Packing Tips For A Household Move

Packing! It's necessary when you move. In fact, it is half of moving when you consider you are reducing all of your household possessions into cartons and moving them to another place. Here are some suggestions to help you in the process.

  • Plan Ahead

    You will need to plan the packing process. Take an inventory of what you'll be moving, and identify those items that you'll need until moving day. Begin by packing less essential items- extra linens, out-of-season clothing and your good china, for example- well in advance of your moving date.

  • Appliances

    Wrap small appliances in newspaper or your kitchen towels or linens. Tape the bottom of a medium box securely and put down a layer newspaper for padding. You can pack several small appliances to a box. For large appliances, make sure you check your owner's manual for any special instructions before you start to pack. Make sure the inside and outside of all appliances are clean. You can stuff the inside of some appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, with towels or linens. Tape down any parts that could come loose -- the burners on your stove, the electrical cords, etc. Wrap the appliance with furniture pads and tie securely.

  • Art And Collectibles

    Wrap each piece in bubble wrap. Pad the bottom of a large box with crumpled newspaper or Styrofoam peanuts. Give the items plenty of space, and make sure you add lots of packing material on the sides, between items and on top. Remember to label the box "fragile."

  • Books

    Use only small boxes for books -- they get very heavy, very fast. You can use small paperbacks to fill the sides of the box if there is extra space.

  • Clothing

    This is where wardrobe boxes come in handy. You can move clothing on hangers straight from your closet to the wardrobe boxes. Clothing in drawers should be packed in suitcases or boxes.

  • Computers And Electronic Equipment

    Ideally, you should pack electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers in their original boxes with their original packing material. If this is unavailable, wrap the equipment in plastic bags. Put each piece of equipment in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts, and put this box in a larger box, also filled with Styrofoam peanuts. (This double-boxing will help prevent sharp objects from penetrating all the way through to your fragile equipment.)

  • Furniture

    If you can take your furniture apart in any way to make it easier to move, make sure you put all nuts, bolts and screws in a small zip-lock bag and tape the bag to the furniture. Tape drawers shut where necessary. Wrap exposed legs (on tables and chairs) in bubble wrap or newspaper. Wrap in furniture padding and tie securely.

  • Kitchenware

    Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap or unprinted newspaper. Put layers of bubble wrap between each plates or bowl. Fill the top bowl with crumpled newspaper or Styrofoam peanuts. Place the items in a box filled with crumpled newspaper or Styrofoam peanuts. Make sure you put the heavier items on the bottom of the box. Wrap non breakable items in unprinted newspaper and pack in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts or crumpled newspaper. Make sure you pack all the items you'll need for your first few days in your new home in one box, and label it prominently. You can only eat take-out for so long.

  • Mirrors And Framed Art

    Tape an X of masking tape across mirrors and paintings framed with glass. Wrap each item in bubble wrap. Cut a box to fit each item exactly. Make sure you label everything fragile.

    Do Not Pack:

    Paints, turpentine, pressurized cans, corrosive items like bleach or any flammable liquid. The law prohibits movers from carrying flammable items. Properly dispose of items which could cause fire or damage.

  • Tips For Loading

    Your safety is the most important consideration when loading the truck.

    Start with heavy appliances and load them on the floor against the front wall of the trailer. Continue by loading heavier items toward the front of the trailer and on the floor. Save the space above for lighter items. Stack lightweight, bulky items on top; mattresses and mirrors should be placed along the walls of the truck and tied securely.

    Take your time packing the truck; a tightly packed load is your best guarantee that your belongings will come through the move unscathed. It's also a good idea to place the items you need least at the bottom of the truck.