How to pack your kitchen in a few easy steps

Have you thought through the process of packing? Have you decided which room you are going to pack first and which last? Do you have a thorough plan for every room? One of the hardest rooms to pack is probably the kitchen, because there are a lot of things to sort out and sort through because it has so many small items. Let this be your guide or check-list, to make sure that you have done everything the best way possible, and that you have everything ready for when the moving company arrives.

1. Sort out the things that you do and do not need

First of all, you need to make a selection of the things you are going to take with you and the things you are going to leave behind. Look through all the cupboards and drawers and take only the things you will actually need. After you have done that, think about the things you are not taking with you and what you are going to do with them. There are a couple of options for that: throw them away, give them away (to a friend), donate them (to shelters or food banks) or sell them, you can even have a garage sale. Now that you have found a home for the items you are leaving, and have only necessary items, move on to step number two.

2. The essentials box

You have probably read a lot about this “essentials box” if you have been browsing through articles to make your packing and moving easier, but let’s make sure you have all the essential things from your kitchen. Set aside all the useful items you are going to need for a last couple of days in the house or apartment you are living right now, and the first couple of days in your new home. Those are the things you will still need to use when all the rest is packed and ready. For example a dish soap, dishcloth, dishtowel, a cleaner to manage while you unpack the rest of your kitchen. Also put salt, sugar and pepper and coffee aside for your first meals of morning coffee in your new home. Speaking of coffee, you should also pack coffee filters and coffee maker if you have them. Remember to bring mugs, plates, forks, knives and spoons for your entire family and pack some simple meals for the first day or two such a peanut butter and jam and a toaster or a jar of sauce and pasta. Don’t forget scissors and a craft knife (or an all-purpose knife) for opening your boxes, some candles or a flashlight and a small emergency kit.

3. Get your boxes and materials in order for packing

Now it’s time to get your boxes and materials in order, and here is what you need, starting from the largest boxes (this is an estimate for a family-sized kitchen but you can adjust it to fit your needs):

  1. Heavy-duty boxes (their proportions-18 x 18 x 28, have four or five of them available): A heavy-duty box has double-walls which are pretty thick and good for fragile items like glasses, glass bottles or dishes (place the dishes vertically so that they are safer and less likely to break).
  2. Large boxes (their proportions-18 x 18 x 24, also have at least four of them): These boxes are great for packing items like baking tins or plastic kitchenware or small appliances that are harder to pack.
  3. Medium boxes (their proportions-18 x 18 x 16, make sure you have more of these, you can always use them for something else): These ones are useful for pots and pans, cookbooks, pantry items (and for small appliances as well, depending on their size).
  4. Cell Kits: They can be really helpful when you get to the glasses and liquor bottles. You can also use them for vases or figurines or stemware, but make sure that you have checked the size of the cell kits before you pack them, you do not want to pack everything only to realize that the cell kits don’t fit into your already prepared boxes.

The following materials you should probably consider buying in bulk because you will undoubtedly need them for the rest of the rooms: packing/ sealing tape, markers, labels, newspaper for padding

4. It’s time to start packing!

Pack your things in the order you use them. For starters you should pack the things you don’t use that often first, because you are thus less likely to need them right upon your arrival, some of those things may be: special-event dishes like your expensive china, serving plates, sugar containers, cookbooks, extra dish cloths or dish towels (not the ones that you put in the essentials box) and oven mitts, small appliances you are not likely to use for the first couple of days, vases, wine glasses (unless you plan on celebrating your move on the first night in which case you should take two and put them in you essentials box, but pack the rest), special utensils, mixing bowls, etc.

Next, you should pack unopened bottles. If you plan on using some before the day of your move or during the first two days put them aside, and pack all the others. Cooking oil bottles and vinegar bottles can also be packed here if they are in glass bottles. However, make sure that the item you are moving is actually worth it, so maybe you would chose packing truffle oil over a regular cooking oil bottle or balsamic vinegar, etc.

Then, open all of your shelves and drawers and start with the most disorganized one. Remember step number one and throw away or give away anything you do not use and/ or need. Unless you have used the item in the last year, you probably don’t need it, so consider disposing of it. As far as the cutlery sets are concerned, you just need one per family member to go in your essentials box, so pack the rest. Then go the dishes, pots and pans, the items from the pantry (assuming that you have already sorted the pantry out and that you have thrown away the items that you do not want to move with you, also make sure that every item you decide to take with you is actually worth moving).

Right before the day of your move, prepare all your large appliances so that you can make sure that there are no gas leaks or broken parts due to improper preparation, and that all the appliances work. This is very important and if you are not too sure how to do it yourself maybe you should consult or hire a professional.