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All My Sons Packing Guide

General Moving Tips:

Room By Room Packing Tips:

Other Tips:

Do-It Yourself Packing or Full Service Move?

If you decide to pack yourself, consider the time and effort necessary to properly protect your belongings. While in most cases you can save money by doing your own packing, it is strongly recommended you let a professional pack any fragile or valuable items.

With a professional moving company, you have the option of doing some or all of the packing yourself, or you can leave it to the experts. Discuss your options with your moving company.

Packing Guidelines

If you decide to do at least some of the packing yourself, then you will need to have everything properly packed and ready for loading when the van arrives. All packing must be completed by the evening before moving day. Only the things you'll need that night, the next morning, and immediately at your new destination should be left for last-minute packing.

What Needs to be Packed?

As a general rule, furniture and major appliances will be wrapped and padded by your moving company. Items requiring professional disassembly and/or crating - such as slate pool tables, chandeliers, or large glass table tops - are best left to the professionals. For more information on specific items, the Packing Guide provides tips and hints for packing every room in the house.

Boxes - What Do You Need?

Using new, quality packing materials specifically designed for moving can really make the difference in ensuring that your items arrive at their destination safely. Professional moving cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are specifically suited to fit a variety of household goods.

Dish Pack (or China Barrel)

Extra sturdy corrugated carton of double-wall construction for all breakables such as china and dishes, crystal and glassware. You may also want to use cellular dividers inside the carton as an extra measure of protection.

Small (Book Carton) - 1.5 cu. ft. carton

A small, easy to handle carton designed for heavy items such as books and records.

Medium - 3 cu. ft. carton

Medium utility box often used for pots and pans, toys, non-perishable food and small appliances.

Large (Square/ Lamp) - 4.5 cu. ft. carton

For bulky items such as linens, towels, toys or lampshades.

Large (Rectangular/ Lamp) - 6.0 cu. ft. carton

For lightweight bulky articles such as pillows, blankets and large lampshades.

Wardrobe Carton

This large carton has a hangar bar to accommodate clothes from your closet or draperies.

Mirror Carton

Telescoping cartons fit almost any picture, mirror or glass.

Mattress Carton

Available in king, queen, double, single (twin) and crib sizes; you'll need one for every box spring and every mattress.

Other supplies:

  • bundles of packing paper (clean, unprinted newsprint)
  • bubble wrap, tissue paper, or paper towels for delicate items
  • rolls of PVC tape
  • tape dispenser
  • broad-tipped markers for labeling
  • scissors or sharp knife for cutting cartons
  • notebook and pen or pencil for listing contents of cartons as they are packed.
  • labels or stickers for identifying boxes

Getting Started

Before packing cartons, you'll need to wrap most items to protect them from scratching and breakage. There are a variety of materials available, including bubble pack, foam peanuts and tissue. However, most professional moving companies use bundles of clean, unprinted newsprint (available at your moving supply store).

Start by placing a small stack of paper on a flat, uncluttered table or countertop. Round glasses and jars can be rolled up in two or three sheets of paper; always begin from a corner of the sheet and fold the sides in as you roll.

Large or odd-shaped items require a similar technique. Place them in the center of the sheet and bring the corners together. It may be necessary to flip the item over and wrap it again from the other side. If in doubt, use more paper! When the corners are brought together, secure them with tape.

Before packing each carton, line the bottom with a few inches of wadded paper for padding. Then place large, heavy items on the bottom and lighter, more fragile items on the top.

Plates, books and things of a similar shape, should be loaded vertically to utilize their own maximum structural strength. Don't overload cartons; keep them to a manageable weight. Fill in any voids and top off loaded cartons with wadded paper. Then tape cartons securely to avoid shifting while en route.

Packing Tips

Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until the last minute things you'll need until moving day.

  • Do not use masking tape or narrow cellophane tape. You will find PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) to be the most effective.
  • Use newspapers only for cushioning not for wrapping items. The ink on the newspapers will rub off and can stain items such as fine china.
  • 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 cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds
  • Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
  • Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
  • 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. Colored wrapping paper draws 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.
  • Build up the 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 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.
  • As you finish 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; Indicate "FRAGILE" on delicates; "THIS END UP" where appropriate; If available, include your bill of lading number on every box.
  • Indicate 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 (the number 1, or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.

Room By Room Packing How To

GARAGE/STORAGE

Garages and storage sheds typically are filled with odd-shaped, sharp or heavy items that require special care to pack correctly. In addition, there may be items such as pesticides, fertilizers, oil and gas that cannot be shipped. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Begin by grouping items of a similar size or shape together, like long-handled tools with pruning shears. Then, make sure you have an assortment of boxes and newsprint to properly wrap and cushion items.

