Worrying about how to pack everything for your impending move? If you have moving anxiety, (and perhaps a teensy bit of procrastination), calm your nerves and use these top packing tips that won’t leave you:
- Stressed out
- Dealing with broken/missing items
- Forced to make (and pay for) multiple round-trips
We’re dishing on everything we’ve learned in over 30 years of packing & moving millions of Texas households. Here’s how to pack everything you own and have a no-sweat move—no matter where you live or how many items you have!
Not Sure How To Start Packing? Try Our P.O.P Method!
For most people, figuring out when and how to start packing is the biggest hurdle. But, following what we call the P.O.P method will help you conquer the packing process without getting overwhelmed! Here's how it works:
The first step in the P.O.P process is to prioritize what you have to pack and when:
- Do certain items have to be delivered to your second destination or a storage unit?
- Are some pieces heavier or more delicate than others?
- Does something have more intricate parts to disassemble?
- Will you need it urgently at your new place (like dishes, towels, or bedsheets)?
Specialty items (looking at you, Peloton) may need to be dismantled or uninstalled by an experienced representative. This may or may not be someone from the parent manufacturing company. Since these types of pieces will take more time and attention, it’s a good idea to rank them in one of two ways:
- Number each item in order of importance
- Or, add a note indicating either HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW priority.
Use these tips to create a prioritized home inventory list before you pack:
- Do a 5-to-10-minute brainstorm session and list everything you need to pack that’s extra heavy, delicate, valuable, or complicated.
- Then, go room by room and list the rest of your belongings. These remaining items will typically be easier and faster to disassemble and pack.
- Add a HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW priority note for each item.
- Now you’ll know where to start and which pieces will take more or less time to pack!
Note: If you expect to hire professional packers or need help packing anything that’s high-priority, add this in your notes. This serves as a reminder to notify your movers before your move day arrives so you both know what to expect.
Packing without first getting organized is a stressful disaster waiting to happen. Here’s how to make a plan to organize before packing:
- Determine what supplies you’ll need. Make sure they’re good quality and that you have enough. (TIP: if you’re using old boxes, make sure they’re sturdy before packing them!)
- Know when and where to get the supplies. Do some research on where to get affordable packing supplies all in one stop. You don’t want to wait on this, especially if you’re moving during a busy season!
- Gather everything you need to move into your new place. And we mean everything (e.g., a working payment card, keys, paperwork, elevator/equipment reservations, apartment or storage hours, etc.). Getting well-prepared means that a moving company won’t have to charge you to hold items overnight. (While this is 100% legal, it’s very awkward and frustrating for everyone involved).
- Contact your movers early about any specialty items. Some pieces movers can’t disassemble at all, or without you signing a waiver. Other items—like Peloton bikes—may need a specialist to uninstall or dismantle them, so do this early.
This is where things get down to business… You know, the part where you actually pack. Take a look at your home inventory list. Now it’s simply a matter of executing on parts 1 and 2 of the POP Method—Prioritize and Organize—that you’ve already done!
- Start disassembling and wrapping your highest-priority items.
- To stay organized, put similar items with each other based on the room (e.g. all dishes in the same box).
- Mark the sides and top of each box. Include its contents, whether it’s fragile, and which side is up. Labeling helps immensely when you need to figure out which boxes to load without crushing something. (Example: “Kitchen Dishes | FRAGILE | This Side Up” or “Bedroom Canvas Prints | This Side Up”).
- Continue down the list until you’ve wrapped and packed everything.
- Clothing can be packed on hangers if they’re in wardrobe boxes/covers, or folded and boxed or packed in suitcases.
- For anything you need help with, make a note and save it for move day.
Which Packing Supplies Do You Really Need For Moving?
If you’re moving in a hurry or trying to stick to a budget, there’s little time to waste on finding the right packing supplies for your move. Here’s a quick breakdown of what supplies you absolutely need for proper packing, as well as the optional nice-to-haves.
Must-Have Supplies for Packing
- Tool Set- How else are you going to dismantle your furniture? P.S. It’s best to have a case for your tools so you don’t have to put them in a moving box.
- Moving Boxes- Good boxes will have handle slots; make sure these are sturdy enough for any heavier items!
- Packing paper and/or Bubble Wrap- Bubble wrap and packing paper are crucial for padding your fragile items and filling in spaces to keep them stable.
- Suitcase or Bag- A good suitcase or non-plastic bag is necessary for storing your essentials (as in, whatever you’ll need immediately in your new home—like toilet paper, toothbrush, medicine, snacks, towels, clothes, etc.)
- Knife or Boxcutter- You’ll definitely need this handy to open packed boxes or zip ties as you unpack.
Where To Get Free & Low-cost Packing Supplies & Moving Boxes
You can find packing supplies that won’t break—or break the bank—at certain stores, like:
- Your moving company. Tell your movers what you need, and they’ll bring it along!
- Liquor stores, Bars, or Wineries
- Furniture stores
- Dollar stores
Why You Shouldn’t Use Grocery Store Boxes for Packing
Not only could the boxes have mold or mites, but spilled food or certain allergens could get on your personal belongings and into your new space. You certainly don’t want to deal with bugs or a sticky, stinky, mess on your furniture… Grocery store boxes are intended only for food.
And, since food usually weighs less than standard household objects, grocery boxes are made lighter for one-time use.
Grocery boxes also too weak for heavier items. So they're not meant to hold up for loading into a moving truck full of large furniture. The tops aren’t reinforced either. That means the bottoms could easily fall out or the tops could be crushed with even slight pressure, damaging whatever you pack inside.
Do yourself a favor and get real moving boxes instead of grocery store boxes!
Efficient Packing Tips To Avoid Move-day Headaches
Want to move quickly and be as efficient as possible? Use these tips on how to pack to avoid move-day headaches:
- Clean and put away dishes and laundry. You definitely don’t want to forget to pack these.
- Get a lot more moving boxes than you probably think you’ll need. It never hurts to have more, but not having enough can put you in a last-minute bind.
- Declutter, donate, & discard whatever you don’t need or haven’t used in at least a year. The less you have to pack, the better.
- Avoid overloading boxes. If you can’t easily lift it, it’s too heavy.
- Seal and label all your packed boxes before movers arrive
- Do one last walkthrough to make sure no packed boxes are hidden away in closets or behind doors.