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Packing and Moving - TIPS of the TRADE


  • #1 - Do NOT pack anything you do not want or need! Editing is key and should be done in advance! Orderly Outcome can help!

  •  Start early! Pack what you don’t use daily and start you inventory spread sheet. 

  • Create a moving binder. Check lists, important contact information, address changes, receipts… 

  • If hiring a moving company, pack what you DO need daily (see TO-GO list below) to be taken in your car. You do not want these items lost in a sea of boxes.

  • If packing yourself, call moving companies to buy used boxes at a great discount. Look on NextDoor, Craig’s List for people giving boxes away or make an ISO post.

  • Don’t forget packing materials. Paper, bubble wrap, mattress covers, moving stretch wrap to keep furniture clean.

  • Pack bed sheets, bath towels and PJs in a dresser drawer. They are easily found for an end of the moving day shower and a goodnight sleep in your bed the first night. 

  • Take pictures of your lamps. Once the shades are separated for the move it can be confusing to know which shade and base went together. Box lamp shades or they will not survive.

  • Label all wires and cords (painters/masking tape and a sharpie) to all electronics.

  • Take pictures of the connections to TVs, printers, computers, stereos, DVD players. This leaves no guessing to which wire plugs in where. Older children can help using the photo, check prior to plug in.

  • Give every room a separate color and name, i.e. Bedroom 1,2,3…, Kitchen, Pantry, Family room. Use colored paper, stickers or moving labels (Amazon) to mark boxes. Tape a sheet of the matching color above the doorway or entry to each room. 

  • Do NOT write contents on the box. Number each box by room. Bedroom 2 (green) would have green label/sticker and be coded B 2 – 1,2,3,4…(# of boxes). Make a simple spread sheet by room with the contents of each box. Labels/stickers can be pre-printed at home. Mark 2-3 sides of the box.

  • Box all heavy items in small/1.5 cu. Ft boxes. Books, paper, dishes (stack upright like an egg not flat).

  • Fill boxes to the top. Packing paper is your friend and inexpensive. Stuff away so they can be stacked. Tape shut.

  • Fragile items in one box not spread out. Clearly mark “FRAGILE”.

  • Wardrobe boxes are great for the oddly shaped items.


TO-GO items to be transported in your car, mark OPEN FIRST

 (keep in an OFF-LIMITS area so movers do NOT pack on truck)


Purse/wallet, charge cards, checkbook, cash for tipping movers ($25-50 each)Jewelry and valuables (IF packing, do not label! Use a code as above or fake name…” pet supplies…”Children’s special items (blankets, stuffed animals, books, toys) 2 days clothes to use until unpacking is doneAll medications, contact solution, glassesCooler with drinks/water, snacks, premade sandwiches/meals. Nice gesture to order lunch for movers.Pet supplies (food and bowls, leashes, medications)Phone and chargersLap tops and cordsBasic cleaning supplies (paper towels, sponges, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner)Basic tools, hammer, screwdrivers, tape measure, scissors, cutter, picture hangers, paper/pensHouse plants (if you want them to live)TOILET PAPER, hand soap and towel!

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