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Posted in How-to on August 6, 2021
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

How to Pack Kitchen Items for Moving – All You Need to Know

If you’ve ever moved, you already know the nightmare of rethinking how to pack kitchen items for moving so that everything arrives at your new home in the same condition it left the old one. If you’ve never moved before, consider yourself lucky – we are here to help! We prepared a detailed guide for relocating one of the most difficult areas in the house, so you don’t get a headache the moment you open the boxes. Let’s go!

When Should I Pack My Kitchen When Moving?

If you don’t plan to hire a long-distance moving company and their packing services, it is time to determine the logistics. Think about the areas of your home you use the least and the most – your kitchen, aside from the bathroom, for example, is the place you will need probably until the relocation date. That is why it should be one of the last areas to cover on your relocation to-do list.

However, be sure not to leave too little time. With so many delicate and oddly shaped objects, it can get pretty frustrating – so much that you’ll want the days of packing shoes to come back. Leave at least five days just for your cookware and electronics, so you can rest assured that everything is properly packed.

A woman packing dishes before cross-country moving
The cooking area should be the last to be packed

Preparation – Your Ticket to the Relocation Success

Only by covering all the bases can you be positive that you won’t stumble upon any surprises while unpacking. When making a relocation to another state checklist, the more thorough you are, the lower the chance that you’ll end up forgetting something. Moreover, before tackling each room, you need to prepare everything adequately. Don’t forget that the preparation of the cooking area, as the most demanding room, will steal quite a bit of your time.

Clean Appliances and Other Items

Cleaning before the relocations is entirely up to you, even if you choose to hire cross-country movers. Don’t be surprised that it needs to be pointed out as a separate task – with all that is going on during the relocation, cleaning is one of the most common things people forget to do when relocating. Each dish should be washed and dried and all of your appliances thoroughly cleaned so that you don’t transport any grease and bread crumbs from your oven and toaster.

The fridge and freezer should be unplugged several days before the packing – you need to leave enough time for them to defrost and dry properly in order to prevent mold. After unplugging, cleaning, and drying, remember to leave doors open for as long as you can, so they can dry completely at room temperature.

How Do You Pack a Kitchen for Moving – Save Time With Decluttering and Sorting

If you don’t declutter regularly, like most people don’t, your cooking area often becomes a special kind of storage space – one you are not conscious of making. With all those mugs you brought as souvenirs from travels, inherited cristal pieces, and gifted dishes, your cabinets might be hiding more than you remember. It can easily lead you to make one of the most frequent relocation mistakes – overpacking.

Before you put anything into boxes, decide what to keep when relocating and what to get rid of. Toss any chipped mugs and glasses, as well as those utensils you haven’t used for over a year. Throw away all damaged goods, but those in good condition can be sold or donated. The same goes for unwanted electronics, devices, and gadgets – get rid of those you’ve been swearing you would fix “someday soon”, but find a new household for ones that can still serve their purpose.

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Perishable Food – What Long-Distance Movers Near Me Won’t Move?

Before you start putting stuff into boxes, learn which of your belongings movers can’t relocate. The first thing to consider is food – not only does it not exactly emit a delightful smell when expired, but it could also damage your other belongings during the transportation. A month before the relocation date, go through the fridge and freezer to determine the amount of food you have stored, and then try not to buy more – eat what you already have. Consider donating food that is left uneaten or giving it to friends or neighbors.

Open fridge full of food before long-distance moving
Eat, give, or donate the food you have stored

How Do You Pack a Kitchen for Moving – Packing Supplies

The next phase of preparatory tasks is ensuring that you have all the necessary supplies. The choices are almost unlimited for the rest of your household, but this room demands supplies that will completely protect each delicate item. So leave all the creative storage ideas for your other belongings and start thinking about getting relocation boxes.

Before you explore relocation hacks as well as all the packing tips you can find, prepare packing paper, tape, markers for labeling, and padding material, such as foam peanuts or towels and rags, if you want to save on relocation costs. If you’re wondering How do you pack dishes for moving without paper, there is always the possibility of using bubble wrap – it might even protect your belongings better. Newspapers could be a good choice when looking for a more affordable option, but know that they can leave permanent stains on your belongings.

How to Choose Packing Boxes: Small, Medium, Big

You want to be sure that you have enough cartons to store all your belongings, but how to pick the right ones? First of all, try to estimate how many boxes you’ll need – keep in mind that it usually takes up to twenty boxes for a large kitchen. There should be a mix of various sized cartons – the small and medium ones should be used for appliances and delicate dishes, and the larger ones for lighter objects.

If you opt for long-distance moving services and professional packers, note that you won’t have to think about the supplies. However, if you prefer the DIY option, pay a visit to your local bookstores, markets, and liquor stores and ask for some boxes they no longer need. It is possible that liquor stores even have dish separators that would be of enormous help while packing fragile objects.

