5 tips for packing

5 Tips to Packing

I recently had the pleasure and heartache of helping my daughter pack for college. Just packing a dorm rooms worth of items wasn’t easy and it got me thinking about the process of packing up a whole home for a move. These are my 5 tips for packing your home for the big move.

Before packing for moving you’ll need to declutter your whole house. Please check out my post, “What to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

After decluttering you’ll need to gather supplies. Generally you’ll want;

  • Packing tapetips for packing gather supplies
  • Scissors
  • Boxes in various sizes
  • Markers for Labeling
  • Large Zip Lock Bags
  • Padding
    • Try using older clothes and small towels as padding.

Load up on all these things and try your hand at color coding with specific tape colors for each room. 


1 The On Hand Items 

Make sure to pack necessities and keep them separate. Include toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brush, shower supplies, and a few towels. It’s a good idea for each family member to pack an overnight bag with a few outfits and any important items they can’t live without. Also pack important documents like passports, birth certificates, and truck rental reservations separate. These things should be transported in your car during the move. Create an “Open First Box”, this will include paper towels, hand soap, kleenex, trash bags, and the tools you used for packing like scissors, box cutters, tape and markers.

2 Get Help!

The more people you have the faster the process will go. Invite family and friends to help and make sure to offer drinks and food as compensation. Have a team meeting to explain your labeling method and divide and concur.

3 Pack Efficiently 

Pack room by room and maximize space in each box. Layer the bottom with heavier items and test the boxes weight periodically to make sure it’s not too heavy. Use smaller boxes when packing all heavy items like toys or books.tips for packing Labeled Boxes

Try not to leave empty spaces. If a box is heavy swap out some items with lighter ones. Empty space wastes boxes and limits how they can be stacked. If a box has empty space label it with “Don’t Stack On Top Of Me!” or some other message to ensure it doesn’t get crushed. Remember the things on top in a moving van will be unloaded first.

The most important thing is to label clearly. Write the room and number the box. Include any other information you think will be helpful. A couple examples would be, Kitchen #3 Dishes, Alex’s Room #5 Bedding, Living Room #2 Books.

Make a list of how many boxes you have from each room and double check they all get loaded and unloaded. Keep boxes grouped by room for quick unloading and take pictures of wire arrangements to easily reconnect them.

4 Fragile Items

Pay special attention to fragile items and label them with an obnoxiously sized FRAGILE. Wrap each item carefully and consider using plastic bins for delicate dishes. When the box is full or getting heavy use towels or old clothes to pad any left over room. Layering the bottom of box with a towel and packing plates sideways can save space as well.

5 tips for packing from Sheryl Petrashek

5 Furniture 

Disassemble anything you can and use double layered Zip Lock bags to keep all screws, nuts, and other hardware together. Label clearly and pack all the “Hardware” ziplock bags together with the tools you’ll need to reassemble. Label the whole box and take this in a car load with other necessities.


These are some guidelines but remember to fit packing to your lifestyle. Many people like to dedicate a weekend and push through the task but if your schedule demands small bursts then start early and pack a couple boxes of nonessentials each day after your Offer is accepted.

Read my post about Negotiating Offers, “3 Rounds in a Home Negotiation

Me and the Selling South Of The River Team are happy to help with any of your Real Estate needs. Contact me at 612-889-6496 or [email protected] 

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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