Together with finding a good moving company, packing for a move is one of the most essential tasks in your moving checklist. Unfortunately, packing up your household items can be a rather confusing thing to do due to the great number of details to take care of and questions to answer even before you fill in your first box.
You couldn’t possibly move to another home without first protecting your belongings for safe transportation. And when you combine that must-do urgency with the fact that packing up a house takes many days to complete and endless hours of hard work to sort, wrap up and box each item you’re moving with you, then you’ll understand why packing for a move is thought to be the most dreaded task when moving house.
One super-important question is what to pack first and last when moving. And now that we’ve covered in detail the topic about what to pack first when moving, let’s take a closer look at what you should pack last when moving so that you finish the packing job the way you started it – on the right foot.
Read on to learn what you should do before packing your last box, what rooms to pack last when moving house, and what are the last things to pack when moving to a new home.
What to do before packing your last items
Regardless of whether you’re still in the beginning, somewhere in the middle or very close to the end of packing, there are a couple of important things you should do before you get to pack your last moving box.
Double-check your packing progress
As moving day approaches, you’re likely to feel more and more stressed out, especially if you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to finish the packing task on time. As you keep packing up your things, you just have to know whether you’re on schedule or whether you’ve fallen behind. And the best way to know how you’re doing is to check your packing progress against a reliable packing timeline.
A good week-by-week packing checklist will be the reference point that predetermines your next move. Basically, there are two scenarios you may run into:
- your packing progress is good and you should be able to finish packing at least one full day prior to moving out, or
- your packing speed is not satisfactory and, according to your preliminary calculations, you won’t be able to finish the packing job before Moving day.
And while Scenario 1 is simply yet another confirmation that things are going according to plan and there’s no need for you to implement any changes, Scenario 2 is nothing but a warning message that you need to change something so that you can still pack your last box before the Big day comes along.
Get the right type of packing assistance
Despite your early start, you may still fall behind your packing schedule for a number of reasons – from unforeseen circumstances slowing down your progress to sheer demotivation to complete the packing job as soon as you can. And if that should happen, then you’re going to have to ask either your friends or professional packers to help you out.
- Friends. Packing your last box is always more fun when you do it together with good friends. Organize a packing party and invite some of your best friends for an entertaining mix of business and pleasure. Send out those invitations as early as you can to avoid disrupting too much your pals’ plans. Click here to learn how to get friends to help you pack and move your stuff.
- Professional packers. If you happen to be left with very little time and Moving day is looming closer and closer, then the most sensible solution will be to hire professional packers to pack up your home quickly and safely. But before you do it, you’ll need to know how much that extra moving service will cost you – so, get accurate quotes from several professional moving companies and compare those price estimates to choose the one that fits your budget.
Professional packers guide: Everything you need to know
Which rooms to pack last when moving
Before we describe in detail what to pack last when moving, let’s take a look at what rooms to pack last when moving out. That way, you’ll understand better the logic behind what order to pack your house when moving.
- Frequency of occupation. First of all, the last rooms to pack should be the ones you use on a daily basis simply because you’ll want to continue to use those rooms up until the very last moment. Naturally, you’ll need the bathroom to be functioning normally until it’s time to leave that home, so you should leave packing your bathroom items for last. Similarly, you’ll need to get a good night’s sleep right before Moving day to have the energy and stamina to survive that tough day, so leave packing up the bedding for last too.
- From-hard-to-easy principle. Keep in mind that the easiest rooms to pack should also be the last ones you tackle. The idea here is that you should start packing from the hardest rooms to pack (your storage areas) while you still have enough energy and motivation, and then work your way toward the premises that are no-brainers in terms of packing for a move. Thus said, don’t make the rookie mistakes of packing your garage for last, right when your energy level and packing enthusiasm are likely to be severely depleted.
Combine those two packing principles and you’ll get the list of the rooms you should pack at the very end of your packing job.
BATHROOM. Pack up your bathroom items either very late in the evening before Moving day or very early in the morning before the professional movers show up. Needless to say, you’ll need the bathroom on a daily basis so you should keep it intact and fully functional until the last possible moment.
Nevertheless, you may still pre-pack some of the bathroom items a few days prior to the move-out date as long as you won’t need them, including some non-vital medications from the medicine cabinet.
- BEDROOM. Yes, you should pre-pack most of your clothes way before Moving day so don’t leave the task of packing your bedroom closet for last. However, since you’ll want to wake up in your own comfortable bed in the morning of the move-out day, you’ll need to leave some of the bedding for the final few boxes.