A family labeling boxes before long-distance moving
Ensure to have enough boxes for all your belongings

How to Pack Kitchen Stuff for Moving – Different Methods for Different Dishes

Finding out the number of dishes you need to box up is enough to give you anxiety about the relocation. But there is no time to fall into despair – just follow our tips.

Start With the Easy Items – Relocating Pots and Pans

Packing dishes such as pots and pans is not the most complicated task you will have to deal with. Think of packing pots and pans as Russian babushkas – all you have to do is fit a smaller piece into the bigger one while placing a couple of sheets of paper between each piece. Put them in medium-size cartons you previously padded (with paper, clothes, or towels) before adding glass lids, wrapped with paper or bubble wrap.

Next Level: Plates and Bowls

Packing plates and bowls can be a little trickier, especially if they are made of highly breakable materials, but you will manage it successfully. For more delicate pieces, cover each dish separately. For the rest, you can use the bundling technique – cover up to four plates and up to two bowls simultaneously by putting one on the top of the other and separating them with a sheet of material of choice. The most important thing to remember is to put plates and bowls in the box vertically, not horizontally.

Glasses and Other Fragile Dishware as Your “Boss Fight”

Before you start to pack glasses, you should learn the answer to How do you pack fragile items for moving a kitchen because they will be one of the most delicate pieces of cookware you possess. Remember to:

  • Put some protective material inside each glass,
  • Cover the whole surface of the glass and secure all edges,
  • Carefully wrap handles, if they exist.

Stemware, alongside your fine china and crystals, demands special attention. It would be best to use dish barrels, cartons especially designed for the transportation of delicate dishes. If you want your stemware to have its steam after the relocation, wrap it first, and then put another layer of material around the whole glass.

A wine glass on a bubble wrap
Be careful with all your dishes, especially stemware

Knives, Spoons, Forks – How to Handle Cutlery

Your everyday cutlery can be packed together, just separated by type – some even go so far as to cover the whole cutlery tray in plastic wrap and place it in the carton as a whole, in order to move efficiently. If you are relocating to another state alone, you won’t have too much cutlery to cover, after all.

However, be more careful with knives – it would be best to put them in a separate box, with a thick towel or rag wrapped around them. All knives must point in the same direction – don’t forget to put a label on the carton that clearly states where the pointy edge is. For silverware, it would be better to wrap each piece separately and then put them in the box with other same-type pieces.

Black and gold cutlery on the table ready for cross-country moving
Separate your cutlery by type, but cover the same types with paper together

How to Pack My Kitchen Items for Moving – Relocating Appliances

Even if you hire a cross-country moving company, some tasks should be done before the movers arrive. Some of them are described in the preparation section, like cleaning. However, note that most movers will not unplug and disassemble your appliances, such as the dishwasher, washing and drying machines, and so on – it is up to you to do it.

Detach all removable parts and dry all hoses before wrapping them in towels and putting them inside their respective appliance. If needed, thaw and drain the appliances and remember to tape their doors shut. Finally, ensure to shut down the water and gas supply for each appliance that needs them.

For boxing up, it would be best to use the original box for each appliance. If you no longer have those, make sure to get the appropriate ones. Place devices and each removable part inside a padded carton and ensure to minimize their movement during the transport. To make the unpacking process easier for yourself, place the user manual for each appliance you packed inside its box.

A white microwave ready for long-distance movers
Be careful with each appliance, small or big

A Few More Tips on How to Pack Kitchen Items for Moving

All those big questions should be covered by now, but we still have a few more suggestions when it comes to planning a move to another city:

  • Remember to prepare an essential box that will contain basic cutlery, a glass, and a plate for each family member, alongside one pot and pan.
  • If you’re wondering how to pack plastic kitchen items for moving, such as plastic containers, we suggest placing them in a large carton with other light objects, like baking mitts, dishcloths, baking trays, and so on.
  • If you are relocating all by yourself, ensure to have the proper equipment, such as a dolly for heavier objects (don’t try to move the fridge by yourself!).
  • Try to use up all open bottles you have, like cooking oil and vinegar, or give them away to friends and neighbors.
  • Any glass jar for spices should be adequately packed, too (use the same technique as the one for glasses).

If you want to find out more hacks for boxing up your kitchenware, watch the video below:

Make Sure Your Stuff Is Safe on the Road to the New Home

After using the tips we provided you with, you can rest assured that your belongings will be secured during the whole move. Thoroughness and carefulness will help protect your belongings in storage units, too, if you end up using the storage services your chosen company provides. When the day of the unpacking arrives, you will be thrilled about what an amazing job you did, and we will be glad that we assisted with yet another successful move.

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