Packing Advice - How to Pack for a Move
If you're doing your own packing here are some professional packing tips to make the process smoother and more stress-free.
First, moving takes time. and sure you give yourself lots of time, at least six weeks before your move date, and plan carefully. Careful planning and packing will save you time, money and a lot of hair pulling! Also visit our YouTube channel for detailed videos on how to pack almost everything!
Packing For a Move - Where to Start?
The first step before packing is to decide what will move with you and what will stay behind. There may be items that you don't need any more or that aren't worth moving. Or perhaps your move is temporary and certain unnecessary things can be put into storage. Diggins & ROSE can provide portable storage containers that can be moved to any location or local storage in warehouse storage vaults or. No matter what the answer is, decide before you start packing what stays and what goes.
If you have items already in storage, make sure you take a thorough inventory to ensure you're not moving items you could do without.
Collect Packing Supplies
Try to estimate what packing supplies you'll need and make sure you have enough on hand. Start collecting boxes from your place of work, from friends or from stores. Choose only sturdy cartons with all flaps intact so that they can be properly closed and sealed.
Diggins & ROSE offers very attractively-priced professional quality packing materials for pick-up at our Hudson, NH offices. Please allow 4 hours for your order to be assembled before pick-up after placing your order through our online shopping cart.
Pack non-essentials early
Start packing items you can do without as soon as possible. If you're moving in the summer, pack all your winter clothes, sports equipment and heavy blankets early.
Label Moving Boxes Carefully
Labels can be purchased at an office supply store or made on your own computer. Make sure you properly label all moving boxes with information that instructs the movers on how to handle the contents. Label the top and sides of boxes with contents, location in your house and any special instructions, such as "fragile" or "open first". Also, by keeping a complete list of the contents on the outside of the box, you'll save time digging through 10 boxes marked "kitchen" just to find the can opener.
Make a Packing Inventory list
Make sure you number all moving boxes and keep a running inventory list that you check off when the movers are unloading them into your new place. This way, if you find that a box is missing, you can easily identify which number it is and what it contained. Moving Claims Managers love this kind of detail.
Keep Moving Box weight at a minimum
To prevent injury to yourself, your family, friends or the movers, make sure your moving boxes are not too heavy to manage. Most boxes should weigh less than 50 pounds with an ideal weight being 40 pounds or less. If you have any overweight boxes, make sure you mark them clearly so that no one injures themselves on the job.
Good Packing Means
• Limiting moving cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds to make handling easier
• Wrapping items carefully
• Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock
• Using sturdy cartons that close
• Making sure moving boxes are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward
• Not mixing items from different rooms in the same moving carton
Packing to Make Sure Your Possessions Arrive Safely
Wrap all fragile items in several layers of cushioning and pack them on their edges (plates, mirrors, picture frames, etc). We strongly recommend bubble wrap. It's inexpensive and will prevent dishes and other fragiles from bumping against one another. Some people use newspaper to separate plates and have had a few broken pieces as a result.
Clothing, towels, linens, pillows can also be used to keep fragiles safe. Just make sure you mark FRAGILE on the box for when the box is unpacked. If the person who is unpacking the box is unaware that a crystal vase is wrapped inside a fleece blanket, they could easily unfurl the blanket sending the vase crashing to the floor. This has happened on more than one occasion!
Tape any stray items together into a bundle
Ski poles, brooms, mops, lamp stands, etc. can be taped into one package for easy carrying and storing.
When moving furniture, make sure you keep all parts together
Screws, bolts and other small pieces can be put into a self-locking plastic bag (sandwich bag/freezer bag) then taped to the furniture. If you're moving a table, unscrew the legs, tape the legs together then tape the parts bag to the underside of the table top. You can even tape the legs to the underside of the table top just to ensure that the legs don't get scratched or dented in the move.
Disassemble all furniture
If you have any pieces that can come apart, make sure you disassemble them. Remove all contents from furniture drawers and pack contents separately. Furniture may not be moved with anything other than light clothing in the drawers.
Packing your computer or other electronics
Packing electronics requires special care. No matter how cumbersome or long the task list to prepare your computer for a move, do it! You'll be glad in the end that you did. See our blog post on packing electronics for additional information. See our blog posts on Packing a Flat Screen TV and Moving Electronics for additional information
If you decide to self-pack your computer or valuable electronics, please be aware that you will not be protected by valuation coverage unless there is visible damage to the box noted at delivery. We strongly recommend professional packing for valuable electronics.
Even with professional packing you should purchase valuation coverage on your shipment because manditory moving company coverage is based on weight. Your valuable items may weigh 50 pounds, but with mandatory coverage only your items are valued at 60 cents per pound. For a 50 pound item you would receive only $30.00...not enough to fix your machine or to replace important documents and information.
Whether or not you use professional packing service, you should still follow all the steps below to prepare your computer for packing.
- Copy all your files. Technology is a wonderful thing. Remember the days of the floppy disk, when it took a zillion floppies to back-up your hard drive? Not anymore. If you have the ability to burn a DVD, then this is your best option. DVDs typically hold 4.7GB, depending on the burn speed. That's enough space to store most, if not all, of your files.
