What To Pack First When Moving?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Moving to a different home can be an exciting experience. However, if you don’t pack your belongings in the proper sequence, moving can quickly get to be a stressful experience. People are busy planning their move and believe everything is under control until it isn’t, and they discover themselves suffocating in tags, plastic wrap, and cardboard boxes.

When moving, you first want to pack the room you use the least, as well as your storage, books, DVDs, records, and CDs. Wall art, photos and frames, shelves, and mirrors should be packed first too, along with seasonal items such as holiday decorations, and seasonal clothing and shoes. This will make packing more efficient and quicker.

In this article, we will talk about what you should pack first when moving to make the whole process easier. We also explain a bit about the methods behind our choices so you can better understand why we chose this particular list.

What is the Best Way to Begin Packing?

The way in which you first begin packing will set the entire tone for your move. Therefore, it’s important that you first make sure that you’re ready to pack.

Before you even begin packing, you should take stock of your possessions and sort everything. Before you start packing, you should be aware of everything you own.

Prepare a notebook, a ballpoint pen, and a hot drink before beginning your stockpile walk-through of your home.

Declutter The Items That You Won’t Be Bringing

We can’t emphasize this enough: before you begin preparing, get rid of anything you don’t need. Why go through the distress of packing numerous items that you will not need or use in your new home?

Instead of wasting time cleaning up, packing, and unloading these items, find them a great home where they can be used to their full potential.

Declutter responsibly by sorting your belongings into categories such as give away, sell, as well as a donation pile.

Clean & Dust Items

Before packing, it’s important that you tidy and dusts all of the items before packing them. You don’t want to be unloading dirty, grimy items on either side of your move.

By giving each item a quick wipe down before packing it, you’ll be able to avoid bringing the dust and dirt into your new home.

Find A Reliable Moving Service

Working with a moving company may not be the first thought that springs to mind whenever it comes to transferring homes. However, trust us when we say that you’ll be glad you did when the big day arrives.

Moving services are experienced and well-equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to complete each move efficiently.

It’s best to check out three top-rated companies near you and see what they include in their packages before you settle down and choose a company.

What Should You Pack First When Moving?

One of the most common questions people have when moving is what they should pack up first. This answer is different for everyone. However, what you should do first and foremost, is make a moving checklist.

Make a list of the classifications, dates, and living areas that need to be packed, and add them to your list. Moving checklists are handy for determining what you’re doing first when moving.

It’s time to start packing after you’ve created a realistic moving checklist. Below is a checklist of what you should think about packing up first.

Least Used room

You don’t want to start packing with your child’s favorite toys or in the kitchen. Instead, begin inside the least used space and work your way up to the more commonly used areas.

The garage, cellar, closets, or attic may be your least used rooms. Decide which part of the house you use the least and begin packing there.

Picture Frames and Artwork

Next, start moving on to photo frames and artwork. You can live without appreciating them on your walls for several weeks, and you’ll probably need to start fixing any holes left by taking them down.

It’s also a good idea to start on these items first because cautiously trying to wrap them can take a long time. You’ll want to tape plastic wrap on the front and back of each piece, then wrap it in plastic flex-wrap. Put them in a specifically made picture frame/mirror box for extra security.

Along with photo frames, now is a great time to remove any other wall-mounted items, such as floating shelves and mirrors.

Items In Storge

It’s a great idea to pack up anything that you have in storage. This is because they haven’t been unpacked yet, which means these items are simple to pack.

The only thing you might need to do is rearrange a few items. Also, check to see if you need to replace any boxes. Other than that, these items should be ready to go!

Pack The Most Difficult Room

Don’t save this room for last; you’ll be exhausted by the time you get there, which may result in unorganized packing.

Rather than saving the toughest room for last, pack it at the start of your packing process. This is frequently the bedroom.

Clothing can be difficult to pack up, as well as all of your little trinkets around the room. Since this room will take the most time, it’s best to start here first.

Pack Out Of Season Items Next

Do you keep boxes of Christmas decorations or your synthetic tree around the year? These items are used depending on the season and should be loaded first if they are not in season.

You can always make sure they’re easily accessible if the season is coming up. But if it’s just passed, these are some items that will be okay to throw into storage or the attic of your new home.

Books and Records

Presumably, the best way to start is with books, magazines, and records. The same is true for large compilations of DVDs, CDs, and video games. Because of their weight, pack them in small, sturdy boxes.

Books and basic items are an excellent place to begin because their consistent shape tends to make them easy to pack.

Once you’ve finished packing up your media collection, you’ll be able to make significant progress and feel accomplished. You’re bound to come across some books and films you no longer want, now’s a good time to donate them.

Clothing and Shoes

With your move coming up in a few weeks, now is the moment to go through your clothes. Begin with seasonal clothing that you aren’t currently wearing.

Start loading coats and jackets now if your move is in the summer. Pack your shorts and tank tops if you’re moving in the winter.

You should be left with your existing wardrobe once you’ve finished. Reduce that to the clothes you intend to wear over the next few weeks and store any extras until after your move.

If you plan correctly, you should have a few clothes left to wear after moving day. Then, you can pack these up in some suitcases or a duffel bag at the last minute.

This also applies to your shoe collection. Choose a few pairs, along with some comfy shoes for having to move day, and start packing the rest now.

Packing the above items can be difficult because they come in a variety of odd types and sizes, and fitting those together would feel like a game of Tetris.

Fill in any voids with balled-up packing paper to make things easier. Better yet, fill medium – big boxes with light items such as pillows, towels, and mattresses to keep them from becoming too heavy.

Should You Empty Drawers When Moving?

Before moving day, kindly unload your desk and dressing table drawers. It’s natural to think of your drawers as “boxes,” but moving heavy furniture is difficult enough when it’s empty.

If you keep all of the drawers packed full, it will make the dresser so much heavier than it needs to be. This can increase the risk of injury as well as damage to the dresser. It’s best to unpack them.

Do You Need to Remove Clothes From Dresser Before Moving?

Choosing to leave some clothes or lighter linens on the dresser will not harm it in most cases.

However, if the dresser is overflowing with clothes or other objects, it will. The dresser will most likely need to be moved upstairs, around corners, and on its side.

Your clothes will shift and move. So unless it’s just a few pairs of underwear and socks, you would be better off unpacking it entirely.

How Long Does it Take to Pack?

As a general rule, plan on a full day of packing per room—double that if you have a lot of stuff.

So, if you have a studio flat, plan on packing for 1-2 days, 2-3 days for a one-bedroom, and 7-8 days for a five-bedroom. However, life does happen, so it’s always a good idea to throw a couple of extra days onto that for some cushion.

Is it Possible to Pack in One Day?

Packing your apartment in one day is a challenge, but it is not impossible. Take the time to wrap and safeguard your items as you go through all the processes to avoid damage during your move.

Also, just because you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean that you should toss everything in one box. Make sure you have your marker, tape, and boxes all ready to make the organizing and packing easier.

When Should You Start Packing?

Packing for your move should begin at least three weeks before the anticipated move date. The actual moving preparatory work should begin at least 6-8 weeks well before moving. The earlier you begin packing, the simpler it’ll be when your moving date approaches.

Related Guides

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

More by Heather Robbins