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The Home Depot

How to Pack for a Move

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Moving > How to Pack for a Move
How to Pack for a Move

Moving can throw your life – and your household – into chaos. The process of organizing and packing all of your things can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. If you break your work down into manageable chunks, moving can be a breeze.


According to the Employee Relocation Council, moving is the third most stressful event in life, following death and divorce. That’s a scary fact. That’s also why it’s important to do all you can to be prepared and efficient.

  1. 1.Get Rid of Unwanted Items

    Survey the room and decide what will stay and what will go. Then, develop a plan for unwanted items. Will you be giving your unwanted things to charity or other family members? Do you have a garage sale planned? What needs to be hauled away to the dump? Getting rid of what you won’t be moving helps you better asses what you’ll be organizing and packing.

  2. 2.Take Responsibility

    Don’t tackle a big job by yourself if you don’t have to. Let your friends and family know what’s going on and ask for help.

    Is the room you are working in full of breakables like things made of china and glass? Perhaps it’s an office filled with important papers you’ll need to put your hands on right away once the move is complete. Determine what things need to be accounted for in that specific room. It’s better to asses the situation before getting down to work, because then you can have everything waiting for you at arm’s length and won’t have to keep stopping and starting. So, if you have a room full of delicates, make sure to have lots of packing materials on hand. If you have important papers, make sure they are labeled and decide whether they will be packed away in a box or taken with you for safe keeping.

  3. 3.Ask for Help

    Don’t tackle a big job by yourself if you don’t have to. Let your friends and family know what’s going on and ask for help. You might want to plan a packing party where you provide the food and snacks and friends help you get your things boxed up. Or, if you have small children, ask a friend or two to keep them occupied while you work.

  5. 4.Be Organized

    Group everything that belongs together…well…together. That way they’ll all be unpacked together and put away together. Make sure the boxes they are stored in are clearly marked. To help, you could even make a color-coded system with markers or crayons indicating what room certain boxes belong to. For example, all boxes of kitchen things could have a red circle, all laundry room things could have a green square and so on.

  6. 5.Get Help From Professionals

    Will you be hiring professional movers? If so, get them in on the action. Many moving companies pack your things for you. Not only is that a big timesaver, but they may know more tricks and tools for packing things up safely and in an organized way. Trying to do things yourself could leave you at best with sore muscles and at worst with a serious injury that could really put you out of commission for a little while. Hiring help makes it more likely that you will be in ship shape during this somewhat stressful time. When hiring professionals, interview them thoroughly and ask them about the kind of moves they have completed before. That will give you a good sense of whether you want to work with them.


    Make your move smoother by packing up one room at a time. Doing so will help you stay organized and keep you from being frustrated.

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