When Should I Start Packing Before My Moving Day?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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Moving into a new house can feel pretty overwhelming. At the moment when it feels unimaginable how to put a whole household into boxes, it can be useful to organize the packing process in a structured and deliberate way. In this article, we will provide you with a few expert tricks on how to organize smartly ahead of the big moving day. 

The Earlier the Better!

How soon before you move should you start packing? As early as possible. Packing and moving can be stressful and emotional. Starting in time is the most important tool to avoid last-minute panics and enable a chill packing process.

Also: Less stuff is less work. If you start packing in time, moving can provide a great possibility to sort out items and get rid of things you don’t need anymore with every step.

How to Begin? Make a Packing Timeline

What should I pack first when moving? It’s always hard to decide where to make a beginning. To reduce chaos in your house during the packing process, it’s important to be strategic and tackle the packing process step by step.

Begin by choosing a space for storing your packed boxes. This could be a storage room, the garage, a guest room, or a corner of your living room: dedicate an area, which you don’t need in your day-to-day life and if possible is out of sight, for storing already filled boxes.  

Next, pack your already stored items. Experts’ advice is, to start with rarely used objects and move to what you need every day. The stuff lingering in your garage or the back of your closet is the perfect place to start! You can pack them far in advance without missing them. This also includes seasonal clothes, like winter jackets. Use vacuum bags to store textiles to save space and protect them for the move. 

Move on to making a plan for special items, which are hard to pack. Some objects can be a challenge to transport because they are heavy, bulky, or especially precious and fragile. If you are moving long-distance, you might also consider shipping your car or motorbike or need special support in transporting your pets. Inform yourself ahead about your options. If you work with a moving company, call them well in advance and ask them when the item needs to be packed. Or use a moving service such as CitizenShipper, which can be a good option to transport special items for a fair price.

Closer to the Move: What are the Last Steps?

A few weeks before the move can be a great moment to research what you need in your daily life because now it’s the time to start to minimize and put everything else into boxes. This can also be a great last test for sorting out things you always thought you needed. Put away items like your tablecloths, extra sets of linen and towels, and special kitchen equipment that you don’t need for daily cooking. 

One week before moving it’s time to make a holiday vibe. Every member of the household should pack just one bag of necessities, like a few outfits, medication, bathroom items, and your current book and daily tech stuff – simply everything you would take for a journey. The rest of your closet and your shelves go into boxes. 

Now it’s also time to pack your kitchen stuff. Make up new dishes with the leftover food in your fridge. After you have emptied and packed any long shelf life food it might be easier to eat out or grab takeaway in these last days or make your way through a few one-pot-recipes, so you can pack your kitchen equipment in time.

After deciding on your essentials, pack the remaining items during your last days. Empty out the bathroom and kitchen, take apart your bed, and start to sleep just on the mattress. 

What If I Have to Move Fast?

Sometimes a moving decision comes quickly, so there is no time for a slow and organized packing process. What to do if you have to pack your house in a short time frame? Here are a few great ideas to hurry up a move.

  1. Radical minimalizing! If there is less to pack, there is less work. If you have to change the house in a hurry, you may consider leaving some things behind and just take your favorite pieces of furniture and clothes. You could advertise your belongings on an online marketplace or contact local NGOs about how to donate your belongings – some NGOs even come to pick up donated items.
  2. Contact a moving company. Organizing the bureaucratic and logistic side of a move can be overwhelming in a short time frame. Moving companies are fast and professional in packing and transport, so you can focus on everything else which has to be organized for changing houses. To find an experienced home mover research local providers or use the driver network of CitizenShipper.
  3. Get help from your friends. Organize some drinks, snacks, and a good playlist and invite all of your friends over for a packing party. Prepare a good plan for packing before everyone arrives, so each person has a clear task they can do by themselves. It’s best to prepare and pack items that are extra fragile or personal before the crowd arrives.

With these expert tips, you can organize your packing process in a structured way, so your excitement over moving houses doesn’t have to get overlaid by stress. If you start as early as you can and follow this timeline, everything should go smoothly for a fresh new start. Good luck with your move!