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30 Self-Packing Tips to Keep Your Sanity if You’re Moving out of Town

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Seller packing boxes to move

Photo Copyright : dolgachov /

Buying a new home can be a very stressful process. Any anxieties are compounded if you’re moving across the state or country. Not only do you have to pack everything you own in a timely manner, but you have to protect it from dings and scratches during the proverbial long haul.

No wonder so many people opt for letting moving companies handle the whole packing process!

But not everyone is comfortable giving professional packers carte blanche access to your things, no matter how great they are at their job. If you’re one of those people, here is a list of self-packing tips perfect for easily moving out of town.


Basic Self-Packing Tips:

These tips may seem obvious. But if it’s been a while since you moved, it’s time for a refresher! Start your move on the right foot by collecting all the materials you need and staying as organized as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use biodegradable or recycled-content packing materials, if possible. In turn, recycle or reuse materials after unpacking.

  • Pack no more than 50 pounds per box. Trust us, your back will thank you after long days of loading and unloading.

  • Pack tightly to avoid shifting. Mark which boxes are fragile or must be kept one side up.

  • Use wardrobe boxes where possible for hanging clothes and drapes. This eliminates wrinkling.

  • Label boxes with the room name on the side, not on the top. Seal boxes tightly with tape.

  • PRO TIP: Pick a different box tape color for every room for easy unpacking coordination.

  • PRO TIP: Number your boxes and keep a list of what’s inside each. That will make things easier to find while you’re unpacking. Plus, if any accidentally go missing, you’ll thank yourself.


How to Pack Paintings, Mirrors, and Glass:

Superstition says a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck. Traditionally, people stay in their homes an average of seven years. Coincidence?

  • Wrap each piece in bubble wrap. Do not use bubble wrap for oil paintings.

  • Leave a 2–4-inch layer of crumpled paper on top, bottom, and sides of each box.

  • Use custom-made cartons or picture boxes.

  • Make sure boxes have corrugated corners for extra protection.


How to Pack Lamps and Lamp Shades:

Allow us to shed some light on how to pack these oddly shaped, fragile items:

  • Remove all light bulbs from lamps.

  • Wrap the lamp body in plenty of packing paper or use towels and pack upright.

  • Handle lamp shades only by the metal framing. Surround each shade with clean paper or linens.

  • Shades can be nested inside one another, but do not pack other items with them.


How to Pack Books:

There’s only one rule when it comes to your beloved literature collection:

  • Pack books only in small boxes. They get heavy very fast.


How to Pack Electronics and Appliances:

There’s a box out there for everything, including your toaster oven. If you didn’t keep the original box, here’s what to do:

  • Wrap items in bubble wrap or packing paper.

  • Always leave a 2–4-inch layer of crumpled paper on top, bottom, and sides of each box.

  • Large appliances: check the owner’s manual for special instructions. Tape down loose parts with removable tape.

  • Small appliances: drain water reservoirs, wrap well, and pack each with its cords and accessories.

  • Electronics: pack in their original containers if available. Label the wiring with tape for easy installation.

  • Computers: back-up your computer software and important files before moving. Just in case.


Items NOT to Pack When You’re Moving:

Sometimes it’s better to just start fresh. Save yourself the hassle of accidents, spills, and gross smells. Do NOT pack:

  • Flammable items.

  • Aerosol cans.

  • Paints or solvents.

  • Pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers.

  • Pool chemicals.

  • Gasoline.

  • Perishable foods.

Most, if not all, of these items can be properly disposed of at your local landfill.


Items to Pack Last and Keep with You:

As you’re working through these self-packing tips, also keep in mind items you’ll need on your first day in the home, or other items you’d prefer to keep on your person. Here are a few examples:

  • Medications.

  • Important documents.

  • Valuables, such as jewelry.

  • Overnight bag and toiletries.

  • First-aid kit. (Just in case.)

  • Pet food, pet beds, toys, litter box, etc.

  • Phone charger.

  • Flashlight.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about buying a home in NC, our experts at EXP Realty are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a EXP agent about buying homes or land in North Carolina.

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