How to Start Packing: 8 Essential Tips

how to start packing

Packing is no easy task. And if it’s been a while since your last move, your memory might be a little fuzzy on how time consuming packing can be. Just the thought of starting to pack can be overwhelming, and it’s all too easy to put it off when you don’t know where to begin. To avoid being caught up in procrastination, here are 8 steps on how to start packing.

How to Start Packing: 8 Essential Tips

1. Start Early

As you go about your regular life, it probably doesn’t seem like you have a lot to pack. But once you start pulling things out of cupboards and closets, you’ll realize you should have started packing earlier than a few days before your move. Packing an average one bedroom apartment will take about 3-5 days. For every additional room in your house, add 1-2 more days depending on how much is in the room. For the average American home, you can estimate packing will take between 1-2 weeks. After you estimate the amount of time it will take, start packing sooner than that. If you estimate a week’s worth of packing, you don’t want to have to take a whole week off of work to do it. Start packing on the weekends leading up to the move to give yourself an ample cushion of time.

2. Collect Packing Supplies

Before you start packing, gather all the packing supplies you’ll need. In your packing arsenal, you should have:
– Tape
-Permanent Markers
-Packing Paper
-Bubble Wrap
-Cardboard Boxes

When sourcing cardboard boxes, make sure they aren’t flimsy. While boxes from the grocery store are free, they’re not very sturdy. Your belongings will be much safer in boxes purchased from a moving company. And whether you’re hiring movers or loading the moving truck yourself, it will be much easier to play this life sized game of Tetris with uniform boxes. If you are determined to find free, sturdy boxes, the best places to check are book stores and liquor stores. The boxes they can give you are the best equipped to support and protect your belongings.

3. Designate a packing Station

After you’ve gathered all your packing supplies, set aside part of your home for a packing station. It doesn’t matter if your packing station stays in one place or moves to each room as you pack. The importance of the packing station lies in knowing where your supplies are. If you don’t have a designated area, you could lose time searching for the scissors or end up starting 4 new rolls of tape before finishing one.

4. Decide What Can Go

As you go about packing, if you come across something you don’t need or use, donate it or throw it out. Don’t waste time giving it too much thought. If you’re unable to quickly decide whether or not you’ll need or use something, pack it up and take it with you. You have a limited amount of time to pack and will have more free time to determine the item’s fate after you move.

5. Pack Non-Essentials First

Start by packing up items you won’t need until after you move, like out of season clothes or holiday decorations. If you’re trying to pack room by room, the attic or any storage space is probably the best place to start. As you pack, you’ll get closer to moving day and can pack away more essential items.

6. Stay Organized

Once you finish packing a box, label the it. Note what room it needs to go in, if it’s fragile, what side needs to be up, or if it needs to be opened first. Write on the box what’s inside or number the box and create a list of what is in each box. This will not only help for insurance purposes should anything happen to the box, but it will also help you quickly locate your Tupperware or can opener without having to go through every kitchen box.

7. Don’t Procrastinate the Kitchen

The most detrimental packing mistake a lot of people make is procrastinating packing up the kitchen. It will always take longer than you think due to the fragile nature of glassware and plates. Start early. And pack up everything you can do without until after the move. And make swaps that will help you maintain your sanity. Instead of packing your plates the night before moving, pack them a few days before and have paper plates on hand. You can pack up your mugs but leave out one or two of your to go coffee mugs. Pack up your silverware and use some plastic utensils you can hand wash or throw in the dishwasher for maximum use.

8. Pack a Moving essentials Box

Before completely packing up your entire life, plan out and pack a moving essentials box. This box contains whatever it is you need to comfortably enjoy your first night and morning in your new home. Fill it with things like toiletries and toilet paper, an extra pair of clothes, pajamas, medications, etc. If you need some advice on packing your moving essentials box, check out our more detailed post to get started.

Once you’ve figured out how to start packing, it’s time to find a moving company you can trust to safely move your belongings. We at Moving U & Junk U believe we’re the movers for you. We provide packingmoving, and junk removal services. Whatever you need help with, we’ll tailor our services to meet your needs. Looking for us to only move the bulky items to your new home? We can do that. Are you interested in a hands off, full service packing and move? We can do that too. Our professionally trained, friendly movers are here to make your life easier on moving day so you can focus on a fresh, well rested start in your new home.

To get your free estimate for packing, moving, or junk removal, give us a call or text at 484-301-2442 or email us at

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Moving U & Junk U is a full-service moving and junk removal company located in the Greater Philadelphia Area, Reading, PA, and Dayton, OH

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