Most folks dread packing the kitchen for a move. That’s because in addition to dealing with lots of breakable items, they also have to pack appliances, food and perishables that often can’t be outside the refrigerator or freezer for too long. Additionally, some of the kitchen items will be the last to get used in the old home and the first needed in the new place. Having a system helps. Here are some tips to make packing the kitchen easier and more efficient:
Keep or Toss
Moving is a great time to figure out what one needs or doesn’t. At least a couple of weeks prior to the move, start going through your kitchen and put everything you plan to toss, sell or donate in a box. This way, you know what you have left in the cupboards and on the counters is what you will be taking with you.
Get Packing Essentials
In addition to the boxes, tape and markers, which you will already have acquired for the move, get some news wrap, bubble wrap and dish and glass cell kits (dividers) to help you pack glasses, bottles, dishes, jars, spices and other breakables.
Pack According to Use
You can start packing the items you don’t use much or don’t plan on using weeks beforehand. This list can include fine china, vases, empty jars, pie pans and special appliances, such as a slow cooker that might not be frequently used. As you get closer to the move date you can pack the more frequently used items. For example, you are likely to pack the coffee maker or French Press last as you probably will want to make coffee until the last day.
Pack Heavier Items in Small Boxes
Items like dishes and glassware are better packed in smaller boxes. This limits how much one can pack in each box, making it more manageable to carry. Having a weight limit can also reduce the chance of dropping boxes and breaking items.
Have a Cooler Handy
A cooler can be used as a box for food items that need to be kept at lower temperatures. Keep it handy for moving day to pack fridge and freezer items. Make sure you have ready to go ice or ice packs.
Come up with a clear labeling system so that you’ll know what’s in each box. A label denoting specific items—such as “tea towels, pot holder and aprons”—is more useful than one simply indicating “kitchen.” You can even have notes on specific boxes that will signal you to open first—either through a numbering system or just by writing “open immediately.”