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Older couple packs a moving box together

How to Pack Moving Boxes Efficiently

Getting ready to move? A simple way to avoid some of the stress and anxiety that comes with moving is to ensure your belongings are packed in an organized and efficient manner. “Proper packing can be the difference between a messy moving process and a seamless home move, so it’s important to take the necessary steps and do it right,” advises professional moving company TWO MEN AND A TRUCK.

Knowing the best ways to pack moving boxes can help you disperse weight across boxes so that you don’t break items in the box or injure yourself while moving. Smart packing can even help you find items easier and faster when unpacking. Below, we share our tips for packing moving boxes effectively and efficiently!

Start Sorting Before Packing Boxes

Organize all of your items into three groups: necessities, heavy items, and light items. (Note: Keep items in their designated rooms since you’ll be packing them by room later.) The first group consists of items you’ll need to access immediately after moving into a new home, and these will get boxed up together—that way, you won’t have to dig through tons of boxes just to find a necessity like toilet paper. The remaining groups separate heavy and light items. Though you may have a variety of item sizes in these two groups, focusing on the weight and not the size will allow you to better distribute weight among moving boxes while packing, which will make moving these boxes easier.

Pack & Label Boxes by Room

Even though you’ll divide items among boxes by necessity and weight (using the three aforementioned groups), it’s important to keep items from the same room together when packing boxes for a move. For example, keeping all of the belongings from your kitchen in boxes labeled “Kitchen” will help you know where each box needs to go in your new home and make it easier for you to unpack.

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Place Heavy Items in Small Moving Boxes

It’s a good idea to move heavier belongings in small boxes. With a smaller moving box, you can avoid overpacking heavy items and ensure the box holds up throughout your move. (Not to mention, it could save you a backache later!) Keep this in mind when packing items like dishes and books in particular, as these items don’t seem that heavy individually but can be when grouped together.

Put Light Items in Large Moving Boxes

On the flip side, large boxes are great for packing lighter belongings since you can fit more into them without adding too much weight. Items like towels, pillows, bedding, stuffed animals, and even clothing are ideal for large boxes because they take up a lot of space but don’t come with extra heft.

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Use Wardrobe Boxes for Clothes

Uhaul wardrobe moving boxes for hanging garments. Photo by Instagram user @daniellcurtis5

Photo via @daniellcurtis5

Have a lot of clothes hanging in your closet? Rather than trying to pack clothes into suitcases or standard moving boxes, use wardrobe boxes. These specialty boxes typically come with a rod that allows you to hang clothing inside the box to keep clothes wrinkle-free and make transporting them simpler.

Pack Heavy Items into the Box First

Woman packing items into moving box. Photo by Instagram user @damovingco

Photo via @damovingco

You may need to mix heavy and light items in some of your moving boxes to fill gaps. In this situation, be sure to put the heaviest items at the bottom of the box first, then layer lighter items on top. If you’re worried about items rubbing against one another and leaving scratches or dents, try using towels, newspaper, or bubble wrap between items to provide a layer of cushion and support.

Take Extra Care with Fragile Items

Woman using bubble wrap to pack fragile items. Photo by Instagram user @master_movers

Photo via @master_movers

With fragile belongings like glassware, dishes, mirrors, and antique items, it’s a good idea to wrap them before placing them in moving boxes. Bubble wrap, newspaper, towels, bedsheets, dish packing kits (which come with foam and cardboard pieces for separation), and even some clothing can be used to pad delicate items and prevent them from getting damaged while moving.

Keep Small Miscellaneous Items in Bags

Chargers and other items in small zipup bag. Photo by Instagram user @ouna24

Photo via @ouna24

Instead of dropping items like phone chargers, ethernet cables, screws, and small knick-knacks into a box all on their own, place them in resealable bags or clear containers and put them at the very top of boxes. Make sure to keep them in boxes with their associated room, too, so you don’t misplace them!

Don’t Overpack Items in Boxes

This may seem like an obvious packing and moving tip, but don’t overstuff your boxes. Overpacking can cause boxes to break or items to get damaged by other items inside the box. It can even lead to injuries while lifting and carrying boxes, which is the last thing you want happening during your move.

Will your move be across the country? Packing for a long-distance move requires more preparation and organization since your items have to travel hundreds of miles. Check out these helpful packing tips for cross-country moves!


Need a place to temporarily store items while moving? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facility locations throughout the nation, so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

Older couple packs a moving box together
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