Proper packing is the most important step in safely transporting your belongings. That’s why our professional packing crews are trained in the best packing techniques, and that’s why it’s so much easier and safer to have us pack for you.
But, if you decide to do some — or even all — of your packing, this guide will help. Along with general how-tos, you’ll find specific step-by-step instructions on properly wrapping and packing items that require special attention.
First — what not to pack and load on the moving van.
Do not pack and load on van:
- Fuels & oils
- Any aerosol cans
- Paint, turpentine, varnishes
- Flammable liquids — nail polish remover, lighter fluid, etc.
- Firearms, ammunition
- Food in glass jars
- Prescription drugs necessary for immediate use
- Perishable foods
For best results, have our professionals pack:
- Marble, glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40″ X 60″ or larger
- Pool table slate
- Bulky, fragile items — large trophies, statuary, chandeliers, etc. — that require crating
- Major appliances
Take with you:
- Jewelry, furs
- Firearms (consult local laws)
- Personal papers, documents such as birth certificates and insurance policies
- Coin, stamp collections
- Special family photographs
- Moving-related documents
General Packing Guidelines
Follow a timetable
Allow yourself enough time to pack. First pack items you won’t need right away, such as articles stored in the basement, garage, or attic. Wait and pack things you’ll use right up to moving day last.
Packing room by room will help you stay organized.
How to pack boxes
Assemble boxes. Invert box, fold in flaps. Place one or two long pieces of plastic packing tape across center seam, and one piece along each side seam. Do not cover any printing.
Make bottom cushion. Put loosely crumpled unprinted newsprint in the carton bottom.
Wrap all fragile, breakable items in paper. (Not necessary for soft items like bedding, etc.) This not only protects the item, but protects other items from it. Wrapping also helps things fit snugly in the box and prevents them from shifting. Use unprinted newsprint for most items, tissue paper for very fragile things.
Pack large and heavy items first.
Pack smaller items next. Use these to fill in spaces around larger items.
Periodically lift carton to check weight — box should not be too heavy for one person to lift comfortably.
Fill all empty spaces with small items or crumpled paper. Leave no gaps in the carton. This helps make it crush-proof.
Make a top cushion. Leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch space at the top of the carton. Fill this space with crumpled paper. When closed, the carton’s top or sides should neither bulge nor sag.
Tap top seams securely.
Label boxes clearly. Write your name, your moving contract number, the room to which the box should go in your new home and a general description of contents. Write “fragile” only if items within are truly fragile. (Otherwise, good loading decisions will be impossible.) Mark “unpack first” on boxes containing items you’ll need right away in your new home.