Of course, if you’ve decided to disassemble and move your bedroom bed to the new home, then you’ll need to take care of that furniture disassembly job at least one full day prior to Moving day.
- LIVING ROOM. Sooner or later you’ll have to transfer the packing action to the living room. However, the later you do it, the more comfortable you will feel inside the home you’re about to leave soon. Living rooms usually contain a good number of furniture pieces so one of your priority tasks will be to figure out which units you will disassemble and move with you, and then which ones you’ll just leave behind.
Also, think about packing all the electronic devices in your living room as those are the items that you will take with you no matter what.
- KITCHEN. You should start packing up your kitchen as soon as you’re done with the storage areas in your home. As a rule of thumb, kitchens are difficult to pack because of the overwhelming number of kitchen items in them, including fragile ones such as chinaware, glasses, and so on.
Thus said, you should still leave some basic eating and cooking utensils unpacked until the day before moving out simply because it’s never a good idea to keep ordering in for days on end.
Again, start packing from the most difficult rooms to pack – the ones that you use fairly rarely too – that is, the storage areas such as garage, attic, basement, closets, and spare room(s).
Top 15 packing tips when moving
What things to pack last when moving
Now that you know which rooms to tackle last of all, what are the last things to pack when moving?
The answer is easier than you think – the last items to pack should be the ones that you intend to use all the way up until it’s time to pack EVERYTHING and MOVE OUT. In other words, don’t pack up your toothbrush before you have the chance to brush your teeth in the morning of the Big day.
As mentioned above, you should pack the most essential bathroom items last so that you can a “normal” last day in your soon-to-be old home.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush;
- Shampoo and hair conditioner;
- Hand soap, soap bars or shower gel;
- Cosmetics and personal care items;
- Bath towels;
- Toilet paper;
- Prescription medication (from the medicine cabinet).
How to pack a bathroom for moving
Don’t leave packing your kitchen for last as it will take you a long time to protect and box all those fragile kitchen items. However, it’s a good idea to leave some essential kitchen items for last simply because you’re going to need them up until you move out and right after you move into the new residence.
Plastic plates, eating utensils and cups;
- A pocketknife (instead of a regular kitchen knife);
- A can opener;
- Paper towels;
- Non-perishable food items – choose those wisely;
- Coffee maker – that could be a lifesaver during your move.
How to pack a kitchen for moving
As mentioned above, your bedroom essentials should be one of the last things to pack when moving. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of a good rest right before the most exhausting and energy-draining and stressful day in the entire relocation.
- Bedding: sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets;
- Nightwear (pajamas);
- Inflatable mattress – you might need an air mattress if your bedroom bed has already been disassembled and packed for transport. Also, such a mattress will be indispensable if the new home you’re moving into is unfurnished.
How to move a queen size bed
Basic hand tools
The best way to pack for moving is to leave super-essential items for last. That’s a good tactical move that can save you a headache or two on the day of the move. Don’t be too eager to pack way basic hand tools such as
- a set of screwdrivers;
- a pair of all-purpose pliers;
- an adjustable wrench;
- a small hammer;
- a tape measure;
- a pair of scissors,
- a flashlight, and
- spare batteries.
How to pack electronics for moving
Essential items for babies or young children
When moving with young children or babies, you’ll need to pack their essential items last of all.
- Baby items;
- Favorite food;
- Change of clothes;
- Prescription medicine;
- Portable games.
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Essential items for pets
When moving with pets, be sure to pack most of their things last so that you can use those pet items to possibly keep your animal friends calm and stress-free during the move.
- Pet food and treats (their most favorite ones);
- Water bowls;
- Pet toys;
- Favorite blankets or other items they love and recognize;
- Pet carriers – if necessary.
How to move home with a dog
How to move home with a cat
Other miscellaneous items include personal documents, electronic devices, charges and adapters, extension cords, games, books, etc.
Basically, all the things you should pack last have to items that you will be using until Moving day and even during that day as well. It won’t make much sense to pack some things and then to lose precious time searching for them by opening already packed and sealed boxes.
In most cases, essential items are person-specific so you are the one who knows what you should leave unpacked until the last moment or so. Remember to keep all your essentials in one place and then pack them up in essentials boxes – the open-first boxes that you should not hand over to your movers but keep by your side and transport with yourself all the way to the new home.
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