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How to Pack Kitchen Items for Moving

Published by Chris Townsend

How to Pack Kitchen Items for Moving

Moving house comes with a particular set of complications. But moving kitchen is a completely different beast altogether.

If there’s a room in your home that will take you by surprise when moving, it will probably be the kitchen. The reason is that we usually think about kitchen items either in terms of more robust things like appliances or sets of kitchenware.

But when you start preparing for the move, the sheer number of kitchen items, particularly fragile items, might shock you. What’s more, each of those objects needs to be packed properly to make it to your new home undamaged.

Luckily, we’ve created this guide to explain how to pack your kitchen for a move. Continue reading to learn what to do with all those pots, pans, glasses, and silverware.

Tips To Pack A Kitchen For Moving

The best way to start packing a kitchen is with some strategy.

First, take stock of everything in your kitchen. Inspect each drawer, shelf, and cupboard and select which items you’ll actually ship.

This might be a difficult step for some. Getting rid of things you’re used to can be a challenge, even if the items in question are entirely unnecessary. However, there’s no better time to make those cuts than when moving.

Pick everything that has practical, decorative, monetary, or real sentimental value. These will be the things that make the journey along with the rest of your household. When it comes to objects you’re leaving behind, you can find them a new home by giving them away, donating, or having a garage sale.

Next, prepare the packing material. While you might think boxes will be enough, your kitchen moving process will benefit from a more thorough approach.

Have several box sizes, some packing paper or newspapers, sealing tape, cell kits, and labels at hand. These will help you organize and pack everything more easily. Note that one box should be set aside for the immediate essentials.

This box should contain items that many people forget about – the kitchenware you’ll use before you leave the old home and right after you get to the new property. Include any appliances, cutlery, dishes, and all other items that you’ll need for a few days around moving time.

Now that the preparations are finished, we can start answering the crucial question: How to pack kitchen items for moving so that everything makes it to the destination undamaged.

How to Pack Kitchen Items For Moving In The Right Order

Packing the first thing that you come across is a sure way of creating chaos. If you want to pack your kitchen the right way, you should take care of each item in a particular order:

  1. Less frequently used items
  2. Drinks and other bottles
  3. Shelf and drawer items
  4. Dishes
  5. Pots and pans
  6. The pantry

1. Rarely Used Items

The first things you should put in boxes are the items you don’t use every day. These may include storage containers, mixing bowls, smaller appliances, cookbooks, specific utensils and dishes, and spare materials like dishcloths.

Fragile items will likely fall into this category as well. For instance, you probably won’t need to use crystals, wine glasses, or vases the day before the move. Packing fragile things is a delicate process and will be covered in more detail in one of the following sections.

2. Bottles

If you have spare bottles of liquor, wine, oil, or vinegar, there’s no reason not to pack them as soon as possible. However, certain items might not be necessary to move at all. If you have an opened bottle of cooking oil, leave it behind and simply buy a new one at your new home.

For the bottles you’re taking along, you’ll want to ensure they don’t break during the journey. To that end, you can use boxes outfitted with cell kits or, as a pricier option, genuine wine boxes.

3. Drawer and Shelf Items

Now it’s time to empty the drawers, which might be the messiest part of packing a kitchen. If you’re like most people, you’ll have at least one drawer that’s utterly disorganized. Start with that one to make the process as painless as possible.

All messy drawers and shelves have something in common: they usually house useless items. That’s why your first move should be to go back to basics and weed out such objects.

You can use a simple principle to get that part done: If you can’t remember when you last used an item, it has to go.

When you’re done with the critical drawer, move on to the silverware. Make sure to leave enough cutlery pieces for the essentials box and pack everything else.

When thinking about how to pack kitchen items for moving, most people don’t give silverware a second thought. As a result, they might find the cutlery in total disarray when unpacking. You can avoid that by using a simple, proven kitchen moving method for silverware:

  • Take a smaller box and cushion it with paper.
  • If your cutlery is in a tray, wrap the tray in paper. If you don’t have a tray, wrap similar items, i.e., knives, forks, and spoons, in bundles.
  • Place the silverware as flatly as possible in the box.
  • Use linen or paper to fill the gaps and ensure the cutlery doesn’t move during transport.

4. The Dishes

If you’re wondering how to pack kitchen dishes, the answer is: with patience. If you don’t want your dishes to arrive in pieces, you’ll need to wrap each piece individually.

Once you’ve wrapped the dishes, make sure you don’t place the plates flat in the box. Instead, place them side on. This will make the plates more resilient to any pressure and less prone to breaking.

Seal the box with soft materials to keep the dishes from moving around.

