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Plan Your Packing

Before you start packing-up, you need to have a game plan:

Set aside items that you might need for an immediate use, while in transition between the two homes (medicine, notebooks, jewelry, etc.)
Start packing one room at a time. This will help you to concentrate on what is packed and what has to be packed, without getting stressed out, and will be helpful when you start unpacking.
Start packing the items you use occasionally or rarely (books, toys, pictures, albums, etc.)
Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
Mark all boxes, designating room and box number. Make a carton identification list to show the number of boxes packed per room, and the total number of cartons packed. It’s a good idea to leave space on your inventory list for a special comments section to note carton conditions or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high value items.
Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available.
Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured before you fill it, and the box will hold the weight of the contents.
Use packing tape, not masking tape or twine.
Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier and quicker.
Position items to be packed to the left of you, packing paper in front and the box on the right of you.
A general rule to remember on carton size – the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.

Packing Materials

Use only strong, corrugated cartons with covers. We can supply you with specially made cartons, for everything from mattresses to clothing and mirrors. The added protection of mover-provided cartons may help to avoid damage that results from the use of poor-quality packing materials. Your alternative is to collect boxes discarded by your grocery, pharmacy or liquor store. Save old newspapers for use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items. Do not pack the kitchen towels as they will become handy as a “filling” material, when it comes to dish and stemware packing.

Keep this in mind when getting boxes from food stores. Here’s a list a packing supplies that will come in handy:

Thick plastic bags and labels for easy identification.
Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs.
Unprinted Newsprint packing paper.
Bubble wrap (small bubbles) roll for figurines and fragile items.
Scotch tape (clear or tan, 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide).
Dark or bright color markers and/or labels for identifying contents of cartons.
Notebook and pencil for carton identification inventory.
Scissors and/or sharp knife.

Getting Ready

The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our packing advice. Here are some additional packing tips for major items. If you want a more comprehensive list of how to pack special items, please call or e-mail us.

Select a medium-sized carton (or mover provided dish pack) and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper. With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper. Grasp a corner on several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate. Stack a third plate. Grasp remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate. Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper. Re-wrap the entire bundle: start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth. Place the bundle of dish-ware in a medium-size box so that the plates are standing on edge Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware. When packing smaller dishes, you may choose to stack in greater quantity. Make sure to fill in the empty space of the box with “filling” material (paper, towels, bubble wrap, etc.).

Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping. Lay the glass on the corner of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection. Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box, or pack separately in upright position. Stemware can be packed in the upside down position, if the stems are very delicate and thin. Packing stemware in the upside down position will give better support to the stem while in transportation. Make sure the box is lined up with enough of the crumpled packing paper to create a cushion for the ride. Do not “jam-in” your stemware – it is better to use another box. Heavier items (dish-ware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom of the box. Delicate glassware and stemware should never be placed on its side. No matter what you’re packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there’s a gap. All boxes with “FRAGILE” items should be marked accordingly.

With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners. Now pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup. Nest a second cup directly on top, with handle to left (second cup should “nest” itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups). Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck corners inside the top cup. Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll cups to the remaining corner. Delicate cups, like china, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.

Set aside the clothing you will be wearing until you move to the new home. Place the shoe boxes on the bottom of the wardrobe to fill up the empty space, and then place the hangers on the wardrobe crossbar. Do not overstuff, as clothes may wrinkle. Wardrobes can also be packed by the mover on the day of the move.

Tell us about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.

Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bed linens or cushions, or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined carton. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper. Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons.

Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Wrap cords separately; label to identify usage and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be tied-up and packed to the back of the electronic device, or place cords between the padded computer or electronic device and the carton.

Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship Flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap sharp pointing tools in cloth, to prevent cutting thru the box. Wrap separately if valuable.

Packing Tips

Clear out unwanted goods – hold a garage sale.
Dispose properly of flammable items – paint, sprays and combustible liquids.
Empty fuel from lawnmower, trimmers and so on.
Clothes – do you need them all? Charity organizations may want them.
Start writing up your change of address list.
Arrange to have mail forwarded.
Arrange termination date for electricity, gas, oil, telephone and other main suppliers.
If you are taking electrical goods such as a stereo, TV, see if you still have their original boxes.
Have rugs cleaned.
If you have children, separate cherished toys to travel with you.
Round up personal documentation – birth/ marriage certificates, driving licenses, etc.
Keep passports separate so they are not packed.
Call your cable company and ask whether you have to return the cable box.
With regards to family pets– make sure vaccinations and documentation are up to date.
Will your new home be ready? If not, you need to arrange temporary storage.
Shops, schools, theaters, life styles – it’s never too early to find out about your new community.
Start running down freezer stocks.
Arrange your finances – close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts, etc.
Remember, as you start packing, label boxes accordingly where each box belongs to at the final destination, and not the room it came out of.