How do you move food when there’s a possibility your items could perish or get damaged along the way? You can simplify your move by using plastic bins. As you pack, tactics like labeling your food and storing the heaviest items at the bottom can help.
We know how frustrating it can be to figure out which foodstuffs you should move, much less pack and store them. To save you the trouble, we have tips on how to move food when moving below!
What food can you take with you when moving?
When moving food, your first order of business is to determine which foodstuffs are valid and which you should use up. Try not to do this step at the last second since some food doesn’t respond well to procrastination!
When packing kitchen items for moving, make an inventory of all the food in your home. Categorize your food by its type with the following details:
- Expiration date
Your second order of business is to double-check what moving resources you’re using. Most moving companies allow you to move food but have limits on alcohol or heavy glass items. Research your local or interstate moving company carefully, then give them a call and double-check before packing up your food.
What food should you not take with you?
While it’s best to reach out to your moving company before committing to packing food, there are a few commonalities you should be aware of. Alcohol is usually forbidden due to complex state laws, so we recommend drinking or selling it beforehand.
Other foodstuffs you should reconsider taking with you include the following:
Frozen food melts quickly and needs more accommodation than cans or bags. Unless you have a refrigeration option for your moving truck, we don’t recommend transporting frozen food.
Heavy bottles and cans
While bottled and canned food is durable and lasts a long time, the weight requirement might have you reconsidering. Many moving companies will charge based on how heavy your move is, so bottled and canned food will quickly rack up costs.
Useful tools like our moving cost calculator will help you figure out costs early so you don’t have any annoying surprises.
Torn or open bags
You may be in a hurry to move, but don’t neglect any torn or open bags of food. Flour, rice, and beans are some of the biggest offenders in this category and can make a mess once you arrive. There’s also a chance insects or mice could get into your supplies.
If you want to transport any bagged food, double-check that the bag has no tears or holes. You may need to rebag the food before the move, so find heavy-duty Ziploc bags that won’t rip in transit.
Can you pack food in the moving truck?
Once you’ve asked your moving company about their weight and food requirements, you’ll be able to pack food into the moving truck. Most of the classic moving tips you’d apply to any other situation apply here.
We recommend pairing similar foods together to ensure that your arrival is seamless. For example, try to keep canned food with other canned food. We’ll dive deeper into how to pack food below.
How to pack food when moving
Remember when we said most classic moving tips apply to transporting food? We have a few important distinctions you should know about before moving your food items.
Tip #1: Plastic over cardboard
Plastic bins are much more suitable for moving food than cardboard boxes. While your shipping container or moving truck will arrive spotless, there’s always a chance that insects or animals can sneak in.
Plastic bins are resistant to water, dirt, and the determined chewing of pests.
Tip #2: Heavy items on the bottom
If you’re picky about packing groceries, you’ll appreciate this next tip! The swaying and bumping of the moving truck can damage your food, so be clever with how you stack it.
Store heavy food items on the bottom, with medium-heavy and light items on top. If you have any sensitive glass bottles, wrap them in paper to reduce the possibility of a crack.
Tip #3: Donate unwanted food to charity
Not only should you eat unwanted food, but you should also donate some to charity. Your town or city likely has a food pantry that’s always in need of assistance!
Double-check the charity’s website to see which food items are in the highest demand. Likewise, don’t donate spoiled or expired food. This advice seems like common sense, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the task of moving and overlook these details.
Tip #4: Always label your food
You’re going to be tired and hungry when you arrive. By labeling your food clearly, you’ll spend less time digging and more time stocking your new home.
Don’t use Post-It notes that can peel off in transit. Try a bright white tape with a Sharpie and put the label on multiple sides of the box.
Tip #5: Take a few snacks with you
Always prepare for possible delays. If your moving company hits a snag or the weather gets in the way of driving, make sure you’re not navigating life’s curveballs on an empty stomach.
Consider taking a few snacks with you in your backpack or car. We recommend the following:
- Nutrition bars
- Dried fruit
- Whole fruit (like apples and oranges)
- Chips or nuts
- Bottled water
Moving food is much simpler when you start early and pay close attention to detail. Follow these tips, and you’ll enjoy a full pantry upon arrival at your new home!
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