I am guilty of waiting to go through the kitchen in preparation to move LAST. This is NOT a good idea because inevitably, this room will take the most blood, sweat and tears. I am kidding, but go easy on yourself and begin thinking about packing your kitchen EARLY. Start to plan your weekly meals around the items you already have in your freezer and pantry. The more of that canned pumpkin leftover from last fall you can use now, the better!
Once you have eaten as much from your freezer and pantry as possible, take an inventory of your kitchen. You want to ensure you have a list (and pictures) of all your appliances (bonus if you have the original boxes...take those out). Once your inventory is complete make sure to set aside a box of essentials that you will need in your last few days in your current home and the first few days in your new home. Items to include are: paper plates, plastic utensils, an all-purpose cooking pot, water bottles, appliances such as the coffee maker (optional), dishtowel, sponge, dish soap and various all purpose cleaners.
Next, it is time to pack the food items (yes, pre packing before the paid packers come!). Because canned good are heavy and won't do well sitting in a hot storage container, I choose to donate the remainder of my canned goods to a food bank. This is also a good time to throw away any expired items (check your spices; they do not last as long as you think!). Next, you will want to bag anything that could make a mess if the container was damaged, torn ripped or squished. I bought a couple dozen gallon zip top plastic bags to hold my spices, flour, sugars, bread crumbs, baking supplies etc. Better safe than sorry and you can always re-use those plastic bags when you reach your new location. Most movers will not move any of your liquids and re-purchasing these items when you move can get expensive. So, I put all of my olive oil, vinegar, wine etc to the side and pack them myself to take in my own car. Tip: get free boxes with the cells in them by asking your local grocer or liquor store for their empty boxes. Most liquor/wine boxes have these cell dividers inside the box, perfect for packing all of your liquid items yourself. Make sure to move this box into a do not pack area.
Now, move onto the kitchen drawer contents. I like to place the contents of each drawer in a zip top gallon bag, that way when you unpack a box there won't be miscellaneous kitchen items floating around in it! To be even more organized, label the bags by drawer and contents. For example, wrap packing tape around your silverware divider to keep the utensils in place, then pop that into a zip top bag labeled silverware so that when you arrive in your new home, no extra work needed, unwrap it and place it in a new drawer! I do the same for other utensil drawers, measuring cups, spatulas, tongs you name it!
I learned the hard way after chili powder exploded on our bath towels (how the packers managed to get bathroom items in with the kitchen is still a mystery). Even after a thorough washing, the towels still had a spicy scent.
What successful tips can you share about packing up a kitchen?
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