List Your Business
 
 
     

Packing for your move

13 People have recommended this article.
 
Packing is a vital part of a successful move and it's one of the hardest things to get right. We may all think we can pack but when faced with boxing up our entire possessions for a move to a tight deadline then it can quickly become a daunting process! If you really can't face packing up your home yourself then you can always opt to pay your chosen moving company to do it for you. Some of them will even unpack for you at the other end!
 
The truth is that most of us will pack for ourselves. We can make the whole process easier by being organized about it and doing as much of it as possible in advance. Even if you hate making lists, now is a good time to make one. You'll feel so much better once you can tick things off as completed!
 
The first thing you need to do is to think about packing materials. Don't simply assume that you can make do with what you have in the house. Using refuse sacks, bags and old boxes to pack your prized possessions is no guarantee of protection. You should, however, be looking to fill suitcases, travel bags, drawers and the insides of wardrobes etc., with stuff. This adds ballast and also maximizes your use of space.
 
You can often hire or buy special packing cases and materials from your mover. This is a worthwhile option. Be careful about recycling old cardboard boxes. Cardboard degrades and the last thing you need is to see everything that you carefully packed fall out of the bottom of a box before it even gets to the removal van. As a guideline you should be looking to have a store of the following packing materials:
  • Strong boxes of various sizes - if you'll be packing books, get hold of book boxes. These don't hold hundreds of books but hold enough to guarantee that each box can be carried by one person!
  • Scissors and a craft knife
  • Something to wrap and protect fragile items such as bubble wrap, newspaper, packing paper etc. Remember that it will cheaper to recycle old newspapers but the ink may come off on items and you'll have to spend time cleaning them afterwards.
  • Marker pens so you can identify what's in what box.
  • Rolls of packing tape.
  • Screwdrivers and other tools to dismantle any furniture as necessary.
Before you start to pack check the terms and conditions of your moving company and see what they say about packing. If you're packing yourself, your movers have no quality control and will often refuse liability for damage. They may also expect you to provide a list of valuable items for insurance purposes. It's important to be as thorough as possible here otherwise you could find accident claims virtually impossible. If you're at all worried about valuable items or those of sentimental value then physically transport them yourself. You also need to talk to your mover about things they can't move - generally these will be flammable or hazardous materials but some movers won't transport houseplants!
 
The worst part of packing is the beginning. No matter how small your home, you can guarantee that you'll look at it and not know where to begin. This is where you need to be organized. If you wander round the house packing bits and bobs as the mood takes you then you won't really get anywhere. It's better to take a military approach and tackle one room at a time. If you're starting way ahead of schedule you'll find that you won't pack everything in the room all at once as there will be things you'll continue to use before your moving day. That doesn't matter - you'll feel better and achieve more if you take a structured approach.
 
At this point you need to get a moving book. This can just be a cheap notepad but it's going to be your bible through the move and will make your life much easier. Every time you pack a box or container, write the room it comes from/should go to in big letters on the top. Give it a number. Write the number in your moving book and a brief description of the contents. This will make it much easier for you to unpack essentials in your new home. Identifying the destination room of each container will also help your movers - they can simply place stuff where it should go rather than piling it up in any old room. Some people use color coding for this and stick colored stickers on the doors of each room in the new house. All the movers have to do is match the marker or sticker color on the box or item with the color of the room.
 
Before you start packing boxes you need to take your moving book through each room of the house and look at large items of furniture. The chances are that if they got where they are, you can get them out again. But don't presume this is the case. If you built them from a flat-pack then they might be too big to get out of the door or down the stairs. If this is the case, you need to dismantle them and get them ready to be loaded with plenty of time. This is NOT something you want to be doing the night before your move. It's a good idea to dig out original instructions for these items and put them in individual bags with all the screws and nuts etc. Put these bags in a single box that is clearly marked so they can be easily found.
 
The first box you should prepare is your 'Essentials' box(es). You'll fill this as you go along and it should be loaded into the van last and unloaded first. You can put whatever you think you'll need in here - it's really useful if you're just too tired to unpack after the move. You could include a change of clothes, night-clothes, toys, toiletries, light-bulbs, drinks, a kettle, tea/coffee, cups, a torch, a telephone - whatever you need to get through the move and possibly even a night with no unpacking!
 
