How to Pack Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Mind

The end of packing Week One has come to an end at our house. I laughed when I discovered a plethora of cleaning and organizational posts for the new year. I’ve discovered the best motivation in both those departments is MOVING! My kitchen hasn’t been this clean for a long, long time…;)

How to Pack a Kitchen

I’ve always loved the organizational aspects of packing and moving, so I’ve been having lots of fun. I decided to start with what I view is the most difficult room of the house to both pack & deep clean ~ the kitchen.

Here’s a quick list of the sanity saving packing tricks I tried this week:

1.  Go to the local grocery store and ask for boxes. The produce and liquor ones are awesome, and our little grocery store has a lovely stack to choose from every day.

How to Pack the Kitchen

2.  Start with the less used items that are the most fragile.  For me, this meant china and heirloom dishes.  I took my time packing them up very carefully to avoid having disastrous breakage throughout the move.

How to Pack your kitchen

3.  Use soft materials on hand for packing material. I grabbed my boxes of doilies, vintage linens, tablecloths, and quilt batting to use as the packing material for the breakables. I thought it was pretty clever to have my pretty china all wrapped up in pretty vintage linens…:) Once I ran out of the tablecloths and vintage linens, I grabbed fabric from my fabric stash for the other boxes.

4.  Mark boxes carefully. Serendipity intervened, and the day before I started packing, and I had a chance to visit with a professional mover. She is part of a genius business that assists senior citizens through the process of downsizing. One of the things she described to me was the way she labels boxes. It was brilliant! Here’s how she described it:

How to Label boxes for moving:

  1.  First mark which room the items belong in (kitchen, living room, etc.).
  2. Number each box.
  3. Put a brief description on the label.
  4. Have a binder with a detailed list of everything in each box.

Although this may sound a bit overkill for some, it seems like the perfect system for us.  This rental home is only a short term one for us (until October 1st), so in less than a year, we’ll be moving all over again!

How to Pack a Kitchen

Having this system in place will allow me to keep some of the boxes packed for the next move, and yet if I need a specific item, I can look it up in the book and find it lickety split! (Well…that’s the theory, anyway!)

I did’t have any actual stick on labels on hand, so I grabbed a pile of cardstock scraps from my stash and cut them into squares.  As I perused the internet for moving tips, I’ve noticed that many people recommend color coordinating  labels so that each color goes to a different room.  I like that idea.  I figure that anything that will prevent a million “where does this go?” questions will be helpful!

5.  Deep clean the walls, shelves, drawers, sliding glass door track, & behind the fridge.

How to Pack the Kitchen

As much as I love packing boxes, I do not enjoy the deep cleaning part. I decided to get that part out of the way right away instead of having to come back after the move to do it.  I tackled a little bit at a time, and it wasn’t so bad. (Except under the sink. Why is that area always so gross??)  We even filled all the holes in the wall and touched up the paint.  Ah…it’s nice to have that step out of the way.

Now we have just the essentials in our kitchen so we can still cook & eat ~ and work on using up the food we already have on hand. Judging by the amount of frozen fruit in the freezer, fruit crisp & smoothies will be in abundance!

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any packing tips to pass along? I always love hearing new ideas…

For more tips on moving

Check out the moving category for all kinds of moving tips and tricks – from decluttering to moving day, you’ll find ideas to help make moving a smooth transition.

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  1. Oh Rita! I have been there myself too many times. You are right, moving is the best system to clean! Your system looks like a good one and I would never have started with the kitchen – but why not?!
    One thing I do when we move is purge! I have a “donate” and “garbage” containers along side of the boxes. Sometimes I’m mad at myself for keeping things that should have been let go, but I guess that’s just the way it is (never know when you’ll need it).
    All the best as you move and remember it is one of the Top 10 stressful events in a person’s life.

    1. Hi Heather, thanks for your packing tips! Yes, it is certainly a good time to purge! Thankfully, I’ve been doing that little by little since Fall, so it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. I still have a few areas that need attention, though. Things just seem to multiply over time!! (Like odd socks and Tupperware lids! ha!:)

  2. Great ideas and I’m hoping your move goes well. When you mentioned color coding, I thought that was a brilliant idea! Why not use some colored duct tape? It comes in all different colors. I’m going to do that! The binder idea was also great. We’re hoping to have our house up for sale this spring. Meanwhile, I keep trying to simplify and dejunk!

  3. My dtr taught me to put a stickie ( post it note) on the outside of each kitchen cupboard when it is emptied and cleaned. This reduces frustration and hightlights progress.if others come to help..the don’t have to flap all the cupboards..they know where to start..LG

  4. Moving has it’s good and bad sides. It’s good because as you said, it’s great way to clean everything useless. I’m moving in less than a month and your tips and advises seem to work perfectly for me. It’s good to learn from somebody, who’s been through this and have a good experience. Thank you for sharing!

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