8 Tips for Packing Your Pots and Pans for Moving

Lauren Wellbank
Written by Lauren Wellbank
Updated February 1, 2022
Man packing sauce pan in a cardboard box
Photo: svetikd / E+ / Getty Images

Don’t pan-ic, we’ve got you covered when it comes to packing your kitchenware

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Moving can be stressful, especially when it comes to boxing up everything you own to move it to your new home. Hauling your pots and pans can prove to be quite difficult since kitchenware can be both heavy and oversized—in other words, a packing nightmare. Fortunately, there are some packing hacks for getting your cooking gear safely from your old spot to your new home. 

1. Splurge on Good Boxes

Garbage bags or flimsy boxes just aren’t going to cut it when moving pots and pans. Cookware comes in various sizes and heavy materials (like cast iron, stainless steel, and even glass), so you’ll need boxes that are sturdy enough to support the weight. 

Sometimes you can luck out and find boxes for moving at your local grocery store. These are great for moving less fragile kitchen items like silverware or plastic cups. But when it comes to your pots and pans, get some heavy-duty moving boxes. You’ll find them at most stores that sell shipping supplies or from most storage or moving companies. 

2. Don’t Make Boxes Too Heavy

There’s a good rule of thumb for packing: lighter items can go in big boxes while heavier items should go in smaller boxes. Unfortunately, you don’t always have the option to use a smaller box when it comes to packing pots and pans. Roasting pans, for example, are just too big to fit in smaller boxes. 

Keep the weight to size ratio in mind while you’re packing, and pack fewer items into bigger boxes to make them easier to haul and carry. Your back will thank you! But if you prefer to let a pro handle the carrying and lifting, call a moving company near you for an estimate. Most movers cost an average of $25 to $50 per mover for each hour

3. Nest Pans When Possible

Pots and pans in a kitchen drawer
Photo: Jeremy Poland / iStock / Getty Images Plus

You’ll be able to fit more items into a box when you nest them within one another. Just be sure not to pack more than three pans together, or even less if you’re working with heavier pans. Just because they’re nested neatly together doesn’t mean you can skimp on wrapping. Use at least one layer of protection between the bottom of one pan and the inside of another.

4. Wrap Your Pots and Pans 

Wrap your pots and pans before putting them in your moving boxes. You might want to skip the newspaper and opt for some heavy-duty coverage for these items—like bubble wrap, old rags, or even professional packing paper—to prevent your heavier pans from scratching your lighter ones. Close each box with packing tape to prevent any pots and pans from falling out and getting damaged. 

5. Give Nonstick and Glass Pans Space

If you have a variety of different types of pots and pans, make sure you’re packing like items together. For example, don’t pack your glass pots and pans in the same box as your cast iron ones. And keep your nonstick pans, or any other pans with an easy-to-scratch surface, separate from heavier pieces that could damage them. 

6. Keep Lids for Later

Hand holding saucepan lid
Photo: sirawit99 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

It can be easier to move your lids in separate boxes rather than with the pots and pans they go to. Normally, lids are significantly lighter, which means you may be able to pack all or most of them in a single large box while spacing out your pots and pans in a series of smaller, lighter boxes. 

7. Top Your Box With Extras

After you’ve gotten your pots and pans into boxes, you can add some miscellaneous, lightweight kitchen items as padding to keep your cookware from sliding around too much. Just make sure you’re using light items that won’t potentially damage the pots and pans in transit. Items like oven mitts or kitchen cloths and towels make excellent padding!

8. Label Everything Inside

The last thing you want to do after you’ve survived the slog of moving is hunting around for a pot so you can cook up your first meal in your new home. Make sure to label your boxes with exactly what’s inside to make unpacking easier. Use a dark sharpie on the top and side of the box. This way, you’ll be able to find specific items without having to empty multiple boxes while looking for the right frying pan or spatula. 

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