Packing Tips

If you are going to be doing your own packing, we recommend following these tips to ensure that your goods arrive safely.  We keep in stock all of the boxes and other packing materials that you will need.  If you have questions or concerns about how to pack a specific item feel free to call us.

1. Quality Boxes
It is a good idea to use genuine moving boxes because they are usually made from a thicker cardboard than standard store boxes.  Keep in mind that the boxes you use must not only hold your items, but also be able to support the weight of other boxes stacked on top of them when they are loaded in the truck.  They also need to be closeable on both the top and bottom.  Open-top boxes are not accepted in most cases.

2. Other Proper Materials
Just like proper boxes, proper tape is also important.  Use box tape, which is made to stick to cardboard and will not tear easily.  It is best to use two or three pieces of tape to seal both the top and the bottom of each box.  To protect items inside the boxes, you should primarily use newsprint.  You can save your newspapers to use on a lot of things, but you will also want some unprinted paper for wrapping glass and porcelain where the ink can leave stains.  Blank newsprint, and moving tape, is also available from us.  Bubble wrap can be useful for protecting very fragile items, but is not recommended for packing most of the items in your house because it takes up a lot of space.

3. Labeling Boxes
Use black permanent markers to label each of your boxes as you pack them.  Even if there are lines on the lid for writing, the best place to label a box is on one of the sides.  This way you can read the labels even when the boxes are stacked on top of one another.  When you label a box, you should put your last name at the top.  Below your name, write the room that the box goes in, and below that, the contents of the box.  If a box contains something that is very fragile you should also write "FRAGILE" in big letters on each side of the box with arrows pointing up.

4. Pack By Size
Usually when packing, you try to pack things from the same room together.  There are exceptions though.  Generally you should pack by size and use the smallest boxes you can, rather than the fewest boxes.  Start with the larger items and use the smallest size boxes they will fit in.  Use smaller items to fill in the spaces around the larger ones.  Make sure there is no empty space in the box.  If you don't have an item to fit, use crumpled up newsprint to fill the gap.  This way nothing can shift around in the box during the move.  If everything in one room is packed, but you still have some space in a box, go to the next room.  It's better to pack contents from two rooms in the same box than have two half empty boxes.

5. Pay Attention To Weight
The main reason for using the smallest boxes possible is weight.  Large boxes are great for packing linens, bedding, and clothing because they are light weight.  Most other items, although they may not seem heavy individually, can be very heavy when put together in a box.  Books, for example, are very deceptive when it comes to weight, and should only be packed in 1.5 cube boxes.  As a general rule, try to keep all boxes under 50 pounds.

6. Electronics
If you still have the original packaging for your televisions, computers, stereo, etc. it is best to reuse them for the move.  If you don't have the original packaging, televisions and large speaker cabinets should be disconnected, and left as they are.  They will be carefully wrapped with moving blankets on the day of the move.  Wrap your other electronics in blankets or comforters and pack into the smallest boxes they will fit inside.  Wrap all of the cords, cables, remote controls, etc. and put them in one of the boxes where there is room.  Use other linens or pillows to fill in the gaps.

7. Plates, Dishes, Etc.
Dish packs are boxes specially made for packing all of your plates, dishes, glassware, china, and other breakable kitchen or dining room items.  Crumple up several pieces of newsprint to put in the bottom of the box for padding.  Sets of plates and bowls can be packed as sets.  Stack your plates with a piece of newsprint in between each one, then wrap the set together.  For sets of 10 or more, do half at a time.  Place on end when putting the wrapped set into the box.  Dishes are less likely to break if stacked on end than if they were laying flat.  Glasses should be individually wrapped, with extra paper stuffed inside, and placed into the box upside down.  Dish packs should be packed with plenty of extra newsprint so there are no gaps.

8. Glass And Pictures
Mirror packs are boxes made for large flat items such as mirrors, pictures, paintings, or large sheets of glass.  Each should be wrapped individually using paper pads, which are available from us.  Once wrapped, usually 2 to 4 will fit in a single mirror pack box, depending on how thick each item is.  Fill the extra space in the box with crumpled newsprint.  Once packed, you should never lay a mirror pack flat on the ground.  Lean them up against a wall instead.  Small pictures should be wrapped with newsprint and packed on end in a smaller box.

9. Cloths On Hangers
When it comes time to pack your closets, your cloths on hangers can actually stay on hangers throughout the move.  Wardrobe boxes are tall and have a metal bar across the top for hanging cloths inside.  We keep several of these boxes on each of our trucks, because they are easy to reuse for several moves.  Just leave your cloths in the closet until moving day, and when the movers arrive you'll be able to load them into our wardrobe boxes in just a few minutes.  There is also usually a little bit of extra room in the bottom, which is a great place to throw that last set of sheets and pillows that you were still sleeping on the night before the move.

10. Furniture
Obviously, you're not going to pack your furniture in boxes, but there are a few things you can do before moving day to get your furniture ready.  All of your furniture should be emptied out and the contents packed in boxes.  The one exception is drawers containing clothing or linens.  Any piece of furniture with removable or adjustable shelves, should have the shelves removed.  If they are wood, wrap them in paper and stack them at the bottom of the piece.  Glass shelves, along with glass table inlays, table tops, vanity mirrors, etc. should be wrapped individually and put in mirror packs.

11. Make A Parts Box
As you prepare your furniture for the move, there will undoubtedly be some loose items that will need to be packed somewhere.  These are things like screws, brackets, shelf hangers/pegs, etc.  Use a small 1.5 cube box and clearly label it "Parts Box".  Put the various parts from each piece of furniture in a ziplock bag and label the bags before putting them in the box, so you know what each one goes to when you have to put them back together.  Any large furniture that can be separated into sections, such as sectional desks, china cabinets with hutch, beds, etc. will need to be taken apart for the move.  You can do this yourself, or we can do it for you on moving day, but make sure to leave the parts box open until everything is done.

12. What Not To Pack
There are certain items that should not be packed.  In fact, most of them cannot be accepted for shipment.  The list is long enough that we have an entire separate page devoted to just this one point.  Make sure you check out what not to pack before you begin.