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Most movers, especially the do-it-yourself kind, are so happy to finally arrive in their new home that they don't even mind that the dinner plates are chipped, there's a scratch on the coffee table or their favorite lampshade is bruised and battered. But there's no reason your household goods should become casualties of the move. With a little care and planning, and these moving packing tips, you and your stuff will both arrive in mint condition.
A little common sense helps when packing for moving. Think of a stack of dishes in a box on the bed of a bouncing truck. No matter how well the sides are padded, a firm up-and-down jolt could crack the entire stack. On the other hand, dishes packed on edge and surrounded by bubble wrap have a better chance of surviving the trip unharmed.
Boxes & Moving Kits
In the long run, it pays to purchase the right packing materials. Sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts can be purchased at moving companies and truck-rental firms. Supplement with copious amounts of crumpled paper, blankets and pillows; even clothing can serve as a buffer between breakable objects. Then, pack with a plan.
Purchase boxes and packing supplies direct from the manufacturer
Moving Packing Tips
•Pack one room at a time, labeling each box with a description of its contents and its destination (e.g., kitchen, bathroom). Be as specific as you can; it will make unpacking that much easier.
•Keep the weight of your boxes reasonable. If possible, put heavy items in small boxes to make them easier to carry.
•Don't apply tape directly to polished or painted wood finishes. Removing the tape could ruin the surface.
•Double-box fragile items and add plenty of cushioning.
What you'll need for the first night/day
When everything is packed and ready to load, make sure the items you need least are loaded first. Again, common sense is essential when loading the truck. Place the box containing your best china on top of the box of encyclopedias and not vice versa.
Prepare for the first night in your new home by packing essential items in a separate bag and carrying it with you. You may even want to prepare a simple meal that you can heat and serve on your first night.
•For each person in the household: a change of clothes, a towel, prescription drugs, a toothbrush, and other personal items.
•For everyone: plastic utensils, paper plates, paper towels, plastic cups, toilet paper, toiletries, trash bags, a flashlight, first aid kit including pain relievers, pencil and paper, snacks, beverages, and re-closable plastic bags.
•Small tool kit for re-assembling items that couldn't be moved whole.
•A clean set of sheets for each bed.
Packing for moving with good technique and the right materials can mean an easier move and fewer chipped dishes.
A Checklist for Before and After You’ve Moved
Please take advantage of our moving tips and moving advice.
Print this page and carry it with you before and several days
after the move. Moving tips that may seem obvious can be easily
over looked. Take our moving advice and utilize this checklist
before and after you have moved.
Make a note of your shipment registration number and keep it
with you in case you need to call your mover with questions
about your shipment.
•Get the Bed Ready
Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so that
you won't have to rummage through boxes for these essentials the
first night in your new home.
•Don't forget about the Fridge
After you've thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your
refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or
charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep
the interior smelling fresh.
•Keep the Phone Book
Take your current phone book with you. You may need to make
calls to residents or businesses back in your former hometown.
•Pack Heavy - Pack Light
Pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in larger
•Give out your Number
Before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence,
give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a
good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you
can't be reached.
•Protect Your Memories
If it's irreplaceable, take it with you in the car (you don't
want regrets later). But if you do decide to pack framed photos
or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added
•Know how to Pack Plates and Records
Plates and record albums should be packed on end vertically,
rather than placed flat and stacked.
•Remember the Bare Necessities
Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot),
soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates,
cups, utensils, a couple of pans, paper towels, and cleaning
supplies are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at
your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your
van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.
Remove bulbs before packing your lamps.
•Tag your Items
For your garage sale, tag all items and be prepared to wheel and
deal. Garage sale gurus love to haggle.
•Give the Kids an Exercise
Have children write their names and new address on the cartons
from their rooms so they can become familiar with their new
street and town.
•Help your Pet Relax
Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day
by arranging for a friend to watch him at their house.
•Be Nice to Your Plants
When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not
to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will
•Take a Break from the Computer
Upon arrival at your new home, let your computer "acclimate"
itself to room temperature before plugging it in.
•Enjoy the Help
Leave the rest to the professionals, sit back and relax, and
look forward to the new opportunities, friends and experiences
that are part of any move. Be sure to get a good night’s rest
before the pickup and delivery days!