What to Pack First When Moving (Ultimate Checklist)

The stress of moving has a lot to do with how time-consuming it can be to pack your belongings. After all, the last thing you want is to pack something, label the box, and realize you need it later. Understandably, many people struggle with what to pack first when moving.

It’s a great idea to pack storage items, seasonal clothes, and decorations first when moving. Go through each closet and room in your home and pack items you won’t need until you get to your new home. Next, you can pack fragile items, collectibles, linens, cleaning supplies, dishes, and food 1-2 weeks before moving.

Make sure to label each box so you can stay organized and easily unpack your belongings at your new home. Follow along as we explore what to pack first when moving to maximize your time and reduce stress.

What Should You Pack First When Moving?

Whether it be extra linens or unused clothes, you don’t need to wait until the last minute to pack when moving. You can save yourself time and stress if you strategically pack your home room-by-room before you move.

1. Storage Items

Storage items are the best belongings to pack first when moving. You won’t likely need them before you move, so it’s best to get them out of the way. Check your closets, spare rooms, and basement to see what you can pack up to a month before moving.

This is also a great chance to declutter your home to lighten your load for the move. You can even unload a storage unit before moving if you already have access to your new home.

Items in Storage

2. Seasonal Clothes

Most people don’t wear all the clothes in their closets year-round. That’s why it’s a great idea to pack seasonal clothes 3-4 weeks before moving, if not sooner. Go through your closet and determine which clothes you’ll realistically wear before moving.

For example, you can pack your warm hoodies and sweatpants if you are moving during summer. This will get them out of the way so you can quickly pack the rest of your closet the week before you move.

3. Decorations

Decorations add character to a home, but they aren’t necessary when you’re about to move. It takes a while to pack them during the chaos of moving, so you should do it weeks before the deadline. Go room by room and slowly pack your decorations in the weeks before moving.


4. Breakable Items

Breakable items and valuables take time to pack, so you don’t want to save them for the last minute. This includes family heirlooms, precious art, fragile decorations, and fine china. Carefully pack fragile items with several layers of bubble wrap, and make sure to label the boxes “fragile” or “breakable”.

5. Spare Bedroom and Office

Do you have a spare bedroom or unused office in your home? If so, it’s best to pack the items in those rooms 2-4 weeks before moving if you don’t need them. That includes the bedding, mattress, storage items, and decorations.

Stage the boxes in the room or a storage closet in your home so you don’t have to worry about them. Roll up rugs, break down spare bed frames, and pack your unused office supplies to save time later.

6. Collector’s Items

We all love our collector’s items, like DVDs, books, baseball cards, and records. However, they can be annoying to pack when moving if you wait until the last minute. Collectibles should be among the first items to pack when moving even a month before loading the truck.

Make sure to use corrugated boxes and protective materials, like bubble wrap, to protect your collectibles.

Collector’s Items

7. Spare Linens

Pack your spare linens a few weeks before moving to get them out of the way. Bedding is easy to pack, and it doesn’t take up much space. This is especially an essential step if your home has several bedrooms as that can get hectic when packing.

Pack your extra towels, sheets, pillowcases, comforters, and even pillows a few weeks before you move. That said, some people set a few sheets and towels aside to use them as protective materials when moving.

8. Bedroom and Closet

Understandably, many people get anxious about packing the contents of their bedrooms and closets before a move. The last thing you want is to sleep in a barren room for a few days, and that’s not necessary. Instead, simply pack non-essential bedroom items, like decorations and rugs, within 3-7 days of the move.

Wait to remove your current bedding and mattress until your moving day. Our moving crew can move your mattress and take apart the frame for you if you choose that service.  If you’ve already packed seasonal clothes you don’t need, it’ll be easy to pack the rest of your bedroom closet.

Ideally, you should only have enough clothes left in your closet to fill 1-2 suitcases. Don’t worry if you have more, as long as you have enough time to pack it on the big day.

9. Bathroom and Cleaning Items

Toiletries and cleaning supplies are often easy to pack, and you should wait to pack them until right before you move. After all, you’ll need your toiletries, and you must clean your home before you move. Pack any cleaning and bathroom items you don’t need and wait to pack the rest.

That way, you can finish cleaning your old home to ensure you get your deposit back, or that it looks great for the new owner.

Cleaning Items

10. Food and Kitchen Supplies

Of course, you’ll need to use your kitchen and eat until the day you move out. That’s why it’s a great idea to wait to pack your food and kitchen supplies until right before you move. You can save time if you slowly pack some kitchen supplies, such as seasonal dishes and blenders, 1-2 weeks before moving.

Pack everything non-essential in your kitchen leading up to the move but keep food until the last minute. It helps to limit how many perishable food items and beverages you buy a week before you move.

That way, you can consume them, so you don’t have to rush to empty your fridge on your moving day. Simply pack your dishes, cutlery, and leftover non-perishable food items on the big day.

Packing Doesn’t Need to Be Stressful

Packing isn’t stressful unless you save it until the week before moving. You can save yourself plenty of stress if you start packing 1-2 months before you move.

At Optimum Moving, we offer Full Packing and Unpacking services, so you don’t need to worry about it at all. Call us at (855)-315-6683 to schedule your move and ask about our packing services.

Call Us: (855) 315-6683