Using a Packing List Streamlines Your Move


packing list

Whether you’re packing yourself or relying on professional packers before your long distance movers arrive, a packing list is a handy document to govern your cross country relocation.

Lighten the load

Before packing your belongings—or better still, letting our pro movers tackle that task for you—why not lighten the load by getting rid of a few things?

You’ll pay less for your cross country move (since weight is the biggest factor in the cost of a long distance move). Plus, you’ll have less to pack and fewer items to unpack during moving-in day.

A great way to drop that weight is by holding a garage sale before you start packing. You might consider hiring a college student to help clean the garage or basement before hosting a tag sale/garage sale/rummage sale. That undergrad might locate items you no longer need.

Prepare a packing list

As we’ve said before, you can hire professional movers to tackle your packing chores. They’re expert packers. If you opt to do it yourself, we recommend the following to make your DIY project go EZ.

Keep a packing list of “things to do.” Spiral notebooks are made for this job. Keep the notebook in a highly visible, easy-to-grab location so every family member uses the same list. Placing it in a common area reminds everybody about the upcoming move. That notebook also might generate some competition to push ahead and mark completed tasks off the packing list quicker.


When it comes to labeling your containers, always mark them on the side, not the top. Your pro movers eventually will stack those boxes. Writing on the top prevents you from seeing the contents list or intended room location during moving-in day.

Colored file-folder labels or stickers allow you to quickly separate items to be sent to your new home from belongings headed for storage.

“Seam seal” boxes by running packing-tape strips along side seams on box tops and bottoms, plus the center of the flaps. This reinforces the container so it’s able to hold up during the rigors of a cross country move.

Take your time

Remember: Moving wasn’t built in a day. Take your time with your packing project by planning ahead and organizing. Attempt prepping a little daily. Make it a goal to accomplish one difficult task per day.

Begin early by packing seldom-used or seasonal items. Starting the packing process well in advance of moving day decreases stress, zaps clutter and boosts your home’s “sellability” factor.

To spare your muscles, remember:

  • The heavier an item, the smaller the box.
  • Bend at the knees when moving boxes or furniture.
  • Don’t lift with your back.

Don’t forget to take advantage of what you already have. Try using linens as packing material. Use dishcloths and towels rather than packing paper. DYK? Socks are great wrapping material—particularly for knick-knacks. Got spare suitcases? Load them up with soft goods (and label them just as you would a carton).

Packing power

When possible, pack electronic items in original cartons using formed Styrofoam. Jot model and serial numbers on the carton. You’ll have an easier time when installing these items in your new home by using stick-on labels to color-code cables and connectors. Taking snapshots of your connections before dismantling everything is super-helpful.

Ziploc bags are ideal for packing similar items in desk drawers. As long as the bags aren’t heavy and have captured enough air cushion to protect contents, you can put them in drawers.

Wardrobe cartons are designed to pack hanging clothes. But you still can pack small, lightweight items (think pillows) in the bottom. Ensure they’re secure because movement might dislodge and wrinkle the hanging clothes during your long distance move.

Separately wrap each shoe in a pair so they don’t scuff by rubbing against each other.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

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