Moving AND Packing Tips
Always allow yourself enough time to pack. Begin with packing items you won’t need right away, such as articles you have not used for the last several months. Wait and pack things you’ll be using right up to moving day last. Packing room by room will help you stay organized.
Moving Day Tips:
- At destination, you might want to consider having the TV and VCR hooked up first to occupy the kids while the rest of the van is being unloaded. (See also First Day Service.)
- Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch your pet at their house.
- Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels or pack them in your car for easy access upon arrival at your new home.
- To minimize the stress of moving on your children, enjoy familiar family activities or explore your new neighborhood together after the moving crew has left.
- Assign everyone in the family a list of tasks for which he or she will be responsible. That way, everyone is occupied in the move and no one person does the majority of work.
- It is best to have at least two people at destination: one to check off the inventory as it comes off of the van and the other to show the movers in which rooms to place your belongings.
- Sometimes, the flurry of activity and confusion on moving day is too much for very small children. If possible, you might consider making arrangements for your child or children to stay with a trusted family member or close friend.
Moving Packing Tips
Start with out-of-season items, then pack things that are used infrequently. Things you'll need until moving day should be left and packed at the last minute.
- Use PVC (polyvinyl chloride) tapes, they are the most effective. Masking tape and narrow cellophane tape are not recommended.
- Do not use newspapers for wrapping items, as the ink on the newspapers can rub off and stain items such as fine china. Newspaper is acceptable for cushioning.
- Label each and every carton. Use a broad felt-tipped marker, clearly marking room and contents. Indicate "FRAGILE" on delicates, "THIS END UP" where appropriate, and if available, include your bill of lading number on every box.
- Limit maximum weight of boxes to 50 pounds per carton.
- Empty breakables, non-transportable items, and anything that would puncture or damage other items from furniture drawers.
- Pack similar items together. For example, do not pack a delicate china teapot in the same carton with cast iron frying pans.
- Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts, and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic bags and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
- Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
- Wrap items individually in clean paper. Use tissue paper, paper towels, or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal, and delicate items. Clored wrapping paper will draw attention to very small things that might otherwise get lost in a carton. Use a double layer of newsprint for a good outer wrapping.
- Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of cartons for cushioning.
- Pack items in layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next, and lightest on top.
- As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
- Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets may also be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges, or rims are left uncovered.
- Pack small, fragile, individually-wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning them with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
- Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting. The cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
- Seal cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items that must be left open for the van operator's inspection.
- When finished with each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while stacked) and in a special notebook. You might want to number and/or code the cartons as well. Use a broad felt-tipped marker and indicate "FRAGILE" for delicate items and "THIS END UP" where appropriate. If available, include your bill of lading number on every box.
- Write on the carton your name and the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
- Put a special mark (a number or an alphabet) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.
Items to take with you:
- Cash, jewelry, furs
- Firearms (consult local laws)
- Important personal papers, such as birth certificates, etc.
- Special family photographs