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Packing Tips for Moving

Amazing Moves offers expert packing services, but if you choose to pack all or some of your items, we'd like to share some advice, based on years of experience.

  • Use heavy duty boxes and containers that can be secured tightly. Don't skimp and use low grade odd sized lightweight boxes scrounged from the grocery store. They won't pack, stack, or protect well. It's worth it to purchase boxes specifically designed to protect dishes, clothing, and other special items.
  • Pack audio-video equipment in their original boxes if possible. Label cables and tighten transit screws. If you remove the screws, tape them to the object they were taken from.
  • Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into any box.
  • Label each box and indicate: the room it should go to at the destination location, whether it is fragile, and if it should be loaded last so that it can be unloaded first.
  • Cushion contents with packing material such as bubble wrap, newspaper, or tissue.
  • Have rugs, clothing, and draperies cleaned before moving them and then leave them in the wrapping for the move.
  • Pack medicines in a leak-proof container.
  • Pack heavy items (e.g., books, canned goods, records, and DVDs) in small cartons.
  • Fill all the cartons to the top. Half filled boxes tend to crush.
  • Do not overfill cartons. Boxes with rounded tops are difficult to stack.

General Guidelines

  • Use professional packing materials. This will save you time and help ensure the safety of your items.
  • Make certain all cartons are taped securely using three strips of tape on the top and bottom. Use packing tape rather than masking tape or duct tape, both of which tend to tear easier.
  • Label all cartons on the top and on two sides noting the type of contents and the destination room/area.
  • Label all cartons that contain fragile items.
  • Leave clothes and light linens in bureau drawers. Your movers will be able to move your bureaus full, but remember to remove fragile items from the drawers.
  • Empty desk drawers since desks often must be turned on their side to move through doorways.
  • Make a list of things you will need over the course of the move. Separate these items such as toiletries, kitchen supplies, clothes, and other things you will need soon after arrival. Keep these items together and pack them in a box labeled "Open First."

China and Glassware

  • Use china boxes and unprinted newspaper.
  • Wrap each plate and saucer separately in unprinted newspaper. Place them in the box standing on edge.
  • Wrap bowls individually, then stack 2-4 of them together and wrap them again. Place in the box standing on edge.
  • Wrap cup handles in paper and then wrap the entire cup. Place them in the box with all handles pointing in the same direction. Wrap everyday glasses individually.
  • Wrap each piece of stemware in white packing paper and place in a china or liquor box with dividers.

Other Household Items

  • Pack books standing on the bottom edge in book boxes.
  • Wardrobe boxes are ideal for hanging clothes. Other clothes, blankets, and linens can be folded and packed in linen boxes.
  • Use china boxes for pots and pans. Stack them together as much as possible separated by packing paper. Fill all empty spaces in those boxes with newspaper.
  • Remove shades and light bulbs from lamps. Wrap lamps in layers of paper and place in a box on their base. Wrap lampshades lightly in paper, nest them inside each other as much as possible, and pack them in a separate box.
  • Wrap electronic equipment heavily in bubble wrap and place in a box (ideally in the original packaging). Place bubble wrap at the bottom and sides to prevent movement.
  • Use picture boxes and bubble wrap for paintings, mirrors, and glass. Valuable pieces should be professionally crated by your moving company.
  • Tips on Moving your Pets to your New Home

Cats and Dogs

  • Obviously cats and dogs should be taken in the car. Be sure to take along food, a water dish, a leash, and newspapers or sheets to keep your car clean.
  • Pets can get car sick and may require frequent stops along the way. Be sure to plan ahead and reserve rooms at hotels that allow pets.
  • Depending on the pet's temperament and size, it may be advisable to have it shipped by air. Also, check to see if your destination has any local requirements or restrictions on animals.
  • If your pet is shipped by air (with you or separately) you may need a health certificate which can be obtained from your veterinarian. Check with the airline regarding their requirements for pet containers. You might consider giving your pet a mild tranquilizer (obtained from your veterinarian) just prior to going to the airport. A pet can be comforted by having your scent nearby so consider putting a piece of your clothing in the container as well.

Smaller Animals

  • Hamsters, birds, and other small animals can easily be transported in your car. To help keep them calm and quiet, cover their cages with a cloth. Make sure they have plenty of food and water available.
  • It may be impractical and very risky to move fish. Check with your pet store for recommendations on moving specific types of fish.

Moving Plants

  • Approximately two weeks before the move, prune your plants to facilitate packing. Consult a florist or plant book for instructions.
  • A week before the move, place the plant in a black plastic bag along with a bug/pest strip, conventional flea collar, or bug powder. Seal the bag and place it in a cool area overnight in order to kill any pests on the plant or in the soil.
  • The day before the move, place the plants in cardboard containers. Hold them in place with dampened newspaper or packing paper. Use paper to cushion the leaves and place a final layer of wet paper on top to keep them moist. If it's not possible to take your plant with you, consider taking a cutting along in a plastic bag packed with wet paper towels.
  • On moving day, set the plant boxes aside and mark "Do Not Move" so that the moving crew will not inadvertently take them. Close the boxes and punch air holes in the top before loading them in your car.
  • During the move, park your car in a shaded area in the summer and in a sunny spot in the winter. Upon arrival, unpack the plants as soon as possible. Remove the plants through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking the stems. Do not expose them to too much sunlight at first—allow them to gradually become accustomed to sunlight again.