General Packing Techniques
Packing with good technique and the right materials can mean an easier move, but most importantly, proper packing can mean you avoid losing valuable items to breakage in transit.
Packing techniques for heavy and light items.
Basic rule of thumb – pack light items in large boxes and heavy items in small boxes. The heavier the box the harder it will be to move. Pack no more than 50 pounds per carton.
Don’t over-pack a container, even the small ones. Don’t make them so heavy they’re difficult to lift without straining. And always remember – lift the box with your legs, not your back.
When packing a box place large, heavy items on the bottom and lighter, more fragile items on the top. Group items of similar size and weight. Separate the items with bubble wrap or packing paper to prevent scratches caused by rubbing.
Pack boxes to the top. This prevents them from being crushed when they are stacked. Fill each box as much as possible using crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap, towels, pillows and blankets to fill empty space to prevent shifting and breakage.
Make sure tops and sides of boxes do not bulge or sag. Under-packed boxes may collapse and over-packed boxes may rupture.
Packing fragile items.
When packing small fragile items wrap each one individually with packing paper or bubble wrap.
Stuff boxes with fragile items with wads of paper, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. This prevents shifting, rubbing, and possible breakage. Do not pack items too tightly, however when you shake the box the contents should not move.
The boxes with fragile items must be clearly labeled “FRAGILE”. Always stack them towards the top of your piles.
How to work with a moving tape.
When building a box start by taping the seam where the two flaps meet, leaving 1′ of overlap on each side. Add two more strips in the same direction, on both sides of your first strip, approximately half way between your strip and the edge of the box. For additional reinforcement, add two perpendicular strips equidistant from each other and the edge of the box. Use a tape dispenser to make the job easier. You can see how to do it right on the following chart:
Tape the top closed tightly when the boxes full. Run two strips of tape along the side and one strip down the center. If the box is still not strong enough, apply more tape to the sides.
Don’t apply tape directly to polished or painted wood finishes. Removing the tape could ruin the surface.
Keeping track of your belongings.
To keep track of your belongings create a complete and thorough inventory of what you will be moving to your new address.
It can be useful to photograph or videotape your valuables. It can help you later in case things will be damaged or missing.
It’s also advisable to write down the serial numbers of you electronic equipment.
Packing valuables and important documents.
You should personally pack and transport you valuables and important documents.
Some common household items cannot be included in your shipment because they are hazardous materials. Examples of these can be found in Moving Guide -> Do-not-move Items.
Movers will not transport living things such as your plants or pets. If you do not wish to give them away, don’t forget to prepare them for the move. To learn how, consult Moving Guide -> Moving Pets and Plants.
Other important tips.
Plates, books and things of a similar shape, should be loaded vertically to utilize their own maximum structural strength.
To keep large items clean and sanitary, use mattress bags, furniture bags, and stretch wrap.
Use moving blankets to wrap furniture, appliances, TV’s, or other large objects.
When disassembling furniture, beds, lamps, etc. put the hardware and bolts into a plastic bag along with any assembly tips and tape it onto the item itself.
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