How To Pack Kitchen Stuff For Moving

5. Pots and Pans

Pots and pans are vital parts of every kitchen. They are also relatively large, which we don’t mind too much in everyday use. However, when it’s time to consider how to pack pots and pans for moving, you’ll look at these kitchen essentials with new eyes.

The most efficient way to get pots and pans packed will be to nest them. Nesting means stacking the kitchenware one on top of another with the largest piece on the bottom and the smallest on top.

When packing pots and pans for moving using the nesting method, it’s crucial to ensure there’s no direct contact between the individual pieces. To do that, line each pot with plenty of packing paper. You can use the same approach for the lids of the corresponding pots.

Finally, similar to other items, place the nested pots and pans in a box and fill in the gaps with extra paper.

Among items that people don’t know how to pack, pots and pans might be at the very top. With the described method, you won’t have that headache.

6. The Pantry

If you’re wondering what to pack last when moving kitchenware, pantry items might be a good candidate.

Ideally, you should start by packing smaller items like spices and gradually move on to larger ones. Open packages should be sealed or discarded depending on their value. When it comes to perishables and items from your fridge and freezer, those will probably have to go.

You should pay particular attention to canned food. While cans can last a long time and aren’t at risk of spoiling during transport, they have a massive disadvantage. Canned food weighs considerably more than almost any other pantry items. And when you’re moving, weight plays a massive role in the total expense.

For that reason, you’ll need to calculate if canned items are worth moving. It might turn out to be more profitable to simply buy new cans at your destination.

When the pantry is taken care of, packing a kitchen can be considered more or less done. But we haven’t completely explained how to pack kitchen items for moving yet. There are still questions about fragile items and larger appliances.

Packing Fragile Kitchen Stuff For Moving

To ensure all your fragile kitchen items are packed properly, you should make an inventory of anything that can be broken easily. This will help you get the right amount of packing supplies.

The same general principle of separating useful from redundant items will apply here. Some breakables might not be worth the effort of moving, and you’ll be better off having to wrap and pack fewer delicate items.

In terms of supplies, you’ll need the standard set of boxes and packing paper. But moving kitchen breakables will also call for ample amounts of bubble wrap. This will be a real life-saver when it comes to fragile things, as it will provide more than enough protection during transit.

Wrap each item in bubble wrap and secure it with packing tape. Then, take the box intended for the fragile load and tape it along the sides and bottom for extra sturdiness. Line the box with bubble wrap or a generous amount of paper and start placing the items inside.

Once the box is filled, use the remaining paper and bubble wrap for gap filling. However, make sure not to put excessive pressure on the items – put just enough material between them to prevent movement.

Finally, seal the box and don’t forget to mark it clearly from several sides. One of the easiest ways to make all your efforts go to waste is to mistake the box with fragile items for a regular box.

How To Pack Kitchen Appliances For Moving

Large appliances are another tricky part of kitchen moving. Of course, if you’re wondering how to pack kitchen appliances like stoves or dishwashers, the answer is: you don’t pack them. Or, at least, not entirely.

Kitchen Appliances

The crucial part you’ll need to take care of will be the preparation. Each appliance will need to be unplugged, cleaned, and secured. For detailed instructions, you should consult the manual or contact the dealer.

1. The Fridge

Unplug your fridge and let the freezer defrost. If you have a model with an ice maker, ensure that the water line is disconnected and properly drained. This should be done at least a day before the move. Remove all fridge accessories, containers, and racks and clean everything, followed by a thorough dry.

You can either keep the rack outside of the fridge or put them back in. If you decide to return the racks in the fridge, you’ll need to secure them from moving inside.

2. The Stove

For a gas stove, you’ll have to turn the gas off before doing anything else. Then, you can disconnect the gas line. Note that this is a delicate process that might require special care. If you’re in any way unsure of what you’re doing, call the dealer or the gas company for further advice and assistance.

Clean the entire stove – inside and out. Same as with the fridge, either remove or secure the racks.

Finally, remember to tape the stove knobs so they don’t fall off during transit.

3. The Dishwasher

Disconnecting the dishwasher might be tricky since you’ll need to cut off the water supply. If you don’t know how to do that securely, you might want to call a professional.

When the dishwasher is disconnected, you can proceed to clean it and secure any moving parts much as you did with the other appliances.

Get Ready to Move Your Kitchen

With all of the details covered, you won’t need to worry about how to pack kitchen items for moving. In fact, with a thorough approach and a little patience, you’ll be able to pack everything without issues. But if you don’t want to go through extra steps and unnecessary stress when it’s time to ship your kitchen items, there’s a more convenient way to move. Three Movers has a solution for every moving conundrum. Visit our website if you want to learn about our company and get a free quote today.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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