How to Pack a Kitchen When Moving: The Pack-In-One-Bite Guide


If you’ve made up your mind to tackle the difficult task of packing your entire home without hiring professional packers to do it for you, then sooner or later your PACKING CHECKLIST will take you to the KITCHEN – probably the most dreaded room to pack during a house move.

The kitchen is particularly difficult to sort and pack because of the overwhelming number of kitchen items stored away in various cabinets, cupboards, and drawers. The sheer number aside, most of the things found in a kitchen have odd shapes that make them harder to protect for a move. Other items in your kitchen are rather bulky (are you really moving your fridge?) which will make the whole packing process a bit more complicated than you wish.

And let’s not forget all the fragile and breakables kitchen items (plates, glasses, bowls) that will need to reach the new home’s kitchen in one piece. /How to pack fragile items/

To make your kitchen packing task even more challenging, some kitchen items such as knives can be fairly risky to pack up safely due to their sharp open blades.

Read on to learn the best way to pack a kitchen – practical tips for packing a kitchen when you move to help you tackle arguably the most difficult room to pack during a move.

How to pack your kitchen for a move

  • Kitchen packing tipsPacking supplies
  • Food
  • Plates
  • Glasses
  • Forks, spoons, and knives
  • Pots and pans
  • Small kitchen appliances
  • Large kitchen appliances

Gather packing supplies for your kitchen

Before you can pack up your kitchen for a move, you’ll need to get hold of the necessary packing materials first. And if you’re following a good packing checklist, as you should be, you’ll know that the kitchen should be one of the very first rooms you pack. Why?

Because your kitchen will require plenty of packing time and efforts, so you want to make sure you still have the time and energy to tackle that tough task before you move on to packing the rest of your home.

  • Cardboard boxes. Prepare around 20-25 medium-sized moving boxes that are strong and damage-free. Also, get a few dish boxes where you’ll pack the extra-fragile kitchen items such as plates and glasses. Dish boxes, aka dish barrels, provide a better protection for your breakables because they are made from double-layered corrugated cardboard.
  • Packing paper. You’re going to need A LOT of wrapping paper when packing up your kitchen items. One big pack of clean, white newsprint paper goes for around $10 (200 sheets), and can be ordered online or purchased from the nearest home depot store.
  • Bubble wrap. Bubble wrap will give you that unmatched protection for any kitchen items that prove to be too fragile or too sharp to be safeguarded with paper alone. Get the biggest roll of the air-filled plastic material you can find as you’ll surely use it for other rooms as well. One box (150 FT) of Enviro-Bubble wrap costs around $20.
  • Furniture blankets. You’ll need thick moving blankets to wrap up and protect the large appliances in your kitchen – usually the fridge and dishwasher in case you decide to take them with you.
  • Packing tape. Don’t buy the cheapest tape available – get a few high-quality rolls to guarantee that the paper bundles, bubble wrap bundles and cardboard boxes you seal with it won’t unwrap or open during transport.
  • A black marker. One or two black marker pens should be enough to label all your filled cardboard boxes.

Where to find FREE packing materials

How to pack food for moving

In general, packing and moving any food items with you is not a good idea.

First of all, professional movers will refuse to load any perishable food items in their truck (it’s against the law) and you shouldn’t do it either in case you choose to move by yourself. Perishable foods will go bad during transport, attract insects or rodents, and can damage the rest of your belongings.

Secondly, packing and moving non-perishable food items can often prove costlier than to buy those items new after you’ve already moved into the new home. Canned foods and foods in glass bottles are heavy and that will increase the overall shipment weight.

  • Kitchen pantry

    Don’t underestimate the time needed to pack the kitchen pantry.

    GO THROUGH your food supplies – fridge, pantry, kitchen cupboards – and sort out all food items that you have at that moment of time. Group your food into these categories: frozen foods, refrigerated foods, canned foods, foods in glass bottles, boxed food products, and foods in delicate packaging.

