Now that summer is here and kids are on vacation, it’s safe to assume that some of you will be picking up roots and moving elsewhere. Some moves may be just around the corner and others may be across the state, country or even world…but no matter how far you’re going, it’s always important to make sure you pack all of your belongings carefully and with some sort of system.

I have moved a ton of times in my life, and quite a few of those moves have been in the last decade with Stefan. In fact, I’ve actually lived in 33 different homes in my 34 years of existence. So I have learned a  thing or two about how to pack moving boxes.

It’s always frustrating to unpack boxes and find things broken. But thankfully, in our last move we managed to keep all of our belongings in one piece so hopefully these tips will help your moving process go more smoothly.

how to pack moving boxes

photo credit: snaps via photopin cc

  • Make a packing list as you go along. If you’re doing an international move, you’ll need one of these anyway. But a packing list in Evernote, Google Drive or something else electronic is especially helpful if need to find something fast. When you’re thorough with your list of what is in every box, you’ll be able to locate things in a flash.
  • Label boxes on the top as well as one or more sides so that you can read what is in the boxes without unstacking them. Plus you’ll be better able to identify what you want to unpack first.
  • If you are packing breakable items yourself, try wrapping extra small items in colorful paper or something else noticeable so you’ll be able to find everything later in the huge chaos of paper.
  • Although it may cost a bit more, invest in decent packing materials such as good wrapping paper and packing peanuts to fill in around super fragile items. The chance of them breaking will be greatly reduced and you’ll have more peace of mind that things will arrive in one piece.
  • Keys, screws, brackets (e.g. to hold up mirrors), metal fittings and so forth should be put in a plastic bag and fastened to the respective furniture they belong to. Or, if your movers don’t want it on the furniture, label the bag well and place all of those items in one box together so you can find it all later.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, do not fill drawers with heavy items or lock them. Movers will often take the drawers out of the furniture before moving it to make it lighter, and you don’t want all of your clothes falling out.
  • Keep in mind that every box you pack will have to be carried afterwards and that the contents should be well-protected during the transport of your goods. Some boxes may get crushed if not properly packed so do your best to fill up the entire box with anything that will give it support.
  • Heavy items should go into the box first, interspaces can be filled with light items such as cushions or towels.
  • The weight of the boxes should be limited to 65 pounds or 30 kg per box. This usually means that the box may feel heavy when you pick it up, but you don’t need to strain to move it. This is  particularly important to remember when packing records, books or office folders. They are best placed in an upright position at the bottom of the box with lighter items on top. Try to use smaller boxes for these items as well as dishes from your kitchen which can also quickly become heavy.
  • Fragile items should be packed individually, and cushioned with extra care, for instance with crumpled newspapers or clothing. You may want to wrap the items like vases or fine china serving pieces in bubble wrap and then paper. Remember that anything resting inside of large glass objects like vases should be properly wrapped as well and never stuff too many breakable items in a single box because as the items shift and are moved, the strain of the contents against each other cause cracking and breaks.
  • Test the quality of your packing by gently shaking the box or flipping it over. If you hear things moving around or rattling, add more padding to the box.


Have you done much moving or are you planning a move this summer? What are your best moving tips? Please share them with us below.