How to Pack for a Move: Room-by-Room Checklist (Ultimate Guide 2021)


How Do I Organize My Packing for Moving?

Moving into a new home can be one of the most exciting times in your life, yet it can also be one of the most stressful. Having a successful move requires planning, organization and motivation, but often many people delay the process because it seems overwhelming. It’s true what they say, “The hardest thing about getting started, is getting started.” By planning your move and getting started ahead of time, you will be on your way to a stress-free move.

Once you have planned out your moving schedule, gathered the necessary supplies, purged items you no longer want or need and have taken a detailed inventory, it’s time to get packing! You should begin packing non-essential items first.

Here are the basic moving and packing tips for each room in your home.

But first, it’s time to gather our moving supplies…

What Moving Supplies Do I Need?

A hassle-free packing process starts with having the right supplies in order. The most common packing supplies you should have lying around are as follows:


  • Cardboard boxes: These are collapsible and easy to maneuver. They are also very cheap, and in many cases cardboard boxes are free.
  • Packing paper: Keep your items secure with packing paper. It’s great for dishes and glassware, and unlike newspaper this type of paper doesn’t leave ink smudges on your possessions.
  • Bubble wrap: When it comes to protecting your most fragile items, small bubble wrap is the best. Wrap your delicate items with the bubble wrap facing inward in order to provide the best protection.
  • Plastic wrap: Keeping your dresser drawers shut during the moving process is important to avoid damaging these large items, but it’s also necessary to help your movers avoid injuries.
  • Permanent markers: One step that a lot of people forget about is the need to label their boxes. Buy a package of permanent markers and don’t forget to label all boxes. Write “fragile” where applicable. This will help your movers safely transport everything into their trucks and it will help you unpack and organize when you arrive at your new destination.

Permanent Marker on Moving Boxes

Now let’s get into how you should pack for your move, room-by-room.

How to Pack Garage for Moving?

Garage and Storage Areas

Packing storage or garage items can be challenging and will take a longer time to pack, so it is best to get started well ahead of time.

Packing Garage

Many of the items are heavy, oddly shaped and sometimes dangerous. If you have the original boxes for items such as power tools, be sure to use them. Also, for any gas-powered equipment, you will need to drain the fuel before moving day. Also, be sure to wrap blades or sharp-edged tools thoroughly so that no one gets injured during the move.

Hazardous Materials

Garage and storage areas often contain items that are forbidden for transport due to their hazardous nature. These items should be properly disposed of before moving day.

Below is a list of items that professional movers will not transport. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Flammable, corrosive, or Explosive items
  • Acids
  • Aerosols
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Car Batteries
  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal Lighter Fluid
  • Chemistry Sets
  • Cleaning Solvents
  • Darkroom Chemicals
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fireworks
  • Gasoline
  • Household Batteries
  • Kerosene
  • Lamp Oil
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Loaded Guns
  • Matches
  • Motor Oil
  • Paint Thinner
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Poisons
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Propane Tanks
  • Gun Reloading Supplies
  • Scuba Tanks
  • Sterno®
  • Weed Killer

Spare Rooms

We recommend that you focus your attention on any rooms in your home that aren’t used regularly, such as spare rooms. Oftentimes, spare rooms contain fewer items, making them easier to pack and check off your list.


Now it’s time to focus on the closets. Many unused items are stored in closets and can be packed up ahead of time. As for linen closets, you can put some towels and sheets aside and pack up the rest.

What is the Best Way to Pack a Kitchen for Moving?

Don’t underestimate the time you’ll need to pack up your kitchen. Kitchens are a challenge to pack because of the sheer number of items found in them, such as small appliances, utensils, dishes, cups, etc. Also, the fact that many of the items are breakable, it will take much more time and effort to pack them up efficiently to ensure they arrive at your new home unscathed.

For any dishes and glassware, we recommend using professional moving boxes that are made specifically for these items. You should also use bubble wrap or newspaper for an added layer of protection.

You will also need to pay special attention to sharp objects. Be sure to carefully cover any dangerous or sharp objects so that they don’t damage other items or injure anyone.

Last, be sure to label any boxes with breakable items as FRAGILE.

Packing The Dining Room


If you have a formal dining room, this should be next on your list – and should be given ample time to pack up. Often, dining rooms are full of delicate and expensive items like china and crystal. Again, we recommend using professional boxes for such items, but it is also important to use additional precautions such as bubble wrap or newspaper to ensure they do not get broken.


Lighting is often overlooked until the end. For lamps, wrap the cords around the bases and place them in a moving box with plenty of padding. For the shades, they can be stacked from largest to smallest and wrapped with packing paper. If they are particularly expensive, you should wrap and pack them individually.

Chandeliers should be disassembled as much as possible. If there are fragile items that can be removed, they should all be wrapped individually. Again, be sure to use plenty of padding when packing them.