  • USE UP, gift or donate all the food items that you won’t be taking with you.
  • PLACE food products with delicate packaging such as sugar, flour, rice, and spices into strong plastic bags, then tape those bags well to avoid spills. Do the same with opened bottles, jars, tubes, or other containers that have liquids inside.
  • PACK non-perishable food items into small to medium moving boxes. Keep in mind that those items can be rather heavy so be very selective in what you pack and move.
  • SEAL the food-packed boxes and label them properly.

Packing Paper vs Bubble Wrap

How to pack kitchen plates for moving

The china plates you have in your kitchen, together with the glassware, will be the most fragile kitchen items you’ll need to pack for moving. Therefore, it’s time to rely more on the wrapping and cushioning materials you’ve prepared – wrapping paper and bubble wrap.

  • SORT all the dishes you have in your kitchen and decide which ones are worth packing and moving. Throw away any broken or partly damaged plates (chipped, cracked, etc.), then consider getting rid of any incomplete china sets that don’t have sentimental value for you. Don’t pay to move any kitchen plates that you can buy again for less after the move.
  • PREPARE each dish box – use tape to reinforce its bottom, then place crumpled paper or bubble wrap sheets on the inside to form a soft cushioning layer.
  • PLACE the stack of wrapping paper on the kitchen table, then position a china plate in its middle, pull a couple of sheets from each former over the kitchen plate to cover it completely.
  • USE pieces of tape to secure the paper bundle.
  • ADD an additional protective layer of bubble wrap for chinaware pieces that have great value – either monetary or sentimental.
  • PLACE each paper-bundled dish into the dish box and position in on its edge to reduce the pressure. Never place kitchen plates flat in the boxes.
  • POSITION a large sheet of bubble wrap over the first row of kitchen plates and start a second one if the box is deep enough.
  • GET leftover pieces of paper and fill with them any empty gaps in the dish box. The idea is to keep the packed dishes from shifting inside the cardboard box during the actual move.
  • CLOSE the lid shut, then label it properly. Don’t forget to add special handling instructions such as HANDLE WITH CARE.

How to pack plates for moving

How to pack kitchen glasses for moving

Once you’ve packed all the chinaware in your kitchen, it’s time to start thinking about how to protect your crystal glasses so that you find them in one piece when you start unpacking in the new kitchen.

  • How to pack kitchen glasses

    Do you really have to pack and move all the kitchen glasses you own?

    GO THROUGH your kitchen glasses and see if there are any of them that you’d better throw out before you start packing. Broken, chipped, cracked or stained glasses are not worth moving.

  • PAD each box that will hold crystal glasses. Do this by placing sheets of bubble wrap or crumpled paper on the bottom from the inside. To avoid moving day accidents, tape the box bottom from the outside as well.
  • POSITION a glass on a stack of packing paper, then take a couple of sheets and tuck one of the corners inside it, then use the three other paper corners to wrap the glass into a tight bundle. Use tape to keep it from unwrapping.
  • USE extra caution when you’re packing stemware glasses because the stems are super-delicate and can break easily when put under pressure. To protect your wine glasses or any other stemware crystal pieces, wrap bubble wrap around their stems, then tape the protective layer in place.
  • PACK the protected glasses into the pre-padded boxes, making sure their open parts face down. This is one of the packing kitchen hacks that will add to the overall protection you’re trying to create for your breakable kitchen items.
  • FILL any empty spaces with paper or pieces of bubble wrap – remember that nothing should be moving inside the box when you lift and shake it gently.
  • POSITION one final bubble wrap sheet on the top when you’re ready, close and seal the box.
  • LABEL the glassware-filled container properly – write GLASSES, KITCHEN, FRAGILE.

How to pack glasses for moving

How to pack eating utensils – forks, spoons, and knives

Of course, you’ll want to pack and move most of your silverware pieces – why should you leave them behind just to buy new ones after the move?

Packing knives for a move is a bit tricky due to their open blades so make sure you read the proper way to pack all the cutting instruments found in your kitchen.

