Moving Services

How Do I Pack?

In the following document, you will find the necessary packing instructions to make your move as easy and stress free as possible.  We provide specific directions and recommendations for packing your household goods, as well as detailed instructions for choosing cartons, packing material, and safely boxing various household goods.  Following these instructions will help to assure you complete your packing in a timely manner and your goods arrive in the same condition prior to placing them in the box.  In addition, you will find answers for many of your moving questions.  If you have questions that are not answered below, please feel free to contact us.  We are here to assist you!

  • Make a plan for your packing and begin as soon as you know you are moving.  Don’t underestimate how long it will take to pack.  Start early and pack daily to make your moving experience more pleasant.
  • Start early by packing those items which you do not often use or will not need prior to your relocation.
  • Pack room by room to help stay organized and give a sense of accomplishment.
  • Certain items may need to be carried with you when you move.  These may include cell phones, keys, checkbooks, prescription drugs, important personal papers (wills, insurance policies, deeds, mortgage paperwork, apartment leas paperwork, medical and dental records, school records, etc.), travel clothes, children’s travel toys, first aid kit, irreplaceable items, things you will need immediately upon arrival at your new home etc.  These items should be placed in one location so they will be ready to load into your vehicle.  In addition there are items you will not want to pack as they may be necessary for the new homeowner.  Items such as mailbox and home keys, garage door openers, HOA information, appliance manuals, etc. should be set aside so they are not loaded onto the van.
  • Use sturdy cartons for packing.   Most apple and orange fruit boxes are excellent.  A number of locations provide various sized and specialty boxes for purchase, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sam’s, Costco, U-Haul etc.
  • Make sure you tape the top and bottom of each carton with packing tape.  Boxes with folded tops do not hold.  File boxes with lids that sit on top of the box must be taped as well.
  • Use only cartons with tops.
  • Do not pack flammable or non-allowable items.  Please refer to the document Items We Cannot Transport.
  • Choose the correct size carton for the type of items you are packing.  Keep carton weight to 60 lbs. or less.
  • Place heavy items such as books in smaller boxes not larger than 3 cubic feet.  A 1.5 cubic foot box is ideal for heavy items such as books and canned goods (most moving boxes will have the cubes printed somewhere on the box, if not, use moving boxes that say small for books).
  • Pack heavier items on the bottom of the carton, and then fill it with progressively lighter items as you move toward the top.
  • Put everything possible into cartons.  You should not have a large number of items that are not in boxes.  All small items must be placed in boxes to give them maximum protection and keep them from being damaged during the move.
  • Load each carton as efficiently as possible, using all available space and packing items tightly.  Make sure the carton is filled completely, even if packing (newsprint, bubble wrap, linens, clothes etc.) is needed to fill extra space.  This will keep the box from collapsing when loaded onto the truck.
  • Pack like items in cartons, separate breakable and non breakable items.
  • For fragile items, use generous amounts of cushion inside the box, including the top and the bottom.  Cushion could include crumpled paper, bubble wrap, linen, clothes, pillows, etc.
  • Breakable items need a little “breathing room” to protect against breakage.  Do not pack them too closely together and make sure you have ample padding between each item. 
  • Mark only boxes with easily broken items FRAGILE. 
  • Newspaper makes good cushion, but use caution.  Newsprint fades, runs, and can easily transfer onto the item it was intended to protect.  Clean newsprint is a better choice and can be purchased at many moving supply locations.
  • On the outside of each carton, write your name, the carton contents, and the room to which it should be delivered in your new home.  You may use the colored labels we provide as a way of designating a boxes room destination.
  • Combine items you will immediately need on arrival into one or two cartons and write “Open First” on the box lid.  Include items such as toilet paper, paper towels, cups, can opener, soup etc.
  • As boxes are packed, place them in sections sorted by heavy, light, fragile, books, etc.

Packing tips for specific items:

