How to Pack for Moving into a New Home

Deciding how to pack for a move can be challenging because let’s face it—no one really enjoys the moving process; there are rooms to clean out, boxes to pack and a whole lot of added stress. Hopefully, our “Moving into a New Home” checklist can help make your next move to a new city, or even down the street, more enjoyable. Because, don’t forget, there’s a whole new, fresh start waiting for you on the other side.

Step 1: Create a Plan

A moving plan is a great way to keep your sanity during the move. Remember to include things like moving services, if you’ll be using them, and overall relocation costs. Here are some things to ask yourself as you create your moving plan.


What Equipment Will I Need to Use?

There are a few pieces of equipment that could make your life easier during a move and should be included in moving checklist, particularly if you aren’t using any moving services. Some of the basics include:

  • Boxes of all sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Hand truck
  • Carpet end dolly


If you aren’t familiar, a hand truck has a tall metal backing with a metal base and large wheels. It’s good for moving several boxes at the same time or taking care of some of your heavier boxes. A carpet end dolly, on the other hand, is a small wood frame with small wheels and—as its name suggests—carpet at both ends. This piece is great for moving large furniture items and appliances because it allows you to move those things without having to support their weight the entire time. You’ll also want some type of packing bubbles for your more delicate items.


You can typically rent moving items from a moving company or your local home improvement store. These places also usually sell things like boxes and packing tape. If you’re looking to save money, you can always use sheets and clothes to protect your delicate items. And you can often find large boxes behind stores on shipment days. If you do decide to use moving services, they typically provide a lot of these things for you—or include them in your cost of moving into a new home.


Who Will be Involved in the Move?

Moving services aside, another thing to consider when deciding how to pack for a move is who else will be available to help? You’ll need at least one other person if you’re doing things on your own. To recruit friends and family to help you move, consider throwing a moving party. You can plan to order food, play music, and even set up competitive challenges to keep things fun.


It might also help to have tasks ready to assign, based on abilities. If you’re moving with kids, recruit them to do smaller jobs like cleaning up a space that’s just been emptied out. If you have very young kids, you’ll want to be sure that someone is available to keep an eye on them. You can organize your space to have heavier items in one corner, medium weight in the middle of the room, and the small stuff to the side. This will help people find boxes they can handle, but it can also help you organize things properly in the moving truck.


Estimate Home Much Time Packing / Moving will Take

Your moving into a new home checklist should give you lots of time to accomplish each of your tasks. Trying to pack and move in the same day is nearly impossible, so it’s best to start early. The more you can pack over time and the more time you give yourself, the less of a hassle it will seem. If you can, start packing at least a month in advance. This way, you can do a little every day without getting overwhelmed.


Depending on the type of moving services you select, you could find moving services that will pack your home up for you. Deciding whether or not you want to do that will be determined by how much you want to spend on relocation costs.


It will take less time for professional moving services to pack up your home, of course. You can estimate about 2-3 hours per room. For a larger home, plan on giving yourself at least three months to make moving arrangements.


Step 2: Estimate the Total Costs of Moving

Once you have a rough outline to your moving plan, you can start to determine your relocation costs. Here you’ll need to account for a few things like the size of your home, the distance of your move, and the amount of services you plan on using. Here are just some of the high-level costs you should consider in your moving checklist.


Equipment Costs Moving

If you use a service, your overall equipment costs will be pretty low, because they are built into the cost of the service. If you are moving yourself however, the equipment costs can add up depending on what you determined you needed during your planning stage. Things like bubble wrap, tape, moving foam, covers, and boxes could be upwards of $100 for a one-bedroom apartment and up to $400 for four plus bedrooms. A hand truck rental is about $40 and a carpet end dolly costs around $20.


And none of this includes a truck rental. That price can fluctuate hugely depending on things like mileage, length of usage, size, and even how far ahead you book it. The earlier book your truck, the more you can save—especially if your dates are flexible. Weekend rates tend to be higher the weekday rate, but all of them should be included in your equipment cost considerations.


Service Costs 

If you plan on hiring a professional moving service, your relocation costs will probably be much higher—but a professional moving service can also save you a lot of time. It’s worth it to consider how much time off work you would lose, and if the cost of that would be more or less than just hiring professionals.


The average cost of a local household move is $1,250. Those relocation costs more than double to about $4,900 if you’re planning a long-distance move. Again, all the prices are subject to the size of space as well, so remember those prices can double if you have a larger space.


Step 3: Start Moving!

Once you have made your plan and estimated your costs, it’s time for some action. With your dates in place, you’re read to put your “moving into a new home checklist” to work. Here are just a few things to remember to help make your moving go a little more smoothly.


Stick to the schedule

If you’ve made a schedule, make sure you stick to it. On a personal end, that means having deadlines set for when you complete packing. If you’re doing it on your own, consider setting a deadline for each room with a final completion date that’s at least a week ahead of when the moving truck is coming.


If you’re hiring moving services, give yourself time in case something comes up. You don’t want your moving day to be your very last day in the space.


Remember to take breaks 

Moving can be exhausting. If you’re going ahead without moving services to save on relocation costs, make plans to start packing the truck early in the day. If you’re planning a big move, consider giving yourself two days to fill the truck, especially if you don’t have a lot of help. This will ensure that you have enough time to take breaks in between.


Moving is a lot of work, but the great news is that it always leads to a new adventure. Don’t get so overwhelmed with your “moving into a new home” checklist that you lose sight of the great things that lie ahead. And if you’re not sure about the next step, ask for advice. When working with new home builders, you might find that they have recommendations for services that other residents have used before.



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Published 4.8.2021

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