Home > Moving > Moving Guides and Tips > Packing Tips For Your Next Move
Woman packing moving box

Packing Tips For Your Next Move

Preparing to move? No matter if you’re moving out of state or relocating somewhere local, packing up all your belongings can be intimidating. Check out these packing tips to help make your move easier!

Take Stock & Downsize

A post shared by @instagram

Whether you’re moving by yourself or with others, a great way to cut down on the amount of packing you’ll do is to get rid of any clutter. The fewer items you have to pack for your move, the easier it’ll be to load your moving vehicle. Things you can do with decluttered items include selling them in a garage sale or local listings online, donating items to local charities, and more.

Get the Right Moving Box Sizes

A post shared by @instagram

When you begin to pack for a cross-country move, it’s a good idea to pick the right moving box sizes. Having small, medium, and large boxes makes it easier for you to safely pack your items in an adequate space. Plus, using the right box size is crucial to protecting your items from damage during the move. You can even get free moving boxes from places like grocery stores, Facebook Marketplace, large retail outlets, and more.

Pack with Purpose

A post shared by @instagram

As you work through your moving checklist and actually start filling boxes, a great moving tip is to pack room-by-room, not by individual items. This will allow you to pack and move each room and organize moving boxes more efficiently rather than throwing random items together. This also makes unpacking boxes easier because you’ll be able to unload items directly into their designated room. Be sure to stick to a packing schedule to help keep on track to be ready to move.

Whether you're moving from a studio apartment or multi-bedroom house, our moving truck size chart and calculator will help you make the right rental truck decision.


Don’t Leave Empty Space in Boxes

A post shared by @instagram

One of the best ways to pack for moving is to minimize the empty space in your boxes to prevent belongings from being damaged from shifting around. If you don’t have packing paper, use newspapers, magazines, or towels to help fill in any gaps in your moving boxes. Put heavier items at the bottom of boxes and lighter items on top to help prevent your belongings from tumbling and getting damaged while in transit.

Clearly Label Each Box

Label moving boxes once you’ve packed up each room. Properly marking boxes for moving will take the guesswork out of figuring out where a specific item may be and lessen the stress when it comes time to organize your home. Clearly labeling each box to will also make it easier for movers to know where to place them inside your new home. You can also color code moving labels for each box, so each area of the house has a unique color.

Mark Fragile Items Accordingly

A post shared by @instagram

Especially if you intend to hire a moving company for your next move, remember to mark necessary boxes as delicate to help protect your belongings. This step can be as simple as using a marker to write the word FRAGILE on all sides of a box or sealing the box with tape that has the word already printed on it.

Repurpose Items for Your Move

A post shared by @instagram

You don’t need a moving box for everything you own—find ways to repurpose things that are lying around the house. Use a rolling suitcase for books to help carry your collection more easily. Store smaller items like toiletries, toys, or makeup in food storage containers to help keep them organized and in one space. Get the most space out of your larger boxes and vacuum-seal bulky items like sweaters and pillows. Use blankets as padding between decor pieces. Store cooking utensils in oven mitts, and stash spices and herbs in your slow cooker.

Pad Boxes for Delicate Items

A post shared by @instagram

When you’re moving to a new home, a great moving tip for packing any fragile items is to pad your moving boxes even before wrapping your belongings. While you can use moving classics like newspaper or packing paper to line boxes, you can use other items like tea towels, rags, or clothing instead. This is especially helpful for moving dishes, lamps, and other delicate home decor, as it can prevent items from shuffling around inside boxes.

Be Smart with Dishware

A post shared by @instagram

Kitchen items can be hard to pack because of their fragility. It’s a good packing idea to use bubble wrap or foam pouches when dealing with breakable plates and bowls. Another moving hack to protect delicate kitchen items is to incorporate things like paper towels, newspaper, styrofoam plates, and corrugated cardboard between dishes, glassware, and china to help prevent them from scratching each other during transportation. You can also pack dishes like plates vertically to prevent them from breaking.

Use Box Dividers for Glassware

A post shared by @instagram

If you don’t want to pack wine glasses and other glassware by just wrapping them in bubble wrap or packing paper, consider using dish pack boxes that come with dividers for each item in the container. Although these boxes can be more expensive, the extra protection they provide is well worth the price. The dividers create a buffer between glassware so they don’t bounce together, keeping them safe during your move.

Secure Clothing Drawers

A post shared by @instagram

Instead of just tossing clothing into a moving box, garbage bag, or suitcase—spaces you can utilize for other items—keep your clothes in the dresser, and then wrap your it with plastic wrap! This will help save space as you pack up and in the moving vehicle. Or if you’re not hiring professional movers, keep your clothing in each drawer, but remove the drawers from the dresser or armoire. This will allow you to use the drawers as boxes, stay organized while packing, and will be more manageable for you and a friend to transport.

Leave Clothes on Hangers

A post shared by @instagram

That leaves clothing you typically hang in the closet. The best packing hack for clothes is actually to keep them on their hangers! Separate the hanging attire into smaller bundles, then slide garbage bags or other large bags over them. While the bags provide protection for your clothes, it’s also a good idea to tie the strings or a rubber band around the hooks to help prevent them from shifting too much. By leaving your clothes on their hangers, all you have to do when you get into your new home is hang the items up and pull the bags off!

Organize Your Jewelry

A post shared by @instagram

There are a ton of ways you can go about packing jewelry for moving. Save yourself money and repurpose items you already have for jewelry storage. For example, string your necklaces through a straw to keep them from tangling. Put smaller jewelry like earrings or rings inside pill bottles or egg cartons to help prevent them from tossing around during a move.

Prepare Your Electronics

A post shared by @instagram

Packing electronics the right way for your move is vital to maintaining their functionality during the transition to a new home. Opt for original packaging if you still have it, or use a container large enough to hold all related equipment, in addition to proper protection. For example, you could keep your router, its power cable, ethernet cable, and other WiFi-related equipment in one box with bubble wrap, packaging paper, or other packaging material. Also keep organization in mind while packing electronics. Take a photo of your devices’ set-ups so you can easily hook them back up. Have multiple cords? Neatly bundle them with a clear label indicating which device each one goes to and what the cable is. Or tape items like cables and remotes to your electronics.

Pack an “Open First” Box

A post shared by @instagram

No matter if you’re dealing with a short-notice move or something more planned, one of the best packing tips is to gather a room’s essentials into an “open first” box. These open-first boxes will contain basic necessities to help you get through the first few days in your new home as you begin unpacking. Some items to include in an open-first box are your moving folder, important documents, water bottles, plastic cutlery, paper plates, toiletries, pillows, phone chargers, and more. Just make sure to seal your toiletries in something like a plastic bag to prevent any leaks from getting on your other items.

Keep Cleaning Supplies Separate

A post shared by @instagram

As you pack up your old home, keep the cleaning supplies away from everything else. Whether organic or chemical, these materials can spill and potentially damage other items—so it’s best to seal them in a separate container. And while it’s courteous and can help renters, in particular, get their deposit back, outgoing residents do not always clean the space before vacating. So, it’s a good idea to pack your cleaning supplies last when moving, and unpack them first in your new home.


Looking for self storage to help with your move? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage locations across the country. Find secure storage near you!