Bluebell Relocation Services

How to Pack for a Move: A Complete Checklist

boxes used to pack for a move

While relocation bears many tasks, there is one that stands out as the most paramount one. It is the obligation one must handle with the utmost care, devotion, and knowledge. We are talking about packing. One cannot have a successful move if packing was poorly executed, as it most certainly results in damage. This is why hiring professional packing services NJ is a great idea, as it ensures the safety of your belongings. However, if you care to pack for a move on your own, you will need all the help you can get. And the checklist in front of you will prove to be all that you need.

Before we delve into the packing itself, we will have to address some of the tasks that will have to precede it in order to ensure it all goes as efficiently as possible. In order to save yourself some money and even time, you will have to sort your belongings. Purging before relocation will ensure you are taking along exactly what you need, and filling your new home with items that serve a purpose.

A cozy looking living room

With that in mind, start this process with:

Decluttering your home before you pack for a move

Go room to room, not missing even those you visit most seldom. After all, you will have to go through them eventually. Before you start decluttering your home, sort all of the items that you have into three groups:

  1. possessions you will keep
  2. items you will donate/sell
  3. things you will toss

As you have probably presumed, the names of the groups describe the ways by which you will handle your belongings. Once all has been sorted, you can proceed to the next step, and that is:

Acquiring packing materials

Now that you know how many items there will be for packing, you can get the right amount of packing materials. As boxes are bread and butter of every packing order, you will need to stock up on them. It would be best that you get a variety of sizes, as not all items ought to be addressed in the same manner. We will later elaborate.

When you pack for a move, you don’t want to find yourself lacking packing tape. Although it may not seem so, packing tape will come in handy not only for closing boxes. You can also use it to strengthen the structure by placing it on the outer edges of the box.

You don’t want to forget about labeling materials as well. Waterproof markers are the safest and fastest option. However, if color-coding is your thing, by all means, go for the colorful stickers.

Materials like newspapers, packing paper, and bubble sheets are great to have around, as they ensure and enhance the safety of transported goods. You don’t have to spend a fortune on them, however, as we will suggest some alternatives later on.

Places to look for them

The cheaper, a bit riskier and more time-consuming option would be to go store to store, warehouse to warehouse, and inquire about boxes they have to spare. While the search will take some time, the risk comes with the kind of boxes you get. You want to pack your belongings only in boxes that are damage and odor-free. Make sure to stop by the liquor stores you have nearby, and look for boxes there. They will do great for your fragile belongings, as the boxes are sturdier, and have cell dividers.

Lots of boxes

Another way to get packing materials is to buy them from a moving company. Here, you will know that the quality is premium and that you will have exactly what you need, as the companies sell the same materials they use to ensure safe relocations.

Pack for a move

Provided that you have started on time (and that means at least two months in advance), you would want to begin with rooms and items you rarely use. This will ensure that you are able to normally function around your place, without having to open boxes all the time, in search of necessary items. For example, when packing clothes, start with items that are not suitable for the current season. Your cooking will not suffer if you pack certain cookie molds, decorative tools, and so on.

You also want to allocate a room that you do not visit so often, and store your boxes there until the moving day arrives. Apart from allowing to you navigate through your home swimmingly, you will also avoid having the feeling of living in a warehouse during this period.

We will now address each room you have in your home, so as to help you not miss any important details:

The kitchen

  • you want to defrost the refrigerator at least 48 hours prior to moving out. As for the food inside, try to eat what you can beforehand. Stop buying food at least one week before the move, and concentrate your efforts on the groceries you already have. Get creative. Since perishables are usually not transported by the moving companies, you can choose to toss what was left behind or donate to your local food bank.
  • in order to properly pack your dishes for a move, you have to take your time and be attentive. First, take a smaller box, as dishes tend to weigh a lot when stacked. Packing them in a bigger box will make the package difficult to handle, and easy to drop, and that is not a desirable outcome. Use cushioning materials of your choice to wrap the fragile items. Feel free to use clothing pieces like t-shirts and socks to fill your cups, mugs, and bowls, in order to give them extra protection.
  • the boxes you gathered from liquor stores will be great for glasses. Cell dividers ensure a simple, yet secure way of transporting them.
  • when packing small appliances, start by removing any blades, or loose components. Tape the cord around the appliance, and then tape any additional parts to it. Make sure to include the instructions in the package.
  • while perishables are not suitable for relocation, dry goods have the green light. Just make sure to tape paper or bubble sheet around seasonings, and pack jars containing spices or food on the bottom, so that they don’t move during transport.
Clear glass jar lot

The dining room

  • vacuum the rug, and roll it up. Secure it with elastic bands, or a rope.
  • in order to save room when you pack for a move, make sure to remove the legs from chairs, if it’s possible. Place them in moving boxes with the nails/casters that are in a labeled plastic bag.
  • when it comes to the kitchen table, you can also remove the legs, provided that the design comes with such an option. Wrap the blanket around the table, and place it in an area where it does not slide around.

