Packing Tips

Ann’s Family Moving Packing Tips

Before you start packing items for your move, it helps to have a game plan. Consider these pointers:

  • Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it’s time to unpack.
  • Mark all boxes by room and (optionally) a box number. Consider Making a carton identification list of the contents of boxes by room and box number, and the total number of cartons packed. It’s a good idea to leave space on the list for a special comments about carton handling, location of high-value goods, etc. (Be sure ot notify your mover of these high-value items.)
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of time.
  • Be sure to have plenty of filler material on hand (plastic peanuts, bubble wrap, packing paper, tissue, newspaper, etc.).
  • Be sure the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents – use sturdy packing tape to reinforce boxes, as needed. Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
  • Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less – it’ll make your move a lot easier! A general rule for carton size is “the heavier the item, the smaller the box.”
  • Choose a medium-sized carton (or a mover-provided dish pack) and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper.
  • With packing paper stacked on a work table, center one plate on the paper.
  • Grasp the corners of several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper up over the plate until the sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate.
  • Stack a third plate. Grasp the remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate.
  • Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
  • Re-wrap the entire bundle – starting with one corner of packing paper and pulling two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner, and finally the fourth.
  • Seal the bundle with packing tape.
  • Place the bundle of dishware in a medium-size box so the plates are standing on edge.

How to Pack Dishware

Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware. When packing smaller dishes, you may choose to stack in greater quantity.

How to Pack Cups

  • With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners of the paper.
  • Pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  • Nest a second cup directly on top, with handle to left (second cup should “nest” itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups).
  • Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck corners inside the top cup.
  • Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll the cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.
  • Delicate cups, such as china, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.
  • Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
  • Lay the corner of a sheet of packing paper on the glass, and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull the sides of the paper up and over the glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
  • Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box. Place heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) toward the bottom of the box.
  • Place delicate glassware and stemware in an upright position, not on its side.
  • No matter what you’re packing, use crumpled packing paper between layers to ensure a snug fit wherever there’s a gap. All boxes with fragile items should be marked accordingly.

How to Pack Glasses and Stemware

Specialized Packing Tips

The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our general packing pointers. Here are some additional tips for packing major items. If you want a more advice for packing special items, give us a call or send us an email. We’re happy to help.

Bureau Drawers. Don’t overload. A too-heavy load can damage the drawer. Remove firearms and any items that might break or leak. (Firearms, along with serial numbers, must be registered with your van line representative before the move.)

Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Food. Pack upright, with no more than 24-30 cans per carton. Don’t attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and place in small cartons.

Frozen Foods and Plants. Because these items are delicate and/or perishable, your mover is prohibited from accepting them if your move is over 150 miles and/or delivery will not be completed within 24 hours from the time of loading. Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which at time of loading is at normal deep-freeze temperature.

Clocks. Remove or secure pendulums in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.

Drapes and Curtains. Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons, or pack them folded in clean cartons. Remove curtains from rods and fold and pack in cartons or bureau drawers.

Flammables and Combustibles. Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak or even explode. For your protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you, not your mover, may be held liable.

Lamps and Lampshades. Remove bulbs, harps, and shades. Roll up the cords. Pack lamps with bedding, or wrap separately and place upright in clean tissue-lined cartons. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to the inside wall of the carton that contains the shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper, to avoid ink stains. Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons.

Medicines. Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright in small cartons. If needed during travel, carry with you.

Mirrors, Paintings, Pictures. Tell your agent about any valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place them on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirrors for better protection against damage. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.

Personal Computers and Video Recorders. Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Wrap cords separately, label to identify usage, and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton. Be sure hard drives are “parked” and ready for transport.

Silverware. Wrap each piece in cloth or low-sulphur-content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.

Tools. Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap separately if valuable.

Waterbed Mattresses. Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold the mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner’s manual for special instructions about caring for and transporting your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.

Cars and Motorcycles. Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel. Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected. In winter, be sure automobiles have enough antifreeze to protect against severe cold.

Barbecue Grills and Propane Tanks. Wrap grates and briquettes separately in newspaper (or place briquettes in a grocery bag) and place the parts in a carton. Pad the carton with paper to reduce movement of the contents. Propane tanks must be drained before the move. Consult your local gas grill distributor for the safest draining method.

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