  1. China – carefully wrap each piece of china in clean newsprint paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of paper on the outside.  Place paper or linen on the bottom of the carton for padding.  Place these bundles into the carton.  Surround each bundle with paper or linen so there are no unfilled spaces.  If you have additional room, cups, saucers, bowls and lighter china items may go on top of heavier items such as plates.  Use padding or a horizontal cardboard divider to create a level base for each new layer of china (for example, padding, dinner plates on the bottom, padding/divider, bowls, padding/divider, cups, padding close box).  Add two to three inches of paper or linen at the top of the box before closing.   Dish packs can be purchased for china and are highly recommended.  If you use dish packs, you may set your first layer of plates on edge rather than on top of one another.
  2. Silver and Kitchen Utensils – nest silver together, wrap it in paper, and return it to the silver chest.  Place padding on top of the nested packs to keep them from moving.  Knives and other sharp kitchen utensils must be packed in a safe container to keep from puncturing a box and damaging furniture or other items
  3. Stemware – we recommend that you purchase special cartons designed for stemware and glasses.  Padding should be placed inside and fill each goblet.  Stems should also be wrapped.  Each goblet should be cushioned by thick padding and placed stem up in the specialized carton.  If dish packs are unavailable, we recommend wrapping each piece of stemware with bubble wrap before placing it into a box.  Place it in the box with the stem up and make sure that you have ample padding between each piece and around the stems so they will not move.
  4. Shoes – ideally shoes should be packed in their original boxes.  If these are not available, wrap each shoe individually to prevent damage from abrasion.
  5. Clothes – hanging clothes may be left on hangers and loaded into wardrobe cartons which we can provide.  Clothes may be left in dresser drawers, but overstuffed and very heavy drawers may warp during the move.    We recommend that some items be removed from heavier drawers to decrease the risk of damage.  Remember, cloths that you do not need immediately make good padding material for breakable items.  In addition, if your dresser or chest is or will be carried up or down a flight of stairs and is very heavy, we ask that you remove some or all of the clothing to decrease the weight.
  6. Linen, Bedding and Mattresses – pack bedding and linen you will need on arrival in the same box.  Bedding not immediately needed may be used as padding for fragile items or filler in boxes.  Beds should be stripped when the driver arrives.  Mattress protectors will be placed over each mattress prior to loading in the van.
  7. Lamp Shades and Bases – lamp shades may be removed and shipped nested together.  However, clean newsprint paper or other clean, non-abrasive divider should be placed over each shade prior to nesting to prevent damage.  We recommend purchasing cartons specifically designed to transport lamp bases.  In the event that cartons are not available, lamp bases may be packed into regular boxes with ample padding, or placed, with adequate padding, at the bottom of filled wardrobe boxes.  Remember to remove the light bulbs before packing.
  8. Stereos and Other Electronics – if available, the original boxes should be used for these items.  If the original cartons are unavailable, they may be packed in sturdy boxes with adequate protection (bubble wrap, foam sheeting, newsprint paper, comforters/blankets, pillows etc.) on the top and bottom of the box.  Make sure to fill any spaces around the edges of the electronic unit to avoid shifting within the carton.  Take pictures of the wiring or label each cable making hookup in your new home easy.
  9. Statuary and Figurines – wrap each individually with bubble wrap then tightly cover the bubble wrap with clean newsprint paper.  If bubble wrap is not available, wrap each item with enough clean paper or other padding for adequate cushioning.
  10. Bottles, Glass Canned Food and Liquids – tape the lids of bottles shut and wrap each bottle in clean newsprint or other type of padding.  Put glass canned food jars in their original box or wrap them with bubble wrap before putting them into a sturdy container.  All liquids should be sealed in unbreakable containers.  For extra security, place bottles in a resealable watertight bag before wrapping and placing in the carton.
  11. Marble Topped Furniture – marble and granite slabs require special handling, especially ones which are large.  We strongly recommend that marble and granite slabs be professionally crated prior to your move.  Please check your employer’s policy for covering this additional service.  You must make arrangements for this additional service.
  12. Mirrors, Glass, and Pictures – wrap each picture or mirror with a generous amount of clean news print paper.  For large pictures and mirrors, we recommend purchasing mirror or picture packs.  Always stand pictures, mirrors, and glass on edge, never lay them flat.
  13. Artwork, Antiques, and Other Irreplaceable Keepsakes – we recommend that valuable or very large artwork, antiques, and other irreplaceable items be crated prior to shipping.  Please check your employer’s policy for covering this additional service before scheduling work to begin.
  14. Computers and Printers– if possible, pack computers and printers in their original cartons.  Use appropriate padding, bubble wrap, newsprint, clothes, foam sheeting, etc., when placing them into sturdy boxes.  Pad the bottom of the carton with packing material before placing the computer inside the box.  Pack additional padding tightly around the sides and top of the item to prevent damage, then firmly seal the carton.  Printers should have their print or toner cartridges removed prior to packing to prevent leaking.  Take a picture of the wiring, or affix labels to the cables making hookup easier when you arrive in your new home.
  15. Televisions – if possible, pack the television in its original box.  If the box is unavailable, the television may be packed into a sturdy carton following the same procedure as computers.  We recommend purchasing specialized cartons for flat screen televisions.  These can be purchased at many stores where moving supplies are sold.  Make sure you protect the screen of all televisions with a non-abrasive covering prior to wrapping it with bubble wrap or other form of padding.
  16. Washers, Dryers, Refrigerators, and Freezers – refrigerators and freezers must be defrosted and thoroughly dried before the move.  If you would like to clean the appliances prior to loading, please do so before the driver arrives.  Each appliance will be covered with an appliance pad prior to loading in the moving van.
  17. Silk Plants – small silk plants should be packed in boxes with ample padding.  Larger silk plants and trees should have all moss, ivy, and other decorative items in the pot removed and packed separately.  These small items can be easily lost or damaged in transit.
  • We are not responsible for damage to contents which are packed in boxes, unless the box itself has been damaged (such as crushed or torn).
  • Furniture may be left in its current location until the driver arrives.
  • Empty the contents of drawers in end tables, nightstands, sewing machine cabinets, desks, buffets etc.  You may leave clothes in the drawers of smaller dressers and chests (please see clothes section above).  If clothes in drawers are heavy, please pack them in boxes.
  • Pianos present special challenges.  We are able to load and unload standard sized pianos.  While we carry the equipment and have the ability to move grand and baby grand pianos, we are not piano specialists.  It is at your discretion if you would prefer to have your piano moved by specialists.  If you wish to hire someone else to disassemble, load, unload, and reassemble your piano, you must make arrangements with your paying entity for reimbursement.
  • Plastic rolling cabinets with drawers do not travel well.  If you have such items and the drawers are heavy, please pack the drawer contents in a box.
  • Outside furniture and lawn equipment must be cleaned and free of organic material and creatures.  It should be sprayed for insects or ants one week before our arrival.  Some states could deny access or passage through, should they find dirty or infested outdoor furniture or equipment.
  • Live household plants are difficult to transport and in some cases, we cannot transport them.  Please refer to Items We Cannot Carry for detailed information.
  • Automobiles, lawnmowers, motorcycles and other gasoline powered items to be transported during the move must have their gas tanks emptied or as close to empty as reasonable.
  • We are not responsible for damage to any electrical items, poorly packed items, or assembled particle board furniture.