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What to Pack First When Moving: A Beginner’s Guide

Sep 29, 2023

Boxes, papers, and dishes litter your Chicago home’s living floor, the halls, the bedrooms – wherever there’s open space. A truck will soon whisk them away, but you’re nowhere near ready for it. Welcome to moving.

Research shows that 45% of people view moving as the most stress-inducing life event. It’s deemed more stressful than divorce and having kids. Dealing with bulky furniture especially makes the process taxing.

If you’re new to moving, it’s hard to know what to do first. Let’s explore what to pack first when moving.

Low-Function Items

Suppose your storage unit is filled with supplies you use once a year, like gift wrap and Christmas decorations. It may also contain items you’ll never use again, like old baby onesies or heirloom furniture.

Pack these objects for your move first since you won’t need them immediately. They can go in the back of your moving truck. Gather these items at least five weeks before your scheduled move date.

Seasonal Clothing

It’s summer, and you’ve temporarily moved your fall, winter, and spring clothes in storage. Make these clothes the next items on your to-pack list if you’re moving within four to five weeks.

You won’t need them unless you expect the temperature to shift soon or you’re headed to a different climate.

Do puffy coats and bulky sweaters make up your off-season clothing wardrobe? Place them in vacuum-sealed bags. This will keep them from taking up too much room in your drawers, suitcases, and boxes when packing for a move.

Fragile Goods

List the fragile items you plan to take to your new home. Leave the ones you use regularly (like your porcelain kitchen plates), and pack the ones you won’t need immediately (like your holiday goblets if you’re moving before November and December). Your silver, crystal, and fine china are ready for packing three to four weeks before your moving day.

Find an open area to place your fragile glasses and china pieces, and cut bubble wrap into varying-sized sections to fit each one. Pack similar items in a single box. Wrap your pieces individually to avoid breakage and scuffs.

Guest Bedroom Belongings

Pack up your guest bedroom three weeks before your move date if you don’t expect family or friends to stay with you to help you move. This step should include wrapping your dressers and breaking down your beds.

Are your guest dresser drawers empty? Fill them with your off-season clothes. These drawers are also perfect for storing linens during your move (more on linens next).

Decor and Linens

Set aside a single sheet set for each bed in your home, and pack the rest two weeks before your relocation date. Do the same for blankets and towels.

One of the best moving tips is to use extra blankets, sheets, and towels as cushioning for some of the objects you’re moving. Place them between furniture items, boxes, or large appliances (e.g., a chest freezer) in the moving truck to prevent damage.

The two-week mark is also an excellent time to box up decor, artwork, and books you aren’t actively reading since they’re not crucial to your daily life. Don’t load a box with multiple books, though.

Put only a few books in a box to make them easy to lift. Heavy boxes may collapse in transit, damaging your floor or injuring the person carrying them.

Toy Box Loot

Adult hobby items (e.g., craft materials) and children’s toys are ready for packing a week before moving day. Save yourself time, energy, and moving truck space by leaving any items you no longer play with or use. These can be tossed, donated, or sold.

Are the kids complaining about not wanting to box up their favorite dolls, baseballs, or Pokémon cards? Pack them while the kids are at school or asleep. You’ll be surprised how quickly they forget about them as they embark on their adventure to your new home.

Current Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories

You have one week before moving day. Now is the time to pack jewelry, shoes, and clothes.

Set up two clear bins. Use one for items you’ll need now, and designate the other for toiletries and clothing you’ll need right after the move. This is a simple method for keeping track of your most urgent supplies.

Shoe Packing Tips

Don’t toss your shoes in random boxes. This may cause permanent damage from bending. Wrap these items in bubble wrap for added protection before putting them in boxes.

Jewelry Packing Tips

Keep irreplaceable, fine jewelry pieces with you instead of putting them on the moving truck. Your other jewelry pieces should hold up on the truck if placed in their specialized jewelry packages.

Kitchen Items

Leave your kitchen items for last. The kitchen is typically the most challenging space to pack since families use it right up to moving day.

Any items you don’t use daily can be boxed up a week before your move date. Everyday pots and small appliances can be packed up two days before the movers in Chicago come.

Use the last two days before your move to purge your pantry and cabinets of any leftover food items. Toss all expired food, and stash the rest for your new home.

Suppose you find appliances in your kitchen you haven’t used in years. Consider donating or selling them since you likely won’t use them in your new home. These mini appliances may range from food processors to blenders and meat dehydrators.

Knowing What to Pack First When Moving Makes Everything Easier

Are you wondering what to pack first when moving? Start with your storage unit belongings. Your seasonal clothing, fragile goods, and guest bedroom items can then be packed.

Decor and linens should be next on your to-pack list. The kids’ toys and your current clothes and accessories are ready for packing a week before your move date. Kitchen items can be packed last.

Moovers Chicago is your leading provider of high-quality moving and storage services. Hiring movers in Chicago will make your relocation a breeze, so let us do the heavy lifting. Request a free moving quote today!



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