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All You Need to Know About Packing, Storing, & Moving Food

Food! We enjoy food and love to eat, so how are we going to move all your edibles? A lot depends on the distance you will be moving. Are you going across town or across the country? From fresh fruit to frozen foods and grains to canned goods, we will inform you of all you need to know when it comes to packing, storing, and moving food.


First and foremost, if you are moving to another state, know the rules of that state. Fresh fruit and veggies can be seized by local officials. It is best not to move perishables as they can, well perish. If you are driving across town, it is no different that bringing perishables home from the grocery store. They will last long enough in plastic sacks in the car until you can get them into the fridge (make sure the electricity is on and the new fridge in is working condition first). If you cannot take your perishables with you, (fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, fresh meats, etc…), then give them away to a neighbor or a good friend who will use them.

Canned Goods

Who doesn’t have a can of cream of mushroom soup that has been in the pantry for an undetermined amount of time? Before a move, make sure you check expiration dates on all canned good. Anything that has expired needs to be thrown away as the local food shelter will not accept it and cannot serve it to patrons. After you have disposed of all the expired goods, look next to see if you have multiples of anything. There is no need to transport ten cans of kidney beans when you only use 1-2 for chili. Consider donating the remainder to the local food shelter or giving these items away to family, friends, or neighbors. Anything you are keeping needs to go in a medium sized box stacked and sealed well. Also, do not make the box too heavy.

Weight vs. Value

Groceries are expensive! But when it comes to transporting foods, you need to take weight versus cost into consideration. Moving companies carry items based on weight. If you have light in weight foods that are expensive, like spices, you are going to want to pack and move those. If you have heavy items that are cheap, you can easily buy more at your new grocery store, than what it would cost to transport those same heavy items over a long distance; in the long run, it is saving you money.

Grains & Legumes

What about grains? You know, rice, pasta, quinoa, buckwheat, etc… This one really depends on the type of grain. Cheaper foods such as rice and pasta, as well as beans, should be either donated to the local food bank (as long as they are not expired or opened), or given to family, friends, or neighbors who will use the items. More expensive grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat, and bulgur need to be kept and packed tightly in a sturdy cardboard box.


The jars of sauce that go along with the pasta depend on the transport length. If it is across town, no problem. Across the state or country? Donate it. First off, glass is dense so your cost of transport increases. But secondly, glass breaks. You would need to pack this very carefully in a plastic tote rather than a box in case it did break and leak as the sauce will leak through a box. Leaking will cause the integrity of the box to suffer and when the box gets moved, all those sauce soaked contents as well as glass shards, are going to fall on the floor. Pack foods with like foods. Items such as flour, sugar, and grains can all go in the same box.


Four to six weeks before the big move, stop going shopping! You need to try to eat up all the food in your pantry, not add to it. Obviously, you need to keep essentials on hand (milk, bread, eggs), but as for the weekly trip to the store, cut it out. Look into your pantry and try to make a dish with the ingredients you already have to use things up. After organizing the pantry, anything you know you are not going to take with you needs to be a priority to use before you move. Either that or donate it to the local food bank.

Now that you are aware of the different strategies for packing and moving foods, you should have a good idea on how to start the process for your situation. If you follow this simple guide to packing, storing, and moving food for your big day, you will receive your packed goods safely and in good condition, without overpaying on transport!

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Coffey Bros. Moving

  • 3236 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60641, United States
  • Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm
    Sat: 9:00am - 1:00pm
    Sun: Closed
  • (773) 628-7798


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