Tools

  • Long-handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately. All power tools must be drained of oil and gas before packing.
  • Hand tools may be left in tool boxes and the spaces filled with crushed paper, or they may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small cartons for heavy tools.
  • Use old towels to wrap and tape any sharp-edged tools.

Rakes & Brooms

Shovels, rakes, brooms and the like need not be packed; gather them together for your driver to bundle in a pad.

Lawn & Patio Furniture

Remove pads and clean frames. Pack pads in large carton or wardrobe.

Umbrella

Keep it clean and dry during transport by wrapping it in paper padding or a plastic bag and taping shut. Do not pack the weighted umbrella stand.

Grill

Dispose of any unused charcoal. Remove tank - it cannot be transported in the moving van. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Outdoor Equipment

Before moving day, dismantle children's swing sets, TV antennas and garden sheds you plan to take with you.

  • Place small hardware in a plastic bag or old coffee can and label.
  • If the parts bag can be securely attached to corresponding equipment, all the better.
  • Prepare lawn mower by safely draining gasoline prior to loading day.

Pots and Planters

Pack small ceramic or pottery planters like any fragile item - individually wrapped with plenty of cushioning. If you plan to move any large or unusual planters, consult your moving company.

Trash Cans

It may be easier just to buy new garbage cans at your destination.

  • Clean cans if you plan to take them with you.
  • If your cans are sealable or rollable, you may pack items in them, just don't make them too heavy.

Vehicles

You have the option of moving your vehicles with your household goods, or separately by using a automotive transport service provider.

Let your moving company know if you have any of the following items:

  • riding mower
  • gas leaf blower
  • snow blower
  • motor scooter
  • mope
  • trampoline
  • above-ground swimming pool
  • hot tub
  • satellite dish
  • storage shed
  • swing set
  • jungle gym
  • dog house or kennel

HOME OFFICE DEN

Your home office will likely contain your important paperwork and legal papers. Set these aside beforehand and plan to take them with you. Computer equipment and other valuables that exceed $100 per pound will need to be listed on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage.

Home Computer

Back up all files on a floppy disc, CD or tape and take with you. Label cords and cables and pack them in the same box as the appropriate electronic equipment.

Home Copier

If your home copier is larger than desk size, it must be serviced by a professional before transport.

  • Remove the paper tray and cartridge.
  • Secure the document cover, exit tray and alternate paper tray before packing.
  • If your unit comes with shipping pins, which keep the internal parts in place during transit, they should be removed from the storage location on the document cover and placed according to directions in the owner's manual.

Home Printer

The toner and laser cartridges of any laser printer should be removed. Dispose of them safely and get new ones at your destination. On other types of printers, the print head should be secured by a professional, with preparation depending on the model.

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack them either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.
  • Expensively bound volumes of those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.

BEDROOM/NURSERY/BATHROOM

Start packing your bedrooms by tackling less-used guest rooms first. Children can help by setting aside the toys and books they want to take with them and packing the rest in boxes. Colorful stickers on the outside of boxes let children know their personal belongings are clearly marked, and allow them to identify their things when the moving van is unloaded.

Clothing

Hanging clothing from closets can be left on hangars and placed in wardrobe cartons. You may want to consider purchasing several of these special cartons from your moving company. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing on hangers; figure more cartons if wrinkles are a concern.

  • If wardrobe cartons are not used, each garment should be removed from its hangar, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper.
  • It is recommended that you take your furs with you rather than having them moved on the van, as irreparable damage can occur due to heat or humidity.

Shoes

Footwear may be left in shoe boxes and placed in large cartons, or wrapped individually and then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage to heels or ornaments. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.

Hats

Hats may be left in hatboxes and placed in large cartons, or stuff the crown of each hat with crumpled tissue paper, wrap tissue loosely around the outside and place in a carton lined with clean paper, with the heavier hats at the bottom. Don't pack anything else with hats. Label the carton "FRAGILE."

Jewelry

Valuables such as fine jewelry should be removed from drawers and never packed with your household goods. They will be most secure if they remain in your possession. If you don't feel comfortable or don't have the means to take your fine jewelry or other valuable collectibles with you (like stamp or coin collections), consider hiring a third-party armored vehicle service.

Toiletries

Dispose of aerosol spray cans, such as hair spray or deodorant, or take them with you. Other bottles should be carefully taped shut and wrapped to prevent leakage, then packed in small cartons. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Bedding, Linens & Towels

Blankets, sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases and other linens may be protected by a large plastic bag and packed in a carton that has been lined with clean paper.

