Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

April 17, 2018

Guide to Moving Out of State: Part 2 - Packing Tips!

      Welcome to the second post in my moving out of state series!! Today we're talking all things PACKING! Packing is one of the biggest parts about any type of move... whether you're moving down the street or across the country. It can also be the most overwhelming part of a move, and the most tedious. But when executed with a lot of preparation and planning, it can go much more smoothly than done at the last minute!

Moving Out of State - Packing Tips

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Packing Supplies:

     The key with a large move is to buy your necessary packing supplies well in advance! I did a better job with this during my move from NC to VT. I'm emarrassed to let you know that with my recent move to Virginia, I kept running out of boxes up until MOVING DAY. Yikes! If I ever move again, I know I need to start shopping for supplies more in advance.

     Another thing to keep in mind is that it's always better to overestimate how many moving supplies you'll need (if you save your receipts you can always return unused supplies later!). That was my other issue with the recent move... I kept underestimating how much stuff I'd need and running out of boxes, packing tape, and other things.

    Here are the various packing supplies that I use, and what I use them for:

    *Suitcases - breakable items like mugs or fragile decorations, clothing, shoes
    *Plastic bins (Rubbermaid, etc) - linens, clothing, holiday decorations
    *LARGE moving boxes - bulky clothing (bathrobes, etc), shoes, artwork, decorations, holiday decor, kitchen supplies, bathroom stuff, linens, books, stuff for dining room, pretty much everything from apartment that doesn't have a specific packing method!
     *SMALL moving boxes - I save a lot of the boxes that I get from blogging PR packages, but you could also see if your workplace has any free small boxes if you don't want to buy these in small sizes. I use small boxes for packing certain specific areas of the apartment that I want to keep all together, such as a certain desk or kitchen drawer, my necklaces or bracelets, winter hats, etc. 
     *Packing tape - Self explanatory! You can never have too much as it's not just for sealing boxes. I use this to add extra protection on plastic bins and other packing methods as well. 
     *Bubble wrap - Some of it is for packaging your small fragile items, but mainly for protecting your furniture and large items going in the moving truck! You'll need LOTS of bubble wrap. 
     *Stretch wrap - For sealing the bubble wrap on large furniture items!
     *Moving blankets - To help package extra fragile furniture like mirrors, bureaus, etc.
     *Post-It Notes / Paper - To LABEL EVERYTHING!!! The more you label, the easier unpacking is. I promise! 

So I bought my boxes this time around at Lowe's, Home Depot and U-Haul... I wanted to test out all types and determine which was the best place to buy them at. Here's the honest truth- after moving... I have no memory of which boxes from which store I put which items in, or which I liked the best! I can report that all the boxes, no matter the retailer, did their job well! I don't think there is that much of a difference between the stores. I will say that the "Heavy Duty" labeled moving boxes from Home Depot and Lowe's were especially sturdy and seemed worth the extra few cents if you're packing heavy items in them.

     One thing that I did like purchasing from the U-Haul store specifically were some boxes designed for packing dishware and glassware. They have sectioned off spots for each fragile item, and foam padding built in. I was worried about some of these items getting broken in the moving truck, but they were fine!

Packing in Phases: 

     One major key to successfully executing an out of state move is packing smart, and packing early! While you don't want to start packing too early (it would be weird to be living amongst boxes for 4 months before a move), starting to pack too last minute will just make everything more difficult. I've tried to break down packing into three phases- early (one month-two weeks out), prime time (two weeks-one week), and last minute (one week- moving day). There are obviously some essential things in your apartment or home that you'll have to keep out and use right up until moving day, but the more you can do earlier the better!

     EARLY (One month-two weeks):

     *Holiday decor 
     *Clothing for opposite season (winter sweaters if you're doing a summer move, etc)
     *Books and cookbooks
     *Supplies for hobbies (crafting, sewing machine, sports accessories, etc)
     *Memorabilia (diplomas, stuff from high school/college, scrapbooks, souvenirs from vacations, etc... you know that random sentimental stuff that you keep in the back of your closet!)
     *Decorations around the home
     *Extra bedding / sleeping bags

     This is also the time to PURGE anything that you don't need anymore or don't want to take with you to your new home! Think about it this way... the more stuff you take with you, the bigger the moving truck you need and the more packing supplies you need as well. Use this time to clean out your closet, and also any other parts of the apartment with things that you don't want or love anymore. Make trips to consignment shops, Goodwill, local charities that take donations, etc, or give to friends. I cleaned out so much of my wardrobe before moving to Virginia, and so far I have yet to miss anything I got rid of!