It's useful to try to keep similar kinds of items together when you pack but also important to make sure that the weight of your boxes is evenly distributed. Don't be tempted to overfill boxes with heavy things - it's far better to place a few heavy items at the bottom and then pack the rest of the container with lighter things. Boxes should be filled to capacity at all times. Bear in mind that they will generally be stacked on top of each other and they need to be stable enough to cope with this. You can always fill spaces at the top with towels, bedding, curtains and clothes. This will avoid boxes breaking and will also make sure that they can be easily lifted. Remember that each box should be light enough to be carried by a single person. If it takes two, it'll just take longer.
 
It's absolutely essential to mark boxes that contain fragile items with a clearly visible and large FRAGILE! You have to do everything you can to make sure that your movers take due care and attention. But, it's your responsibility to pack these items carefully. Firstly, cushion the bottom of the box with bubble wrap or paper. Then wrap every item in at least one layer of your chosen packing material. Pack these items sensibly - they need to fit together comfortably enough to avoid moving around but not so tightly that they put pressure on each other. You can use packing material to fill gaps and should finally put another layer of bubble wrap or paper on top.
 
If you have a garden/yard or garage take some time early on to think about what you'll be moving. Most things will just go straight in the vehicle or in boxes but things such as lawnmowers and power tools need to be thoroughly drained of any petrol etc., to avoid leaks.
 
You also need to take care with your large and valuable appliances and goods. Read the manuals for large appliances - they often contain information about necessary steps to secure them. For example, fridges and freezers need to be thoroughly defrosted and washing machines drained before they are transported to avoid water leaks. Their doors and loose inside pieces such as shelves and drawers also need to be tied up or taped down to stop them moving in transport. If you can, pack electrical equipment such as TVs and stereos in their original boxes. This not only tells your movers to take care but also minimizes damage, as the boxes are exactly the right size for the item. If you don't have the original boxes try to find ones that are of a similar size and pack any gaps with tightly wadded paper. If you have a turntable, remember to tie down the player arm!
 
Most movers won't want you to transport perishable goods such as kitchen foodstuffs. If you are packing up lots of food items from your kitchen keep them in separate boxes and pack them carefully. If you put them in with other household items you may find that they leak or spill. It's worthwhile having one kitchen box that contains enough crockery, pans, cups and cooking utensils to cover you for making a couple of meals. This means you don't have to unpack your kitchen boxes immediately.
 
You can pack most of your clothes as ballast that fills boxes if you like. However, you might want to consider hiring or buying wardrobe boxes from your mover. All you need to do is put the box together, hang your clothes in it and they'll keep their shape during the move. This is particularly useful if you need to dismantle your wardrobes before the move. You can simply put the contents into the wardrobe boxes ahead of the move and use those after you have taken the wardrobes apart. Putting clothes in refuse sacks might seem a good solution but it can be problematic. They tear easily and offer little protection from damage. It's far better to use clothes to balance boxes, fill drawers and wardrobe spaces etc.
 
As you work through the rooms in your house you should keep an eye out for items that are perhaps not obviously fragile but which need special packing. For example, if you're looking to move pictures and mirrors then you need to either wrap them in bubble wrap or some other protective covering. You can use bedding, towels and sheets for this too - which gives you one less thing to think about packing! Make sure that the packing round these items is secured with packing tape or string to ensure maximum protection. Finally, stick a big label on them saying FRAGILE! Lamps are another example. A lampshade on a lamp base is not a particularly stable thing and it's worth separating them and wrapping them well for protection. Take the bulbs out before you pack them. They may become damaged in transit and either won't work or will shatter. Chair legs are also particularly vulnerable to scratching and other damage in a move - wrap them first and you stand a better chance of avoiding this.
 
Finally, make sure that every box you've packed is securely fastened with packing tape. DON'T pack your moving book, the paperwork from your mover, a couple of pens, markers, tape, scissors and a knife. Keep them with you - you'll need them at the other end!
 
*Information above was gathered from www.moving-company-guide.com.