Photographs and Artwork

It’s a good idea to use painter’s tape to make an X on the glass surface of any photos or artwork in the event they get broken during transit. This will ensure any broken pieces will stay in place. Once each piece is wrapped well, they should be packed tightly together to ensure there is no shifting which could lead to breakage.

How to Pack a Living Room?

The living room is typically the most lived-in and largest room in the house, which is why it should be next on the list of rooms to pack.

Living Room Packing


For electronics, you should first take photos of how they are wired before disconnecting them so that you will have a guide when you get to your new home. It is also a good idea to pack the wires, cables and accessories in Ziplock bags and label them accordingly.

Once again, if you have the original boxes, you should use those. If not, be sure to use sturdy boxes and plenty of padding to ensure their safe arrival.


Books can be grouped by size and packed in small, sturdy boxes, or boxes made specifically for books. They should be lined with packing paper, and remember to never pack books with their spines facing the ceiling. This will prevent damage to their bindings. Last, the boxes should not be heavier than 45 lbs. This will ensure that they can easily be carried and that the boxes won’t give out during the move.

Window Coverings

Curtains and Drapes should be packed in boxes that will protect them from damage or dirt. You could also place them in plastic for an added level of protection.

Rugs and Mats

Rugs and mats can be rolled up and secured with rope or plastic ties. You can also cover them in plastic, as mentioned above.

How to Pack a Home Office for Moving?

The home office is an important room to pack, as it probably contains important personal and business documents and equipment.


Before you move, it is important to back up your computer, so that you don’t lose any important information or photos. Backing up to the cloud is highly recommended, as these services also have a backup in place, giving your files an added level of protection.

As discussed earlier, before you disconnect your devices, you should take a photo of the cables and wires and pack them in separate, clearly labeled plastic bags.

Important Documents

You should not pack any important documents (like birth certificates, passports, etc.). These should remain with you at all times.

Children’s Room

Since moving can be extra stressful for little ones, this should be one of the last rooms on your list. If you want to get started ahead of time, you could pack up any out of season clothes, books and toys that aren’t being used.

Toys and Stuffed Animals

Small toys can be packed in plastic Ziploc bags or totes so that they don’t get lost during the move. Any plush toys can be packed in plastic garbage bags to protect them from moisture, dirt and insects.

Be sure to keep a few of their favorite toys and books aside to keep them occupied on moving day.

Clothes and shoes

Kids’ clothes can easily be packed in cardboard boxes, or better yet, suitcases.

Books, electronics, window coverings and rugs should be packed as outlined previously in the living room and home office sections.

How Do you Pack a Bathroom for Moving?

One of the last rooms you should pack is the bathrooms, as you will use most of the items up until moving day. With that said, it’s important to put aside any essential items, like shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. and keep them with you so that you will have them readily available at your new home. You won’t want to rifle through your boxes to find the items you need before you are ready to unpack.

When packing toiletries, it is again recommended to pack them in Ziplock bags to prevent any leaks. No one wants to unpack a box with a leaking bottle of shampoo or conditioner!

Prohibited or Hazardous Items

It’s important to note that some toiletry items may have to be discarded or used before you move, as professional movers cannot transport anything flammable. These items include, but are not limited to:  hairspray, deodorant, nail polish, nail polish remover and bleach.

How do I Pack My Bedroom to Move?

Since you will want to get a good night’s sleep for as long as possible, it’s best to leave the bedroom for last. If you want to get started, you could pack up any out of season clothes and shoes ahead of time.


We strongly recommend using professional wardrobe boxes for any work attire or more expensive or designer clothes. These boxes make moving your clothes a breeze since they can remain on the hangers. The clothes in your dresser and your shoes can be packed in boxes or suitcases, as described above.


When it’s time, you can pack your pillows, blankets and sheets in a box, or you can use them for padding for your more fragile items.


We recommend storing your jewelry in jewelry boxes, making sure that they are packed accordingly so that they don’t get tangled during the move. You can use pill organizers, zip ties or eyeglass cases if you don’t have jewelry boxes. If you have very valuable items, these items should be kept with you at all times to ensure their safety and arrival.

Any of the other furnishings such as window and floor coverings, artwork and books can be packed as outlined in the previous sections.

Getting started in advance will give you peace of mind – and once you’ve packed the majority of your items, you will be able to focus on the big day.

If you’ve read this and decide you need help with the moving process, click here to get assistance from RT Relocation, a full-service moving and storage company that provides safe and reliable moving, packing, and storage services for residential, commercial, and corporate clients throughout New Haven County, CT and beyond. Our team has over 10 years of professional high-end moving experience for both local and long-distance moves.

Packing Rooms for Move

Don’t wait, give us a call for a free consultation at (203) 806-1365 or request a quote online now.