- If burning DVDs isn't an option, then purchase a flash drive, or portable drive. They range in storage sizes. We recommend getting at least a 4G drive. If you have a lot of graphic intensive files, then you may want to increase the storage space.
- Since both DVDs and flash drives are small (flash drives are the size of four sticks of gum stack together), make sure you take them with you and put them in a safe place. Purchase a small lock box and store the DVD or flash drive, any instruction manuals and software disks.
- Try to find the box your computer came in. Using original packaging not only saves money but helps prevent damage to your electronics.
If you don't have your original packaging, call diggins & ROSE for the best packaging to fit your computer. The key is to protect your computer's box, containing the hard drive and your monitor. This will be critical in ensuring the safe arrival of your computer parts.
- Make sure you remove all disks from all drives.
- Take your computer apart by first making sure the power is off, both the monitor and the box and disconnect it from the power source.
- If you're new to dismantling and setting up a computer, you may want to label your cords before unplugging them. Simply write on a piece of masking tape what the plug is for, and where it should be plugged into your box. Most newer computers use a color-coded system and tiny images to make assembly easier.
- Once everything is labeled, start unplugging the cords from the box and the monitor. Wind them up, tie them and place them in a storage container or plastic bag and keep them with the computer.
- Once your machine is packed and the boxes sealed, make sure you mark the boxes appropriately. In large, bold letters indicate that it is fragile and that the box contains a computer box or monitor.
- Pack your printer, scanner and other computer equipment the same way, ensuring that nothing can shift while in transit.
If you have room in your car, you can always take your computer with you. If you do, just make sure that your vehicle is parked in a safe place if you need to overnight it in a motel. You can even move it into your suite, just to be safe. You don't want to take any chances with such a valued and valuable piece of equipment.
Packing Small Appliances
Items such as clocks, small radios and other small appliances should be wrapped individually and packed in a carton cushioned with crushed paper.
Small clocks, transistor radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton with linens or as extra items with lamp bases. Make sure cords are wrapped so as not to scratch or otherwise damage items.
Steam irons should be emptied of all water, wrapped and placed in the cushioned bottom of a box.
Remove all batteries from small appliances before packing.
Leave rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle. If they've just been returned from the cleaners, leave them rolled.
Clothing left on hangers and placed in wardrobe cartons used by moving companies will arrive at destination wrinkle-free. You might want to purchase several of these special packing cartons from your moving company. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing on hangers.
If wardrobe cartons are not used, each garment should be removed from its hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper. Some lightweight clothing-such as lingerie and sweaters may be left in bureau drawers.
Packing Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases
All are easily damaged. Glass might shatter, and marble slabs can crack at veins. Paper never should be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting. It's best to consult with your moving company about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind.
Because air causes silver to tarnish, all silver pieces should be enclosed completely in bubble wrap, clean tissue paper or plastic wrap for packing. Holloware, including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes-should be wrapped carefully as fragile items and packed like china.
Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, and in bubble wrap, clear plastic or tissue. If silverware is in a chest, you still might want to wrap the pieces individually and reposition them in the chest. Or, fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper towels. Wrap the chest with a large bath towel.
Packing Figurines & Other Delicate Items
We highly recommend packing all fragiles in bubble wrap. The next best thing is to wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in newsprint that has been crushed and flattened out. Be sure the items are well protected with plenty of cushioning.
Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually. A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass. Place items on edge in a carton.
If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.
Dishpack cartons are special double-walled moving boxes that offer extra protection for packing fragile items.
Don't Pack Heat Sensitive Items
Do not pack heat sensitive items if your shipment will be transported during the summer. This includes decorative candles, computer diskettes, videotapes, DVDs, compact discs, record albums and cassette tapes.
During hot weather, consider these options for heat-sensitive items:
- Taking them with you as you travel to your new destination,.
- Selling or giving them away before moving.
Sending them by air freight to reduce transit time.
Packing Tips For Moving Day
You might find it helpful to reserve a carton for packing last-minute items on moving day. Include such necessities as: soap, toiletries, towels, facial and toilet tissue.
The same carton can serve as an instant aid box for things you might need immediately upon arrival at your new home, such as: first aid kit, instant coffee/tea, instant soup mixes, light bulbs, paper plates and cups, plastic eating utensils, plastic trash bags, powdered milk/creamer, screwdriver and hammer, snacks, sugar, small pan or electric coffee pot for heating water.
You are not alone in managing your move! You can depend on diggins & ROSE Moving Systems, as your United Van Lines agent, for knowledge and experience In helping you prepare for your move. We will be happy to assist you by answering your questions and working closely with you to make your relocation as effortless as possible!
VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
Whether your move is local or long distance, you are responsible for the condition of any items you pack yourself. They will not be covered by valuation unless there is visible damage to the carton that is noted at delivery on your bill of lading.
For international moves, customs regulations require all packing to be done by a certified mover.
Request a professional Packing Quote.