The kitchen and pantry areas need special attention when cleaning out and packing. There are many items that can spill or break, and things you may need right up until the moving truck pulls away. You will also want access to some of these items as soon as you arrive in your new home.

When packing and moving, your main concern will be avoiding spills and breaks, so for this part of the series, we’ve decided to focus on preparation and packing.

Food                                                                                                                                            

You will want to have plenty of time to use up the food you have. Some of it can go with you, but depending on how far you are moving, it may go bad during the trip or may not be worth the trouble of transporting.

If you have a short trip to your new home, bring a cooler for things like butter, yogurt and anything else that will melt or spoil quickly. If you have frozen food, you can use it in place of ice. Pack it all together in a box and the items will keep cold for a while. Ice cream and prepared foods are better off being eaten or thrown away before moving. In the week leading up to moving day, leftovers are just more to move – order out or give away any food you do not plan on bringing.

Dishes
If you have seasonal dishes or ‘good china’ that you rarely use, you can pack these right away. Any small appliances, tablecloths and cooking utensils that are not used regularly can be packed early as well.

When packing dishes, select a medium-sized box. If the box is too large, it will be too heavy when filled with dishes. You also do not want extra room for movement in the box. If dishes are tightly packed, they will be much less likely to break. Wrap each individual plate with packing paper and place them in the box vertically, rather than stacked on top of each other. If you have a dish-drying rack, use it to stand up your individually-wrapped dishes in the box while in transport. Dishtowels are also a great packing material and you can use them inside boxes as padding to prevent movement.

Be sure to label dish boxes “Fragile-This Side Up” to avoid accidents.

Cleaning Products
You’ll probably want access to some of your cleaning products right up until moving day, and immediately after arriving in your new home. Choose the ones you will need throughout your move and put them aside. These will go into your ‘Necessities Box’ – items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes that you cannot pack away.

If cleaning products spill during your move, they could combine and cause a dangerous reaction. If they leak out of the box, they could ruin clothing or food, so for these chemicals, skip the cardboard box and use a plastic bin with a lid. If you must use cardboard, line it with a plastic trash bag and close it at the top. For powdered cleaners, close them and put a piece of packing tape over the opening. For spray bottles, unscrew the lid and place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening. Screw the cap back on and close the spray function. This provides extra defense against leaks.

Be sure to label this box “Cleaning Chemicals-This End Up”.

By starting early and planning ahead, packing your kitchen can take less time than most other rooms in the house. You can pack many of its contents early, saving time and energy to spend on the rest of your move. Follow the tips above and you can arrive in your new home with everything intact and ready for a fresh start.