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Room by Room Packing Guide

Published by Chris Townsend

Room-by-Room Moving Guide: Tips For Packing Each Room In Your Home

When you need to pack up and move the contents of an entire house, it can be a pretty daunting prospect as you consider just how much work needs to be done. A good approach is to devise a plan on a room-by-room basis that breaks the task of moving into small, manageable parts that can be done over time. It’s important to take your time and be as thorough as possible and packing one room at a time is a great way to achieve this, while still seeing the results of your work, which will help keep you motivated as you move from one room to the next. In this guide, we’ll provide some general tips about the packing process, as well as an approach to packing each room individually as you go.

Tips & Advice For Room-by-Room Packing

Allow Plenty of Time

One of the advantages of packing each room of your house separately is that it breaks up a large job into several smaller jobs. This will require enough time to individually pack up each room, which can take a full day or more. Give yourself plenty of time to get each part of the job done, which can be made easier by first making a schedule for each room in your home and how long you’ll need to spend packing. For larger rooms and those with many smaller items that need to boxed, you can schedule several days. Bear in mind that you may not have the time or desire to spend an entire day packing so each room can also be broken up into smaller tasks.

Make an Inventory List

As you’re putting together a packing schedule for each room, it can also be helpful to make an inventory list of the items that need to be packed. You don’t need to itemize every single thing like your silverware and dishes, but it’s having a general list of what needs to be packed can help you budget your time and stay on task. An added benefit of making an inventory list is that you can take note of the condition of any items you’re concerned could be damaged during the move. If you have any valuables or delicate items, taking photos is also recommended in the rare event that movers damage something along the way.

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Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

It’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff that you really don’t need, and that’s never more apparent than when you’re packing for a move. Before you start packing a room, go through and determine what’s going with you and what things can go. There’s no sense in spending precious time packing things that you may not need or want at your new home. If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, you can host a yard sale to recoup some of the value of what you don’t want. Whatever is left over can be donated or discarded, which is also made easier by first selling off what you can.

Gather Packing Supplies

Before you start packing, you’re going to need all the necessary supplies: boxes, tape, bubble wrap, markers, and anything else you might need. This is another good reason to make a schedule and inventory list, that way you’ll know exactly which supplies are needed, and how much of each. If you’re unsure of what might be needed, you can consult our list of moving supplies to help you get a better handle on what’s necessary. Don’t forget to keep paper towels, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies on hand so you can tidy up as you go!

Label As You Go

One key advantage to packing room by room is that you can easily label and keep all boxes together that go in the same room. Make sure you have a good marker at hand and clearly mark all boxes with the appropriate room. This way, any items that go in the same room can be kept together on the moving truck and easily unloaded into the appropriate space in your new home. Keep in mind, that you’ll want to clear out each room as it gets packed and having an assortment of unmarked boxes only makes things more confusing.

Designate An Area For Packed Boxes

Once you’ve got a room completely packed and boxed up, move the boxes into a designated area. This can be done in a garage, spare room, or office, which should be among the first rooms you pack. Once a room is complete and boxes are labeled, you can move them into the area for packed boxes and move onto the next one. It’s advisable to make this storage area close to where the moving truck will be parked so that they don’t need to be hauled all the way through the house for loading. Because of its proximity to the driveway, a garage or front room is ideal for a storage area.

Protect Anything Breakable

If you have any items that are particularly delicate or breakable, be sure to wrap them appropriately to protect them during moving, especially if they’ll be stored in boxes. The kitchen tends to be where this comes into play the most since glasses and dishes can shift up against each other or be jostled when moved. Packing paper or bubble wrap can be ideal for these smaller items, which you should keep in mind as you gather your packing supplies. By the same token, any mirrors or glass tables should be protected with moving blankets and bubble wrap so that they’re ready to be loaded on moving day.

Pack Least Used Items First

Whatever you don’t need on a regular basis should be packed first, which is why it’s preferable to start packing the areas of the house used for storage, such as a garage, attic, or basement. Any off season clothes, holiday decorations, extra linens, or other items that are only needed on occasion can be packed first so you can rest assured that you won’t need to go digging through boxes to find something you need later on. Other items that can be packed first include pictures, wall hangings, decorative items, collections, and books. The same holds for board games and movies, but keep in mind you may want to have some of these things on hand for entertainment in the days and weeks leading up to your moving date.

Separate Items Used Regularly

Just as you’ll want to pack the least used items first, you’ll want to pack items you need regularly or on a daily basis last. Things like toiletries, phone chargers, electronic devices, medications and first aid items should be kept accessible since you may need them up until the day you move out. Cleaning supplies are another thing you’ll want to pack later in the process so you have what you need for a final clean up.

Do you need help with moving to your new home? Three Movers has provided affordable, quality moving services to any and all clients that need a helping hand, from loading and driving the truck, to full service moves across the country. To learn more about what we offer, or if you would like a FREE price quote, give us a call today at (888) 202-0036! You can also get a FREE price quote that’s tailored to your moving needs by using our handy online moving cost form that will be immediately sent to one of our moving professionals!

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The Garage

Any storage area is a good place to start a room-by-room packing task and for most people, that means the garage. Other areas that fall under the same category include basements, attics, tool sheds, or any other space in the house that is mainly used for storage, rather than a living space. The reason these areas are a good place to start is that they will affect your day to day life the least when everything is packed, while still allowing you to get a jump on your packing duties. Another benefit of starting with storage areas, particularly the garage, is that it gives you a clean and uncluttered room in which to put boxes from other rooms as you get them packed.