     PRIME TIME (Two weeks-one week):

     *Shoes (I kept 5 pairs out to wear during my last week of work/moving week - probably would have been less pairs if I wasn't a blogger 😉)
     *Kitchen (Dishware, glassware, portable appliances, non-perishable pantry foods, etc)
     *Bathroom (Extra linens, medicine cabinet, drawers, extra makeup, toiletries, stuff in bathroom closet) 
     *Jewelry (Like with shoes, I kept out some necklaces and earrings in a travel case to wear in my last week in Vermont)
     *Storage related furniture like shoe racks, portable shelving, closet storage, etc. This is also a great time to put things into ottomans that have storage!

     LAST MINUTE (One week-moving day):

     *Rest of clothing (pack a duffel bag or small suitcase of clothing to get you through moving day and first couple days in your new place) 
     *Anything that you're still using in the apartment (kitchen stuff, towels, toiliteries- don't forget this stuff!)
     *Cleaning supplies
     *Media stand
     *Rest of decorations / art
     *Home office space

    Bedroom furniture is one of the last things that my dad and I pack, but also has one of the most important methods!! My bedroom furniture was a college graduation gift from my parents and other family members, and I want to keep it in the best condition possible for years to come. My dad and I bubble wrap each piece of furniture from top to bottom (and sometimes double bubble wrap extra fragile pieces like my mirrors!), and then seal it with stretch wrap (you purchase this in large rolls at Home Depot or Lowe's.) Pictured above you can see what the headboard of my bed looked like using this packing method during this recent move! All of my furniture made it to Virginia with no damages using this packing method. Another thing that you can do on very fragile furniture pieces is make moving blankets the bottom layer, then bubble wrap, then stretch wrap.


     Now as far as unpacking... THAT is something this girl is not qualified to give any advice on, ha! Definitely not one of my strong suits. But packing itself I think I have picked up a few tips on with all of my college moves and the two out of state moves in 2017 and 2018, so I hope that what I've shared today might help you or someone you know with a large move in the future!

     Next week will be the last post in this moving series! I'm still debating what to do for the final post... send any ideas my way this week! And be sure to check out the first post if you haven't yet.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese




  1. Fortunately I didnt have to move furnitures during my last move. The company mu husband works for gave us a budget to buy new ones and since most of the items where from Ikea we decided we could leave them behind! xx

  2. Although I won't be moving out of state, I'm moving about three hours away from where I usually live. These tips will certainly come in handy, thanks for sharing!

  3. i didn't even know moving blankets are a thing.. but i definitely wish i had read this post earlier so i could've sent it to my boyfriend so his computer monitor wouldn't have cracked....

  4. We recently moved just one town away and I seriously underestimated how much there was to pack, how many boxes we'd need, and how long it would take. Since the move wasn't far we were able to make multiple trips back and forth, but if it was as far as yours we'd have been in big trouble!
    Ditto on the unpacking- it's been 3 weeks and so far the essentials are done; the rest is in cardboard box "purgatory"!

  5. I'm so glad we don't have any moving to do in the immediate future! But this is such a helpful guide!

  6. I am so thankful we had packers and movers this last move because I don't think I could've done it without them.

  7. Ah packing is so crazy! I hope I don't have to deal with it again for a long time, haha. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you move!

  8. Great packing tips - moves can be soooo stressful! Enjoy Virginia - it's beautiful!

  9. These are such great tips! I am the worst last-minute packer! Even for international moves!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  10. I really hope I don't have to move any time soon, but these were some great tips!

  11. I've only really had to move one time (from my parents house to my college apartment...when I moved to my husband's house, it happened gradually, over time!) but I remember it being a little stressful! A big tip that I have found to be helpful is to ask local stores for boxes-I got a ton of small-medium sized boxes from the ABC (alcohol package store) in my town because they get in so much product and larger boxes from my local grocery store. It is a huge savings :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  12. My sister just did a similar move from NJ to SC! She might have to move again soon for her job so if she does I will definitely share this with her!

    The Blush Blonde


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