This content was sponsored by:

(703) 288-4866
713 Smallwood Rd
Rockville, MD 20847
(248) 478-6353
30660 W. Eight Mile
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
Johnson Construction Company LLC
1707 N West St.
Lima, OH 45801
Liberty Moving and Storage Inc.
350 Moreland Road
Commack, NY 11725
Liberty Moving & Storage
216 East 45th St.
Suite 902
New York, NY 10017
Eli Relocation
4315 W. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85043
Clean Cut Movers NYC
325 east 6th st.
New York, NY 10003
Bellhops
800 Market Street
CHATTANOOGA, TN 37402
All Directions Moving LLC.
1044 WESTERN DR
ANN ARBOR, MI 48103
Lexel Moving LLC
621 Main St Suite 4
Waltham, MA 02452
Boston Careful Movers
P.O. Box 600302
Newtonville, MA 02460
Jennys Movers
903 N 20th Street
Richmond, VA 23234
Express Moving Company of Sherman Oaks Inc
14724 Ventura Blvd. #6
Sherman Oaks , CA 91403
All Directions Moving LLC.
1044 Western Dr.
Ann Arbor , MI 48103
VA Movers
107 S West Street #511, Alexandria VA 22314
Alexandria, VA 22314
Star International
21598 Atlantic Blvd. #100
Sterling, VA 20166
Jennys Moving & Cleaning Company
300 Clearfield Drive
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Wolley Movers, Inc
5222 N. Elston
Chicago, IL 60630
Move Buddies of Charleston
622 Old Trolley Road Suite 108
Summerville, SC 29485
Drytech Restoration Services
80 Central Ave.
Spring City, PA 19475
Best Movers of America
4000 Tamiami Trl S, Venice, FL 34293
Venice, FL 34293
Turtle Roofing
8404 Sterling St #1
Irving, TX 75063
Sullivan Moving & Storage
5704 Copley Dr.
San Diego, CA 92111
QuickTime Movers
40565 Stetson Ave
Hemet, CA 92544
Specialty Moving Services
SW 23rd Street
West Park, FL 33023
Movers On Duty
7621 Rickenbacker Dr
#200
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Crescent Movers
4930 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60639
Legend Movers 4 You
1308 Rose Blvd
Suite 7
Orlando, FL 32839
Agility Van Lines
1500 W Cypress Creek Rd Ste 504
Fort Lauderdale,, FL 33309
All Reasons Moving & Storage
600 East Trimble Road
San Jose, CA 95131
Maxi Moving
186 Highlawn Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11223
Cord Moving and Storage
4101 Rider Trail North
Earth City, MO 63045
Relocation Network
11668 Tuxford St
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Clean Cut Movers NYC
New York
New York, NY 10003
Transcendent Moving & Storage
3832 Hawkins St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Taurus Moving
18706 East Cattle Drive Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
ACE Movers
192 S Church St
Charlotte
Charlotte, NC 28202
Certified Veterans Moving
2425 NW 4th ave
Ocala, FL 34475
Calstate Moving
926 N Ardmore Ave, #2
Los Angeles, CA 90029
California Movers Local & Long Distance Moving Company
1010 Hyde st
San Francisco, CA 94109
Miami Movers and Storage
2434 SW 21st Street #3
Miami, FL 33145
Devon Moving Company
4973 North Elston Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630
Optimum Moving
278 Broadway, Suite C
Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
Move On Moving Company
315 10th Ave N #100
Nashville, TN 37203
Gibraltar Van Lines
8 Gates Avenue
Montclair, NJ , NJ 07042
EE Ward Moving and Storage
2235 Southwest Blvd, H
Grove City, OH 43123
1st Choice Moving
2200 Murphy Dr
Bedford, TX 76021
EE Ward Moving and Storage
2235 Southwest Blvd, H
Grove City, OH 43123
Suddath Relocation Systems
815 South Main Street
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Movers DC Company
4713 Piney Branch Rd NW, Suite #2
Washington, DC 20011
Luigys Moving & Storage
3090 16th St Ste. 407
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hollywood Florida Movers
3389 Sheridan street, Hollywood, FL 33021
Hollywood, FL 33021
King County Movers
4111 e madison st
seattle, WA 98112
ECONO MOVE & STORAGE, INC
408 WEST NAKOMA
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78216
Crescent Movers
6321 N. Cicero Ave, Unit A
Chicago, IL 60646
Middle Class Movers
1755 W 79th St,
Chicago, IL 60620