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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Evans

How To Pack Up Your Kitchen Like a Pro

The kitchen is undoubtedly the trickiest room to pack when moving. There are always a lot of things that have to be packed, but there are also a lot of objects that are fragile or have weird shapes, plus there are always a lot of extras that can confuse even the most organized packers.

One of the worst moving mistakes you can make is going into your kitchen without a plan, but with a little forethought and creativity, you can streamline the kitchen packing process and tackle the task like a pro. Here's some advice on how to pack a kitchen to move to your new Waterloo Region home without going crazy (or breaking half of your stuff.)

Get Organized

Before beginning to pack up your kitchen, go through and remove the stuff you no longer want or need, just as you would for every other room in your house.

Take some time to sort through the items that aren't useful to you because moving is the perfect opportunity to pare down your possessions and lighten your load. Since there's always that voice suggesting that even though you've never used that crème brulee set before, you might want to use it someday, doing this can be particularly challenging in the kitchen. However, if you've kept it for longer than a year and haven't even opened the box, there's a good chance you won't.

Good-condition kitchenware can be given to friends and family or a neighborhood charity thrift store. You can also ask whether local soup kitchens or food banks would like them.

Gather Your Kitchen Moving Supplies

You'll need heavy duty boxes in a range of sizes, packing paper, packing tape, and labeling markers to pack a kitchen. You might also want to purchase specialized dividers designed for packing and stacking challenging objects like stemware to make things easier on yourself. Pick up some plastic wrap as well, which is useful for keeping stacked items together and preventing them from sliding around (the kind you would use to wrap leftovers is good).

When buying packing materials for the kitchen, it's a good idea to buy more than you anticipate you'll need, because the chances are that you will!

Figure Out Those First Days Kitchen Essentials

You don't want to pack up your entire kitchen only to discover that you forgot to leave out forks for that last night in your old home dinner. The basic kitchen supplies you'll need to have on hand both before and after your move should be set aside (or at least mentally noted) as you pack up the rest.

Your family will almost certainly need a plate, cup, and set of cutlery for each person, and you should also keep out a few bowls. And don't forget to leave out pet food and water bowls for furry family members too.

A dish towel, dish soap, a sponge (that you can throw away when you move out), and any other items you might need nearby while you pack, like your coffee machine, should also be left out until last. On the day you leave your old home, you can pack each of these individually in a box labeled "kitchen necessities." and ensure that it's one of the boxes at the front of the truck so that it's easy to find first.

Just Get Started

When it comes to packing, each kitchen cabinet and drawer poses a different set of challenges, but they all need to be handled, so don't overthink the order, choose one and get started. Set your packing paper out on a section of your countertop, then get to work.

For pots and pans: Put pots and pans in a large or medium-sized box, nestling the smaller ones within the larger ones, and place a small piece of packing paper in the space between them. To prevent your pots and pans from moving while in transit, make sure to provide support by stuffing paper or dish towels into any gaps. Glass lids should be individually boxed or wrapped in packing paper and placed with the pots and pans they belong to.

For glasses and stemware: Here, using specialized dividers that fit into regular boxes is your best option. You should still wrap each piece of glassware in packing paper even if they are better protected inside dividers than outside of them. Even if there is room in the box, avoid piling anything on top of your glasses. Glass is too fragile to bear a lot of extra weight.

For plates and bowls: To make packing easier, stack dishes and plates. If the items are made of breakable materials, wrap each one individually before stacking; if not, simply place a piece of packing paper in between them. Stacks can be kept together by carefully wrapping them with plastic wrap.

For flatware and serving utensils: The simplest way to pack flatware is to simply cover the tray you usually keep them in in plastic wrap before laying it flat inside a box. Then you can place more serving pieces on top, either loose or (if they're delicate) wrapped in some packing paper.

For knives: Being very careful, roll each knife in a full sheet of bubble wrap or packing paper and then wrap a dish towel around them and secure the whole thing with a rubber band. Pack knives on their side—never facing up. The last thing you want at a busy time like this is to have to take time out to get accidentally cut hands stitched up!

For food items: Start with the spice cabinet, storing all of your spices securely in a compact box. For any spices in glass jars, wrap them with a little piece of packing paper. Then, move to your pantry. Get rid of anything that has expired, and if you have any items that you no longer want but aren't opened or expired, put them to your donation pile so that you can send them to a nearby food bank.

Make sure everything is tightly wrapped before packing the remaining items in either a medium box or canvas grocery bags. When moving perishables from the refrigerator and pantry, use a cooler. You should definitely just throw any perishables away if you're moving a long distance.

For appliances: It's nice if you still have the original boxes for your appliances, but it's also OK if you don't. Pack any small appliances you have in the smallest package you can. Fill in any spaces around them with packing paper to completely seal them in the box and prevent shifting. Your moving company will ask you to ready your larger appliances in advance by disconnecting them, taking off any hoses, and taping all doors shut, so make sure that you do.

Everything else: Pack your other kitchen items—like mixing bowls, cookbooks, baking sheets, oven mitts, and food storage containers—the same way you would pack items from any other room. Keep like items together to make unpacking a bit easier, and be careful not to make any one box too heavy.

Give yourself at least a few days to pack your kitchen, and enlist some help if you can. Packing up a kitchen properly takes time. To ensure that you have quick access to thoses essential kitchen items when you first arrive at your new home, pack your box of necessities last and properly label it (better yet, bring it with you in the car rather than the moving truck).

When you're finished, congratulate yourself for overcoming the challenge. The kitchen must now be unpacked of course, but you can rejoice that you won't need to do it all over again anytime soon as soon as it's done!

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