We all know how stressful organising a move can be. Perhaps the only thing that’s more stressful than packing for a move is unpacking only to find your beloved items have broken during the process due to poor preparation.

If the idea of packing properly sends you into a panic, fear not. We’ve collected a list of invaluable tips and tricks that will help you pack efficiently and ensure all of your belongings arrive at the new address safe and sound.

Get Organised

Seriously, there is nothing worse than getting yourself psyched up for a task only to discover you don’t have what you need to complete it. Before you start packing, make sure you have these essential items:

  • Boxes in various sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper or newspaper
  • Packing peanuts
  • Plastic baggies
  • Trash bags

Try to keep items going into boxes categorised—kitchen items go in one box, bedroom items in another. Your shower caddy doesn’t need to be packed with your grandmother’s china. Trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Sort By Category

Once you’ve decided where to start, put your first box together and begin packing like items together. Wrap anything breakable in paper or bubble wrap. (Here’s a tip: wrap any small breakables in newspaper rather than packing paper. That way they can be easily identified and you won’t overlook them during the unpacking process).

As you pack your box, place heavier items on the bottom and lighter pieces closer to the top.

Fill Your Box

When packing non-breakable items, you’ll want to fill your box to the top (provided you don’t make the box too heavy—we don’t want the bottom falling out on you or your movers). A full box is much less likely to get crushed when other boxes are stacked on top of it.

If you are packing breakable items, be sure to line your box with a couple of inches of padding at the bottom. Add your items, making sure each is well cushioned with paper or bubble wrap (it is far better to overwrap than underwrap), and leave two inches at the top for additional padding. Make sure to clearly mark the box “fragile” on every side.

Tape Boxes Well

Once your box is full, secure the top flaps with packing tape. Most people place a strip of tape over the gap where the two flaps meet. Additionally, place a second piece or two perpendicular to the seam. This provides additional support and reduces the likelihood that your box will collapse during the move.

Prioritise Your Boxes

No matter how ambitious you are, the likelihood of getting everything unpacked on moving day is close to zero. Do yourself a favor and prioritise boxes with a numbering system of your choosing, so you know what should be unpacked immediately and what can wait a day…or week…or month…or two (no judgement here). Perhaps boxes labeled #1 are the highest priority while boxes bearing #5 contain seasonal decorations you won’t need anytime soon. Having prioritised boxes will reduce your stress on moving day…trust us and you’re welcome.

Other Handy Tips

  • If you don’t want to invest in packing peanuts and have a full paper shredder, stuff the contents in garbage bags or grocery sacks for homemade packing material.
  • When it comes time to pack electronics, take a photo of the wiring BEFORE you unplug anything. This will help when you’re trying to put everything together after the move.
  • Speaking of wiring, be sure to place all cables and small pieces for electronic devices together in a plastic baggie. Label them indicating to which piece of equipment they belong, then pack them with that piece of equipment
  • Save your egg cartons for a few weeks prior to your move—they make great storage cases for small items that can be easily lost. Tape securely before packing.
  • Consider placing drinking glasses in a clean sock prior to wrapping and packing. Should it break, the glass will be contained in the sock and not spread throughout your box.
  • Clothing makes great padding if you’re in a pinch! Use t-shirts or sweats to wrap around fragile items or to take up space in a box that isn’t quite full.

While packing for a move can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation and by using these tips, you can pack knowing all of your items are secured, will arrive intact and will be in perfect condition whenever you decide to unpack.

Here’s to a perfect packing experience!