Read these 19 Packing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Moving tips and hundreds of other topics.
Packing big things may seem difficult and people may worry more about getting the large items packed appropriately and forget about packing small items the correct way. It is important to pack small items the right way to ensure that they arrive safely at your new home.
If you are doing a self move you will need to pack your big items. A general rule of thumb is to pack the following big items in your home:
When you are packing for a self-move, you will want plenty of the appropriate packing supplies. Self-moving can be quite a detailed process, but if you are prepared with the right supplies for packing, the move will seem much smoother.
You will need the following supplies when packing:
There are certain things you want to pack last, in order to make sure you have the necessary items you need to live day-to-day when everything else is packed into the moving truck.
Pack your toiletries in a separate box that is clearly marked. You will want to take this box with you so that you have the things you will need to get ready each morning. Keep pain relievers and other first aid supplies separated as well.
You will want to pack your coffee maker (if you are a coffee drinker) last, so that you can get to it first. Pack cleaning supplies last as well; you will want to clean when you arrive at your new place, so make these items easily accessible in the moving truck.
Pack kid toys and bedroom furniture last as well. Setting up your child's room first can help her feel more at home in her new place- just knowing her things are all there for her to enjoy.
Make sure when packing and loading these items that you have them clearly labeled as "Load Last" so that they aren't placed on the truck until the end.
There are a few things you must not pack when moving, either a do-it-yourself move or a move where you pack and someone else drives for you, you must not put the following items on the moving truck.
Explosives or flammable items such as: aerosols, acids, ammunition, propane tanks, matches and motor oil. The list for this type of item is extensive; you should check with the moving company or rental truck company for a complete list of items.
Perishable items such as: food, plants and animals. Food that is perishable can be packed in a cooler and driven by you to your new home; moving companies rarely take food that is perishable. Plants need air to breath, grow and live, and the inside of a moving truck is not conducive to this, therefore no live plants on moving trucks. Of course your animals should never be packed and sent on a moving truck, all pets should travel with you in your vehicle.
Some moving companies may agree to move your perishables if you are going a short distance, check with the moving company to find out their rules on this subject.
Use only unprinted newsprint paper or bubble wrap to wrap your items. Regular newspapers are messy and can soil and ruin your possessions.
You can use filler items such as socks, pillows, t-shirts, towels, blankets, and sheets to wrap your items in and fill space in boxes.
It's worth spending the extra money to protect your possessions during the move.
Start packing several weeks before your move date, taking it one room at a time. Begin with things you use less frequently, such as books and knick knacks.
Pack each room in separate boxes and label each box with its contents. This will make it easier to unpack and have the boxes left in the correct room.
When packing plates, serving platters, and dishware, each piece should be individually wrapped in either packing paper or bubble wrap and placed on their edge not flat in sturdy boxes. Dishes are stronger when placed vertically and have less a chance of breaking and shifting.
Purchase "dish pack" boxes or small boxes for packing breakables. Wrap Fine silver should be wrapped in cloth or silver paper.
Disassemble any items and furniture you can, to save you time and space during your move.
- Pad furniture with moving pads, blankets or bubble wrap, securing firmly.
- Remove furniture legs when possible.
- Place wing nuts or screws in bags taped to underside of furniture so they won't be lost.
- Stand sofas on end and secure to minimize space used in rental van or moving truck.
- Place loose cushions in bags and use as filler between pieces.
- Do not unpack dresser draws. Move dressers with drawers full to avoid re-packing and to conserve moving space. Secure drawers from opening during transit.
When putting together the boxes for packing, more tape does not mean it will be more secure.
Simply tape the bottom center seam of the box and tape the two edge sides, this is sufficent for any box. Do the same when sealing the top of the box. This will also help keep your packing tape costs down.
Moving Boxes come in a variety of types and styles. There are small, medium, and large boxes, as well as item specific boxes such as:
- wardrobe boxes for clothing on hangers
- dish packs for your kitchenware and breakables
- picture boxes for your framed pictures
- book boxes for heavy books and photo albums
- TV and electronic boxes for electronics and media items, file boxes for your desk files, and lamp boxes for lamps and shades.
When choosing box sizes for your move, make sure you use the right boxes for the appropriate material. You don't want to load up a large box with books and heavy objects. You want the boxes to be no more then 25-30 lbs each to make it easier for the movers to handle.
Heavier boxes are easier to drop. Keep your boxes on the lighter side to prevent your possessions from falling and getting damaged.
If you are packing a box of fragile items or simply want the box to remain upright and not get turned on it's side or upside down during the move, clearly mark with a bold arrow on all sides of the box indicating which end is up. This will prevent the person handling the box to flip or turn over box.
When packing electronics, use orignial boxes for computers, stereos and televisions if possible.
- Wrap each piece with bubble wrap or foam packing material and immobilize any moving parts.
- Remove all cables and cords and label them for easier re-installation.
- Tape electrical cords to back of electronics to prevent plug damage.
- Remove CD's and DVD's from the players to prevent them from rattling and getting stuck in player.
Packing your home for a move has its perks, you are completely in control of the entire process, which means you can pack how you like and when you like. If you are aware of some general packing tips you can pack your home in a no time flat!
When packing, pack only one room at a time. Don't start one room and then go to another. Stick with one room and pack that entire room until the room is completely packed.
Go through all desk and cupboard drawers and pack any of those items. Do this when you first start packing a room; take care of the drawers first.
Pack your heavy items in smaller boxes rather than stuffing many heavy items into a huge box. Small boxes are easier to carry even when filled with a heavy item.
When packing a box make sure the heavy items are on the bottom and the lighter things on top.
Moving containers are a great way to pack your items, especially if you are moving a small space such as a dorm room or an apartment. A moving container holds about one room full of boxes and is ideal for someone who wants to put those items in storage, or moving from a small space to a larger one. A moving container company, such as Upack, will deliver the cube to your home, dorm or apartment, and because the cubes aren't large, they will leave the cube in a parking space near your home. You will then load the cube with your packed belongings, lock the cube and keep the key. The company will come back for the cube and transport it to your new location, whether that is a new house, a storage facility or another apartment. You will then unload your items once they arrive.
These moving containers are fantastic because everything is at ground level. No walking up a ramp to load items, you simply step into the cube, set your box where you need it and then continue loading. Plus, you don't have to worry about transporting your items; the company takes care of that for you! The price is reasonable as well; contact a moving container company for a free quote!
Everyone has those odd shaped items that they wonder how they will ever pack to move it. Things such as: bulky chairs, your lawn mower, your patio furniture and your bicycle. Is there even an appropriate way to pack all of these things? Expert movers recommend the following:
Put together a box of personal irreplaceable items such as photos, financial papers and assets (bank checks, insurance policies, stock/bond certificates, etc.), legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), valuables, jewelry, coin and stamp collections, medical and family history records and personally transport them yourself to ensure they wont get lost during the move.
Packing is time consuming. Start packing up things you don't use daily as soon as possible. Start packing several boxes or cartons each day, a few weeks prior to your move. Try living in less rooms, so you can pack the rooms you use less. Keep everything you need daily in one area. By pacing yourself, you'll be more organized and the job won't be so overwhelming.