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One of the hardest parts about boxing up a bathroom is packing toiletries. These everyday hygiene and beauty essentials are a pain since they can easily ooze, leak, or just plain break if not packed properly. Moreover, nothing is worse than realizing you accidentally packed away your toothbrush. 

Thankfully, a few packing guide tips can nix avoidable toiletry packing mistakes to ensure your toiletries stay safe, your move stays stress-free, and your breath stays fresh!

Keep in mind that hiring a packing service might save you some time. However, if you still want to do it yourself, check out our guide to packing toiletries. 

Get Packing Supplies

Before diving into packing toiletries and any other bathroom supplies, you will want to gather your packing materials. You will need:

Boxes

Small boxes tend to be better for packing toiletries since the weight of the liquids adds up quickly. When possible, look for double-wall moving boxes for extra durability. If you have a lot of shampoos, conditioners, or other products in large bottles, you may want to consider picking up a liquor store box or two. Liquor store boxes are made to handle heavy weight and come with a cardboard bottle divider. As a bonus, most places are happy to offer these boxes for free! 

Cushioning

You’ll need something to pad your boxes, wrap products, and fill in any extra space. You can go with waterproof packing material like bubble wrap, economical box filler like newspaper or packing paper, or a mix of the two. 

Bathroom Linens

Your towels, shower curtains, bath mat, and other bathroom linens must get packed anyway, so why not use them as box cushioning? You can use these items to line the bottom of boxes or fill in the gap between packed products. 

Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap is perfect for sealing off the top of bottles before packing them away. It can also be used to bundle bathroom items that you want to keep together. 

Plastic Bags

This may include grocery bags or zip-top bags (sealable plastic bags). The idea is to have something to place your liquids, foams, and gels in for an extra layer of protection against leaks. 

Purchasing a moving kit can ease your life if you don't want to gather these materials on your own. 

Packing Supplies

Sort and Purge Your Toiletries

Sorting and purging your toiletries will make both packing and unpacking much easier. Plus, it ensures you aren’t taking up valuable moving truck space with unnecessary products—which can help make your move cheaper.

Before you start packing, sort your toiletries into piles, so you know exactly what you have. This may include categories such as makeup, hair, hygiene, bathroom appliances, cleaning products, and any other section you deem necessary. From there, go through each item and ask yourself:

  • Is this expired? If yes, toss it! Look at the date on the packaging, but don’t forget to also look for any changes in smell, texture, or color. In the case of medication, make sure you dispose of it properly by bringing it to a nearby pharmacy or another drug take back location

  • Is this almost empty? If yes, either transfer it to a smaller bottle or toss it. 

  • Do I use this? If not, consider tossing it or offering it to a friend. Or, in the case of unused products or beauty appliances, donating them—local shelters are always looking for unused hygiene products. 

You may also want to know what to get rid of when moving.

Pack A Bag of Essentials

Whether hiring professional movers or undertaking a DIY move, you will need to pack a bag of essentials, also known as a moving toiletry bag. This should be the first thing you pack in the bathroom. In short, it should include any products and medications you use daily. Think of it like a bag you would pack to go on vacation for a week. 

Items to consider packing in your moving essentials bag include: 

Oral Care: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouth wash

Hair: brush, shampoo, conditioner, styling creams or other daily hair products

Skin Care: soap, deodorant, razors, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, daily serum

Makeup: Any item you use as part of your daily makeup routine

Medication: prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, OTC pain reliever

What do I pack these items in? Toiletry bags are a go-to. However, a reusable bag, backpack, or plastic bag can also get the job done. We suggest transferring items like shampoo and conditioner to travel bottles to save room—similar to how you would pack toiletries for a carry-on.

Pack Decor Items

You can pack your bathroom decor items similar to how you would any other decor in your home. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Toss, donate, or sell any items you no longer want.

  • Pack bathroom decor separate from your toiletries in case any spills occur. 

  • Ensure fragile items are well padded with bubble wrap and packing paper. 

  • Try to keep all your bathroom decor items together, and make sure to label the boxes clearly. 

