Packing Tips

Oh! I can hardly contain my excitement over this move. I swear I keep repeating “I live here!!!!” over and over and over again in my head. But seriously, it feels like a dream. I’ve really wanted to live in NYC for a while now, but it’s insane that it’s actually happening.
The actual move was a little overwhelming, but my parents were a HUGE help. We did a lot of legwork before coming up here so that definitely helped speed things along. I already had my furniture picked out and I packed everything in a relatively organized manner.

I received quite a few emails asking for tips/advice on how to pack for a move. Whether you’re moving to college or moving to a new city, packing is almost always a huge undertaking. It’s important to remember that packing for each person is completely different. But here’s what I suggest:
Since I was flying on a plane from Florida to NYC (and this was the case for all the times I moved to school in DC), I decided to pack boxes. Most airlines accept boxes in lieu of baggage. Check online for size and weight restrictions. For this particular move, I used 18x18x18 inch boxes. They fit a lot of things, but could still be carried by hand. AND, when filled, they were just under 50 pounds!

Before packing something, weigh the value of it. If it’s particularly cumbersome, it may be worth it to purchase a new one in your final destination or have it shipped via a mail service. Ask yourself what you originally paid for it and what it’s current value is. Shipping or transporting it might be more expensive than replacing it altogether!

Stuff nooks and crannies with small items. One of my biggest pet peeves with packing is leaving “air” (i.e. unfilled space) in the boxes. For example, I have to pack boots and shoes… and I also have to pack socks/tights. To get the most out of the limited space, I tucked socks into all of my shoes and boots. The added bonus for doing this is that the shoes don’t get crushed in the boxes, and they maintain their shape!!!

Use vacuum bags (like Space Bags) for “fluffy” items. This includes pillows, towels, blankets, and some coats. I suggest using these sparingly for other types of clothes because it might make boxes TOO heavy for flying, or TOO expensive for shipping. They definitely make sense for the light items mentioned previously.

Be careful about labeling boxes. I definitely understand why you’d want to label a box and know what’s inside, but it’s kind of like advertising the contents. I would argue against labeling altogether, but if you really want to keep track of what’s what, I suggest numbering the boxes (a good idea for ensuring you have them all before driving off) or adding letters. You can keep track of what you put in box A, for example, on a piece of paper or on an Excel spreadsheet. Even if you’re moving into college, it’s still not a good idea to label boxes/bags with content items. (An unattended box labeled “Printer + Television” might look really attractive to someone…)

If you are limited on space, whether it’s in your car for the drive, the airplane during the flight, or even in the place you’re moving into, consider packing only what you need… right now. When I packed for school, I’d first bring everything I needed for my room and the first couple months weather-wise for clothing. When things cooled off, my mom would ship a box of winter clothes up and I’d pack the same box with summer clothes and ship it home. This way, I maintained ample storage space AND lightened my load during the move.

Other quick tips:

Don’t buy anything for the move until you’re at your final destination. Places like Bed, Bath, & Beyond let you “register” items (just like a bridal registry) at your home location and pick up at the final destination location.

Lay everything out in one place before packing into boxes or bags. You can group things together better this way and fill space in a more efficient manner.

Do a “sweep” of your room to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

Start your packing list EARLY. A few weeks before the move, take notes of what products you use in the bathroom (to purchase once you’re relocated), what shoes/clothes you wear the most, and the types of chargers and electronics you use regularly.

When you’re moving, pack a duffle bag (I made it my “carry-on”) with a few sets of outfits and shoes and beauty products as if you’re going on vacation. This makes living during the few transition days a whole lot easier. You don’t have to dig through boxes searching for a pair of socks or your favorite shirt.

What tips do you have???


PS I haven’t really done much decorating just yet, and of course I’ll give a full tour when I’m completed, but here’s a fun sneak peek at one of the walls in my apartment!

via Instagram

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I'm so glad that you mentioned not labeling boxes with what is inside. It really is advertising to everyone which boxes to steal!

Amanda Coppola

Registering at Bed Bath and Beyond has helped me so much at college! I live in GA so I register all the stuff I want there and pick it up at the Bed Bath and Beyond at my aunt's house in NY! Definitely helps us out because shipping is such a pain sometimes.


I have packed up my life and moved TEN times since my freshman year of college (I am now a senior). For me, packing comes naturally, but I understand this isn't always the norm! I try to first clean my room and organize everything, and then begin packing. When your life is organized, it's easier to pack things well.

If you're going by car, I have found the easiest is to use storage containers you already have to pack. This way you don't have to buy baskets and bins when you arrive, and you can organize by type of object (desk supplies, clothing, bathroom, etc.). Slide duffle bags and flattened boxes under your bed for easy storage and you're set! I can now pack my life in less than a day from messy room to in the car, ready to go. Unpacking takes a day or two as well!

Good luck with your new apartment, Carly!

Julia D.

These tips are amazing and couldn't come at a better time. I'm moving across the country for the THIRD (!!) time, but this time I will be living in a house…which means more stuff. This is beyond helpful, even though I do have some experience.


Packing up things is the hardest thing to do as teenager especially if your moving out of school or boarding house. Requires a lot of effort and patience taking all this stuff. I suggest to ask help from our friends if they had free time to do so, bonding with them while packing up so as not to feel bored.

Joseph @ removalist sydney

anita grace

Packaging up factors is the toughest factor to do as youngster especially if your shifting out of university or getting on home. Needs a lot of attempt and tolerance getting all this factors. I recommend to ask help from our buddies if they had spare a chance to do so, connection with them while packing up so as not to experience tired.

AnitaGrace @ removalists in Surry hills

Lawrence Ford

A few months ago, my daughter returned home from college. With two cars now at home, we needed a place to store all our stuff from the garage. A friend recommended we try A-1 Moving and Storage, so we gave them a call. We were able to get a safe storage unit in a very clean environment. I was so impressed and satisfied with their professional services that I would recommend them to anyone. For more info about their storage services, you can check out their website at http://www.a1moving.com/storage.cfm or give them a call today (561) 625-0600.