How to pack Moving Boxes Like a Pro

How to Pack Boxes for Moving Like a Professional

April 25, 2024
Packing moving boxes can seem easy until you have to do it. As moving experts, we have seen people do it wrong: labeling boxes at the top, starting to pack a day before or stuffing…

Packing moving boxes can seem easy until you have to do it. As moving experts, we have seen people do it wrong: labeling boxes at the top, starting to pack a day before or stuffing 50 pounds in a single box.

Our team has compiled tips to help you pack moving boxes like a pro. Whether you are doing it for the first time or the tenth time, this advice will streamline the process and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

In this blog post, you will get tips to help you:

Tip 💡: Start planning your relocation 6 weeks before the moving day to have ample time to plan and avoid the last-minute rush that can make the move hectic.

Before Packing

Tips to Consider Before Packing

1. Choose the Right Moving Boxes

Choosing the right moving boxes is the first step in a seamless relocation because they make packing efficient and ensure the safety of your belongings during transit. If you have moving boxes from a previous relocation, you can reuse them.

Another option is to get free moving boxes from local stores, moving communities, and neighborhood sites. Furniture and bike stores are the most ideal for large moving boxes. You can get free medium and small moving boxes from restaurants, liquor, and grocery stores. Ensure the boxes are free from bugs, like cockroaches and mites.

The best bet is to buy moving boxes because the sellers will guide you on what fits where. You can get the materials from online stores, moving shops, or office suppliers. The cost of moving boxes is usually between $1 and $3, depending on the size and quality of the material.

You can also use your custom electronics and appliance boxes in good condition. Apart from saving, these boxes are the best because they perfectly fit your belongings.

2. Buy Other Packing Materials

You can choose the right moving boxes, but packing can be challenging if other materials don’t complement them. Here are some of the supplies you should get:

  • Bubble wrap: Provides cushion to fragile items to prevent damage or breakages.
  • Stretch wrap: Ensures loose items like cabinet doors and drawers are in place during transit.
  • Packing tape: Used to seal the boxes and reinforce seams to ensure items are secure during transit.
  • Packing paper: Used to wrap delicate items like mirrors and photo frames to prevent scratches and breakages.
  • Box cutters: Cutting moving materials like tape and boxes to size and opening the boxes.
  • Moving blankets: Protect large appliances and furniture from scratches during packing and unpacking.
  • Labels and markers: Helps identify items in different boxes and their placement in the new house.

A checklist of these materials ensures you have all the necessary supplies to pack and unpack. You can get them from the local moving stores or moving companies.

3. Get Specialty Boxes If Necessary

Are there items that require special boxes, like guitars, pianos, or fragile artwork? Specialty boxes are tailored to the size and shape of these items to ensure they arrive at your new home safely.

Dishes, knives, and other cutlery require keen attention while packing. You can get a dish box, which has extra cardboard padding for more protection. Use foam pouches and wrap sheets between the kitchen items to enhance the cushion and protect fragile bowls, dishes, vases, and mugs.

Pro Tip 💡: Knives and other sharp items should be wrapped in newspapers or packing papers to prevent chipping or damaging other utensils.

During Packing

Packing begins days before the relocation day. Consider setting aside a working station to manage the process from a central place when planning. Also, declutter by discarding or donating what you want to replace or don’t need in your new home.

Tips to Consider During Packing

4. Have a First-day Box

The supplies you need on the first day after relocation should be kept in a separate box. First, ensure all the keys are easily accessible in case you need to unlock doors or cabinets upon arrival.

Other items you need to place in the first-night box include cleaning supplies, toiletries, bedding, and snacks. Your pajamas and the tools you need to fix your bed should also be within reach.

If any medication should be taken, place it in the first-night moving box. In short, you should think about the items to prioritize, like someone going on a vacation, to ensure you have all the essentials.