Wrap you most prized possessions in tissue. Also, linens and bedding are good for cushioning or padding many other items.

If you decide to wash your linens before you pack them, make sure they are thoroughly dried first.

Mattresses & Pillows

Mattresses should be placed in mattress cartons for added strength and cleanliness. Pillows may be placed in bureau drawers or packed in cartons. They also make good padding for other items.

Bed Frame

If you can dismantle any bed frames beforehand, it will be one less thing to worry about on moving day.

Mirrors

Glass mirrors should be packed in special mirror cartons. However, if they are especially heavy, crating is recommended.

Draperies & Curtains

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangar, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move - you'll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

LIVING/FAMILY/GREAT ROOM

Most pictures and mirrors can be wrapped and packed in telescoping mirror cartons. Fragile or valuable fine art may require special crating and should be handled by your moving professional.

Stereo Equipment

Advance preparation is required for compact disc players, digital video disc players and stereo turntables.

On compact and digital video disc players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit.

Most turntables have a plastic lock which should be used to hold the tone arm in place. For additional protection, you may tie a piece of string around the arm in case the lock does not hold. Also, secure the platter (where the records are placed) by tightening the appropriate screws. These are usually located on top of the turntable, but check you owner's manual if in doubt.

Speakers

Pack speakers in well-cushioned dish packs.

  • Any large or unusually heavy speakers will simply be padded and placed on the truck.
  • Servicing is usually not required prior to packing for tape deck, receiver or speakers.

Television

Some large televisions will need to be crated prior to moving day. Let your moving company know if you have a big screen or plasma television.

  • Call your local cable company to request your service discontinued. If you have a converter box, return the box and keep the receipt for future reference. Contact your cable company at your destination to order service in your new home.

  • When choosing a location for your TV in your new home, place it on a hard surface at least six feet from your normal viewing position. Most TVs should not be placed in an enclosed space unless proper ventilation is provided.

  • Pack your remote controls in the same carton with their corresponding units or pack them all in a clearly marked separate box.

Videocassette Recorder (VCR)

No special servicing is required to move a VCR. When installing at destination, place on a hard surface, provide appropriate ventilation for openings and do not set objects on top.

Satellite Dish and Antennas

Contact an electrician or technician from a satellite dish distributorship for the disconnection and disassembly of this sensitive equipment. Depending upon the construction and size of the unit, it may need to be crated, a service which your moving professional can provide. Have any outside antennas disconnected and taken down if they are to be included in your move.

Compact Discs, Tapes and Records

Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books or or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark, "FRAGILE."

  • Cassette tapes should be placed in their cases and wrapped individually in crumpled paper. Place individual tapes either vertically or horizontally on a couple of layers of crushed paper.

  • If records are not in jackets, wrap individually in tissue paper or plastic wrap to protect from scratches. Records are heavy and therefore should be packed in small cartons.

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack them either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.

  • Expensively bound volumes or those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.

Photographs

Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other households items. (Note: watch these when moving to very hot or humid climates by making sure the storage area protects items from the elements.)

  • Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton. Label cartons for easy identification.

  • If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.

Silk or Artificial Flowers

An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in a separate carton. Wrap carefully in plastic wrap, tissue paper or paper towels. If possible, fasten the base of the floral piece to the bottom of the carton to prevent shifting. Label the carton "FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP."

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.

  • Use a sturdy carton at least two inches bigger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade. A smaller shade may be nested inside a larger one, provided they do not touch. Only one silk shade should be placed in a carton to avoid stretching the silk.

  • Do not pack other items with shades. Label cartons "LAMP SHADES - FRAGILE - TOP LOAD ONLY."

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

It's best to consult with your moving professional about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move - you'll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.

  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

TV Stand/ Stereo Cabinet

Remove glass doors if possible and pack in a mirror carton.

Furniture

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items.

  • Talk to your moving professional beforehand about any leather items.

  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.

  • You may want to consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.

Piano

A qualified service provider should take care of the preparations for moving a grand or baby grand piano.

  • Upright (spinet, console, studio) pianos usually do not require preparation in advance. All pianos are pad-wrapped to protect the surface.

  • Plan to have your piano tuned at your new home.

Pool Table

Disassembly and crating of your pool table should be provided by a third-party service. If possible, contact the store where the pool table was purchased to obtain assistance.

  • Crating is a possibility on slate.

  • You will need to make arrangements at destination to have the pool table uncrated, reassembled and leveled.

