woman in front of boxes

Packing Tips for Moving: How to Pack, What to Pack & What Not to Pack

Are you planning a big move but don’t know where to start? Those feelings of dread and anxiety may seem permanent, but they will go away if you prepare and execute a solid packing plan. Whether you plan to move across town or across the country, certain packing principles remain the same. If you follow a few simple tips, your next move will come off without a hitch.

Here are a few helpful packing tips to keep your move as easy and stress-free as possible!

1. Make a Detailed List

Everything starts with a list. Your master list will be the sacred document that guides your move. You can use a spreadsheet or an old-fashioned notebook, the choice is yours.

Create a numbered list with space for a description. Each number on your list will correspond to a box that has been packed. In the space provided, you will describe exactly what is in each box. The more specific, the better. Do not just write down “dishes,” instead, write down “holiday place settings.”

This way, you will know the exact contents of each box and will be able to group like items together.

Make copies and keep them in a safe place, like in the glove compartment of your car or in the box marked “Number 1.” This way when you get to your new home, you will be able to unpack with confidence.

Click here to view our Ultimate Moving Guide!

2. Get More Supplies Than You Think You Will Need

You will need lots of boxes, yards of packing tape, and dozens of labels — more than you currently think you will need. Right now, whatever amount you’re about to settle on, you should add about 30 percent on top of that number. Of course, you may have some leftover materials — but it’s better to have more, rather than making a mad dash in the middle of packing to re-stock.

Certainly, the essentials you will need include, but are not limited to: strong packing tape, bubble wrap or packing paper, pens, and labels — and keep a few extra boxes around for moving day. This way, you can pick up last-minute items like cleaning supplies, sheets, and towels.

3. Use Wardrobe Boxes

These tall, sturdy boxes are the perfect tool for your next move. They are great for storing bulky items such as blankets and pillows.

If you are using a moving company, have them send over a few wardrobe boxes in advance so you can begin packing clothes and bulky items. One good trick is to place shoes, purses, sweaters, and jeans in plastic shopping bags and place them at the bottom of your wardrobe box. Then, simply hang your clothes in the box as normal. This way, you utilize as much space as possible — but just make sure not to overpack the boxes or they’ll be too difficult to lift.

4. Keep Things Together

When packing, it’s important to keep items together. For instance, keep lamps and light bulbs together, electronics with power cords, books with bookends, etcetera. This way when you get to your new home, you will not have to go hunting for pieces.

Additionally, small parts or accessories can be placed in plastic sandwich bags and taped directly to the item; this way you won’t lose them.

As a last resort, you can dedicate one small box for all cords, chargers, and accessories. Simply label it “Accessories” and deal with it when you complete your move.

5. Color Coordinate

The best tip? Use a different color for each room of your home. For example: yellow for your kitchen, red for the bedroom, and green for the living room. Next, place a colored sticker on each box for that room. Furthermore, all the boxes that have a yellow sticker go in the kitchen of your new home; this will make unpacking go much more smoothly.

6. You Can’t Pack Everything

You shouldn’t just box up every single thing you own. There are some things that you’ll want to keep with you instead of on the moving truck, and others that cannot go on the truck for safety reasons.

Here is a list of items you shouldn’t pack with the rest of our belongings:

  • Essential Items: If you’re moving to a new home or apartment, you’re going to want to keep an overnight bag of essentials for your first day in your new home. You can fill a bag or box with items like a change of clothes, a toothbrush, shampoo, and charging wires for your devices.
  • Firearms, Explosives, and Toxic Substances: These items shouldn’t be transported in a moving truck. If you have firearms, you should pack them securely so they can be seen and shouldn’t leave them unattended around children.
  • Flammable Items: Whether you have aerosol cans, paint, or gasoline, you should not be transporting these items in a moving truck. Ask the local hazardous waste organization or the fire department in your community how to dispose of these items properly.
  • Money, Essential Documents, and Jewelry: We recommend you pack your personal belongings separately so they don’t get lost in a random box. Separate documents, jewelry, or money to the side and take those with you.
  • Perishables: You shouldn’t pack items like frozen food or produce. You can donate food to your local food bank to prevent the food from going to waste.
  • Plants and Flowers: If you are moving across state lines, you might not be permitted to transport plants with you. If you are local, we recommend you take plants with you, since they can’t stay in the dark without water for too long.
  • Other Valuables: Make sure to take valuables with you, like your computer, tablets, family photos, and even your medication. These items should be transported with you to make sure they are safe and don’t get lost or damaged during the moving process.

Packing the right things and taking valuables with you can save you a considerable amount of worry and can help you avoid common moving problems.

Packing & Prepping for Your Southern California Move

If you are planning on moving, don’t stress about packing or transporting your belongings, when the licensed and insured Santa Clarita movers at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage can do it for you. We offer a wide variety of moving services, including local, long-distance, out-of-state, and international moves, and we also offer secure storage. With our team, you can rest assured that your items will be safe and taken care of.

Since 1996, Affordable Quality Moving and Storage has served customers throughout Southern California with unmatched professionalism and care. To find out how we can help you, call (661) 622-2636. We offer free, no-obligation estimates to get you started.