5. Pad the Moving Boxes

It is essential to create a strong cushion at the base of packing boxes using packing peanuts, bubble wrap, bath towels, or crumpled paper. These materials not only absorb impact but also protect your belongings against dust and dirt in case the boxes tear.

After padding the bottom, you should also ensure the sides and the top have enough cushion. Use the same material and fill the extra spaces to avoid movement of the items. It also prevents box crushing after stacking them on top of each other.

6. Put Heavy Items at the Bottom

Packing is not all about putting the items in the boxes. You should place the heavy items at the bottom to give the containers stability and avoid damage to lighter items packed on top. This weight distribution helps maintain balance during transport, reducing the risk of boxes tipping or shifting.

It is important to put heavy items together and light ones in a different place to make loading easy. This makes sorting, loading, and unloading easier.

7. Use Small Boxes for Heavy Items

Books, utensils, canned foods, and CDs can take little space but result in an unmovable load. When packing books for moving, you should start with the largest and heaviest ones. If the boxes are large, you can stuff other materials like lightweight dolls and fluffy clothing to hold the books together.

However, the ideal approach is to use small boxes for heavy items. To prevent snapping from the weight of the items, you can add a layer or two of the moving tape.

You should avoid exceeding 30 pounds for each box for easy lifting. Heavy boxes can also damage floors if pushed across and lead to back pains due to straining.

8. Ensure No Empty Spaces

There is a popular question when moving: Should I fill the boxes to the brim? While it is advisable to fill the moving boxes to avoid squashing, it should not be to the extent of breaking or bursting.

If you want to keep different items in different boxes and there is space left, you can use packing foam to fill the empty spaces. Using clothes and other materials is also an option if you are moving on a budget.

9. Leak-proof Liquids with Zipper Bags

Soft drinks, detergent, dish soap, and softeners require an extra seal to prevent leakage during transit. Zipper bags are ideal for containing these liquids securely and minimizing the risk of spills or messes inside the moving boxes.

You can also seal the liquids with tape after tightening the cap. This ensures that the contents remain contained. Ensure the bottles or whatever container you are using is face up as a precaution.

After Packing

Tips to Consider After Packing

10. Seal the Top and Bottom

Ensuring the moving boxes are sealed on both sides protects the contents and prevents accidental openings or damage. It might be tedious to open the boxes after applying 3 layers of heavy-duty packing tape, but it is the best way to ensure your belongings are secure.

Use the “H” pattern to seal the moving boxes’ edges and seams. This ensures that the boxes retain their shape and can withstand more weight after stacking them on top of each other.

11. Label the Boxes

Correct labeling of the moving boxes while packing prevents a lot of mishaps, damages, and confusion when unloading. If you are using a moving company, it is easier for the team to offload all the items in the right rooms in your new home. Here are some labels that you can use:

  • Fragile: This is for delicate items like mirrors, photo frames, and electronics.
  • Heavy or light: Helps you know how to handle each item and the workforce required for safe loading and offloading.
  • Flammable: To prevent fire accidents, indicate boxes containing flammable materials such as cleaning fluids, paints, or propane tanks.
  • This side up or down: Helps avoid spills or damages to appliances like fridges and gas cookers.
  • Room: Indicating the room where each item will be placed and a brief description prevents confusion and saves time.

The labels should be placed on the side of the boxes facing outward for easy identification and accessibility during transportation and unpacking.

Pro Tip 🎯: Labeling should be done on the go to ensure accuracy and efficiency throughout the moving process. It can be hard to remember everything after stuffing all the items in the boxes.


Packing moving boxes can take a toll on your energy if done hurriedly or without proper organization. These relocation tips will help you pack boxes for moving like a pro, saving time and money.

Joshua’s Moving Packing & Storage is a reliable mover for all your relocation needs in Palo Alto and the neighboring towns. We have helped home and business owners relocate within the state or outside for years and counting. Get in touch with us for a free moving quote and seamless services.