Keep in mind that some items that are often found in a garage cannot be transported by moving companies, such as car batteries, pesticides, pool chemicals, motor oil or hazardous materials. If you have any doubts as to whether something may not be permissible when you hire a moving company, contact them directly and they’ll be happy to provide you with a complete listing of prohibited items.

Office & Spare Rooms

If you have a home office or any spare rooms, those are good to put second on your room-by-room packing schedule. These rooms tend to be relatively free of clutter and loose items so there is usually a minimal amount of packing required to get them ready for moving day. If you have any smaller items like knick knacks or wall hangings that can be packed up, this is the time to do it. As for a home office, the same goes for any desk items or computer components that you won’t need in the days leading up to your move out date.

If you have a computer in your home office, be sure to back up any important files or photos that you can’t risk losing. For laptops, computer towers, and monitors be sure to wrap them carefully with the appropriate amount of padding to make sure that nothing is damaged should they be jostled during the moving process. Bubble wrap is ideal for protecting computers and electronics before boxing them up. If there are cables or peripherals that go with a computer, try to pack them together so that it will be easier to set them up when you move into your new home. Any small lamps and items in desk drawers should also be packed during this phase of packing.

Living Room

The living room is typically one of the largest rooms in a home, which can mean it might take longer to pack than other rooms, so be sure to budget the appropriate amount of time needed. Some items like pictures, wall hangings, curtains, and rugs can be packed early on, but you should make sure you take care in packing them in a way that protects them from dirt and damage. Other items like a television or stereo you may want to wait until you’re closer to moving day so that you have some form of entertainment in the days leading up to moving. Any items you have on shelves, such as pieces of décor, books, or music, can be packed relatively easily in boxes, but use discretion when packing anything fragile or breakable so that it’s sure to make the trip safely to your new house.

When it is time to pack up the television and other electronics, use bubble wrap and/or moving blankets to protect them since they be scratched or broken during moving. Make sure to label any cords or associated devices properly so that they’ll be easy to track down after the move when you need to reassemble everything.

Large pieces of furniture like couches, entertainment centers, or shelving should be broken down into their smallest components before moving to make the process easier and limit the risk of damage should something come apart when loading it. If there are any screws or straps involved, be sure to label and box them appropriately so that they’ll be easily available when you need to reattach everything.

Three Movers is a local and nationwide moving company with more than a decade of experience helping individuals and families move throughout the United States. We provide expert moving professionals and top of the line moving services for any move, no matter how big or small. For more information, or if you’d like a FREE instant cost estimate, call us today at (888) 202-0036! No payment or obligation is required, just tell us what you need and we’ll be happy to give you an accurate, straightforward price quote for FREE!


The bedroom should be one of the last rooms you pack since you’ll obviously need a place to sleep right up until moving day, but some items can be packed earlier than the larger items like the bed and dresser. Any clothes you have that are out of season or that you wear less frequently can be packed earlier, as can shoes that you won’t be wearing for a few days as you prepare for moving. If you are handling some aspects of the moving or loading yourself, be sure to leave yourself a pair of comfortable shoes that are appropriate for the job. Any extra pillows or linens can also be packed early as well.

If your bed frame can be disassembled for easier moving, that should be done on or before moving day. The same holds true for a dresser, vanity, or any other type of furniture that can be broken down into its component parts for easier handling. If you have a television in the bedroom, be sure to protect it carefully so that it’s safe to transport without the risk of damage.

Kid’s rooms should be left until the end if possible so that they’re able to maintain a sense of normalcy as you pack up the rest of the house. Keep some of their favorite toys, games, or movies on hand even during the move so that they can be entertained and also have something that makes them feel comfortable during the change of residence. Any smaller items like collectibles or action figures should be individually wrapped and carefully placed in boxes for moving. For puzzles or games, make sure to tape shut boxes so that any small pieces inside stay there.


Plastic bags are your friend when packing up the bathroom since there’s typically several small items in drawers and cabinets that you want to keep together. At the same time, using a bag to seal up items that can spill or leak can save you a lot of trouble when moving any liquids. Cosmetics and toiletries fall under this category of things that should be carefully sealed to prevent spillage. Plastic wrap can also be used for already opened bottles of items like hair products and mouth wash. Be sure to set aside what you use on a daily basis so that you’ll have access to what you need on moving day, as well as during the move if your trip will take more than one day.

Towels and wash rags are items that can be packed earlier than other items in the bathroom since you likely have extras that you won’t need right away. Once moving day arrives, you can easily pack up everything that remains without too much trouble. If you have more than one bathroom in the house, it can be a good idea to pack up one of them as thoroughly as possible and use the remaining bathroom for the duration of your stay in the home.


The kitchen is one of the last rooms you want to have completely packed, though you can certainly take care of a good portion of the packing early in the process. Appliances and extra silverware and plates can be packed in the early stages, provided you leave what you’ll need to prepare and eat food in the lead up to your move. One good approach is to set out a menu plan for the last week in the house so that you’ll know exactly what you need and what can be packed ahead of time.

Try to eat any food that’s perishable before you move so that nothing goes to waste and you can avoid spending money on eating out. If you have any canned goods or other nonperishable items in your pantry, they can be donated to a local food pantry to minimize what you have to move from the kitchen.

Dishes are one of the most fragile items in the house so you’ll need to take extra care when packing them. Use extra padding when packing them, such as bubble wrap or cardboard between them. Once you have a complete stack of plates or bowls that are ready for boxing, you may want to use plastic wrap to keep them secure and use blankets or towels around them for an extra layer of protection. Silverware can be taped together to prevent it from scattering when moved in a box. Another approach is to tape similar pieces of silverware together and wrapping them in a silverware tray. For plates and dishes, mark the moving box as fragile so that movers will know the be more careful when moving them.

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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