10 Packing Mistakes You Should Avoid Before Your Move

Just like organizing your pantry from time to time, your move needs a little bit of organizing too. Believe it or not, there is a way to make your move smooth and on schedule, and all you need to do is to dedicate some time and put in effort. Planning a move is not a simple task, because it takes a lot of time and nerves. But with the right organization and professional packing services, you are safe to say that you can have a stress free move.

You need to start preparing the move as early as possible. That will give you enough time to do everything that needs to be done. As soon as you are certain it is time to relocate, start making arrangements. You don’t want to realize one day that you haven’t packed all of your belongings and then turn on panic mode. Panicking won’t get you anywhere, so it’s important to plan every step of it. 

Why Do People Hire Professional Packing Services?

Moving companies charge a fortune to help you move, so hiring movers for a professional packing service will only add on to the fortune you’re already paying. If you want to stay on a budget, packing yourself is the way to go. Although it sounds easy, you have to have a plan and organize everything in order to have a smooth move.

Moving can actually be a stress free process where you can enjoy every part of it. Without proper supplies and packing your belongings appropriately, it will end up being a disaster and there will be nothing you can do about it. Here are 10 mistakes that you should avoid when packing:

1. Start organizing early for your professional packers

As soon as you learn that you are moving, it is time to get to work. Decluttering can be the first thing on your checklist. This is definitely something you do not want to skip, because you may end up packing everything and never cut down on things, or worse – you may accidentally throw out something you need. Throw an old-fashioned garage sale, give stuff away or donate. There are a lot of different methods for decluttering, so you will for sure find a system that works for you best.

This is the number one mistake people make when packing. Less stuff means a cheaper move and you want to get rid of those belongings you almost never use. You should declutter at least two months before your move so you will have enough time to pack. If you decide to hire a professional packing service, you should declutter because less stuff means less money.

Make a list of your belongings

2. Make a list

Since you will probably get rid of a lot of stuff, whether you’re going to sell them ,donate them or throw them away, you should make a list of all the belongings you are planning to get rid of. That way if you decide to organize a garage sale or donate items, you will have a clear view of which items are not staying with you.

That will help a lot when packing and labeling boxes, needless to say how easy you will unpack after. If you are unsure where to donate your belongings, our best recommendation is Salvation Army or Goodwill. Even when hiring a professional packing service, make sure you have a list of your belongings ready for your packers and movers. 

3. Make a plan

Since you are decluttering, put those efforts into a packing plan. If you are downsizing, it is better to get rid of the stuff before you pack instead of when you unpack. Think about your new home, how much space it has, does it have enough storage space? There is no point moving two couches if one of them won’t fit in the space you want it for.

Rather than throwing your belongings into boxes and calling it a day, it is important to navigate the moving process with attention. So a moving to-do list is a great thing to have to stay organized all the time! 

When you’re packing, try using an area of your home that is not often used, like a garage or an attic. Pack heavier items at the bottom of the box and more delicate items pack closer to the top. Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box and wrap your fragile items before packing them into a box.

man with boxes

4. Pack it like you mean it

Don’t just pack your belongings randomly. It does sound like packing is an easy job, but it does take a lot of time and organizing. Plan a room by room strategy for packing before you start. Start packing belongings that you are sure you won’t use for weeks. Those boxes should be packed and labeled first. I recommend packing a box with items you need last and label it so you know that would be the box you will unpack first.

Once you have decided which rooms you are going to pack first, it is time to estimate how much packing material you will need. Also what’s important is to not pack air into boxes. If your boxes are empty, during transit they will move and you might end up with broken or damaged belongings.

woman with boxes

5. Get proper supplies

Yes, proper supplies are definitely a thing. If you leave too much space in a box, your items will move during transit. If you overpack your boxes, they will be too heavy to lift and you won’t be able to move them to your packing station. Use the best packing material for your belongings:


There are plenty of options on how to get cheap or even free boxes. Visiting a website such as NextDoor Neighbor to search for used boxes, maybe the local supermarket has some boxes they want to throw away. Asking friends to give you boxes from their previous move is also a good idea.

Bubble wrap

It keeps your belongings protected during the move. And what is best of all, you can buy it at department stores for a very cheap price, or get some for free from Facebook Market.


Of course, packing is nothing without tape. You don’t want to pack your favorite set of plates only to find out later that they broke because you didn’t shut the box with tape.

Wrapping paper

It can help a lot when wrapping fragile items. Wrapping them with the paper can help get extra protection and less possibility for the fragile items to break.

Packing peanuts

Best thing for empty spaces in a box. Since you can’t over pack, you also can’t leave empty spaces. Packing peanuts is the best solution to your problem.

It’s really important to use proper packing supplies. Use appropriate size boxes for your belongings and do not overfill them. Heavier items such as books, dishes, or heavy electronics should be packed in smaller separate boxes while lighter items including blankets and pillows should be packed into larger boxes. For example, if you have a computer, you shouldn’t pack every piece of it into one box. Instead, take two or three boxes and pack it separately.

Pack a bag of goodies

You have to be realistic and realize that you won’t be able to unpack as soon as you move in. It will take time and dedication to unpack everything, so packing a bag or box with essentials is a must.  There is so much going on when you’re planning a move so this is an easy mistake to make.

However, if you forget to pack an essentials box, you will be searching endlessly for all of those items that you need right away in your new home. An essential box should contain soap, a change of clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, medicine, chargers and important documents.

Don’t forget to label your boxes

Label your boxes

If you don’t label your boxes, you will end up searching endlessly for your belongings. It takes you a few seconds to label your box, if even that, but it can take you hours or even days to find something in a box that’s not labeled.  It’s really easy to get lost and caught up in the packing process.  If you get caught up with packing, you can forget to mark the contents of each box.

This will lead to frustration when you begin the unpacking process and you won’t be able to find specific items. You will end up wasting time searching through box after box trying to find items you need. You won’t be able to sort the boxes to their corresponding rooms if you don’t know what is inside each box.

Don’t over pack your boxes

You might be tempted to pack as much stuff you can in boxes because that will result in less boxes to move, but if you overpack them they will be too heavy to lift. Try lifting your boxes after you pack them. If the boxes are too heavy, it means you over packed them. That can lead to broken and damaged belongings. Boxes can break when they have a lot of heavy items or if they are overpacked.

Use boxes instead of bags and label them

Use boxes, not bags

It does sound tempting, considering you won’t have to buy any boxes but it’s the worst packing mistake you can make. While you don’t have to go through all the trouble of finding or buying moving boxes, packing your items into plastic bags will only result in damaged belongings. It’s even bad to pack your clothes into bags.

Give yourself enough time

As much as it looks that packing is an easy job, you really need time and dedication to complete the process. Start planning for packing at least a month in advance, otherwise you may end up packing up at the last minute and not finishing on time. Start with items you don’t use often, or ever, and pack them as soon as you find out you’re moving. Items you use often should be packed last. The less time you give yourself for packing, the more pressure you will feel and the less organized you will be.

This is not something you can just rush into, it takes planning, organization and effort to successfully finish this task. If you don’t give yourself enough time to plan your move, you will end up being overwhelmed and stressed throughout your entire move process.

Your move needs organizing too

Whether you decide to hire professional packing service or do it yourself, the same thing applies to both. Take some time to breathe and think, especially on the moving date itself. Without planning, proper supplies and time to put in effort, your move can end up being a disaster. Packing isn’t easy, that’s why packing mistakes happen so often. Whenever you move, you will run into complications, so do your best to remain positive and keep a clear head.