We get it, moving can be an unpleasant experience. Even worse? A long move requiring more advanced planning and more careful packing. Whatever your reasons for a long move, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help it go as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for Packing
Before you even start packing, go through your things and put them into three piles: sell, donate, and keep. There’s no point packing everything, especially for a long move where space and weight can be costly. If you’re moving out of the country, be sure to check for compatibility with your appliances. It’s not really worth keeping them if you’ll need to purchase adaptors. Consider the cost of moving versus the cost of buying a new one at your new location. Sell anything that you aren’t taking that is in good condition, and donate the rest. A lot of charity shops are happy for gently used kitchen items, or you can ask your family and friends if they want anything. Once you’ve sorted through what you will keep, it’s time to pick up boxes. You can pick some up from your grocery store for free, but we recommend purchasing some heavy duty ones for the more fragile items and cell boxes for stemware and glasses. Don’t forget other packing materials such as newsprint, bubble wrap, tape, and markers or labels.
Pack Infrequently Used Items
It may go with out saying, but the items you use the least (like your grandmother’s gravy boat) should be packed first. Pack away the stemware, baking trays, and fancy china that comes out once or twice a year. Anything you won’t be using before the move should be packed up and out of the way so you don’t have to worry about it in the days leading up to your move.
When packing drawers, we recommend starting with the messiest drawer. Every kitchen seems to have the catch all junk drawer. Clean it out; you might end up throwing half of it away. Do you really need blank scraps of paper? Once you’ve tackled that drawer, move on to things like cookbooks. Arrange them in the box in a way that makes sense to you for finding them later, and if there’s a particular one you use often, place it on the top for easier access.
In the days leading up to the move, chances are you’re only going to need a couple of things in the kitchen. Everything should be packed away except for one set of everything you usually use (bowl, plate, cutlery) for each member in your family. When it comes to plastic containers, try to minimize the amount you’re using. This includes containers holding food in the fridge. Try to eat anything in the fridge that is in a reusable container so that it can be packed away. A day or two before your move, everything should be packed up in your kitchen except for the essentials box, which should only contain what you need now, and what you’ll need right away after the move. Don’t forget to save out a cooking pot or a pan for the essentials box.
Use cell boxes for packing stemware, glasses, and mugs. It’s easier for packing, and there’s less chance of damage using cell boxes instead of newsprint and stacking. Bowls and plates are somewhat easier to pack as they all nicely fit inside each other, but be sure to balance the load so one end of the box isn’t heavier than the other, as it could be dropped due to an uneven weight. If you want to avoid having to wash your dishes again after unpacking them, you can purchase blank newsprint from your local newspaper or office supply store. Once again, don’t forget to save out a few dishes for the essentials box.
Packing Liquor and Wine
When it comes to packing liquor and wine, first decide if what you have is worth the cost of moving it, versus buying it new at your next location. If you have a collection of liquor and wine, it might be worth the move. If you’re moving to another country, double check that it’s okay to bring it across the border. Keep out any bottles you think you’ll drink before the move, gift unopened bottles to friends and family, and pack what’s left. Once again we recommend using cell boxes to keep the glass bottles separate. You can also pack your wine and liquor bottles with other items that come in glass bottles such as olive oil and things that don’t require refrigeration.
Emptying the Pantry
As with every item when moving, decide what is worth the move. If you have unopened non-perishable food that you don’t want to move with you, donate it to the local food bank. Set aside what you will definitely be eating in the days before the move—maybe even create a meal plan to ensure the food does get used—and pack the rest. Be sure to double-check what foods you can and can’t bring across the border. You can find the forms [link to forms on website]. Tape up any open boxes that you plan to move with you to ensure that they don’t spill open during the move.
Hopefully you find these tips helpful when packing up your kitchen for a long move. Moving can be a stressful time, but following these tips can make your move go that much smoother. As always, it’s best to properly label all boxes with the room in the house they belong in and a quick idea of what’s in them (for example, kitchen—dishes) to make unpacking that much easier.