Without planning and organization, packing up the kitchen for a relocation is a daunting task. Follow the five tips below, and you’ll find the job of transferring your kitchen items becomes a far easier process.

When Possible, Make a Four-Week Schedule

It’s not always possible to give yourself four weeks to achieve the goal of moving your kitchen, but it’s a good idea if you do have the luxury of time on your side. When you’re able to devote ample time to the job of moving your food and cooking supplies, it’s easier to continue cooking for your household. You aren’t rushed for time and about to lose your cool as the moving date approaches.

First Week

  • Sort appliances and pack the keepers
  • Give away appliances you don’t use
  • Inventory pantry staples and bulk foods
  • Inventory your freezer and fridge foods
  • Plan menus to use up food supplies

Second WeekPick-up-Kitchen

  • Sort and pack servingware
  • Clean servingware cabinets
  • Sort and pack entertaining supplies
  • Begin consolidating pantry and fridge items
  • Clean shelves as they empty

Third Week

  • Sort and pack pots and pans
  • Sort and pack barware and spirits
  • Clean pot and pan cabinets
  • Purchase only food for immediate use
  • Pick and set aside containers to move staples
  • Clean stove and microwave thoroughly

Fourth Week

  • Pack up dishware
  • Pack up beverage and glassware
  • Pack up flatware
  • Use up remaining frozen foods
  • Defrost and clean freezer
  • Deep clean stove top
  • Deep clean range hood

By following this four-week plan, you can stay on top of your moving tasks and not feel overwhelmed.

Before You Pack Anything, Decide on Essentials

At the start of your four-week kitchen-relocation project, you should decide on the items you want to go in your “essentials” box. If you have a large family, you may need more than one container of necessary kitchen items. Include the minimum number of items you require to make it through the first days in a new place.

Only you and your household determine what’s in your box. You may need coffee supplies, a rice cooker, or a smoothie blender. You may need to pack baby food, sippy cups, and bibs. Create a master list of these essential items and keep it stuck on the fridge.

As you pack up the kitchen, pop the essentials into the designated box so you don’t leave anything behind. This box should travel with you, not the moving van. That way, if weather or another situation delays your moving van, you have backup supplies. Keeping the essentials box with you at all times also helps if the moving van is relocating your stuff to your new home ahead of your actual relocation.

Harness the Power of Nesting

When packing kitchen supplies like baking equipment, bowls and containers, try to nest items. For example, place smaller cushioned pots and frying pans into larger pots and frying pans.

“Nesting” is also making sure items sit securely where you pack them. This is important with items like ceramics, china, and porcelain. Use a lidded five-gallon bucket lined with towels to “nest” your dishes, placing a layer of bubble wrap on each successive dish. The handle makes it easy to carry, and the rigid sides won’t collapse like a cardboard box.

Use Reusable Grocery Bags

Cloth grocery bags are designed to hold a decent amount of weight. Plus, they have convenient handles. Reusable grocery bags easily line up along the floor as you fill them with cookbooks, utensils and food items. They can easily be placed in boxes or totes for more protection.

Whether you use bags or boxes, remember not to overload any boxes with too many cans. Metal- and glass-canned jars are heavy. Instead, put cans on the bottom layer of boxes or grocery bags to make a firm base for lighter kitchen items in the rest of the packing container.

Donate Your Unused Food

Unless you’re only moving down the street, you should give away any good perishable food you have remaining. Perishables including dairy, meats, and cooked foods can only be moved for very short distances before they begin to go bad, even in the cooler. Some people host a party and cook up all of their remaining delicate foods. Or bring a cooler full of items to work and let your coworkers pick and choose.

Definitely be cool and donate any sealed, nonperishable foods to your local food bank. Because so many people throw away nonperishable, unopened groceries, Move for Hunger partners with movers in the Chicago area and across the U.S. to collect and donate unwanted food. A Move for Hunger crew packs up your unwanted nonperishables and takes your donation to the food bank for you, making it a breeze to help others and yourself.

Mid-West Moving & Storage┬áis a proud partner with Move for Hunger. Ask us about the ways you can help end hunger and make your move easier on yourself. Whether you’re moving to the Chicago area, moving within Chicagoland, or you’re relocating to another city from your current home in Chicago, contact us to help you plan your move the right way.