The living room

  • Secure your electronics. TVs and computer screens need to be secured with blankets. You would do this by unscrewing the base (if the device has one), taping the screws to the back of the TV, and then wrapping it all together. If the base is light, you can tape that as well to the back of the screen, or pack it in a separate box.
  • Furniture packing and loading. Consider removing the legs from couches and chairs in order to make them easier to maneuver. Make sure to protect the floors when the moving day arrives. Place your biggest pieces of furniture into the moving truck before you start loading it with moving boxes. This will ensure you utilize the maximum capacity of the truck.
  • Organize electronic components. Place power cables, HDMI, audio auxiliary cables and remote controllers in plastic bags, sorting them by the devices they belong to. Label the plastic bags, and ensure a quick and easy reassemble.
  • Handle artwork and mirrors with care. Wrap them in cushioning materials, and label the boxes that contain them with ‘fragile’.
  • Pack your books in the smallest boxes. Do not let their size fool you. Books weigh a lot when stacked. Safe yourself the strained back and even damaged books by packing them in small boxes.
A girl carrying a small box used to pack for a move

The bedrooms

  • use medium boxes for clothing pieces. When it comes to casual clothing, you would wrap and pack it as you would for traveling. Don’t forget about their cushioning and protective potential. Using them like this will save you some space as well. For formal wear, consider getting your hands on some wardrobe boxes. They will allow you to keep the clothing on hangers during transport.
  • organize your jewelry and other valuables. Put them in a container you can lock and keep on you at all times during relocation.
  • pack mattresses. Put them in bed bags in order to protect them from the elements during the move. If you are preparing for a long-distance road, or plan on placing your items in storage NJ, make sure to keep the mattress flat and horizontal.
  • bedding and pillows are for your biggest boxes. Being that they can take a lot of room, and not have much weight, handling them will not be an issue.

The bathroom

  • pack the toiletries together. You also want to ensure to have easy access to them. Since the bathroom will likely be the first room you unpack, as it is the most essential one for a normal modern-day life, you want to make it quick and simple.
  • organize towels. Pack toilet paper, soap, towels and other bathroom essentials in one box for each bathroom your new home has.
A nice looking bathroom

The laundry room

  • Move big appliances. Unplug the washer and the dryer. Disconnect all components including the dryer vent and washer hose. Tape the power cords to each appliance. Optionally protect the corners with some cushioning materials.
  • Get rid of detergents and fabric softener. They are dangerous to transport and even the reliable moving services NJ will kindly decline to handle them.
  • Use laundry baskets as packing storage. Clothes that don’t require special care can be placed in here. Just make sure to secure the top with tape.

The garage/storage shed

  • Put lawn furniture cushions in boxes or trash bags. Being that they are made to withstand the outdoors, they do not need any special protection.
  • Dispose of hazardous materials. This means that any paint, fertilizers, or weed killers have to go, as they are too hazardous to move.
  • Pack your tools in a tool chest. If you do not have one, pack electronic items individually, and make sure to cushion them from every side. As for items like a saw or hammer, wrap them in towels, and then pack in boxes.
  • Drain the gas from the items that have it. Grill or mover should be drained before relocation. Apart from making the item lighter, it will also prevent any accidental spillage.
  • Deflate pool toys. This will make them much smaller and easier to pack.

Some extra advice that will come in handy when you pack for a move

Make sure to pack an essentials box. Here you will keep all the items that will make those first few days in your new home manageable. So, pack it with a fork, a knife and a spoon for each member of the family, a towel for everyone, basic hygiene items, some bedsheets, and some extra clothes.

Be mindful of the weather that awaits in your new location. If you are moving cross country, or to another continent, find out what the weather will be like upon your arrival. Pack the fitting clothes on top of your luggage.

A girl blowing snow off of her hands after she has helped a friend pack for a move


Start with preparations and packing early. Keep this checklist by your side, and don’t forget to look it up every so often in order to ensure you have everything under control.

If you find it too hard, time-consuming or simply arduous to pack for a move, do not hesitate to call Bluebell Moving and Storage. A professional and reliable moving company will take a great load off your back, and save you a lot of time, nerves, and even money.

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