mother and daughter packing for a move

The Dos and Don’ts of Packing for a Move: A Definitive Guide

Moving can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, especially when it comes to packing. Packing your belongings correctly can make the difference between a smooth move and a disastrous one. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you pack for your move.


1. Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. It’s best to start at least a few weeks ahead of your move date. Start with items you don’t use frequently, such as off-season clothes, books, and decorations.

2. Declutter

Moving allows you to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need. Go through each room in your house and separate items into three piles: keep, donate, and throw away. This way, you will avoid packing unnecessary items while having less to unpack when you arrive at your new home.

3. Create a Packing List

The best way to stay organized during a move is to create a packing list. This will help you keep track of everything you need to pack and ensure that nothing gets left behind. Divide the list by room, and include a detailed inventory of each box’s contents.

4. Label Everything

Label each box with a brief description of its contents and the room it belongs in. Doing so will make it easier to unpack everything in your new home. You can also use color-coded labels or stickers to indicate which boxes are fragile or require special handling.

5. Use High-Quality Packing Materials

Invest in high-quality packing materials such as sturdy boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper. This will help ensure your belongings are protected during the move.

6. Pack Heavy Items in Small Boxes

When packing heavy items, such as books and dishes, use small boxes to avoid overloading larger boxes and risking damage or injury. Label these boxes as “heavy” and make sure they are placed at the bottom of stacks or on the floor of the moving truck.

7. Pack Fragile Items Carefully

Wrap fragile items, such as glasses and dishes, in bubble wrap or packing paper before putting them in boxes. Use packing peanuts or crumpled paper to fill any empty space in the box and prevent the items from shifting during transit. Also, label the boxes as “fragile.”


1. Don’t Overpack Boxes

Avoid overpacking boxes as this can make them difficult to move and increase the risk of damage. A good rule of thumb is to keep boxes around 50 pounds or less. If they are too heavy, consider redistributing the items into two smaller boxes instead.

2. Don’t Forget to Take Measurements

Before you start packing, take measurements of your new home to ensure your furniture and large items will fit through doorways and in their intended spaces. This will save you time and frustration on the day of the move.

3. Don’t Pack Hazardous Materials

Never pack hazardous materials such as gasoline, propane tanks, or cleaning chemicals. These items can be dangerous and may even be illegal to transport. Check with your moving company or local authorities for proper disposal options.

4. Don’t Pack Important Documents

Refrain from packing important documents such as birth certificates, passports, and financial records. Keep these documents with you throughout the move to ensure they are not lost or damaged. Consider using a file box or folder for easy transport and organization.

5. Don’t Forget to Pack a First-Night Box

Pack a first-night box with toiletries, a change of clothes, bedding, and any necessary medications. This will make your first night in your new home more comfortable and less stressful, as you won’t have to search through multiple boxes to find what you need.

6. Don’t Pack Food

Perishable food items, such as fresh produce or frozen foods, should not be packed for a move. It’s always best to consume or donate these items before moving day. Non-perishable pantry items can be packed, but be mindful of their weight and label the boxes properly to avoid confusion.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

You can get by with some help from your friends and family. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance packing, lifting heavy items, or providing emotional support during the move. You may also consider hiring professional movers if you need additional help. 

Final Thoughts on Packing for a Move 

The moving experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming and stressful. With proper planning and organization, it can also be a smooth and successful transition. Start early, declutter and donate unwanted items, label and organize boxes, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. By following these helpful tips and practices, you can make your move a less stressful and more enjoyable experience.

Look no further than the Move Gurus if you are looking for a packing service in Calera, AL. Our team of experienced movers and packers can assist you in every step of the moving process, from packing and loading to unloading and unpacking. Contact us for a free quote!

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