  • GO THROUGH your kitchen utensils and set aside the pieces that are damaged, stained, or maybe even rusty – don’t bother packing and moving those to the new kitchen.
  • SORT OUT the pieces you are taking according to their type and size.
  • POSITION a couple of sheets of packing paper on the table, then place 6-7 forks or spoons of the same length on them.
  • FORM a tight paper bundle by wrapping the paper around the bunch of silverware pieces.
  • TAPE the bundle well and transfer it into a small to medium cardboard box that’s sturdy enough to handle the weight.
  • MIND the amount of bundled spoons and forks you arrange into a single box – the metal kitchen utensils can become too heavy too fast.
  • TAPE the box shut and label it properly when you’re done.

To pack kitchen knives for moving, follow these steps:

  • How to pack knives when moving house

    You can pack your kitchen knives together with the knife block: tape the knives to the block, wrap once in packing paper, then repeat with bubble wrap.

    TAKE one knife and place it at the very edge of a stack of wrapping paper.

  • ROLL two paper pieces over it in a diagonal direction until the knife is completely covered.
  • PLACE another knife with its blade pointing in the opposite direction of the blade of the first knife.
  • ROLL the two paper sheets over the second knife until it too gets wrapped up in paper.
  • KEEP ON adding as many knives as you can in the same way until the paper sheets. In most cases, you’ll be able to fit around 5 kitchen knives within a single paper bundle.
  • TAPE the knife bundles to keep them from unwrapping, pack them into a strong cardboard box, then label the box appropriately.

How to pack pots and pans

By now you should know that packing a kitchen for a move is a lot of work. Luckily, some of your kitchen items will be easier to pack than others. A good example is the task of packing pots and pans for a move – the things that are not fragile in any way and will need only a bit of basic protection to survive the move intact.

First of all, sort your various pots and pans to see whether you should pack and move all of them – in most cases, some of them will be too used up or partly damaged to be worth the relocation efforts and costs.

And secondly, just wrap each pot or pan with two sheets of wrapping paper and transfer the protected kitchen piece into a medium-sized box. Feel free to use the special packing technique of nesting your pots and pans into one another in order to save precious space.

How to pack small kitchen appliances

The good news is that all the small kitchen appliances you may have in your kitchen at the time of the move – toasters, mixers, blenders, juice extractors, sandwich makers, coffee makers, etc. – are definitely not complicated to pack for a move. In fact, the best thing you can do to protect your appliances during the haul is to try and find the original boxes they came in when you bought them.

As you can imagine, original boxes provide excellent protection just because they were designed for that very purpose. Take a look around your usual storage spaces for any signs of such boxes.

In case you don’t keep those factory boxes, then the next best thing is to find a strong cardboard box of similar size. But before you transfer each individual small kitchen appliance into its box, wrap up the electric device in soft packing paper for additional protection on the road.

How to motivate yourself to pack for moving

How to pack large kitchen appliances

How to move a fridge

Moving your fridge is rarely worth the trouble. Despite their sturdy look, refrigerators are rather fragile and can be easily damaged when moved around.

The refrigerator and the dishwasher are the two large household appliances usually found in the kitchen. Having in mind that both appliances are very heavy and very big, the very first task before you is to assess whether it’s really necessary that you move them to the new home. In the majority of cases, paying to move any of them will cost more or at least roughly the same as purchasing a brand-new appliance after the move – especially when you’re moving long distance.

Moving your fridge or your dishwasher without the help of professional movers is a bad idea as costly damage to the expensive appliance or a personal injury of some sort will be the likely result.

Nevertheless, if you’ve made up your mind to pack and move your fridge with the help of a few good friends, then you should definitely read our Fridge Moving Guide on how to move a refrigerator without movers.

Must-read: How to pack for a move like a professional

The post How to Pack a Kitchen When Moving: The Pack-In-One-Bite Guide appeared first on The Moving Blog.

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