How To Pack For a Move In 3 Days: “Step-by-Step Guide”

Step By Step "Stress Free" Guide on How To Pack for Moving

Moving can be a Challenge, especially if you’re unsure where to start.  For most people, however, it’s not the “Moving” but the “Packing” that concerns them most. 

If you’re moving on short notice or want to speed up the packing process, this guide will show you How to Pack For a Move in 3 days.

Hiring a moving company

Whether you’re looking for the best way to pack clothes or dishes for moving or any other room in the house, a plan is essential.

The plan will include a “divide and conquer” approach, helping alleviate stress, simplify your move, and finish packing Step-by-Step (and Room-by-Room).  So, let’s get to it!

Tips on How to Pack for a Move in 3 Days:

Start early. Even if you only have three days to pack, starting early is still a good idea. This will give you more time to get organized and avoid last-minute stress.

Make a list. 

Prioritize. Not all of your belongings are created equal. Some items are more important than others, so you’ll want to pack them first. For example, pack your clothes, toiletries, and important documents first.

Delegate. If you have family or friends willing to help, delegate some packing tasks to them. This will free up your time so you can focus on other things.

Take breaks. Packing can be a lot of work, so taking breaks is important. Get up and move around every 20-30 minutes to avoid getting sore.

Stress free moving

Don’t forget the little things. Don’t forget to pack batteries, light bulbs, and cleaning supplies. These items may seem insignificant, but they’ll be essential when setting up your new home.

Label everything. This will help you and the movers find your belongings when unpacking. Be sure to include the room number and the contents of each box.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Things don’t always go according to plan, so preparing for the unexpected is important. Pack a few extra boxes in case you run out of space.

Don’t stress. Moving can be stressful, but it’s important to stay calm. Remember, it’s just stuff. You can always replace it if it gets lost or damaged.

Step-By-Step Guide:  Packing Schedule for 3-day Move:

Moving with a U-Haul Truck

Day 1:

Pack Closets and Drawers.

Pack Kitchen (Dishes, Glasses, Pots & Pans)

Pack Bathrooms (Toiletries, Towels)

Pack Office (Books, Computers, Printer)

Pack Jewelry (See Personal Items *Keep Safe Box Below)

Pack up any other rooms that you don’t use every day.

Day 2:

Pack Living Room and Dining Room.

Pack Bedrooms (Disassemble all bed frames – leave a mattress unpacked on the floor for sleeping during the 3-day pack)

Pack any other rooms that you use every day.

Pack up the Basement and Garage 

Day 3:

Pack up your car or truck (Place Keep Safe* Box locked inside the vehicle)

Move to your new home.

Unpack your belongings.

Safety Tips:

While packing, don’t forget to Set aside the clothing, shoes, and bathroom items you’ll need for the three days of packing and during your move.

Gather a small *Keep Safe Box for expensive items such as Jewelry, Keepsakes, etc., and mark the box with something generic – like your name.

Keep the Keep Safe box “Separated” from other boxes while packing, and before the move, place it in your vehicle so you can keep a close eye on it.

Tip: If the safe box is shallow enough, it can fit under your car seat and out of sight during your move.

Home Depot Video:  How to Organize Your Next Move:


How To “Tape Moving Boxes”

how to tape moving boxes the right way - best home gear
How To Tape a Moving Box –

While it seems simple, if you lack experience moving, you might not know the best way to tape moving boxes before you fill them. 

We recommend using a Packing Tape dispenser and 2″ Clear Packing Tape.

Then Follow these Steps to Tape Moving Boxes:

With the Empty box upside down, Close the smaller flaps inside first, then fold the larger flaps inApply one strip of tape down the center where the closed lids meet.

Place two more tape strips on top of that piece, overlapping both sides of the center strip for extra security.

Lastly, tape both “Outside Seams” of the bottom of each box to keep the box from breaking and the contents from spilling out of the bottom. The website “Neighbor” calls this the “H” method of taping a moving box.

Flip the box over and Fill it as needed, but don’t overfill. Close the Top lids together and Place another strip of tape overlapping half of the center strip for security.

See the short video below for a demonstration of how to tape moving boxes.  Note: He uses “Rip” type, boxing tape in the video, which is quicker. However, we prefer using non-rip tape with a tape gun – which provides more strength.

Quick Video:  How to Tape a Box for Moving


*Note: When packing very heavy items (basement, garage, etc.), we suggest using heavy-duty 2″ – “strapping tape,” – which is reinforced with monofilament and virtually impossible to tear.

