Packing Tips

How Do I Properly Pack My Kitchen For a Move?

If you’ve never moved before, you may be wondering how you are going to get all of your kitchen breakables to your new home without being damaged. Of course, you could hire licensed professional movers to pack them properly, but this will add hours to your moving cost. So many people opt to pack their homes themselves. Also, this way, you can give special attention to your most important pieces. And should the movers break something important, no amount of compensation will bring back a cherished piece with sentimental value.

So now that you’ve decided to pack your own kitchen for your move, where should you start? Well, you are going to need the packing materials. You will need a variety of things. You will need boxes of various sizes and types. You will need small to medium size boxes for heavy items, like cast iron skillets and such. This will make it easier for the movers to manage. You don’t know how many times, I have arrived on a move and found large boxes filled with books or heavy metal items, that were very difficult to move. A good mover will be able to do it, but may resent you for being so thoughtless and this may somewhat erode his desire to do a perfect move.

There are special boxes called Dish Pack, that are sturdier to protect your delicate china. And each piece should be wrapped in what they call “newsprint”. This is plain white paper, about the size of a newspaper. One or two sheets is usually enough between each dish. I don’t recommend using actual newspaper, unless you plan on washing everything upon unpacking, as the ink is toxic and may rub off onto your dishes.

You can use bigger boxes for lighter things like dry foods and the smaller(book) boxes for cans, jars and other heavy items. There are special boxes with dividers for your delicate wine glasses and such.

Otherwise, you can double wrap them in paper and put them on top of slightly heavier things. Or you can wrap them in bubble wrap. You can separate things with place-mats, cloth napkins or hand towels. You will need some dark markers to label your boxes, especially the fragile ones. They also sell red tape that says fragile on it.
You may want to put arrows pointing up, so as the boxes don’t get flipped over and the heavier items are bearing down on the lighter, more fragile ones that should be on top. A good mover will keep all boxes upright, but if you go with cheaper movers to try and save money, you should know that there may be a reason why they are cheaper.

Drawers with loose items could be wrapped in a few sheets of paper and carefully placed on the top of a box. Odd-shaped delicate items require the most care and this may require a combination of paper, bubble wrap, and towels and should be put in a separate box, marked “very fragile” and “top load only”. Under the sink items, like cleansers and such should be put in a separate box to not contaminate your food and other items. They should be marked and kept upright.

When making boxes, the bottoms should be taped with enough taped to go halfway up the side of the box. And there should be at least one line of tape for each side of the split, as only the own line of tape, down the middle, probably won’t hold anything with much weight.

So to recap the materials, you may need most or all of the following:
Boxes of several different sizes
Newsprint” paper
Bubble wrap
Dish pack boxes
Boxes with dividers
Dark markers
Several rolls of tape 

It is a good idea to buy more than you think you will need, as it always takes more than you figured.
When I first started packing peoples’ homes, I was always under-bought and had to go out and get more materials. Then I would bring considerably more boxes etc., and even that amount was not enough.

A small home may only require 20 boxes but a larger home could require 50-100, just for the kitchen alone. You may need several boxes or rolls of paper and a dozen rolls of tape.
Some places will buy back the extras that you don’t use, others will only give you a credit. I recommend loading up on everything, as you will likely use it and more. And if you have to get a credit on the surplus, which you will likely never use, unless you are planning on moving again, it may still be worth it, when you factor in the lost time and inconvenience of making multiple trips to the place that sells boxes.

And, whether you are packing yourself, have some help, or hire movers to do it, make sure everyone’s hands are clean as they are touching all of your kitchenware that you will use for eating and drinking. 

It is a big job to have to wash everything you own, but sometimes may be necessary.

So now you should be ready to undertake packing your kitchen for your move. If you follow my recommendations, things should go smoothly. Good luck and enjoy your new home!