How to Pack an Apartment: X Tips to Make Your Move Quick and Easy

Moving into (or out of) an apartment comes with a unique range of challenges and considerations. Whether it’s your first time packing up an apartment or your fiftieth, being aware of the potential problems or setbacks that can arise is essential to making your big day a success.

That is especially true if you live in a densely populated urban area like New York City, where moving day mishaps tend to derail the entire relocation process. Regardless of circumstances, the most important step is packing your belongings efficiently to prevent clutter and chaos.

Luckily, there are tips and tricks you can follow to streamline apartment moving in large cities. Today, we’ll share our complete guide on how to pack to move an apartment— without stress or inconvenience!

Sorting bags and boxes for moving

Preparing for Packing

Learning how to move quickly starts with thorough and proactive preparation. The more prepared you are, the less you’ll encounter last-minute problems.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when getting ready for a move:

Gather Supplies

If you want your moving day to go off without a hitch, flimsy cardboard boxes just won’t cut it. The last thing you want is to watch a cardboard box full of heavy items (like books or small kitchen appliances) fall apart because of the weight.

That is why it’s always best to invest in solid, dependable moving boxes. We always recommend Gorilla bins for our moves. They’re built to handle jostling, hefty belongings, and stacking. Plus, they keep your precious items safe and sound.

Our final tip is to choose medium-sized boxes whenever possible. They’re the most convenient size for lifting and stacking, a key consideration for navigating narrow hallways or stairwells in city apartment buildings. 

Declutter and Donate

If you’ve been wondering how to pack an apartment in the city, you won’t want to overlook this critical phase of the process. Even small apartments gather clutter over time, and you likely have more of it than you realize. Why pay to move items you no longer need or want?

We recommend eliminating as many unnecessary items as possible before moving day. One helpful approach is to use the “one-year rule.” If you haven’t used an item within the last year (and it doesn’t hold any sentimental value), it’s time to sell it, donate it, or throw it away.

Sort and Organize

When it comes to learning how to pack and move in one day, the importance of sorting and organizing can’t be overstated. You want your items to be prepped systematically so professional movers can quickly locate, move, and unload them. Plus, it’ll make your life significantly easier if your belongings are boxed with a strategy in mind.

Here are some quick tips on how to pack for a move ahead of time:

  • Place heavier items on the bottom of boxes and lighter items on top
  • Use sandwich bags to keep small hardware like screws, bolts, knobs etc together
  • Sort important documents into clearly labeled folders so they’re easy to locate in your new home
  • Pack a “first-night” bag so you have the clothes, toiletries, and essentials you’ll need while getting settled
  • Use heavy-duty garbage bags as garment bags for your hanging clothes. Simply bag them up and take them while still on the hanger!

Get a Moving Quote

Dreading the thought of a long and grueling moving process? Professional movers can ease your stress and make your move a breeze.

At Lou Moves You, we know how to pack up your house fast, effectively, and with the utmost care for your personal belongings. Let us take the load off your shoulders and provide the convenience and expertise you deserve. Request a free quote today.

Taping boxes

How to Pack an Apartment

We’ve covered the fundamentals of how to pack an apartment, but it takes more than just the basics to execute a seamless move from start to finish. 

Let’s look at some specific packing apartment tips to help make a moving day as smooth and pain-free as possible.

Don’t Pack Too Heavy

Overloading your boxes can lead to back injuries, broken containers, and damaged items. For this reason, it’s best to stick to a 30lb weight limit per box. That will make moving your belongings more manageable and significantly reduce the risk of strained muscles or next-day stiffness.

Start with Non-Essentials

It’s always a good idea to ensure crucial items like toiletries, clothing, tools, and medications are easily accessible once you arrive in your new home. Knowing how to quickly pack for a move is deciding which items to prioritize. That way, you can pack in the proper sequence based on what’s important to you.

Start by packing non-essential items since they’ll be loaded onto the moving truck first, buried behind a wall of furniture and boxes. You want to leave your most-needed items for last so they’re easy to find and access when you get to your destination.

Room-by-Room Packing

A room-by-room approach to packing is a systematic method that involves tackling your move one space at a time. It’s perfect if you’re wondering how to move in 1 day. Start in one room, like the living room or kitchen, and pack all your belongings before moving on to the next. It’s not just a great way to keep your things organized — it also prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by tackling too many areas at once. Give it a try!

Label Boxes Clearly

When you mark your boxes with the room they belong to and a brief description of their contents, you make the unpacking process more manageable while ensuring you know exactly where everything is. No more endless searching or confusion! 

Use a giant Sharpie marker and write the room name of the box in large letters for maximum readability. Labeling is an insider tip for how to pack an apartment like a pro.

Pack Essentials Box

Your essentials box should be filled with items you’ll need immediately after arriving at your new home. A change of clothes, toiletries, important documents (like ID and lease), a phone charger, basic kitchen utensils (knife, fork, plate), and some non-perishable snacks are all great examples. Ensure this box is loaded onto the moving truck last, or carry it in your vehicle for easy access.

Packing up breakable pottery into boxes with kraft paper

Disassemble Furniture

Whether hiring a professional moving company or attempting to DIY your move, properly disassembling furniture makes the job far less difficult— which is why it’s in our guide on how to pack quickly.

Make sure you have a range of screwdrivers, Allen keys, and other tools available before getting started. Then, begin removing the legs and other detachable components. If there are delicate pieces, like mirrors or glass table tops, wrap them in blankets and use tape to secure the wrapping. 

Secure Electronics

Electronics are expensive, so make sure you protect them. Pack gadgets in their original boxes, if available, or use sturdy, appropriately sized containers. Use foam, bubble wrap, or towels for cushioning so your devices are snug but not too tight. Place cords and accessories in labeled ziplock bags. 

Handle Kitchen Items Carefully

Your kitchen is full of delicate items, so be extra cautious when packing up this apartment area. Use sturdy boxes for dishes, wrapping each in packing paper or bubble wrap. Nest pots and pans together and pad them with towels. Avoid overloading boxes to prevent breakage. Label boxes as “fragile” for easy identification. 

Wrap Mattresses and Furniture

Wrapping mattresses and furniture provides protection during the move, safeguarding them from dirt and damage. It not only ensures a quick and easy setup but also preserves the longevity of your furniture and bedding. We recommend using stretch plastic wrap for the best results!

Pack Personal and Valuable Items Separately 

By keeping your treasured possessions in a separate, clearly marked box, you’re not only protecting them but also streamlining the unpacking process, allowing you to settle into your new home quickly and with peace of mind. We recommend transporting these items in your vehicle if possible.

Get Help Moving with Lou

Ready to make your NYC apartment move quick and easy? Let our expert team take the hassle out of your city relocation. Reach out today and watch the magic happen!

So if you need movers in NYC,
call Lou and let’s get movin’.