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Proper packing will help to ensure your belongings arrive at their new location safe and sound. It will also help you save money on overall moving costs. Check out these tips before you pack and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you packed like the pros!

  • Sort, pack, purge. Begin sorting and packing early - preferably months in advance if possible. Start with any non-essentials. Many people underestimate how long it will take to pack on their own! You’ll want ample time to sort, purge, and to try to sell items. You can also donate or dispose of any unwanted or unnecessary items to save on moving costs.​

  • Essentials. Pack up separate boxes or a suitcase with various essentials that you'll need right away. Keep these with you and put them in your car. Some of these important items may include medications, medical devices, toiletries, computers, important documents, childcare items, pet supplies, etc.

  • TV's, pictures, mirrors, and artwork. Use your original boxes and protective materials if you still have it. Purchase TV boxes for your TV's, mirrors, and artwork. You may even be able to put multiple pictures in each box. Just don't forget to wrap them first in bubble wrap or blankets first to prevent the frames from scratching each other. Tape any cables to the back of your TVs or place them in a separate box.

  • Lamps. Separate the lamps from their shades and lightbulbs. You can put the lamps into boxes. Use towels, pillows, or lots of packing paper to protect them in the box. Use a separate box for your lampshades. Multiple lampshades can be put upside down into a box, just make sure to put packing paper or another protective material in between each shade. Wrap the lightbulbs in packing paper and place them inside the shades. 

  • Pack boxes properly. Pack heavy items (such as books) into the smallest boxes possible. Larger boxes can begin to crumble, warp, or fall apart when packed too heavily. Larger boxes are made for lighter items such as bedding, towels, lamps, etc. Use heavy-duty boxes if you have large/heavy items that will need to go into large boxes.

  • Buy new boxes. Used boxes can be a tempting way to save on moving costs, especially if you get them for free. However, many boxes aren’t made to be used repeatedly, especially if they’ve previously been used for heavy items. Each time a box is used, its structural integrity is compromised. Used boxes carry a risk of collapsing or crumbling under pressure when stacked (even when stacked properly), or even falling apart. If you can help it, don’t subject your belongings to an increased risk of damage! Boxes that are beginning to collapse, crumble, or fall apart can also take longer to load. Movers may struggle to find a way to stack the boxes safely if they are all crumbling, costing you more money on hourly labor charges. Having a bunch of random boxes of varying sizes can also take longer to load. Buying new boxes from the same location will ensure all your smalls, mediums, etc. are all the same dimensions.

  • Pack up furniture. If any dressers or large furniture pieces are being taken up or down any stairs, these items should be packed up and empty before they are moved. The extra weight creates a safety hazard for your movers while going up or down stairs. Pack up items in smaller furniture pieces such as nightstands, side tables, etc. These lighter items will be stacked on top of the larger items in the truck. Leaving any items inside can add weight. Smaller items like jewelry, coins, etc. may also slip out of the drawers when flipped upside down, causing them to get lost or broken.

  • Completely fill your boxes. If you have any void spaces in a box you packed, fill it with other items such as towels, washcloths, clothing, packing peanuts, or crumpled packing paper. This helps to prevent your boxes from crushing in once they're stacked.

  • Labeling. Label all your boxes with the room they will be going to at the new home. This way the movers will know where to take the boxes unless you specify otherwise. Some people choose to use color coded stickers or colored packing tape to identify different rooms. Be sure to label any boxes that contain fragile items with the word "fragile" on the top and at least 2 sides. 

  • Use quality tape. High quality packing tape will help to ensure your boxes don't open up when they're being moved. Sometime cheaper tape won't hold properly and items could spill out of the bottom. Place 3 rows of tape along the bottom for extra security.

  • Dishes and other fragile items. Use plenty of packing paper to pad the bottom, sides, and tops of the boxes. This provides extra shock protection to prevent items from breaking. Wrap all of your dishes, bowls, plates, cups, etc. in packing paper. You can stack 4-5 cups, plates, or bowls together as long as you put a layer or two of packing paper between each one. Place dishes on their sides in the box, never flat! Dish pack boxes provide even more protection. For more information on packing stemware or other fragile items, check out a few professional packing videos on YouTube.

  • Hanging clothes. Wardrobe boxes help to keep your hanging clothes from getting wrinkled. If you purchase tall wardrobe boxes, you can also place other closet items at the bottom such as shoes or miscellaneous items. If you choose to use standard boxes, you can always fold your hanging clothes in half and put them in large or XL boxes to save money.

  • Long Distance Moves. If you're moving long-distance, heavy-duty boxes will offer the best protection, especially for fragile items. Heavy-duty boxes are much less likely to crush or crumble over long distances on potentially rough roads. 

  • Non-Admissible Items. These items legally cannot be moved by moving companies, put into storage units, or even loaded into containers like PODS. If you want to keep these items, you'll need to move them yourself of throw them out before the move. Some of these items include alcohol, chemicals, fuel, ammunition, fireworks, propane, and more. Your mover should provide a more detailed list of these items.

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