The Ultimate Packing List for Moving Like an Expert

Preparing your entire home for cross-country moving is a lengthy process that requires thorough planning and organization. Having a packing list can significantly help you achieve more, reduce your stress levels, and feel better overall. We’ll present to you all you should know about compiling one of these.

Many people consider lists to be a waste of time. But assembling your things is a huge task that needs to be broken into smaller ones, or else you can easily get lost in the chaos of the piles and piles of your belongings. Having a transparent sheet that will set out your goals and intentions from the beginning can be an excellent way to be more organized and efficient. So let’s dive right into the packing guide.

How to Start Making Your Own Guide to Packing for a Move?

The beginning is always the most challenging part. But if you want to put your mind at ease and procrastinate less, start thinking about a list as soon as you decide on the relocation date. Get a notebook to keep track of your relocation plans, or opt for an online app if you prefer modern technology. For starters, it would be wise to write all the belongings you own by room. Later on, you can always add or delete things as you learn what turns an ordinary list into a killer one.

A man looking at a phone
Phone apps can be an excellent tool for a what should I pack list

Things to Consider When Compiling a Packing Checklist

There’s a difference between traveling and cross-country moving because when you travel, you can leave behind all the items you won’t get to utilize in that limited period. Relocating is different because it’s your whole life that is being transported. Still, give these factors a thought to go with less baggage and more space for new stuff.

  • Weather – For example, if you are moving to Hawaii and wondering how to pack clothes for moving, you can leave behind all the winter gear. Or if you are going to a rather cold place, you can cut out on the summer clothes or shoes,
  • Occasions – Are you moving without a job? Or are you going for a new job? Should you bring more fancy apparel and business clothes or casual outfits? Or if you plan to spend hours outside for work or pleasure, prepare accordingly,
  • Size and layout of the new place – Is your new place smaller than the old one? Are you switching life in a house for apartment living? Or is it the other way round? Consider furnishing with the aim of making the new place cozy and not cluttered or empty.
  • Lifestyle – Let’s face it, we all have a ton of stuff we do not use. If the last time you played the piano was for your primary school show, do you really need to know how to move a piano? Or if you never cook, are you certain you’ll start in the near future? The great thing is that you needn’t get rid of valuables or things you do not want to. You can simply arrange reliable storage services and skip the process of learning how to pack glasses for moving or any other unnecessary hassle.
A cup, a piece of paper, and a houseplant
Thinking about goals is another way to go about it

Clean Your Home and Sort out All Belongings as Soon as You Can

This can be your first step as it will give you a sense of the amount of things you want to bring with you and an idea of what you can throw, what you are unsure about, and what you are definitely keeping. And when you make a farewell pile, use it wisely.

Tips on How to Make Money and Not Carry Unnecessary Items

We must say first that you can always donate, and that’s an amazing, selfless act that will make you feel great. Still, if you are not able to do that because you could do with an extra buck in your moving out for the first time budget, there are some win-win combinations:

  • Organize a jumble sale – You can invite friends and neighbors, have a blast, earn some money, and see off all you do not need,
  • Get in touch with the new tenant – Regardless of whether you sold the place or simply left it to the next renter, you can communicate via social media, and maybe they’re interested in buying some of the decorations from you,
  • Post on Craigslist – If all else fails, Craigslist is a goldmine of potential prospects.
A person holding three cards
Throwing a portion of your things out can be fun, and you won't have to carry too much into the new life

Your Rooms Need Subcategories

Once you go through the rooms, try to arrange your belongings into meaningful subcategories on the list. For example, if you are dealing with the kitchen, you can write down – furniture, appliances, dishes, decorations, and alike. And you should commit to each of these sections individually. So when you get to dishes, you can learn how to pack plates for moving, let’s say.

Plan One Room at a Time

At this stage of drafting and when you start decluttering, the golden rule is not to let your mind roam all over the place. The tasks are numerous, so if you don’t focus, you are bound to get lost in the mess of it all.

A woman sitting next to boxes and writing
Try to prioritize the categories that are more and less important

Create a System While You’re Making a Packing List

This kind of inventory serves the purpose of making it lighter and less uncertain for you so that you could focus on other issues and reduce your moving stress levels. So, take advantage of this opportunity and follow a labeling system that you’ll benefit the most from.

Use Color-Coding

This technique is excellent as it can arrange your thoughts and ideas in a simple and easy-to-follow manner and increase your productivity. You can assign a color to each room or a particular set of objects. It’s also useful when you get down to unpacking as you can label the boxes with colors of the room (for example, master bedroom = green), and that will tell your professional movers where to go without having to ask you. That is, if you stick a card with colors on the room doors, of course.

