DIY packing is a big job.
With the right materials and Around the Town Moving's helpful packing tips, it can be a worthwhile way to save money on your relocation costs. With the information below, we will equip you with the tools to achieve professional results and maximize the protection of your possessions. By packing things appropriately and in an organized fashion, you can ensure the safety of your items and prevent damage. Plus, the better you pack, the easier it is to unpack in your new space!
Tip 1: Preparation
We recommend you start with professional materials as the foundation for your move. These materials include tissue paper, packing paper (plain newsprint), packing tape, masking tape, utility knife, scissors, permanent markers, and professional quality boxes.
We have a wide range of boxes and professional packing materials available for purchase to help you organize and safeguard your belongings.
Dish Pack (or China Barrel): heavy duty carton used for dishes/china, crystal and glassware
1.5 cu. ft. box: small carton for heavy items such as books, files, music CDs and DVDs/video tape
3.0 cu. ft. box: medium utility carton often used for pots and pans, toys, and small appliances
4.5 cu. ft. box: For bulky items, such as linens, towels or toys
6.0 cu. ft. box: for large, bulky, or lightweight articles, such as pillows or large lampshades
ardrobe box: a “portable closet” that keeps clothes or draperies hanging on a built-in bar
Mirror box: several sizes of telescoping cartons for framed pictures, mirrors or glass
Mattress bags: available in queen/king, double, single (twin) and crib sizes (a separate bag is necessary for box springs)
Stretch Wrap: a special plastic covering that safely adheres to furniture and protects it from snags, tears, and dirt
Newspaper/Wrapping Paper: used for cushioning and protecting fragile items
Tip 2: Basic Training
If you decide to do the packing yourself, you should have everything properly packed and ready to go for loading when the moving truck arrives. The only items that should be left for last minute packing are essential personal items you need immediately at your destination. Keep these helpful tips in mind:
Follow a timetable – people often underestimate how long it takes to pack!
Start your packing with items you will not need right away, such as belongings stored in the basement, garage or attic
Packing room-by-room will help you stay organized
Establish work areas in each room
As you complete a room, sort packed boxes by weight (light, medium, heavy) to make loading the moving truck easier and quicker
Limit cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds
Tip 3: Techniques
Our Around the Town professionals will check your packed boxes to ensure they are properly packed. If it is their opinion that items are improperly packed or cartons are susceptible to damage, they may ask you to re-pack those specific cartons. Remember to provide plenty of cushioning by packing loosely crumpled, plain newsprint in the bottom of boxes – leave room at the top for more crumpled paper.
- Wrap all fragile, breakable items in paper before packing them in boxes
- Pack large and heavy items first and smaller items second, filling in all empty spaces with plain newsprint
- Use only sturdy cartons that can be easily closed (do not over stuff), then tape top seams securely – do not use plastic containers to pack your belongings
- Label boxes clearly! We suggest: your name, room in your new home, and a brief description of the contents is suggested
Tip 4: Electronics
Take special care when packing your large and small electronic items. If you no longer have the original carton and packing materials for electronics, carefully pack them in a sturdy carton that has been lined with newsprint or styro-foam “peanuts," and follow the additional guidelines below:
- Securely seal the carton and mark the outside “Extremely Fragile”
- When packing your personal computer, printer, scanner, or other electronic items, disconnect and mark all wires and cables for easy assembly
- Detach paper holders/feeders from printers and wrap monitors and additional hardware as you would other home electronics
- Remove toner and ink cartridges
- Back up your computer files on DVDs or other file storage disks/devices
- Consult your PC user manual for additional instructions and precautions
Tip 5: Labeling Hints
Each and every carton you prepare should be labeled! Use a broad, felt-tipped marker for best results.
- Clearly mark room and contents
- Indicate “FRAGILE” on delicates and “THIS END UP” when appropriate
- If available, include your bill of lading number on every box
- As you finish packing each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while stacked) and in a special notebook. You might want to number and/or code the cartons as well.
- Indicate your name and the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
- Put a special mark (the number 1 or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.
Tip 6: Notes from the Pros
We know the secrets to most efficient way to pack, which will provide you with the best results. By utilizing the proper packing tips, your belongings will not be damaged during transport, and you will have a much easier time unpacking your possessions at your new residence!
- Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until the last minute things you’ll need until moving day.
- Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
- Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
- Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic bags and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
- Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
- Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or eve facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping paper draws attention to very small things that might otherwise get lost in a carton. Use a double layer of newsprint for a good outer wrapping.
- Place a two or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of cartons for cushioning.
- Build up the layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top.
- As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
- Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets may also be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.
- Pack small, fragile, individually-wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
- Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
- Seal cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items that must be left open for the van operator’s inspection.