Here are some of the Best Ways to “Pack Clothes” for Moving:

  • Pack an “Open Me First” box. This box should contain everything you need for the first few days after your move, such as toiletries, clothes, shoes, and food. This will make it easier to get settled into your new home.
  • Roll your clothes. Rolling your clothes is a great way to save space and prevent wrinkles. To roll your clothes, fold them in half lengthwise and then roll them up tightly.
  • Use packing cubes. Packing cubes is another great way to keep your clothes organized and prevent them from getting lost in a box. Packing cubes come in various sizes so that you can find the perfect size for your needs.
  • Use Wardrobe Boxes. Wardrobe boxes are a great way to pack hanging clothes. Wardrobe boxes have a built-in bar to hang your clothes directly in the box. This is a great way to save space and prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled.
  • Use Vacuum Bags. Vacuum bags are a great way to pack bulky clothes like winter coats and sweaters. Vacuum bags remove the air from the clothes, reducing the bag’s size and saving space.
  • Label your boxes! Labeling all your boxes is very important, making it much easier to find what you need when unpacking.

Best Way to “Pack Dishes and Glasses” for Moving:

  • Use Sturdy boxes. Dishes and glasses are delicate, so packing sturdy boxes is important. Corrugated cardboard boxes with double walls are the best option.
  • Line the Packing boxes. This will help to protect the dishes and glasses from scratching. You can use packing paper.  We use all of our bath and hand towels to separate plates and glasses, which usually protects us from breakage.
  • Pack dishes and glasses in a specific way. Dishes should be wrapped individually in packing paper and then packed in layers, with the heaviest dishes on the bottom and the lightest dishes on top. Glasses should be packed similarly, but they should be placed upright in the box.
  • Fill in any space with packing paper or soft towels. This will help to prevent the dishes and glasses from shifting around and getting damaged.
  • Label the boxes clearly. This will help you and the movers find the dishes and glasses when unpacking.
  • Do not overpack the boxes. Overpacking can cause the boxes to break, which can damage the dishes and glasses.
  • Pack fragile dishes and glasses separately. Fragile dishes and glasses, such as antique or crystal glasses, should be packed separately in boxes padded with packing paper or bubble wrap.
  • Keep an “open me first” Kitchen Box. This box should contain everything you need for the first few days after your move, such as dishes, glasses, and silverware.

“Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are pricey. To cut costs and still protect fragile items, wrap such breakables as dishes and pottery in towels or T-shirts; slip glassware and knickknacks into socks; and wrap old sheets and blankets around furniture legs and corners to act as bumpers” –

Best Way to “Pack Bedrooms” for Moving:

Bedrooms are normally quite easy to pack for a move (unless you have teenagers:) 

To pack a bedroom, start by boxing up all the loose items, such as photos, pictures, toys, etc.  Next, move on to packing clothes, shoes, and bedding. 

Using Mattress Bag for Moving - Best Home Gear
Using a Mattress Bag for Moving –

Finally, purchase mattress bags for moving – which will protect your mattresses from tears and stains—one of your best purchases for moving.

Best Way to “Pack Bathrooms” for Moving:

Much like your kitchen, Bathrooms will involve packing up a few delicate items. Besides packing your toiletries, you may be boxing expensive bottles of perfume and other liquids such as shampoo, peroxide, and nail polish remover – all of which can cause damage during a move if broken.

The best way to ensure your liquids don’t ruin other items is to secure each bottle’s top tightly, then place them in a zip-lock bag.

If any bottles leak, the zip-lock bag should prevent the liquid from ruining other bathroom items or boxes during the move.

Be sure to use packing or newspaper in the spaces of every box, which will keep the toiletries from banging around in a move.

How to “Pack Office” for Moving:

Packing an Office for a move is pretty straightforward.  One Tip from experience, however, is to snap a photo of your cable connections.

Assuming your printers, computers, monitors, etc., are connected and working properly, I would like to snap a photo (with my smartphone) of the “Back” of each office component.  You can refer to each photo later and see exactly how the equipment was connected before the move.

Once you have the photos on your phone, use heavyweight boxes, such as banana boxes (Free from your local grocery store), and secure them with packing paper or towels.

How to Pack “TV” for a Moving

Packing box for moving a TV - best home gear
Using a Packing Box for TV –

Television sets (TVs) are one of the trickiest appliances to move. 1) they are expensive, and 2) – they are fragile.  In our opinion, this is one of the most important items to purchase a moving box.

Fortunately, you can buy TV boxes from U-Haul, Amazon, and elsewhere, which are custom-designed to protect your TV. 

Just measure the TV (diagonally) and order or pick up the correct size box.  Remember, a $10 Box can save a $500 (or more) TV from Moving damage.

