Packing Hacks for Moving to a Small Apartment in Chicago

Moving to a small apartment in Chicago can be an exciting yet challenging experience. With limited space and the bustling nature of the city, efficient packing is crucial. At Wolley Movers, we specialize in making your move as smooth as possible. Whether you’re moving to the heart of the city in zip codes 60695 (movers in Chicago) or 60696 (movers in Chicago), or elsewhere in Illinois, our packing hacks will help you maximize your space and minimize stress.

Start Early and Plan Ahead

One of the most important steps in any move is to start early. Give yourself plenty of time to sort through your belongings and plan your packing strategy. Moving to a small apartment requires careful consideration of what to bring and what to leave behind. Start by creating a timeline and checklist to keep yourself organized and on track.

Declutter Before You Pack

Before you begin packing, take the time to declutter your home. Moving to a smaller space means you won’t have room for everything. Go through each room and decide what to keep, donate, sell, or throw away. Focus on items you haven’t used in the past year and consider whether they’ll be necessary in your new apartment. Decluttering will make packing easier and your new space more functional.

Use Quality Packing Supplies

Investing in quality packing supplies can make a significant difference in protecting your belongings. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and strong tape. For fragile items, consider specialty packing materials like dish pack boxes or padded dividers. Proper packing supplies ensure that your items arrive safely at your new home in zip codes 60695 or 60696.

Pack Smart and Efficiently

When packing for a small apartment, efficiency is key. Here are some packing hacks to help you save space and stay organized:

  • Use Wardrobe Boxes: These boxes allow you to hang clothes directly, making unpacking quicker and easier.
  • Roll Your Clothes: Rolling clothes instead of folding them saves space and reduces wrinkles.
  • Fill Empty Spaces: Utilize every inch of space by filling empty spots in boxes with smaller items or soft goods like towels and socks.
  • Label Everything: Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. This will make unpacking much more manageable.
  • Pack by Room: Pack items from the same room together to stay organized and streamline the unpacking process.

Utilize Vacuum-Seal Bags

Vacuum-seal bags are a great way to save space, especially for bulky items like bedding and seasonal clothing. These bags compress items by removing air, allowing you to fit more into each box. They’re also useful for protecting items from dust and moisture during the move.

Disassemble Furniture

If you have large furniture pieces, disassemble them to save space in your moving truck. Keep screws and small parts in labeled bags and tape them to the corresponding furniture pieces to avoid losing anything. This will make moving and reassembling your furniture much easier.

Pack a First-Night Box

Prepare a box with essentials you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new apartment. Include items like toiletries, a change of clothes, basic kitchen supplies, and important documents. Having a first-night box ensures you won’t have to rummage through all your boxes to find what you need after a long day of moving.

Maximize Vertical Space

In small apartments, vertical space is often underutilized. When packing, think vertically to maximize space. Use tall, narrow boxes for items like lamps, umbrellas, and rolled-up rugs. In your new apartment, consider adding shelves or wall-mounted storage to keep items off the floor and create more living space.

Keep Heavy Items in Small Boxes

To avoid overloading and making boxes too heavy to carry, pack heavy items like books, dishes, and small appliances in smaller boxes. This makes them easier to lift and reduces the risk of injury or damage. Use larger boxes for lighter, bulkier items like pillows and linens.

Secure Fragile Items

For fragile items, take extra precautions to ensure they’re well-protected. Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper, and use dividers to keep them separated in the box. Label boxes with fragile items clearly so movers know to handle them with care.

Take Photos of Electronics Setups

Before disconnecting your electronics, take photos of the setups, including how cables are connected. This will make it easier to reassemble everything in your new apartment without confusion. Keep cables and accessories together in labeled bags to avoid losing any parts.

Consider Storage Options

If you find that you have more belongings than will comfortably fit in your new apartment, consider renting a storage unit. This allows you to keep seasonal items, extra furniture, or sentimental belongings safe without cluttering your living space. Many storage facilities in Chicago offer climate-controlled units to protect your items from extreme temperatures.

Stay Positive and Flexible

Moving can be stressful, but maintaining a positive attitude and staying flexible will make the process smoother. Unexpected challenges may arise, but with careful planning and a little creativity, you can handle them. Remember that moving to a new place is an opportunity for a fresh start and new experiences.


Moving to a small apartment in Chicago, whether in zip codes 60695, 60696, or elsewhere in Illinois, doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these packing hacks and staying organized, you can make the most of your space and enjoy a smooth transition. 

If you’re planning a move to Chicago, let Wolley Movers take the stress out of the process. 

With 25 years of experience, Wolley Movers has earned a strong reputation for our friendly service, successfully relocating thousands of families and businesses. Our experienced team specializes in local and long-distance moves, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our services and get started on your Chicago adventure!

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