Room-by-room packing tips

Direct Energy, December 29, 2023

6 minute read

Room-by-room packing tips

Direct Energy, December 29, 2023

6 minute read

Need help moving and packing? We don’t blame you – packing is a daunting task. Fear not, though. We've developed a simple room-by-room packing list with all the moving tips and packing tips you’ll need to ensure a smooth moving experience. Pick a room, and our guide will show you ways to make packing as simple as possible.

Download our room-by-room packing list

Get a printable version of our room-by-room packing list.

Woman and man packing boxes
Woman and man packing boxes
Woman and man packing boxes

Home office

  • Pack books of the same size flat or have their spines touch the bottom of the box. Remember, books are heavy, so avoid using large boxes that will be too heavy to lift. Also, be careful not to over-pack your books in cardboard boxes as they can easily cause the box to break.
  • Handles help! You can use a travel suitcase or clear plastic boxes for packing your books or important documents
  • When packing electronics, keep a pack of colored stickers to mark the port and cable so you know exactly how everything is hooked back up. Take photos of the electronics settings to help you remember how to reassemble it later and to provide proof of its condition before the move.
  • Important documents like contracts, insurance information, school, and medical records may be placed in a large manila envelope or in a plastic box to keep with you.

Garage and storage tools

  •  Your toolbox should be the last thing you pack and the first thing you unpack!
  • Brooms, mops and garden tools should be bundled together securely with strong plastic cord. Use old towels or linens to wrap and tape any sharp-edged tools.

Outdoor equipment

  • Before moving the grill, dispose of any charcoal. Keep your grill upright when moving it.
  • Clean furniture and dismantle it as much as possible. Place chair padding in a separate box or clear garbage bags. 

Kitchen and laundry room

Food items

  • Donate what you can and use what you have before you move. You’ll likely go on a large grocery trip once you’re settled, so don’t worry too much about taking everything with you. If you must move packaged food, be sure to pack boxed or canned goods in small boxes. 
  • Dispose of any open packages to avoid any spills or tape any boxes closed. We don’t recommend moving open liquids unless you can store them safely in a cooler.
  • Put tape around glass jars like spice jars to prevent breakage and wrap them in towels if you plan on putting them in boxes.

China and glassware

  • Place kitchen towels or linens at the bottom of the packing box to serve as bumpers. You can also use rolled-up paper tissue around the bottom of the box to protect breakable items. Use towels or paper also at the top of the box.
  • Use tissue paper or newspaper to wrap pieces of china and glassware. Stack up to four plates or bowls together and place them vertically in the box.
  • Out of tissue paper? You can also place your drinking glasses in a clean sock or two, grab some old newspapers, or use your kitchen towels.
  • Place a biodegradable Styrofoam plate or coffee filter in between your plates if you don't want to individually wrap them.


  • Small items such as coffee makers, food processors and other small appliances should be emptied. Wrap their cords in a plastic bag and place them inside the appliance.
  • If you kept the original boxes, use them to pack small appliances. If not, use bubble wrap or towels before packing them in boxes.
  • Label appliance boxes with a "Fragile" stamp so they don't get thrown around during the move.
  • If you're moving a washer and dryer, take advantage of the extra packing space! Place comforters, pillows, towels, or extra bed linens inside your washer and dryer and seal the doors closed with tape to avoid any accidents.

Dining room

  • Roll rugs and secure them with plastic ties.
  • Secure all doors and drawers in cabinets to ensure they don't open during the move. Use painter’s tape to avoid any damage to the furniture.
  • A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass.
  • Fold draperies and curtains lengthwise, place them over a padded hanger, and then hang in a wardrobe. Curtains can be transported in suitcases—make sure you line them with clean paper of plastic wrap.

Living room, family room, and den

Lamps and chandeliers 

  • Remove the light bulb and lamp harp from the lamp bases. Wrap the base, harp, and bulb separately. Preferably, wrap lamp shades in tissue paper, a pillowcase, or a lightweight towel.

Photos, artwork and paintings

  • Carry irreplaceable items such as family photographs, videos and negatives with you to your destination. The hot, humid climate could damage photograph paper.
  • If packing mirrors or large framed pictures, place an 'X' made of masking tape over the glass to minimize broken glass in the case of a break.


  • If you have the original packaging for your electronics, including the box, use that for packing. If you don't, purchase electronic specialty boxes from a moving company or the manufacturer.
  • Use antistatic packing bubbles or biodegradable packing popcorn. Never use materials that will conduct electricity. This could damage your electronics during handling.
  • Once the wires or cables are disconnected, use twist ties to secure them carefully and prevent unraveling. Place the cables and wires into a sealable bag and tape it to the equipment.
  • Are you worried about reconnecting all your electronics at your new place? Take a picture of the back of your television so you can easily remember what wire goes where.

Bedroom and nurseries


  • Pack less-used rooms first, like the guest room. You could also use this room for storage as you pack the rest of your home.
  • Hanging clothes from closets can be left on hangers and placed in wardrobe cartons. Or carefully stuff all your clothes into a garbage bag—this way all your clothes are together and ready to hang in your new closet!
  • Keep valuable jewelry in a secure box. Don't pack valuables on the moving truck. Thread your favorite thin necklaces through drinking straws or toilet paper rolls to keep them from getting tangled and use buttons to keep your earring together.
  • Use suitcases for storing unused items.
  • Use the dresser to transport lightweight items such as socks and t-shirts.


  • Pack shoes in their original boxes, and then use medium-sized packages to store all the boxes. Label each box that contains footwear. This will help you save time when you are unpacking.
  • If you are moving to a warm, humid climate, or your household is going to be stored for a long period of time, stuff a pair of socks inside the shoes to help retain the shape and absorb any traces of leftover moisture.

Linens and bedding

  • Pack linens, sheets, and pillows in a clear plastic garbage bag. This will help you identify which bedroom the bag belongs to. Make sure the bag is sealed and labeled.
  • Protect mattresses with old sheets or mattress covers.
  • Draperies and curtains may be folded and packed in boxes lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.


  • Try to pack your bathroom last, just in case!
  • If you're packing toiletries that can spill, unscrew the cap, place a bit of plastic wrap on the top, and then screw the cap back on to avoid spills. For any toiletries with a pump, like lotion, wrap a sandwich bag over the pump and secure it with tape or a rubber band around the neck of the bottle.

General packing tips

  • Before you start packing, keep the following handy: tissue paper or newspaper, packing tape and tape dispenser, masking tape, a utility knife, scissors, permanent markers, quality boxes, bubble wrap, labels, blankets and plastic bags (different sizes).
  • Use the right boxes. Unsure what you need? Check out this guide.
  • Start with items you won't need right away.
  • Label boxes clearly. Identify the contents of the box ("Books") and its ultimate destination ("Family Room").
  • You could also color code each room, marking all boxes destined for a specific room.
  • Reserve a box for those items that you will need when you get to your new home: flashlight, tools you'll need for assembly, overnight bag, etc.

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