  • Consider using a mirror box or TV box for maximum protection if you are packing your bathroom mirror. 

Decor Item Packing

Pack Your Bathroom Supplies

Everything from your bathroom appliances to makeup has special packing needs that should be taken into consideration. Here are some key tips on how to pack makeup, cleaning supplies, and everything in between. 

Bathroom Appliances

This includes curling irons, hair dryers, straighteners, clippers, etc.  

  • Keep these away from liquid products at all costs.

  • Give them their own box with plenty of cushioning and a clear label.

  • Test all appliances and toss or recycle any that no longer work. You can send unwanted styling products to the InStyler Recyling Program (even broken ones!). 

  • Appliances pack well with paper products from the bathroom, such as extra toilet paper.

Liquid Products

Using these 7 steps, you can easily leak-proof and pack liquids. All it takes is a little plastic wrap, sealable plastic bags, and elbow grease. 

  1. Unscrew the lid and place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening. 

  2. Screw the lid securely on top of the plastic wrap.

  3. Place in a Ziploc bag or similar bag for extra protection. 

  4. Put the product upright in the packing box. 

  5. Repeat with other liquid products to fill the box.

  6. Fill any space between products with paper or bubble wrap to prevent items from moving.

  7. Clearly label the contents AND which side is up on the box.

Pro Tip: If you are moving in the winter, it is worth checking if the moving company you are hiring has temperature-controlled trucks to deal with below-freezing conditions. If not, cold temperatures may cause liquid products to freeze and burst. This is less of an issue for quick local moves but can be a problem for long-distance moves.

Tubed Products

The easiest way to pack tubed products is to wrap them in plastic wrap and then slip them into a sealable plastic bag. You will want to place tubes like toothpaste, lotion, and ointments in a box where they won’t get squeezed or crushed—generally near the top. 

Have a lot of tubed or smaller products? Try lining a box with empty toilet paper rolls (hole facing up), then slot the products in them. The rolls will keep them upright and secure.

Cleaning Supplies

Since many cleaning supplies are corrosive or flammable, most movers will not take them. You can either donate them to a friend or transport them in your own vehicle. If opting for the latter:

  • Secure the opening of any bottles with plastic wrap and then pop them into a plastic bag. 

  • Line the bottom of your box with a trash bag if you want extra protection. 

  • Create one or two boxes just for cleaning supplies, and don’t overload them.

  • Clearly label the boxes to make unpacking in your new home less stressful (cleaning supplies are often one of the first things you need when moving in). 

Cleaning Supplies Packing

Makeup Products

While some makeup products like lipstick and mascara are made to be jostled around in purses and remain unaffected, others require extra prepping when it comes to moving. For example, powder compacts and eyeshadows are all too easy to crack. You will want to open your powder product, place a cotton pad directly over the product, shut the lid, and then tape it shut. You can bubble wrap or place it in a sealable bag for extra protection. But the most important factor is to pack it somewhere where it won’t be crushed or moved around. 

What about packing nail polish? Due to the flammability, movers won’t take nail polish or nail polish remover. If you are transporting nail polish yourself: Make sure that the lid is on tight, wrap the whole bottle in plastic wrap, pad with bubble wrap, and then place it in a plastic bag. 

Hair Products

They may keep your hair looking fab, but they can be a bit of a hassle to pack. Liquor store boxes with dividers are particularly helpful for larger hair products like shampoo bottles. For products with pumps, check to see if the tops has a locked position. From there, wrap the entire top in plastic wrap and then place it in a sealable plastic bag. 

What Should You Not Pack When Moving?

All movers have a list of non-allowables (goods that they won’t move), which includes flammable items. Therefore, it is imperative to check your products before packing. For the bathroom, this includes aerosols like hairspray, items containing alcohol, and most cleaning products such as bleach and Windex. Have bathroom plants? Unfortunately, they won’t take those either. 

Knowing how to pack for a move and how to pack toiletries will make your bathroom packing journey much less stressful. You won’t accidentally pack what you need, but you can easily pack away everything that is non-essential. All it takes is the right moving supplies, some moving tips, and a bit of time! 

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