Professional Packing Tips and Practices
Next to selecting the right-sized carton, the use of packing materials is equally important. We suggest clean newsprint. We do not recommend using old newspapers instead of clean newsprint; the ink can often rub off and stain glassware, clothing and other household items.
Newsprint can be used to gently contour around fragile items; and it can be bunched up to provide at least 4” of cushioning to the bottom of the carton.
Wrap individually and then bundle three or four together. Stand on end in carton, never lay flat. Use larger items as the bottom layer and place crumpled newsprint cushioning between each layer.
Bowls and other odd shaped items should be individually wrapped. Everyday cereal or salad bowls may be nested together after they have been wrapped. Heavier bowls, such as mixing bowls, may be placed near the bottom or middle of the carton; lighter, more delicate bowls should make up the upper layers. Place upside down, bottoms facing up.
Cups and glasses should be placed near the top, rim down, individually wrapped.
Always individually wrap and place in top layer. Never nest one piece inside the other. For particularly fragile pieces, pack and cushion in smaller separate cartons. Place the smaller carton inside the larger one with generous newsprint cushioning.
Pack flat or upright with open edges and bound ends alternating. For books with fragile covers, wrap first in newsprint.
Place hanging clothing in wardrobe cartons. Other clothing may stay in dressers, if the dresser is sturdy, but don’t overload drawers. Other folded clothing may be placed in medium cartons.
Boxed dry food should be packed in medium cartons with openings taped shut to prevent spillage. Jars or canned goods should be packed in book cartons; make sure jars are wrapped and cushioned with newsprint. Never pack or move perishable or frozen foods.
If in a hat box, pack in larger carton. If not, loosely stuff with crushed paper and pack in smallest carton available — either alone or with other hats.
Lamp bases should be wrapped, cushioned and packed in dish pack cartons. Lamp shades should be individually packed in appropriately sized cartons. Do not overstuff cartons with too much newsprint. Shades can dent easily. Cushion loosely.
Dried flowers should be packed alone in the appropriately sized carton and loosely cushioned with crumpled newsprint. Live plants cannot be transported aboard the moving van.
These items should be carefully wrapped and cushioned, then placed in medium or large cartons. Larger electronic pieces, such as television sets, computer monitors and entertainment systems, will be padded by your driver and moved as furniture. If possible, computer equipment (monitors, towers and keyboards) should be repacked in their original cartons to provide maximum protection.
These items should be packed in mirror/picture cartons unless they are small enough to be individually wrapped and placed with other fragile items in larger cartons. When placing in other cartons, place on edge — not flat. Large marble or glass table tops often require a special crate and professional handling. The weight makes these items impractical to be packed in a corrugated carton.
- Use cartons of adequate size and strength.
- When packing fragile items, always cushion bottom of carton and between layers.
- Wrap fragile items individually.
- Place heavier items in the lower part of the carton and lighter items in the upper levels.
- Be generous with newsprint cushioning; it absorbs shock.
- Make sure all items are firmly packed in each carton. Loose items may move during transit and cause damage.
- Do not overfill cartons. Make sure the tops close easily without bulging.
- Double tape and use PVC or strapping tape to keep cartons from bursting during transit.
Use a heavy marking pen. Mark the tops and sides of all cartons. List the general content of each carton, and mark the room each carton should be placed in when it arrives (kitchen, master bedroom, etc.). Mark fragile items FRAGILE. For items you will need immediately after you arrive at your new home, mark LOAD LAST, UNLOAD FIRST. When appropriate, mark the carton THIS END UP.
Items of value should be carried with you when you move, or forwarded by your banker or brokers. Examples are: stock certificates, bonds, securities, negotiables, insurance policies, valuable papers, currency, copies of CDs or computer disks, stamp and coin collections, jewelry and furs.
Our drivers are required to inspect all cartons before they are loaded on the van. This is for your protection. Improperly packed cartons must be repacked by the mover, which adds cost to the move, or by you. These guidelines will help you avoid delays and additional costs.
By law, movers may not transport hazardous materials such as:
- Paints, thinners, oils and varnishes
- Bottled gas or propane
- Lamp oil
- All flammables, explosives and corrosives
- Motor oils and fuel
- Nail polish remover
- Aerosol cans
- Matches, lighter fluid
- Dish packs (18” x18” x 30”) Double reinforced walls provide extra protection for crystal, glassware, dishes and other fragile items.
- Large (23” x 23” x 20”) For light yet bulky items, such as pillows, comforters, lamp shades. Medium (18” x 18” x 16”) For non-fragile items such as pots and pans, games and folded clothing.
- Book (16” x 13” x 13”) Designed for heavier items, such as books and canned goods.
- Wardrobe (24” x 21” x 49”) For clothing taken directly from your closets. A horizontal metal bar allows clothing to remain on hangers throughout the move.
- Mirror or picture – These cartons are adjustable to provide near custom fits for pictures, paintings, mirrors and other large, flat items.
- Mattress – These cartons are available in various sizes to accommodate different sized mattresses.