DINING ROOM

The dining room will generally include your most fragile china and crystal stemware. Each item should be carefully wrapped in paper and placed in dish pack cartons; cellular dividers are recommended for stemware. You will also want to include any items with values exceeding $100 per pound on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage.

China & Glassware

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges.

  • A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware.

  • A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.

  • Label cartons with room, contents and "FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP."

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge. Plates, platters and other flat serving pieces should be wrapped individually and loaded vertically on their edges to utilize their own maximum structural strength.

  • Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces.

  • Add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier.

  • Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.

  • Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

Cups

If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

Silver & Flatware

To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap.

  • Hollow ware -- including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes - should be wrapped carefully like fragile items and packed like china.

  • Loose flatware may be wrapped individually or in sets, and in paper, clear plastic or small gift boxes that are then secured with tape.

  • Even if silverware is in a chest, consider wrapping the pieces individually and reposition them in the chest. Or, fill all voids in the chest with newsprint to prevent shifting. The chest can be wrapped in a large bath towel.

Figurines, Curios and Other Delicate Items

Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

  • Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out.

  • Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint.

  • A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass.

  • Place flat items on edge in a carton.

Fragile Items

Consult with your Moving Professional on the packing of exceptionally fragile items. Items with values exceeding $100 per pound need to be listed on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.

  • Use a sturdy carton at least two inches bigger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade.

  • A smaller shade may be nested inside a larger one, provided they do not touch.

  • Only one silk shade should be placed in carton to avoid stretching the silk.

  • Do not pack other items with shades.

  • Label cartons "LAMP SHADES - FRAGILE - TOP LOAD ONLY."

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

It's best to consult with your moving company about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Table Leaves

Table leaves are best transported in paper pads, then taped to hold the padding in place. (Note: never place tope on the surface of wood.) Don't use plastic wrap, as moisture may get trapped and damage wood.

Draperies & Curtains

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangar, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move – you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.

  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

Furniture

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items.

  • Talk to your moving professional beforehand about any leather items.

  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.

  • You may want to consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.

KITCHEN/LAUNDRY ROOM

Once you know you're moving, you can begin packing your kitchen almost immediately by starting with your less-used serving dishes, seasonal items and small appliances. Next, tackle your large serving bowls, tablecloths and specialty pots and pans. Keep your everyday dishes for the last week before your move. You may even want to consider buying some disposable plates, cups and utensils for those last few nights when everything is packed away.

Food Items

Use or dispose of all perishables before moving. You will also need to get rid of cleaning products and other kitchen chemicals. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped. Boxed or canned goods should be packed in small boxes. Dispose of any open packages and wrap glass jars to prevent breakage.

China & Glassware

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.

  • A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware.
  • Label cartons with room, contents and "FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP."

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

  • Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.

  • Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

Bowls and Odd-shaped Items

Depending on their weight, these might be used for either the bottom or middle layers. Wrap the same way as flat plates.

  • Stand shallow bowls (soup plates, etc.) on edge in the carton and deeper ones (such as mixing bowls) nested two or three together, upside down on their rims.

  • Wrap sugar bowl lids in newsprint, turning them upside down on top of bowls. Then, wrap both together in newsprint, followed by a double outer layer. Wrap sugar bowls, cream pitchers, sauce containers, gravy boats and similar pieces in newsprint and then a double outer wrapping. Place all upright in the carton, then top off the layer with wadded newsprint.

Pots & Pans

Pots, pans and similar items should be wrapped and packed in medium size cartons. Depending on their weight, these might be used for either the bottom or middle layers.

Cups

Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down. If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint.

Silver & Flatware

To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap. Hollow ware -- including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes - should be wrapped carefully like fragile items and packed like china.

  • Loose flatware may be wrapped individually or in sets, and in paper, clear plastic bags or small gift boxes that are then secured with tape.

  • Even if silverware is in a chest, consider wrapping the pieces individually and repositioning them in the chest. Or, fill all voids in the chest with newsprint to prevent shifting. The chest can be wrapped in a large bath towel.

Figurines and Other Delicate Items

Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

  • Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out.

  • Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint.

  • A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass. Place items on edge in a carton.

Fragile Items

Consult with your Moving Professional on the packing of exceptionally fragile items.

  • Items with values exceeding $100 per pound will need to be listed on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage.

  • If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.

SMALL APPLIANCES

Moving Appliances

Items such as clocks, small radios and other small appliances should be wrapped individually and packed in a carton cushioned with crushed paper. If their cords disconnect, wrap them in plastic and secure them to the appliance they belong to.

