These tips save valuable packing time and help prevent breakage during your move.
Begin by gathering your supplies – 2 and 4 cubic foot boxes, a couple of china “barrels” (double-walled boxes), cell boxes for pricey glassware, a big marker, a tape gun and packing tape, blank newsprint, towels, blankets, cushions, and spare pillows. Designate a table or counter as your packing station. Use the tape gun to reinforce the bottom of the boxes. Now start emptying the kitchen cupboards. Hopefully, you already performed a garage sale/donation purge – if not, move anything you don’t need to a different room so that you won’t accidentally pack it.
Layer the bottom of each box with crumpled newsprint – then start wrapping your plates. Wrapped plates and bowls should stand on their edges in the china barrel. Once you’ve got the first layer in, crumple up some more paper and stack the next layer up. Heaviest stuff goes at the bottom! Mugs, glasses, and jars get individually wrapped and packed standing on their bases. Leave silverware in its tray and wrap the tray with an old towel and tape it so that utensils don’t spill out during the move. Tip: use your plastic food storage containers to pack small, fragile objects, spices bottles, and kitchen knick-knacks. The key to avoiding breakage is to prevent any internal movement, so use wads of paper to fill empty spaces and down box corners. Pack cushions or blankets at the top of the box until it won’t sag under a firm push and then tape it shut.
Now mark which direction is up, whether the box holds fragile items, and the box’s main contents. When packing pots and pans, pad the handles with paper or towels so that they won’t tear through packing boxes. Even when the size of an item requires a big box, make sure it doesn’t weigh more than 50 lbs. Use pillows, plastic items, small rugs, etc., to fill in around awkwardly shaped appliances.
Open food packages should be taped shut (and bagged if they will be in the truck more than a day or two). Liquids should never go into a box destined for a moving van. Use small (2 cubic foot) boxes to pack the pantry, to avoid going over the boxes’ weight limit. Tip: if you hired a moving company for a long-haul move, it will cost less to replace your pantry than to pack it.
Packing appliances. If you have the original boxes, great! If not, use a box slightly bigger than the appliance and place it on a layer of crumpled newsprint, then stuff the surrounding sides with crumpled newsprint before doing the same to the top. Any detachable cords should be labelled the appliance’s name and be packed into the same box.
Tip: keep the bare minimum of dishes, pots, and utensils needed between packing the kitchen and your moving date. Remember to keep a couple of boxes, paper, and tape in reserve for this last-minute packing job.