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What to Pack First When Moving

What To Pack When Moving

Moving doesn’t have to be mysterious. If you take our quiz below to see if your packing instincts are up to par, you can see where you need to improve.

Keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to packing. That’s why we’ve created an in-depth guide to help you figure out where to start when packing to move. We cover what to pack first and what to pack last when moving, so all your ducks are in a row come moving day.

Follow along to discover our recommendations on what order to pack your house.

Do Inventory

Before going to town with the cardboard boxes and packing tape, take a step back and do an inventory of your home. The best way to do this is to go room by room, making a list of all your belongings.

Dig into the back of your closets and open up those drawers to discover everything you’ve got. As you work, set aside items that no longer serve you—create a pile to toss and a pile to donate. It’s pointless to pack up items you have no intention of using on the other end, and getting rid of them now means fewer things to pack up in the long run.

Now that you’ve created a moving checklist of the items you plan to bring with you, you can figure out what things to pack first when moving.

Pinpoint Less-Frequently Used Items

This might sound obvious, but it’s an important tip. When it comes to determining what to pack first when moving, start with the items you don’t plan to use for a while—anything that isn’t essential.

This includes those collectibles in your attic that you haven’t touched in three years, the holiday decorations you took down last month, and the weedwhacker you won’t need until next spring.

Other items to pack first might include:

  • Seasonal clothing
  • Recreational gear, from snow skis to camping gear
  • Landscaping and gardening tools
  • Decor, such as artwork, framed photos, and knickknacks
  • Books and photo albums
  • Spare bedding, towels, and linen
  • Appliances like the ice cream maker and fondue pot
  • Items that you plan to place in storage

If you’re wondering what room you should pack first when moving, start with the least-used room. For you, that might mean the attic, game room, garage, or guest bedroom. If you’re not using that space often, you’re likely not using the items within it anytime soon.

Determine Your Essentials

Now that you’ve determined what you should pack first when moving, let’s move on to the opposite end of the spectrum and focus on what to pack last when moving.

The items that you pack up last with be those that you’ll be using down to the very wire. What will you need the last few days or weeks in your home? Maybe you can’t go a morning without firing up your coffee machine, or perhaps you need your Kindle to fall asleep every night. In that case, those items go in the last-to-pack pile.

To keep from scrambling around to find your essentials while on your packing spree, set aside one or two boxes for everything you’re still using. (Be sure to label them “ESSENTIAL,” so you don’t accidentally put them in the moving truck!) This way, you know exactly where you can find your hairdryer or toothbrush in the weeks and days leading up to moving day.

While each person is unique, here are some essential belongings you might consider packing last:

  • Toiletries
  • Electronics like laptops, cellphones, and tablets (along with their chargers)
  • Change of clothes (don’t forget a comfortable, suitable outfit for moving day)
  • Medication
  • Handsoap
  • Snacks
  • Pet food
  • Pillows and clean sheets

One caveat to this “essentials” rule is if you have certain valuables, such as family heirlooms or expensive jewelry that you don’t want to get lost in the mix of things. You can add these special items to your essentials list, and keep them with you at all times.

Move On to Everything In Between

With a better understanding of your non-essential and essential items, you can now begin packing up the rest of your items, from the least used to the most used. When it comes to the order to pack things for moving, don’t make it too complicated.

But if you’re concerned about packing something you’ll need before moving day, simply label your boxes. For instance, if you jumped the gun and packed up your frying pan and spatula too soon, you can easily head over to the box labeled “kitchen utensils” and find exactly what you need.

Find Out More About Stor-It

Here at Stor-It, we know all the ins and outs of moving and storing your items. After all, we are Idaho’s longest and largest storage facility. We’re here to help you when it comes to moving day. Whether you’re wondering how to pack boxes or looking for a storage unit near you, we have you covered. Contact us today!

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