Delivery man pushing a dolly loaded with boxes

Packing advice from pros

If you choose to pack yourself, let us give you some tips from our professional packers.

Couple opening moving boxes

Packing in the kitchen

Packing is much more convenient and less tiring when you have a good work area. It is suggested you clear the kitchen table and do your packing on the table. Keep in mind when you are packing fragile articles you should plan to pack the heaviest objects towards the bottom of the carton; more delicate articles should be packed closer to the top of the carton. The first thing to do is to lay out flat on the table a sizeable stack of packing paper. Select a sturdy, medium sized carton. Line the bottom of the carton with several layers of packing paper for additional cushioning.

Packing flatware

  • Place one plate in approximately the center of your packing paper.
  • Grasp about two sheets of paper at one corner. Pull over plate so as to completely cover plate. Stack second plate on first plate.
  • Grasp second corner of your paper. Pull over and cover stacked plates.
  • Stack third plate. Take remaining two corners (one at a time) and fold each over your stack of plates.
  • Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
  • Re-wrap entire bundle. Follow same wrapping procedure as before. Start with one corner of the packing paper, and pull two sheets over the bundle; cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner, and finally, the fourth.
  • Seal the bundle with plastic tape.
  • Place the bundle of flatware in carton so the plates are standing on edge.
  • For all flatware, saucers, bread and butter dishes, etc., follow the same procedure.

Note: Small dishes (saucers, bread and butter dishes) can be stacked in greater quantity in a bundle. Also you can omit steps 5 and 6 and seal your bundle without rewrapping.

Packing cups and glasses

Cups and glasses may be "nested" (one placed inside another) and three or four wrapped in a bundle. Tear or cut up some small sheets of paper. Use at least a couple of small sheets between each glass or cup as protective lining.

  •  Take first glass and line with a couple sheets of your cut-up paper.
  • Place second glass (or cup) inside the first one. Line with two more sheets of paper. Insert another glass (or cup).
  • Using your best judgment, nest three or four glasses (or cups) and lay these on your stack of wrapping paper in a diagonal manner, off center close to your body.
  • Grasp corner closest to you of two sheets of wrapping paper. Wrap around your glasses (or cups).
  • Grasp next corner of wrapping paper and wrap around your glasses.
  • Repeat procedure with remaining corners of wrapping paper. Then roll into a bundle (much the same as a butcher might wrap a package of hamburger).
  • If you have collected some liquor cartons with dividers, pack glasses, cups, and stemware in these boxes. If your bundle does not fill to the top of the compartment, stuff additional wadded-up packing paper in the compartment to fill it up.

If you don't have liquor cartons then pack your glasses, cups, and stemware in boxes with your other dishes, fitting them in where ever you find some spaces. Be sure these articles are toward the top of your carton.

Electronics care

  • If the original packaging is not available, pack the item in a sturdy carton that has been lined with newsprint or Styrofoam peanuts.
  • Securely seal the carton and mark the outside "extremely fragile."
  • When packing computer equipment, remember to:
    • Disconnect all wires.
    • Detach paper holders/feeders from printers.
    • Wrap monitors and additional hardware as you would other home electronics.
  • Peripheral accessories are okay, but WE DO NOT PACK OR TRANSPORT YOUR COMPUTER!!!! Please take it with you. Thank you.

The right stuff for the right thing

  • Dish pack (or china barrel): heavy duty carton used for dishes/china crystal and glassware.
  • 1.5 cu. ft. cartons (small): small carton for heavy items such as books, files, music CDs and DVDs/vide tapes, dishes and crystal.
  • 3.0 cu. ft. cartons (medium): medium utility carton often used for odd-shaped dishes such as serving platters, toys, and small appliances.
  • 4.5 cu. ft. cartons (large): for bulky items such as linens, towels, toys, and clothes.
  • 6.0 cu. ft. cartons (x-large): for large, bulky, or lightweight articles such as pillows or blankets, Tupperware, and large lampshades
  • Wardrobe cartons: a “portable closet” that keeps clothes or draperies hanging on a built-in bar. On the bottom you can put small objects such as shoes.
  • Pictures: slide the pictures into an untapped box. Leave the box flat, then tape the side so the picture doesn’t slide out. If the pictures are too big for the boxes then leave them for the movers to wrap with blankets.

Some basic packing tips to keep in mind

  • Packing room-by-room will help you stay organized. Label boxes clearly: room where the box is (master bedroom, bathroom, etc.) and a brief description of the contents. If there are fragile items being sure to write “Fragile” also.
  • Establish work areas in each room
  • Limit cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds
  • For best results have us pack: marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors, large-screen TVs, and large bulky items.
  • Provide plenty of cushioning by packing loosely crumpled plain newsprint in the bottom of the box about 2-3 sheets at the bottom (not needed in clothing boxes). You can also use paper towels or blankets for cushioning.
  • Wrap all fragile, breakable items in bubble wrap/paper before packing them in boxes. Be sure not to pack fragile items with heavy items as they might break.
  • Pack large and heavy items first, smaller items next, filling in all empty spaces with plain newsprint so that nothing moves. Layer things this way: heavy, then medium, then light. DO NOT FORGET to place paper cushioning between layers!
  • Use only sturdy cartons that can close easily (don’t overstuff), then tape top seams securely. Tops of boxes must be flat for loading and stacking. Normally use 2 strips of tape on the bottom and 1 strip on top. Lamp boxes may need to be left open if the items are taller then the box.
  • Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent shifting or bumping together.
  • Clothes in the drawers can stay just loose. Breakables need to be removed from the dresser.
  • Try to keep items that break down into different pieces together.
  • Wind cords up and fasten them so they don’t tangle.

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