Packing 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Packing up House


Now that you have a move-out date from your old home and a move-in date for the new, all that you have left to do is pack. What seems so simple on the screen is another story in real life. Packing is one of the most annoying and time-consuming chores of the moving process.

It’s an important one, too. One wrong decision about bubble wrap, and you could arrive with a box full of shattered dishes!

To ensure your belongings survive the trip, check out these dos and don’ts below. They’ll let you know what works and what doesn’t as you tackle this big chore.

Do Talk with Your Moving Company

Packing is a lot of work. If you don’t have the time or energy to tackle this big job, speak to your moving company.

A moving company is more than just hired muscle, ready to help lift your biggest and heaviest furniture. As moving professionals, they’re experts at every stage of the moving process, including packing.

Ask them questions about how you should pack. They’ll let you know any essential boxes or packing materials you’ll need for specific items to ensure they arrive safely on the big day.

If they’re anything like the home-to-home movers at Metropolitan Movers, they’re also ready to roll up their sleeves and pack alongside you.

As you can see when you visit, both full and partial packing services are available. This means you can have your moving company handle everything from start to finish, or they can step in to pack just a handful of items.


DON’T Wing It

Whether you plan on packing under your own steam or leaving it to the professionals, you’ll want to make this decision quickly.

That’s not to say you can’t tag in your moving company at the last minute. The best moving company can accommodate last-minute requests when you need help fast.

It’s the other way around that you should worry about.

If you change your mind — that is, switching from the professionals to a DIY packing situation — you have to remember it’s just you packing instead of a team of movers. There’s only so much you can do at once, so you’ll need more time to prepare your belongings on your own.

Weigh the pros and cons of your options four to five weeks before your move-out date. If you decide to pack on your own, this timeline gives you some cushion, so you won’t be rushing to collect your belongings under a time limit.

DO Invest in Packing Materials

You’ll always need more boxes than you think. Since it’s almost a guarantee you’ll run out of those discarded boxes you picked up from the liquor store, it’s a good idea to know where you can pick up extra boxes and packing materials at short notice.

Your moving company should offer these supplies — whether or not you take advantage of their packing services — but if not, check your local hardware stores and online marketplaces.

Online resources are a good place to start if you’re working on a tight budget. Recent movers just like yourself may be trying to get rid of old boxes and packing materials from their own relocation, and they might give them away for free if you’re willing to pick it all up.


DON’T Try to Do it All at Once

Do yourself a favour; don’t try to rush through packing in a single weekend. Not only is this impossible for most living arrangements, but it’s also a recipe for disaster.

When you’re trying to beat the clock, you’re going to make decisions that put your belongings in harm’s way. You’ll toss fragile items into places they don’t belong, or you’ll skimp on essential packing materials you need to cushion delicate stuff.

The pressure can get to anyone, which is why most experts recommend you take a slow approach to packing. Spend no more than an hour each evening to collect a few things at a time. This packing hack will help spread out the labour of packing, so you won’t feel as though you have to do everything at once.

DO Focus on One Room at a Time

A move is stressful when you think about preparing and transporting all your earthly possessions from one home to the next. Taken all together, you’ll find moving is a monumental task that most people would avoid in favour of watching the latest Netflix Series.

If you’re struggling with procrastination, try breaking down your move into rooms. It’s easier to convince yourself to hit pause on Netflix when it’s just one room. Compared to your entire house, a single room is a much more manageable chore.

DON’T Pack All at Once

There’s nothing more frustrating than sealing a box with tape, thinking you’re done, only to realize it contains the can opener you’ll need for dinner.

To ensure you don’t pack up items you’ll need later on, make a checklist. The physical act of writing can help you remember items that you’ll need to keep aside while you work through a room.

Leave these essentials unpacked until the very end. The last item used in your old home is usually the first item you’ll need in the new one, so put them all together in an easy-to-grab box.

DO Declutter While You Pack

It’s easy to overlook clutter when it’s hiding on a bookshelf or concealed in a drawer, but you can’t avoid it now that you’re going through your things. Now that they have your attention, purge any unimportant, broken, or duplicate items from your stash. That way, you’ll have less to pack, transport, and unpack when the big day comes.

Decluttering comes with a financial advantage. The math is simple: if you have less stuff to move, it will take fewer boxes and less time to transport. This means you’ll spend less money on packing materials, and, if your moving company charges by the hour, you might even get a better rate on their services once you purge.


Bottom Line

Packing has a reputation for being a boring, frustrating chore that goes on forever. But there is an end in sight. Sooner or later, the big day will arrive, and you’ll be able to start a new chapter in your new home.

Until that day comes, remember these dos and don’ts as you prepare your stuff for the trek. They’ll help make the experience as painless as possible.