifesaver when you get into your new home. Trust me. The more organized you are, the easier this will be. Unpacking is sometimes harder than packing because you have to decide where you want everything to go in your new home. By labeling boxes clearly with their contents and destination, you will be so happy. Don’t just label the room they go in, but even label what’s inside. For instance, Kitchen: dishes and glasses or Playroom: board games.  Be sure to label both the tops and sides of the boxes with sharpie markers and be sure to write “Fragile” when appropriate. Your movers will hopefully gentle to begin with, but this helps too.

Create a “Who to Notify” Checklist:

Don’t forget to make a checklist of everyone you need to notify about your move.

• Get a change of address form at your local post office.

• Cancel any magazine or newspaper subscriptions.

• Call your Family & Friends, or better yet, send a cute just moved card (Check out Tiny Prints)

• Contact all of your utility companies for both properties.

• Contact your doctor's and dentist office for any medical records you may need.

• If you are transferring your children from one school to another, have school records sent to the new school.

• Notify your vet, dog walker, etc.

• Contact your Insurance Company.

• Update your license at the DMV….eventually.

• Notify your credit card companies, banks, accountant, financial advisor, etc.

• Notify your cable and phone company, cell phone too.

Don’t Send Everything With The Movers:

I highly suggest keeping valuables with you. Any fancy jewels, family heirlooms, or important breakable items you should move in your own car. Even your birth certificates, passports, and really important paper documents should stay in your possession. If you don’t have a safety deposit box, this might be a good time to look into that too.

You will need clothes for a few days for everyone in your family. The easiest way to bring them with you is to keep your hanging clothes on the hangers. Wrap them in plastic (or you can be like me and use large garbage bags), and lay them in the back of your car. This will save you a lot of time when all you have to do is hang your clothes back up in your new home. Woohoo!

Pack an Overnight Bag and Essentials:

Like I just mentioned, everyone in your family needs clean underwear, a few days worth of clothes, sneakers or shoes, pajamas, and basic toiletries. Snacks for the kids, water and medications should be on hand too. Don't forget Motrin for your back:)

I suggest packing these items in a clear plastic boxes so you can easily see where and what they are. Some things you will need immediately at your new fabulous home include; toilet paper, hand soap, bedding for all the rooms, towels, toiletries (soap, toothpaste, shampoo) cleaning supplies, paper towels, and anything else you will want for your first few nights at your new home. These items should go with you in your car.

You've made it! Moving day is here. One last thing to do after the movers have finished. Take a final walk through of your old home, lock windows, turn off lights, close doors, and make sure nothing was left behind. Say a sweet goodbye and run, don’t walk, to your new home!

You will definitely be too tired to unpack everything, right when you move in. It takes time. You’ll want to decorate differently in your new home and find the perfect place for all your goodies so don’t rush it. Take it all in and enjoy it.

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