Helpful Tips for Packing a Kitchen

Even though you might cook every day, or multiple times a day, the kitchen is one room you can start packing as soon as you know your moving date. You can start by packing up those items you rarely use: seasonal items, small appliances, bakeware you know you won’t need before the move, and other seldom-used items.

Here are some more tips for packing your kitchen for a move:

Pots and Pans

Keep your most commonly used pots and pans out, as well as your everyday dishes, until the last week. For the last few days, it makes sense to go ahead and pack your dishes and flatware and just use disposable plates, cups and cutlery for the last few days. (Because who has time to wash dishes when you’re packing, anyway?)

Packing Pots & Pans for a Move

Pots and pans are best packed in medium sized moving cartons where they can serve as the middle or bottom layer, depending on their weight and size.

How to Pack China and Glassware

Each piece of china or glassware should be individually wrapped in clean paper. Use several sheets and start wrapping diagonally from the corner. Tuck the ends of the paper as you go, and if you need more wrapping, use newsprint for the outside layer. Include lots of crumpled paper as padding, and label the carton “FRAGILE - THIS END UP” as well as the room and contents of the box.

Packing Flat China and Glassware

Larger flat items of china and glass, such as dinner plates and platters, make a good lowest layer in a china carton. Start by laying down padding in the bottom of the box, then wrap each item individually in clean paper, and bundle them in groups of three with an outer layer of newsprint. Place the bundles in the carton on edge, with wadded paper or cardboard dividers in between layers. Also, fill in any empty spaces in the box with more crumpled paper.

Top layers of the box should be made up of saucers, shallow serving dishes and similar small items, wrapped using the same techniques as you used for the larger items.

Packing Cups and Mugs

Even if you’re using a special dish carton along with cellular dividers, there’s a certain way to pack cups so that they will be safer in transit: Wrap each cup in tissue paper first, and use a separate piece of tissue paper to wrap the handle. Then insert the cup upside down into the cellular divider (or onto the top layer of a china carton, if not using cellular dividers). Make sure the handles of the cups are all facing the same direction, and fill all the empty spaces in the carton with wadded paper.

Moving Silverware and Flatware

Sterling silver can get tarnished during a move, so be sure to wrap each piece in plastic wrap or newsprint -- including hollow ware like bowls and tea sets as well as silver flatware.

If your sterling flatware is in a chest, you should still wrap the individual pieces to prevent tarnish, plus fill the empty spaces in the chest with crumpled paper for padding. Wrap the chest itself in a bath towel or small throw blanket for extra protection. Individual flatware pieces that don’t fit in the flatware chest can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a padded box such as a gift box that is then taped securely closed.

Packing Small Appliances

With items such as clock radios, waffle irons and other small appliances, disconnect the cord if it disconnects, wrap it in plastic and tape it to the appliance. Whether or not the cord disconnects, wrap it in paper or plastic so it will not scratch or damage other items. Empty all water out of steam irons before packing. Place small appliances in a cushioned box with plenty of padding.

Packing Miscellaneous Kitchen Items

Items such as the glass carousel from the microwave, glass coffee pots and ceramic slow cooker liners should be packed with other glass/breakable items rather than with the appliances they go to, using the same packing methods.

Packing Cookbooks

You can pack cookbooks of similar sizes together in book cartons, laying the books flat or with the spines on the bottom of the carton. Avoid packing your cookbooks spine-upwards, because this can weaken the glue. Also, cookbooks that are more valuable or have sentimental value should be individually wrapped in paper before placing them in the carton.

Packing the contents of your kitchen for a move is a big task, but one that can go much more smoothly by following these tips.