How to pack your moving boxes

So you’ve just bought or sold a home. What is your next step? In all of the stressors of moving your home, would you believe the hardest part is packing up your boxes? It is overwhelming for all of us to look over our stuff, accumulated from years of making memories, macaroni art from the little ones, living at the same address year after year. Even those of us who are immaculate and like to live clutter free. There is still a lot of stuff.

So where exactly to start? The best advice out there is to have a plan. If you tend to get overcome easily, the best way to pack is room by room, floor by floor. In other words, Don’t bounce around!

The only stuff you don’t pack are the things you’ll need until the very end.

Try to limit your Keep Out List to a very small amount of items. Below you can find what’s best to have on your Keep Out List, or you can even write your own, customized list.

What To Keep Out

Toiletries and Hygiene Products

Food items and one flatware setting per person

Cleaning Supplies

Seasonal Care Items (pertaining to the time of year; for example ONE coat or jacket per person, ONE set of shoes or sandals or boots. ONE umbrella and so forth)


Any Daily Medications


Anything you don’t use on a daily basis, but still may need will come in handy being packed but also being placed in an accessible space. Pack away extra bedsheets, pack away extra handbags but if you know they are items you use often, leave the box untaped and visible (meaning on the top of other boxes) till the end. Don’t forget to label!


Don’t overlook the state of the home. Once you realize you have a big move ahead of you and you have to get everything packed, oftentimes you may inadvertently turn your home upside-down trying to prepare for the big day. As hard as it may be, resist the urge to clean while you are packing! Hire a cleaning service to come in once before the packing begins. You will feel less tempted and way more organized if you don’t feel like you have to dust, sweep and mop every time you move to a new task. It is encouraged to even hire a cleaning crew to do a simple once over during those packing days, so that you can keep the area clean and keep yourself on task. When all is said and packed, you will have much less to do in the way of cleaning and you can once again hire someone to do a “once over” after everything is out, or you can easily do it yourself, because it was taken care of along the way. You will be amazed at how much less stress you will feel by adhering to this simple rule!


Tackle packing by choosing a room. Once you have chosen a room, make sure you have space to pack! Take care that you have everything you need laid out before you so that you don’t have to stop.


Packing List

Packing Tape

Sharpie Marker

Bubble Tape

Tissue Paper

Cardboard Box Dividers (for shoes and wine glasses  etc)

Cell Phone


It may sound funny, but make sure you are not hungry, that you have a drink of water or a cup of coffee near by and that you have used the bathroom. People find it infinitely harder to stay on task when they are urged to keep stopping for their own basic needs. If you can help it, turn your phone to silent, or at least vibrate so that you aren’t tempted to take too many breaks. Feeling distracted can really overwhelm anyone during a tedious task such as packing. It really does take full concentration. Take the time to double check that you have all of your supplies and that you are comfortable and then get packing!


Follow this simple yet effective formula for how to pack your moving boxes




Everything you pick up, decide whether it is something you really need to bring to your new home. Now is the time! You have this wonderful opportunity to de-clutter, and to really decide what items of importance look like to you. You will really feel wonderful slimming down on what you own, and better yet when you give a fair amount of items away for someone in need. It will really give you an overall positive feeling about not only your moving experience, but also a hopeful tone about your exciting adventure going forward.

Let’s take, for example, a decorative vase you bought at last years’ open air street market, because it was on sale and kind of matched the décor in your family room.

Your job now is to decide if it will really enhance the overall value or esthetic of your new home. Is it something that means a lot to you? If you can’t live without it – KEEP PILE. If you are on the fence about it, or unsure, or you feel it’s hard to get rid of because it’s still got a lot of life left in it – DONATE PILE. (Don’t forget, most anything you donate can be tax deductible!)

If it’s in poor shape and really can’t serve a purpose to anyone, TOSS PILE…Keep in mind, families who are in need of donations do not want broken or damaged items!


Once you have funneled your room into these three piles, the real fun begins. From here, packing this room will go quickly and you will feel so good about yourself because you are getting efficient work done.

Make a designated zone for the DONATE BOXES. Put it out of the way, not in a high traffic zone, so that you aren’t tempted to go through it again, or so things don’t slowly make their way out of the boxes back in to the house.

Try to remove the TOSS PILES out of the house as quickly as you can. Make plans to take the TOSS PILES to your local recycle center. Have the TOSS PILES put in out in the garage or even try to get some sorting done on garbage night, so you don’t have to worry about your TOSS PILES getting in the way.


What are a few extra tips to keep your packing routine on schedule?


Set aside designated packing time. Don’t do anything else during this time except organize and pack. You will greatly cut down on the stress of moving if you stick to one task at a time.


Pack big boxes light and little boxes heavy. Most people are surprised but big boxes are actually meant for odd shaped items, or larger items. They are not meant for heavy items. Pack all of your heavy items in small or relatively sized boxes. Things like books and cookware should not go in big boxes because people unknowingly over pack and it adds so much more time to your move if boxes break open from too much weight.


Wrap Dishes Vertically. Don’t stack dishes on top of each other. This creates unneeded weight in the moving box, and also increases the opportunity for breakage. Instead, pack each plate sideways, placing a sheet of bubble wrap in between.


Remember that KEEP OUT LIST? Make sure it all fits in an overnight bag, so that when it’s finally time to move, you can just throw your essentials in and they will be ready for you at the new house!


Have fun! Although packing up and moving can be very stressful, keep in mind, moving day is an opportunity to make memories with your family! Take pictures, create inside jokes and be present in your space! These are items that will stay with you forever – no moving van required!


Need more help when it comes to packing? Visit for more info and learn how you can get ten free moving boxes for your big day