Keep a Section for Labels

One of the common moving mistakes people make is forgetting about getting labels for their boxes. This step is not to be skipped, so write it down in the early stages to have it imprinted in your memory. You will forget what is in which box regardless of whether you are relocating your entire family or moving to another state alone. And nobody likes the joker in the pack card after all exhaustion, so think of ways to prevent this.

Pink notebook next to roses and phone
There are many things you can play with here

Pack a Carry On Bag and a Suitcase to Travel With You

Apart from having all rooms packed up in boxes, you still need to prepare an essentials kit. A good idea to go about this is to prepare two if circumstances permit. One can be solely for your personal belongings and the other for all household objects you’ll be needing until the arrival of the best cross-country movers.

A Suitcase Is for Favorite Household Objects

This one is not for travel only but can come in handy when cross-country movers arrive too. Many people find it frustrating to keep the boxes open or take an item in and out all the time. For instance, if you are a fan of smoothies, you don’t want your NutriBullet out of the picture and sealed in a box days in advance. Or if you have that superb pair of comfy shoes, don’t say bye to them too soon. Prepare a suitcase if you can and calculate how many things you can neatly put inside on the big day and have them up to that point.

Put All Your Clothes and Travel Essentials in Your Hand Luggage

This one might be the winner of all moving hacks as it really simplifies your life. Having an essentials bag or backpack with some basic outfits, snacks, toiletries, a change of shoes, clean towels, and all else you might want after a long day of relocation will make you more positive and optimistic.

If it’s easier for you, you can approach this from a travel perspective and ask yourself what should I pack for a 5-day trip? Or look some inspiring tips up, such as how do you pack for a 7-day trip? Though 5-7 days can sound like a lot, there are often so many things going on when you move in that you don’t get to unpack the first couple of days.

Don’t Forget Your Kids and Pets

If you have a kid, a family member you are taking care of, or you are moving with pets; it’s vital to remember to cater to their needs during the trip too. It will be much easier if you have their food and toys from the word go, and they’ll acclimate to the new environment much faster.

Blue and grey backpack
It can be a travel backpack if you like

Extra Tips That Hold the Key to Success

If you are opting for professional packing services, your experience will be much easier in lots of ways, but these things will help you shine on day one, regardless of whether you’ve got assistance or not.

Wash All You Can

Having clean bedsheets, towels, curtains, and other items will make you feel better when you arrive and reduce your workload to a large degree. Many people fear that transportation and the trip will leave dust or dirt on the items they carry, but it’s impossible if they’re packed correctly.

Check Your Luggage

Professional moving services will cover your house, but you should still take care of the essentials bag and suitcase. Depending on the transportation means, the allowed size varies, but you should be cautious if you are going by plane. And why would you pay extra on all the expenses you’ll have when you can easily check this on the airline company’s website?

Overestimate the Amount of Supplies You’ll Need to Pack Everything

If you are booking partial services or going it alone, you’ll need materials in abundance. An extra tip is to go early in the morning to Walmart and Costco because the staff will be willing to give you free boxes. Still, arm yourself with a bunch of tape, bubble wrap, paper, and zip-up bags. And always buy more than you think you’ll use.

Keep Valuables Safe

Your personal belongings such as your credit card, laptops, cameras, phones, and alike should go with you, especially if you are moving to a new city alone. It’s best to carry a bag where you’ll safely store these away and not worry about a thing.

A suitcase with a camera on it
Planning helps for both travel and cross country moving

How to Prepare for Shipping?

Another question many people are curious about is What is a packing list in shipping? And you should know upfront that it’s not the same as your personal inventory catalog because you’re required by law to have this when shipping internationally. These lists include specifications on the weight and content of the boxes you’re sending and help the authorities assess whether those can be let through the customs. Contact your moving experts if you’re using someone’s services, and they’ll be able to give you info on international moving matters such as this one.

A man writing and a professional loading boxes
Cross country movers are the best when it comes to helping with the preparations

If You Make a Packing List on Time, It Will Be Easier to Get a Reliable Estimate From Cross Country Movers

A top-rated company will be able to offer you the best price as soon as you let them know what amount of work their crew is taking. Though you can do it all on your own, as you’ve seen so far, you’ll have your hands full, even with professional help. Why not let the experts who have honed their skills do the heavy work and enjoy their knowledge? They can help you with auto shipping as well, and you’ll have moving insurance covering all your belongings. So choose the most cost-efficient option and start your web search now.

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