A Room-by-Room Packing Checklist

A dog poking his head out of a cardboard box

You’re all set for the big move! You’ve signed on the dotted line. You’ve celebrated with your family. You’ve even rented a truck to haul all your belongings to your new home. There’s only one thing left to do: pack.

Packing is hardly the most exciting part of moving, but it’s still extremely important. During the packing process, you ensure you have everything you want to bring to your new home. The problem is that the magnitude of this task makes it stressful.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make your packing experience less stressful. By staying organized, planning your packing process, and keeping on schedule, you can be prepared for your move while minimizing stress.

General Packing Guidelines

Before you rush to start packing boxes, it’s important to lay out a plan and get organized. Before bringing out the boxes, a good first step is to go through each room and make a list of which items you have and will keep. If you keep this list up to date and organized, you won’t need to worry about leaving precious or valuable items behind.

It’s during this stage in each room when you’ll make an important decision: What will you keep? Moving is a great time to declutter and evaluate what’s really important to you. It’s also good to note that anything you get rid of is one less thing to pack.

Which Rooms Should I Pack First?

Now that you have your lists prepared and know what you’re keeping in each room, it’s time to consider what room should be packed first. The answer depends heavily on how much longer you will still be in your home after packing a room and if you will still need the stuff in those rooms while you stay. The order you pack should reflect your needs. 

Room-by-Room Checklist

You’ve gotten organized and have decided what you’re going to keep, it’s time to buckle down and start packing. Decide on one room, probably on the main floor, to act as a staging area, then go to your first room to begin. The first step in each room? Set aside those few items you need to keep with you or you can’t pack while still living in your old house. Set these items aside so you can easily access them when you need them.

Garage Packing

A dirty garage in need of some organization

The garage is a difficult and tiring place to pack. A lot of people leave it for the end, but it’s also one of the least inconvenient places to pack early. The first thing to do is go through for essentials, though there probably won’t be many in the garage. After that, you separate what you want to keep and what you don’t.

There are a few key groups in garage packing that need to be addressed: hazardous materials, hand tools, and power tools.

Hazardous materials, such as oils, fertilizers, paint, and cleaners, must be handled carefully. If you’re hiring movers, check to see what they do or do not allow on their trucks. If you’re handling the move yourself, you simply need to handle these materials cautiously or safely dispose of them.

Hand tools can be fussy, but not necessarily. Some are sharp and prone to damaging containers and some are fragile, but most are relatively sturdy and safe to pack. If you’re concerned about some of them causing damage, you can wrap them up in old towels or bubble wrap to keep them safe.

Power tools, unlike hand-powered ones, are always fussy. You need to keep batteries and chargers together with their respective tools. Any cords you need also need to be packed together. With gas-powered tools, you should siphon the gas from them to make them safe for transport.

Kitchen Packing

Kitchen with white cabinets and silver appliances

Kitchens can fall anywhere in the packing progress depending on how long you plan to keep cooking before your move. Once you are no longer using your kitchen, you can separate all the cookware and dishes you take with you.

Keep in mind when you’re packing away your kitchen that ceramics and glassware can be scratched or chipped easily. To help prevent this, use packing foam or bubble wrap to provide some cushion between items. 

Metal pots and pans are sturdy, but also have a lot of empty space and easily misplaced lids. Try as much as possible to keep lids near their matches. This will save a lot of irritation later. Try to store smaller items inside larger pots and pans to avoid wasting space in boxes.

Appliances can be sturdy, but those made of glass or other fragile components should be packed carefully.

If you haven’t already, clear out all the food from your fridge and pantry. 

Dining Room Packing

Dining rooms share a lot in common with kitchens in how they’re packed. Take care with any fragile dishware. Pack them with foam or bubble wrap to keep them safe. Be sure to pack away any table clothes or decorations you want to keep as well as any wall decor.

Living Room Packing

When you go to pack your living room, the decor will take up most of your time. Be sure to remove everything from the walls and wrap up any smaller and more fragile tabletop decorations. If you have filled baskets or bins in the living room for easy access to them, you should see if you can transport those as-is without any more boxes. If they don’t have lids, you could also use plastic wrap to cover the tops and prevent spilling.

Bathroom Packing

A bathroom with blue cabinets and ceiling

Bathrooms are tricky. They have many loose and potentially messy items that can make them difficult to pack. They should also be one of the last rooms you pack. In general, it’s wise to wait until the night before your departure to pack up your bathrooms. As always, set aside the essentials you’ll need in the morning so you have them up until you walk out the door.

Once you have your essentials set aside, the next step is to remove any decor from the bathrooms to put away. Next, any towels or bath mats that aren’t currently in use should get packed so they can be used or washed as soon as you arrive.

Any bottles of soap or other liquids should be sealed in waterproof containers to prevent them from causing a mess. Sealable plastic bags and Tupperware containers are two good choices for this task. 

Bedroom Packing

Your bedroom will most likely be the last room you pack away because you’ll need somewhere to sleep before the big move. Clearing out closets and dressers should be your first priority. While you’re sorting your clothes, you can set aside what you’ll need for the next few days. Be sure to clean out any nightstand drawers or under-bed storage so you don’t leave anything behind. 

The absolute last step in your bedroom will be removing your bedding and mattress. You can set the mattress to the side until you move the furniture out, but the bedding should be packed away so you can easily retrieve it for either cleaning or putting it back on your bed.

What Do I Do With Furniture?

Depending on the item, furniture can be tricky to move. Most furniture just requires you to carry it out and into the truck, though size can be an issue. You will need to disassemble some of your larger items so they can be moved. If you don’t want any dust or dirt getting on your cloth furniture, plastic covers are an easy solution. 

Self Storage for Your Move

What if you need to move out of your old home before your new one is ready? Or what if your new home has space to live, but many other rooms still need renovating? What are you going to do with all of your belongings?

Don’t let a lack of storage space make moving more stressful than it already is. Universal Storage Group offers storage units with the space that will give you the time you need to get your home in order. We also sell moving supplies at our storage facilities to help you even earlier in the process. Visit one of our area facilities to find a storage unit that’s right for you.

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