Of all the rooms in your home, most people dread packing the kitchen the most. With so many fragile items, awkwardly shaped kitchen appliances (hello standing mixer), and an abundance of little gadgets, it’s difficult to know where to start. We all know that packing your kitchen poorly could have disastrous results, so a strategic and creative plan is where it’s at. So here’s the ultimate guide to packing your kitchen, one straightforward step at a time.

Clean up and pare down

If you have lived in your home for quite some time, you have probably accumulated more than your fair share of kitchen gadgets. Moving is a great time to declutter and identify your essentials. Keep in mind, the less you send with your moving company, the easier the move will be! Go through your drawers, cabinets, and pantry to clear out anything you aren’t excited to move to your new home sell anything of value and give away or donate anything else.

Then, clean everything! You don’t want to unpack dirty kitchenware into a fresh new house.

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Gather appropriate packing materials

You’ll need a variety of sturdy moving boxes packing paper and/or bubble wrap, packing tape, and markers or labels. If you have the original boxes for your small appliances, get them out, and add a fresh layer of tape. If not, you’ll probably need a collection of sturdy medium-sized boxes and some creative thinking. Make sure you find the owner’s manuals and keep them with the box!

You might also consider purchasing moving boxes specially designed for glasses, plates, and stemware. Your moving company might have these for purchase — but either way, make sure you have way more packing paper or bubble wrap than you think you’ll need.

Plastic cling wrap can also be really helpful for keeping items secured together. You could use this for your silverware, your various gadgetry, or other small items you want to keep collected.

Pots, pans, and other big stuff

Avoid the temptation to pack it all into a big box! Use a medium sized box and identify the pots and pans that will stack inside each other. Use packing paper to create a barrier between each pot and make sure the handles are all padded safely. Wrap glass lids or roasting pans in plenty of paper or bubble wrap, and tape it securely in place. Place them around the pots and pans, or transport them all in a separate box. After you fill each box, stuff packing paper or dish towels into any gaps to prevent the pots from shifting during transit.

Dish sets

We all know dishes are prone to breaking when bumped around a lot. (That’s why we pack them so carefully for our clients!) So gather your packing materials, and consider using a box specifically made for packing dishes. If you are using a regular packing box, pad the bottom of the box with a couple of layers of bubble wrap. Then wrap each dish individually and pack them on their sides, like a box of records. Consider putting a piece of thin cardboard between every three dishes to create an extra buffer. Then, fill any extra space with more packing paper, some odds and ends from your kitchen drawers, or dish towels.

For bowls, the same mostly applies — except keep your bowls stacked upright. Consider wrapping each stack in plastic cling wrap to keep them from shifting in transit. If your bowls have a long trip ahead, consider cutting small X-shaped pieces of cardboard to place between each item. This will allow the cardboard to bend to the shape of the bowl, as well as provide an excellent cushion.

Glasses and Stemware

The best way to pack your fragile glasses and stemware is in a cell box designed for this purpose. You can purchase these boxes from your moving company, or at many hardware stores. If you don’t have access to a cell box, one word: padding! Wrap each glass carefully and stuff crumpled paper inside. No glasses should be touching one another during transport, and be sure to write “FRAGILE” in large letters on the box!

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Silverware

The simplest approach is to gather some plastic ziplock bags and rubber bands. Band together all of the forks, then all of the knives, and so on. Once they are secured, wrap each bundle in a ziplock bag for easy transport. You could put them in their own small box with other gadgets, or pack them alongside your other kitchenware. This ensures they stay clean, organized, and easy to unpack in your new home!

Sharp knives

Packing your kitchen isn’t without its confounding items. How to pack your sharp knives? If you don’t have their original box, wrap each knife separately in packing paper, and then in a dishcloth or towel. Wrap a rubber band around each knife, then either place them together in a box or wrap the collection tightly in plastic cling wrap to keep them from bumping around. Knives should always be packed lying down, never with the sharp points or blades facing up.

Food and Pantry

First and foremost, remember that your moving company cannot transport perishable food items! Plan to clean out your refrigerator as much as possible in the week leading up to moving day. Then, either transport the remaining food in coolers in your vehicle, have one final feast with friends, or give it away.

Is this sounding overwhelming? Your FlatRate movers can do the packing for you. We bring moving boxes designed to keep your kitchenware safe and have training and experience in efficiently packing your belongings. Get a moving quote today!