Everything you need to know about moving, packing, and storing food before your move.
1. Sorting Food Early On: Toss, Keep, Pack, Donate
About 6 weeks before you move, spend some time going through the inventory of food in your kitchen. Throw out old or expired food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. Only keep food items that you know you plan to eat in the next 6 weeks or that are worth the time and money to pack and move.When it comes to packing and moving with food, you always want to consider the cost to move it versus the cost of the food itself, especially if space is limited. Food that is not expired that you will not be taking with you on the move can be donated to a local shelter or organization. For a list of places that accept donated food click here.
PRO TIP: Check the expiration dates of all goods before you pack or donate them and get rid of any items are long overdue.
Related Article: 4 Practical Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff
2. Planning Your Meals
Once you do the first round of sorting, go ahead and plan your meals for the next few weeks. This is a great time to clean out the basement freezer and finish off those canned green beans and berries from last summer. The more you eat during these 6 weeks, the less you will need to pack and move. If you have a lot of food to get rid of, consider throwing yourself a going away party and feed the whole neighborhood!
3. Grocery Shopping
Just because there is a “buy 2 get 3 free sale at Harris Teeter,” doesn’t mean you need 5 bags of shredded cheese a week before you move. Be mindful of your food inventory and only purchase what you are going to eat the same night or the next night.
4. Pantry Items
Unopened prepackaged food items, dried soups and sauces are all good candidates for packing and moving. Dry goods, such as seasonings and spices can be moved in a simple box that is packed tightly. Make sure you put fragile food items are packed into a hard-shell container so that they won’t crumble during your move. Pack your most expensive dry goods first, so if you run out of room for things like canned goods, they can be replaced at your new home without breaking the bank.
5. Perishables and Frozen Goods
Whatever is left come moving day as far as perishables and frozen goods, be sure to dispose of them. Unless you’re moving a short distance, these items cannot be packed and moved. Pay special attention to perishable food items if you’re moving across state lines. Most states, such as California, have very strict guidelines to what can be and can’t be taken over the border. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables will be seized.
6. Pack an “Essentials Box”
This should actually be the last box you pack, but it’s a good idea, while you’re going through your cupboards, to identify what you’ll need for the first few hours/days in your new home as well as the last few nights in your old home. This box will be the first box you open and should be able to provide small meals, clean, and possibly entertain you until you unpack the rest of your kitchen supplies. Label the outside with “Kitchen” and “#1” to indicate its priority for unpacking. Read more about what to pack in the “essentials box” here.