Where Do I Start When Moving?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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It’s a common moving house dilemma: the moving date is coming closer, but you simply don’t know where to start packing. You are staring at all of your possessions and just can’t figure out what to do first! You postpone and procrastinate – but this already happened 10 times. If you are overwhelmed with knowing how to start the moving house process, this article will provide you with a few answers to the question, where do I start when packing for my move?

To start moving house, you should first make a good strategy. It’s all about preparation!

Be an Early Bird

A well-structured packing process needs time. It’s never too early to start and having time will prevent you from stress and from panic packing items you don’t need anymore. An average 3-bedroom house needs a week of full-time packing, but you can start months before. As soon as you know the date of your move, make a packing timeline working back from the big day. 

Create a Packing Area

Your first step should be to determine a space in your home for already filled boxes. This should be a space that you rarely use – If you have a guest room or a garage, it’s perfect! But it can also be the corner of your living room that you don’t need. Next: Arrange all the items you need for packing in this area or a central place in your house, which is easy to reach. This includes tape, boxes, tools, markers, and all kinds of wrapping material, such as newspapers or bubble wrap. 

With these first steps, you will avoid frustrating searches for tools and marker pens amongst the packing chaos.

Organize Your Boxes 

It’s worth getting high-quality boxes because they will make packing and carrying so much easier. They must be able to endure the weight of your books or crockery and prevent your carefully wrapped treasures from leaving the box in an unplanned direction! Contact your moving company, they may include boxes into their offer. Or ask around family and friends who may have recently moved. 

Before you are packing for the first item, label every box on both sides with the following information: What room does the box belong in? What is just about the content? Are fragile items in the box?

What NOT to Pack?

Before you actually start packing, make a list of what you do not want to pack or want to pack separately. 

What You’re Not Allowed to Pack or Shouldn’t Pack in a Moving Truck

If you are working with a moving company, you should consider keeping your valuable and irreplaceable items with yourself as well as all of your important paperwork, including the paperwork of the move.

Also, moving companies don’t take anything, which might be inflammable, perishable, or needs special attention like plants. Ask your professional mover for a list of things, you are not allowed to pack into a moving truck. 

Last but not least, you should take this moving opportunity and sort out everything you don’t need anymore. Take your time and minimize your possessions, donate them to charity, dispose of them in a sustainable way, or give them to friends – you could invite them over for a clothes exchange party.

Special Plans for Special Items

You have to find a way to organize transport for your car or your pet? Make a plan for items you can’t or don’t want to move with your moving truck, because they are especially bulky, heavy, or fragile. Contact your moving company, to get information when and how to pack special items. Inform yourself ahead about your options. A marketplace based provider like CitizenShipper can be a great option to find a trustworthy driver for your specialized needs.

Everything For Your New Home

Create a list for a survival kit for your first night(s) in your new home: Towels, linen, toothbrush, clothes, coffee equipment, maybe even a shower curtain, and everything else you consider essential. You should also assemble some basic tools, like a hammer, nails, screws, a screwdriver, and batteries for it. With this toolkit, you are prepared to set everything in your new house. To keep them in reach, pack these objects maybe a week before your move in a separate box or bag. Don’t forget to label everything, so it’s easy to find.

Finally: What Do I pack First When Moving?

The rule is: Start with things you don’t need in your everyday life. If you have a guest room or a storage room, it’s the perfect place to begin. Pack everything you didn’t touch for two months from your basement, all your seasonal items like winter jackets and holiday decorations. Next go for things you don’t need in the next few weeks, like your second set of linen and your extra towels. Choose your books for the next month and slowly spread the rest of your library into the different boxes, to avoid them to get too heavy.

Even though the kitchen might be a central room in your life: Think about which items you don’t need in your day-to-day cooking and eating life and pack them. Generally, packing up your kitchen takes longer than you would think, because of so many breakables that need special attention and time to get wrapped in a protected way for safe transport. 

Room by Room

Now it’s time for the most intense packing phase. We suggest you pack room by room – starting with the rooms you use the least, finishing with the rooms you use the most. Simply pack as much as you can and check in all the hidden corners for things you might have left behind, so you don’t encounter surprises after moving your furniture on the big day. 

Tips to Make Your Move Easier!

  • Get plastic bags for spill-risky objects, like shampoo or oil
  • Bundle long objects like curtain rods together with tape
  • Group small items together into small bags before you pack them
  • Purchasing a mattress bag will keep your mattress clean and easy to transport


Remember moving house is all about preparation. It’s never too early to start thinking ahead! Making lists and being systematic in your packing will save you time and stress in the long run. Happy packing!