  • Make sure cords are wrapped so as not to scratch or damage items.

  • Steam irons should be emptied of all water, wrapped and placed in the cushioned bottom of a box.

Cookbooks

Pack cookbooks of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack books either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.

  • Expensively bound volumes or those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.

MOVING APPLIANCES

In preparing large appliances for your move, it is important that they be clean and dry to avoid the build up of mildew and mold. Grease left on a stovetop will catch dust and dirt, and unfortunately, leave spots on anything that it touches. Dry out refrigerators and freezers, especially those that contain an ice maker and are scheduled to be serviced by a third party service provider.

Dishwasher

Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses. Leave the door open for a few days prior to the move. Wrap dry hoses in towels and packing paper and place inside the dishwasher.

Washing Machine

Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses.

  • Wrap metal connector ends of hoses in a towel and place inside washer.

  • Secure the tub following the manufacturer's guidelines to prevent swaying. Note: If you don't have the manufacturers guidelines, you can purchase a washer kit with a manual that provides instructions on how to secure the tub by tightening down the tub using screws. If you prefer not to do it yourself, a third party service provider can be arranged for you by your professional moving estimator.

  • Upon arrival to your new home, have the washer installed by a qualified installer.

Clothes Dryer

Before cleaning, unplug or turn off the dryer from electrical power.

  • Clean the lint screen.

  • Prior to plugging in your electric dryer at your new residence, have your power supply checked for the correct electrical requirements. Tip: If you are moving a gas dryer, the appliance should be disconnected and the gas line capped off by a qualified technician. The driver and the crew members are not qualified to perform this service. Your professional estimator can make the arrangements for you.

Stove Top/Range/Oven

Clean thoroughly. Detach all removable parts and pack safely in a box, clearly marked with the contents.

  • If you are moving a gas range, it must be disconnected prior to moving day by a qualified service technician. The gas line must be properly secured also.

  • If you have an electric range, generally no servicing at your present residence is required.

  • When arriving at your new residence with your gas range, you will need a qualified gas installer to check your gas supply, connect the gas line, seal any openings, light the pilot and handle any other hook-up requirements.

Refrigerator

  • Dispose of all perishables. See our List of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

  • Unplug the power cord and wash all removable parts and dry thoroughly.

  • Allow the parts, including the interior of the refrigerator and freezer, to dry thoroughly to allow all moisture to evaporate.

  • Pack all loose parts including bins and shelves in a secured, approved container.

  • There are products on the market to help keep your refrigerator clean, dry, and mildew free while in transit. Check your local hardware or grocery store.

  • Vacuum the condenser or compressor.

  • Empty and clean the evaporator pan; allow time for it to dry.

  • Before moving, turn off the water and disconnect the water line if you have a cold water dispenser or automatic ice maker.

  • The water reservoir should also be emptied.

  • If your refrigerator or freezer is an older model, you may have to have the compressor or motor bolted down.

  • At your new destination, allow 24 hours before operating the unit. This will allow time for the oil to settle, preventing possible damage to the compressor.

  • Have ice maker and water dispenser connected to water line by a professional.

  • Copper tubing, a shut off valve and fittings may be required.

  • Once your ice maker is in service, dispose of the first few batches of ice to clear out any impurities from opening the water line.

Microwave Oven

Any glass trays should be removed, wrapped and securely packed in a carton.

  • The microwave can either be placed in its original box, if available and still in good shape, or a well-cushioned carton.

  • If your microwave is large, ask your moving professional if it can be pad-wrapped on moving day.

  • Do not place cardboard in the door opening because it can spring the door during transit.

  • Take care not to block the exhaust vent when installing it at your new home.

NON-TRANSPORTABLE ITEMS

The following items are examples of items that the moving companies, by federal law or internal policy, cannot transport.

Hazardous Materials

Items that are flammable, corrosive or explosive

  • Aerosols
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Car batteries
  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal lighter fluid
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Fertilizer
  • Fireworks
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Lamp oil
  • Liquid bleach
  • Loaded guns
  • Matches
  • Motor oil
  • Paint thinner
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Poisons
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane tanks
  • Sterno
  • Weed killer

Perishables

Food, plants or living things that may die or spoil in transit

  • Frozen foods
  • Plants
  • Produce
  • Refrigerated foods
  • Open or half used foods

NOT RECOMMENDED

Items of personal importance or sentimental value

  • Cash
  • Deeds or wills
  • Moving documents
  • Family photographs
  • Furs
  • Securities
  • Stamp or coin collections
  • Valuable jewelry

Important Information