Fundamentals for packing your belongings and home for moving

Juli Oliver Founder of OrganizeNY, Professional Organizer, and Entrepreneur OrganizeNY

Whether you’re moving down the hall or relocating to an exotic country far away, the moving process doesn’t have to be so daunting. There will be many moves in our lives and packing can be pretty simple if you know the basics beforehand and plan ahead.

If you or anyone you know is planning for a future move by packing yourself or hiring movers then this article is for you.


Do buy supplies

Supplies are the first step to take if you’re planning on packing for the move yourself. A couple of options is to order a moving kit found at a moving company or packing supply store with the most important essentials included. Or gathering the items that are a must to have an hand yourself, are as follows:

  • Water
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper (newspaper will do too but make your items filthy)
  • Many rolls of tape
  • Sharpies
  • Trash bags
  • Scissors
  • Boxes or bins in many different sizes

Wardrobe boxes for hanging closet items - just don’t forget to pick up the bar for inside the box which is usually separate. Fresh Direct boxes are the perfect size to pack books and therefore won’t get too heavy. Grocery or liquor store boxes with the inserts in them are great for packing up glassware.

Do purge as you go

When was the last time you decluttered your space? Moving is the perfect time get rid of old, broken, and unwanted items that aren’t needed to schlep to your new space. Declutter duplicates, don’t and won’t use items. Throw out any soon to be expired food or pantry goods. Keep in mind purging takes time, so plan ahead.

Do keep like with like

During the packing process group similar items together and pack room by room starting with the ones that you use least regularly. Example: Office papers, files, photo albums, etc. that live in that room should remain together packed away. You wouldn’t pack the goods in the garage with the coat closet. Fill each box to the max or stuff empty spaces with packing materials to prevent the shifting of the contents during transition.

Do create zones

As each box gets packed, place it out of the way in an area or different room created for it’s action. That way it’s not taking up space where you’re currently working and ready to go when the time comes. You are organizing along the way as you go. Example zones to have: Giveaway, Sell, Dry cleaners/Repair shop, Move to new space.

Do use movers that have insurance, accidents happen

Hired movers? Then things like furniture leave it up to them to pack. They do this every week and know how to properly wrap items, lift, and box it up for transportation. You should pack up precious or fragile glassware and china yourself.


Do not forget to label

Clearly label, label, label. When it comes to unpacking, knowing what is in each and having the items properly places in its designated room, labeled goods is a must. Label boxes on at least two sides, which room and what it is. Another great idea is to number each box and label the contents that are inside. Make a master list of all the boxes and their contents in a “moving” notebook. Put together an “Open First” box.

Do not forget to take pictures

Nowadays we all have access to a camera. Take pictures of your old space. Grab your phone or device and snap pics of rooms and areas so later you can recreate them in your beautiful new space.

Do not keep valuables around

Put them aside from main packing. Add to the “personal packing only” list. Give them to a close friend or relative whom you trust to hold on to until after the move.

Do not pack the linens at the beginning

Leave linens towards the end to pack because they have multiple uses during the packing/moving process. Use blankets to cover furniture. Towels make easy guides under furniture to move heavy items around and keep floors from getting scratched.

Do not pack away essentials for you, your family and pets

The day finally arrives when it’s time to say goodbye to the old and make brand new memories in your new home. Pack a separate bag for each person with items that are part of the daily routine. Clothing, toiletries, important documents, personal electronics (Laptop, tablets, cell phones), medicine, keys, toys to entertain the kids, and pet supplies . Also leave aside tape, scissors, toilet paper, basic kitchen/cooking staples, sheets/towels, cleaning supplies, paper/pens, soap and snacks. These items could also be part of your “open first” box.

Jumping cartoon

With many necessary important steps and details when moving it sure can be overwhelming. But don’t let it be a burden. Purging before you go and knowing that the fundamentals can ease the packing process so you can enjoy and look ahead to that exciting new space you’re about to create. The better prepared you are, the less stress you will feel.

More expert advice about Moving

Photo Credits: © Warren Goldswain -; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Juli OliverFounder of OrganizeNY, Professional Organizer, and Entrepreneur

Juli Oliver is a high-energy, hardworking, hands-on professional organizer who specializes in local and international home and office projects for individuals or families and owner of OrganizeNY based in New York City. Since 2005, she has com...

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