Packing for a move can be a real chore. Professional movers, however, know a variety of ways to simplify the process and ensure even the most fragile items reach their destination in one piece. Here are some of their tips for packing for a move:
1. Talk to the movers
Tell them what you want them to move and what you plan to move by yourself. Most people, for example, handle smaller and lighter items like clothing themselves, but they hire movers to handle larger items like furniture. Movers will also handle things like chandeliers that require disassembly. Different moving companies also have different guidelines for how they want things to be packed. Find out what those rules are ahead of time, so you don’t have to repack things. The movers will inspect your boxes before loading them, and if the boxes don’t fit their guidelines, they won’t take them.
2. Pack what you need least first
Many movers recommend that you pack out-of-season items first. If you’re moving during the summer, for example, pack up all your winter gear and clothing first. Similarly, pack up things you don’t use a lot before things you do use often. Pack up seasonal items like Christmas decorations early. By contrast, leave things you do often use until later.
3. Use new and sturdy packing materials
Use new boxes that close properly. Items that have been sitting around in attics or garages for years tend to be among those that need to be repacked. Replace stained and damaged boxes with ones in good condition. You will also need the following items to pack for your move:
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper
- Packing labels
- Moving plastic wrap
Packing paper resembles newspaper but is completely without print. Consequently, it won’t get ink all over your belongings. While you can use crumpled newspaper to make a cushion at the bottom of the box, you should use bubble wrap and packing paper to wrap delicate items.
4. Lighten the load
While movers are usually fit young men, there are still limits to how much they can lift. Many movers won’t even accept drawers, filing cabinets, or desks that still have things in them. Sliding drawers and the like can also be a safety hazard. Empty such pieces and pack the pens, papers, and whatnot in a box of their own. Similarly, a packed box should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Put heavy items like books in small boxes that are relatively easy to lift and carry.
5. Label your boxes
Use a black magic marker to clearly label your boxes with their destination like “Kitchen” or “Living Room.” Also mark the boxes with advisories like “This End Up,” “Linens,” or “Fragile” when necessary.
6. Use a lot of padding when packing fragile items
Start by placing at least two inches of crumpled paper at the bottom of the box. Wrap the item with paper and bubble wrap and tape the corners together. Make certain that no edges or sharp points are exposed. Plates and the like should be stacked on top of each other. Use things like foam peanuts or wadded paper to fill in corners and prevent things from shifting about. You should carry very small and fragile things like jewelry in your own car.