what to pack first when moving to a new house


Preparing to move presents a number of challenges. For those who have lived in their current residences for some time, beginning the packing process often seems confusing and complicated.

Fortunately, moving to your new home can be a breeze with the proper guidance. At Jordan River Moving & Storage, we help people from all walks of life manage their move, whether cross-city or cross-country.


what to pack first when moving checklist


We can help you get started with your move. In this blog, we talk about what to pack first when moving house. You’ll find a guide on where to get started and a complete checklist for packing everything from non-essentials to your most-used items.

Moving to a new home doesn’t have to be stressful. To learn more about moving, keep browsing our blog. For expert moving services, including packing, hauling, moving insurance, and more, give us a call today.


Where To Start Packing To Move

Many people feel overwhelmed when trying to decide where to begin packing for a move. Before deciding what to pack first when moving to a new house, take a slow and steady approach by forming a plan.


Make a Plan

Whether you’ve lived in your house for four days or forty years, your move should start with a plan. This plan should include detailed lists of which rooms to pack first, which items to pack first, and any moving services, packing materials, or other goods and services needed.

Having a written, detailed plan allows you to collect your thoughts and approach packing your household in an orderly and efficient manner. It also helps ensure you don’t miss a step or forget to pack specific items.


Packing Materials

Once you have a detailed plan in place, collect your packing materials. Often, moving services offer special prices on quality boxes, tape, padding, and other shipping and packing material.

Your packing materials list should include items such as: 

  •  Small, medium, and large moving boxes
  •  Packaging paper
  •  Bubble wrap
  •  Styrofoam inserts
  •  Custom boxes for special or protected items
  •  Stretch wrap
  •  Markers
  •  Professional-grade packing tape
  •  Portable refrigeration, if necessary



One of the most important steps anyone can take to prepare themselves for a move involves cleaning. No matter what you pack first when moving out, that item should be clean and free of dust, debris, or allergens.

Cleaning items before packing also helps streamline the packing and unpacking process. You’ll have less to clean before and after you move.



Do you have items you don’t need? Consider donating, selling, or gifting these items before you begin packing. Eliminating items, you no longer need or use can streamline the packing process and allow room for essential upgrades.


What To Pack First When Moving: A Checklist

If you’re planning your packing schedule, consider our What to Pack first when Moving checklist below. 

  •  Items in storage spaces
  •  Books, magazines, and records
  •  Pictures, framed artwork, and other wall-hangings
  •  Knick-knacks, trophies, awards, and decorations
  •  Non-essential clothing and shoes
  •  Essential items

Remember that your moving distance and your ‘what to pack first when moving’ list impact your moving timetable. What to pack first when moving from apartment to apartment differs from what to pack first when moving out of state, for example. Some heavier items may need to be shipped ahead of schedule to be ready for your arrival.


Items In Storage Spaces

Logically speaking, when deciding what to pack first when moving to a new house, starting with items already packed away makes sense. Items in storage spaces such as attics, basements, storage sheds, or closets should be examined, cleaned, and re-packed if necessary. You or your team of moving professionals can load these items onto moving trucks early or, if necessary, ship them ahead of schedule.

Clearing storage units first helps you save money during your move and prioritize which items must remain in storage.


Books and Records

If you’re wondering what to pack first when moving out, we recommend starting with books and records you aren’t reading or using. Packing these items first clears shelf space and allows you to clean shelves first.

For collector’s editions of books and records, we recommend using hard-shell or reinforced packing boxes to prevent crushing or other damages related to stacking.


Pictures and Artwork

Closer to your moving date, pack up your pictures, artwork, and other wall hangings. This stage of the move allows you to examine the state of your walls and make any necessary repairs, such as hole-filling, repainting, etc.

Items like glass picture frames must have padding or specialized packing to protect them during the move. Remember to protect any fragile decorations accordingly while packing them for the move.


Knick-knacks and Decorations

After you’ve made necessary repairs to your walls and have packed your wall-hanging decorations, consider packing knick-knacks and other decorative items. These items require protection during a move, so pack them carefully with secure bubble wrapping, packing paper, and properly-marked boxes.


Non-essential Clothing

Next, go through your closets, dressers, and other clothing storage areas to choose which items of clothing remain non-essential for your current needs. For example, pack away any winter clothing if you’re moving in the summer, and box up any shoes or boots not currently in use,

Remember to protect sensitive clothing items using clothing bags, waterproof packing materials, moth balls, etc., if you plan to pack them away for long periods of time.


Essential Items

Since they remain critical to your day-to-day life, pack essential items last, Essential items may include: 

  •  Gadgets and cell phones
  •  Toiletries and hygiene products
  •  Cooking utensils and cutlery
  •  Home office supplies
  •  Medicines
  •  Bed linens
  •  Cleaning products
  •  Snacks and food

If moving cross-country, be sure to pack a box of immediate necessities, too.



Many people feel challenged or overwhelmed when deciding what to pack first when moving. With a bit of planning and by starting with the least-used rooms and items first, you can make packing and move less stressful.

Keep browsing our blog to learn more about what to pack and how to pack it. Call our Jordan River Moving & Storage team at 1-877-611-0808 to schedule a consultation for moving services today.


Related Articles

Office Moving Checklist
How To Pack Glassware For Moving
Discover the Perks of Hiring Professional Movers
Tips for Moving With Kids
Finding Moving Companies in Seattle
Moving To Europe From USA