how to pack for a move, some basics

How To Pack For A Move, Some Basics

Protect your items with some basic packing knowledge

cross country movers

How To Pack For A Move, Some Basics

Packing, like many aspects in moving, is all about being organized! With a strategic plan and an early start, the simpler it will be.

Dependent on the size of your home, begin the packing process approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your move date. Perhaps a little earlier, as it could end up taking longer than anticipated. Nostalgia may set in, some unexpected items may be found. This extra time will allow for the packing to be done right!

If you have decided to hire a moving company to move your belongings, but you are doing the box packing yourself, it will be expected that everything will be packed and organized, ready for loading at the agreed upon time of the movers arriving on the day of the move. Most moving companies offer professional packing services if this is a preference you prefer.

Getting Organized

Gather all your packing supplies. You will want to have a variety of different sized boxes. Using new boxes will better ensure your items arriving safely. Special kits and supplies can be purchased online at places like U-Haul. You will want to make sure you have:

  • Different sized boxes including wardrobe boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Padding supplies
  • Wrapping sheets
  • Newspaper, blank newspaper print
  • Scissors/packing knife
  • Heaving duty packaging tape
  • Tape dispenser
  • Markers
  • Labeling stickers
  • Notebook and pen or pencil for listing contents of cartons as they are packed
  • Taking photos of some of your set ups, such as the back of a television, a sound system or even a decorative set up, will make putting them back together easier and quicker when the time comes to unpack and reassemble these items.
  • Create an area in your home that can be used as a packing station. Naturally, the more space you have is ideal. Wherever you are able to make this space is where all your boxes and packing supplies will be. Build some boxes in different sizes and begin bringing in the items to be packed.


Before you begin packing the bulk of your items, pack some first day essentials. Include items for each member moving. It could be packed in individual suitcases or boxes. Items to include would be:

  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Any items each individual will need during the fist few days

    Keep these boxes/suitcases separate from the main packing station, as they will most likely be traveling with you. If being moved on the truck with the rest of your belongings clearly mark and label the box. For additional information and a detailed list of items you may want to include, see First Day Essentials.
  • Start packing. Each item needs to be wrapped individually with enough protection. This can be done with sheets of wrapping paper, bubble wrap or even clothing. Items should be packed and positioned into the boxes carefully to avoid any breakage or damage.
  • Before packing the boxes begins, line the bottom with a few inches of wadded paper for padding. Place heavier items at the bottom of the box, with the lighter items on top. Fill the boxes as much as you can, however, do not over pack, as this can cause damage to the boxes.

    Fill large boxes with light stuff and put heavy items, like books, into small boxes. Try to keep the weight of each box to 40lbs or less.
  • Fragile and breakable items need to be wrapped and packed especially carefully. When wrapping these items, use additional wrapping sheets or bubble wrap for extra protection, and make sure to fill any empty spaces in the box. You can use balls of newspaper, wrapping sheets or peanuts. And again, those clothes may come in handy to fill these spaces.
  • Pack all items together that belong in the same room. Do your best to pack one room at a time and remember to label all boxes according to the specific location and their contents. This will make the unpacking process easier. If you are moving with a moving company, this will make it easier for them to place boxes in the correct room. Or, if you will not be opening all the boxes immediately, you will clearly see which box is for what room once you are ready to unpack.
  • When taking apart or disassembling any items, keep all the hardware separated. Ziploc bags are good for these kinds of things, and come in many sizes. Label the contents and room each item belongs in. Keep the hardware and tools used, such as allen wrenches, screwdrivers etc. in one box, more if needed and keep these boxes in an accessible place.

Keeping Track Of Your Boxes

Once each box is completed, it can then be taped securely closed, labeled, and then stacked. Adding a numbering system onto each box allows you to see the total number of boxes and keep track, in the event that any do not arrive to the destination.

When labeling your boxes:

  • Use a broad, felt tipped marker.
  • Clearly mark the room it should go to and the contents of the box.
  • Mark “FRAGILE” on any box with fragile or breakable items. Indicate “THIS END UP”
    (Stickers can also be purchased and placed on the boxes)

Reading our room by room guide to packing and watching some packing instructional videos is a great way to see how to pack your belongings and ensure you are doing it the right way!

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P: 888-680-7200 Ext. 102
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P: 888-680-7200 Ext. 135
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Shannon L.
Shannon L.
Jan 5, 2024

Movers who packed my things up in NY were great. I was also very impressed with how clear everything was, how fast the move coordinator Eric was with getting back to me. Read more testimonials

Danielle Francisco
Feb 11, 2024

Terrific experience with Andres and his team. They were quick, efficient and very knowledgeable. Read more testimonials

Ria B.
Ria B.
Jan 10, 2024

Everything went smoothly with CA-NY Express Movers. They packed up my apt in NYC in no time, put it into storage for me while we found our new house. Read more testimonials

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