How to pack toiletries for moving

Find out the best way to pack toiletries for moving.
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Have you ever looked in wonder at all the different bottles, tubes, vials, palettes, and various other containers that hold your personal care products, beauty products, and other similar essentials you can’t live a day without?

Fascinating as they may seem, you can find it hard to believe that you actually own (and use!) so many toiletries and cosmetics. Especially so when it comes time to pack your home for moving and you get to the bathroom shelves and cabinets and the vanity table. The mere sight of all the fragile containers, sensitive products, and spillable liquids that need to be safely and efficiently packed for the journey to your new home is certain to give you a headache and make you wish you could just throw everything into a box and forget about it.

This, however, is not an option (unless you want to ruin your quality products during the move, of course). To keep your cosmetics safe and intact, you need to provide them with proper protection. Fortunately, that’s easier than your think – as long as you know how to pack toiletries for moving the right way. Here is what you need to do:

Sort out your toiletries

Before you can start packing your toiletries, you need to sort them out and decide what to do with each and every one of them. Go through all your bottles, tubes and boxes and separate them in several categories:

Items not worth moving

1) Consider throwing away any expired or dried out products, products that have no labels (or the labels are illegible), and broken or otherwise damaged items.

2) If you have a large supply of unopened shampoos, conditioners, lotions, or any other beauty products or toiletries, ask yourself whether they’re worth moving – it may cost you more to ship them than to buy new ones after the relocation. If this is the case (or even if the cost of buying new products is slightly higher), it may be a better idea to get rid of your supplies before the move – just think of all the time and effort it will take you to pack them, not to mention the cost of the packing supplies and the risk of damage to your other items (in the event of spillage) during the transportation.

You can give away the cosmetics you’re not taking with you to friends and neighbors or donate them to local charities (as long as they’re still in good condition, of course).

The same applies to items you’re never going to use (either because you don’t like them or because they’re not appropriate for you).

3) If you have half-filled bottles of cosmetic products, try to use them up before the move. Any remaining amounts should be thrown out (there is no point in moving nearly empty containers).

Non-allowable items

Certain hazardous materials won’t be allowed on the moving truck, regardless of whether you want to relocate them or not. Many cleaning supplies and cosmetic products fall in that category – aerosols (such as hairsprays and deodorants), toiletries that contain alcohol (astringent, mouthwash, etc.), flammable products (like nail polishes and removers), and so on.

If you want to take such items to your new home, you need to find a way to move them yourself. Otherwise, consider using them up before the relocation or giving them away.

If you’re going to throw out any hazardous materials, make sure you discard them properly.


Set aside the items you’re going to need until the last moments before your move, during the moving process, and in the first couple of days in your new home. These essentials include your regular shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand soap, toilet paper, a few clean towels, hair brush, eye-care products, everyday makeup, and anything else you need on daily basis. Pack them in your first-night box and make sure it travels with you, so that you have access to your most essential personal care items at all times.

Once you’ve organized your toiletries, it’s time to pack them for moving. But how to pack your toiletries so that they survive the move without getting damaged or causing damage to your other items?

Pack your toiletries safely and efficiently

The best way to pack toiletries and cosmetics is to wrap them in bubble wrap and put them in padded bags with numerous pouches and pockets, so that you can separate items as you pack – skin care products in one compartment, hair products in another, and so on.

Alternatively, you can pack your toiletries in small sturdy boxes – just make sure they are well cushioned (lined with towels or crushed packing paper) and tightly packed so that the items inside don’t bounce around and bump into each other while in transit. Do not forget to stuff anything hollow (such as eye shadow palettes) with paper or cotton to prevent it from shattering, crumbling, or caving in on itself during the transportation and to wrap each individual item with plastic wrap and packing paper or bubble wrap before placing it into the box. Needless to say, you need to put heavier items first and lighter articles on top. Place some towels (or crumpled paper) between the layers, as well as on top of the box for extra protection and seal the box tightly. Label it clearly with its contents and mark it as “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE”.

See also: How to pack bathroom items for moving

Good to remember: Items that contain liquids should be packed with utmost care to prevent leaks and spills. You are strongly advised to:

  • “Burp” opened plastic bottles before packing them for moving – air trapped inside can cause plastic containers to leak when the air pressure changes, so it is a good idea to open the cap and give a little squeeze to let the excess air out (then quickly recap) before packing a plastic container;
  • Wrap all opened bottles containing liquid in plastic wrap – place plastic wrap over the bottle openings and replace the caps to create a tighter seal;
  • Put any bottles containing liquids in zip-top plastic bags.

If you want to take your toiletries and makeup onto the plane in your carry-on luggage, make sure all liquids, creams, and gels are in 3.4 ounces (or smaller) containers and that they all fit into a quart size, clear, zip-top, plastic bag.

Now that you know how to pack toiletries in general, you may want to look at the more specific toiletries packing tips below in order to ensure the best possible protection for every individual item:

How to pack a toiletry bag

  • Use a clear, waterproof toiletry bag with multiple compartments;
  • Keep like items together – pack lipsticks with lip glosses and lip balms, mascaras with eye pencils and eye liners, shampoos with conditioners and shower gels, etc.;
  • Place all items into the bag upright.

How to pack hair products for moving

  • Line the boxes containing hair products with towels;
  • Keep shampoos, conditioners, gels, lotions and other similar liquid products from spilling out and making a mess by wrapping the bottles in plastic wrap or putting them in sealable plastic bags;
  • Keep in mind that hairsprays are considered hazardous materials and are, therefore, forbidden for transportation;
  • Have in mind that shampoo bottles (as well as most other hair products) are quite heavy and will cost a lot to ship. So, it is a good idea to relocate only expensive products and avoid taking anything that is cheap and easy to replace.

How to pack makeup for moving

  • It’s best to pack makeup in specialized makeup bags or small plastic boxes;
  • Place a cotton pad between the powder and the lid of eye shadow palettes, blush palettes and other containers that hold pressed powders to prevent crumbling or breaking;
  • Wrap nail polishes in bubble wrap and place them in zip-top bags;
  • Cover the openings of any containers that hold liquids (foundations, moisturizers, perfumes, etc.) with plastic wrap and tighten the lids. Then, wrap the containers in bubble wrap and put them in sealable plastic bags;
  • Wrap your makeup organizers in plastic wrap to keep small makeup items contained;
  • Wrap any fragile items (perfume vials, makeup palettes and any other glass containers) in bubble wrap;
  • Place small items in small zip-top bags to keep them better organized;
  • Keep in mind that certain cosmetic products are heat- and cold-sensitive and require special protection against extreme temperatures;
  • Remember that nail polishes, polish removers, deodorants, and some other cosmetic products are flammable, so the movers won’t load them into the moving truck.

Following the above makeup packing tips will ensure that your quality cosmetics arrive in your new home safe and intact. Then, you’ll be able to use them to make yourself look great and feel great after your successful move!


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