How to pack food and perishables

Finding a way to pack food and perishables you have and send them to your new residence can be challenging. After all, you don’t want to waste any of the food you have already purchased. Thankfully, this Master Moving Guide has the answers to any questions you may have about packing food for relocation. Simply pay attention to the following advice to learn how to pack both perishable and non-perishable foods properly.

Consult your movers before you pack food and perishables

To prevent any issues with packing food for relocation, check whether furniture movers near me are willing to transport food. You should know that movers won’t transport all types of perishable food items, whether they be frozen, chilled, or fresh. At the same time, they might help you transport other food if it’s compliant with local laws. 

Mover making a list of food and perishables to pack
Talking to your movers in advance about items you can bring will save you a lot of time on packing.

Therefore, it’s best to find out if movers will allow certain food items on the truck before you start packing. Remember, though, that food cans are heavy and will cost money to transport as well. Therefore, think about whether donating or giving food away will be a more cost-effective solution.

Determine which food items are worth bringing to the new apartment

Before you get cheap moving boxes to pack food and perishables, make a list of all food items you have. Then, categorize them and determine what to pack and what to leave behind. The moving distance, food safety, and expiration dates are the most important factors to consider in this case. 

A man writing down food inventory list
You can always make a list before you go

If you’re only moving a block away, you can pack and take most of your food items. However, for long-distance moves, look at expiration dates and only pack items that have a longer shelf life. Use up or discard any item that is nearly finished or is about to expire. Nearly empty tubs of butter or bottles of ketchup, leftovers, and opened cartons of milk are certainly not worth keeping. 

You’ll need the right supplies to pack food and perishables

Once you know what food items you are bringing along, you should find some cheap moving supplies to protect them. To pack food and perishables properly, you’ll need stacks of packing paper and boxes, plastic bags, packing tape, and a permanent pen. However, consider using a plastic storage bin for packing your food rather than a cardboard box. After all, a plastic bin will protect your food from vermin and insects that may chew through cardboard.

Use proper techniques to pack food and perishables

Most movers would recommend discarding any open bottles or items that might spill. Still, some packing hacks for moving can help you if you decide to bring your half-full bottle of olive oil. First, you should seal open containers with plastic wrap, then put them in a zip-lock bag or Tupperware. For extra safety, you could also wrap it in an old shirt before putting it in a box. 

Stack the heaviest items on the bottom and tightly align any squared-off or boxed items. Use plastic dividers or cut-up boxes to keep everything upright and secure in place. Make sure to mark the box as kitchen items, so your movers pay special attention to it in the moving process.  

A box with kitchen items inside
Label the box properly, so your movers know to be extra careful with your food and perishables

Start by packing cans and boxed items first

If you decide to keep it, it’s a good idea to start pantry packing with your stack of canned food. These items have a long shelf life and come in transportable containers. So, start packing by gathering them all and placing them in a sturdy box, taking care not to overfill it. 

Create a single layer of cans that snugly fit inside the box and fill the rest with lighter items. To save some space, you can put boxed items, such as pasta and cereal, on top of the cans. However, if any of these boxes are open, place their contents in a Mason jar or plastic bag beforehand. 

When packing, pay special attention to spices

Some people don’t bother with packing up spices at all, to avoid the mess of spilling them during the move. Still, spices last a long time and can be hard to replace, so sometimes it makes sense to bring them. In order to pack the spices you do decide to keep, tuck them snugly into empty food storage containers. 

You could even put spices in freezer bags, which you’ll then bundle into something soft, like a towel. That way, you minimize the chances of spice jars breaking in the box! However, no matter what you do, the most important thing is to seal the spices tightly to prevent spills.

Think about what to do with the food in the fridge

If you don’t handle them properly, food in the fridge can and will spoil during the move. Usually, you only pack frozen and chilled food for relocation if it will take less than two hours of driving. However, you’ll have to transfer them to your new apartment yourself, because moving companies do not transport food that can go bad. 

Instead, limit your grocery purchases a month before your relocation, and begin clearing out perishables from your pantry and refrigerator. Create a meal plan that includes ingredients you already have in order to avoid throwing anything out on moving day. If you do have something good left when moving day arrives, donate it or make dinner for your friends!

With the moving day approaching, among other things, you’ll also have to pack food and perishables. However, a key aspect of moving is knowing when to pack, what can be packed, and when to donate. Hopefully, this article will help you devise the best packing strategy for your edible belongings!

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