Don’t forget to take a photo of all electronic cable connections, TV, DVD, and Cable Boxes before you remove any electric cables and pack a TV or its components.

How To Pack a “Basement and Garage” for Moving:

Much like a Garage, packing up a basement involves moving odd-sized items.  Many of which you may no longer be using. It’s a good idea to look at this part of packing as a great way to “weed out” the personal belongings you may no longer need or use.

Separate the “Keep” from the “Discard” Pile and either donate or host a yard sale to get rid of the items you’ve decided to get rid of. This way, you are not moving goods that you no longer need to own.

For the items you want to keep, use heavy-weight boxes and box everything that will fit into a box.  

You won’t be boxing up Lawn Equipment, Bikes, Shovels, or Rakes, so set these items aside to load into the moving van last. In most cases, these types of household equipment can be laid on top of or around the loaded boxes.

Best Way to Pack “Living and Dining Room” for Moving:

how to move living room
How to Pack and Move Living Room

Living Rooms are typically one of the easier rooms to pack for moving. Furniture is simple to load, and as long as you cover each piece with Furniture Pads, you should be fine. 

The best way to pack a Dining Room is to remove the dining table legs and wrap them in a furniture blanket – separate from the Tabletop – Which should also be wrapped securely in a blanket or furniture pad.

One item we caution everyone about when packing is Lamps and Lampshades.  These accessories are the most commonly damaged during a move, so it is important to take extra precautions when preparing for moving.

With Lamps and Lampshades, place them “Separately” and safely in boxes with sufficient packing on all sides. Mark each box FRAGILE” and “Do Not Stack” on the sides of each box.

Frequently Asked Moving Questions (FAQ)

Q:  How Long Does It Take to Pack for A Move?

A:  The time it takes to pack for a move depends on the size of your house, the number of people helping pack, and the hours you can commit to packing each day, which will determine how long it takes to pack for a move.

If you’re highly motivated, own an average-sized home, and have a few friends or family members willing to pitch in and help, follow this How to Move in 3 Days Guide – you should be able to complete your packing in 2-3 Days. 

Q:  Where Can I Find a Checklist for Moving?

A:  You can make your checklist for moving by starting with a “room-by-room plan” (bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, etc.) along with “who to notify” contacts, such as schools, utilities, etc.

Lastly, determine the “method for moving,” such as hiring a moving company or using a rental truck to move yourself.

For those with more time to pack before a move – Here is an awesome 5-week Checklist for Moving from Price Self Storage

Q:  What are the Best Tips for Packing in a Hurry?

A:  The five fastest tips for moving in a hurry are:

  • Purge (get rid of) anything you no longer need or use
  • Put together an “Essentials” bag or box with the items you will need the first two days after a move (clothing, toiletries, prescriptions)
  • Don’t pack your clothes; leave them in the drawers
  • Use large garbage bags to pack bedding, shoes, and coats
  • Use blankets and towels to protect fragile items in boxes.
  • Line up friends or family to help!

Q:  What are the Best types of Boxes to use for Moving?

A:  For most of your moving needs, the variety of boxes sold at Home Depot, Lowes, or U-Haul includes the best sizes and configurations. You can often buy TV boxes and Mattress Shipping Bags at those locations.  

If you’re more of an Online Shopper, Amazon has every possible moving box or accessory you could hope for.

Q:  Should I Hire a Moving Company or Move Myself? 

A:  Moving can be complicated for some homeowners, but companies such as “Two-Men-And-a-Truck” can make it more affordable and accessible if you move locally.

However, If you’re moving out of state, consider a national moving company such as Atlas, United, or Allied Van Lines.

Alternatively, if you’re able and willing to rent a truck (U-Haul) and move your household – it will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

I’ve often used a U-Haul or Ryder truck for local moves (and once from Michigan to Florida). Although it requires more labor, the move is done in 1-2 days, and the money saved is substantial.

If you do move with a rental truck, be sure to rent a truck slightly larger than you expect you will need.  It’s always better to have too much space than not enough!

Also, be sure to “Rent” the furniture pads, Appliance dolly, or Straps that companies like U-Haul and Ryder offer, making moving much easier and safer.

Additional Reading and References:

Packing Tips for Moving from U-Haul.Com

How to Pack a Moving Truck (with pictures)

How to Build a DIY Workbench for Garage –

Best National Moving Companies – Forbes.Com

Cheapest Way to Build a Wood Privacy Fence –

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

Thanks for Visiting Best Home Gear - Your One-Stop-Shop for Expert DIY Guides, and the Best Products and Equipment Reviews for Your Home.

Image of Kevin Carroll, author and publisher @
Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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