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When packing moving boxes, it is helpful to be aware of a few tips that will make your packing chores easier and your belongings safer. The following packing tips for moving boxes have been accumulated over many years of moving experience and are sure to come in handy.
Doing Your Own Packing
Many people who are moving try to save money in any way they can. Packing your own belongings will save you money if done correctly. Even so, keep in mind that moving valuation insurance provided by moving companies does not cover damage to products PBO (Packed By Owner) unless there is apparent damage to the container caused by the mover’s negligence.
Movers can refuse to transport boxes you packed yourself if:
- The box is not durable
- The contents of the box have been improperly wrapped (fragile items not protected). If you have particularly delicate or valuable things to pack, you may want to delegate the job to your mover; the extra expense would almost certainly be justified.
- If the box contains hazardous items. Hazardous items include firearms, fuel and paint.
If the moving company repacks a box, you may incur additional costs.
Packing Moving Boxes
It is important that you use high-quality, durable moving boxes. Boxes that are too thin or of poor quality will easily break. Remember this formula: low-quality thin boxes + amateur packer = breakage and damage to products. It is always a good idea to employ a professional packing and moving company, such as Fischer Van Lines, but if you want to pack on your own, this guide will be of great help. Here are some tips for moving boxes you end up packing yourself:
Having all packing supplies ready
Have all supplies, such as quality packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper and markers, lined up next to your boxes when packing.
Avoid printed newspaper for wrapping items.
Use blank paper instead. The ink from the printed newspaper rubs off easily and can be very difficult to remove from certain items, such as china. Crumpled printed newspapers can be used for filling voids in boxes, as long as the print doesn’t come in direct contact with anything you don’t want to have to clean later.
Purchase strong tape
Using the same plastic and tape as movers do. A high-quality packing tape dispenser makes taping up your moving boxes much easier and quicker.
Properly set the boxes.
When putting your moving boxes together, make sure that the bottoms of all of them are reinforced with two pieces of cardboard “Tape for packing. Begin by taping the seam where the two flaps meet, leaving 4 inches between them “On each side, there is a certain amount of overlap. On each side of your first strip, add two more strips in the same direction, about halfway between your first strip and the box’s edge. Add two perpendicular strips equidistant from each other and the box’s edge for added reinforcement. Make sure the boxes’ tops and sides don’t bulge or sag. Over-packed boxes may rupture, while under-packed boxes may collapse or crash.
Bubble wrap your fragile items.
For smaller, lighter-weight items, a small bubble is recommended. For larger, heavier items, a large bubble (more air in the bubbles) is suggested. Before packing, line your box with bubble wrap for added protection.
Pack one room at a time
Pack one room at a time, labelling each moving box with a description of its contents and the room to which it will be delivered (i.e. kitchen, master bath). Mark each box with the name of the room it will be placed in and write the important contents of the box on the outside.
Choose a room to store packed boxes.
Set aside a room or space for storing packed boxes. Keep all of the boxes in the same room together. Keep all packed boxes as close to the door as possible. This packing tip will help you save time when loading and unloading boxes.
Handle heavy items accordingly
Heavy items should be placed in small boxes, while light items should be put in large boxes. Wrap the heaviest items in bubble wrap or packing paper first and place them at the bottom of the box. Wrap lighter items in the same material and place them on top of the heavier items, separated by bubble wrap.
Classifiying boxes by size
Sort your packing boxes according to size, and place the appropriate-sized boxes in each room. The ideal product or weight for which a moving box is best suited is indicated by the quality of the box. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Give extra attention to fragile items
To avoid shifting, double-box fragile items and fill voids between boxes with packing paper or bubble cushioning. Mirror packing boxes are useful not only for packing mirrors, but they can also be assembled to a custom size to protect large framed art or photographs.
Labeling your boxes is always a good idea
Consider creating labels for your boxes on your computer. Every Office Products sells a wide range of labels, including blank labels and pre-printed specialty labels such as Fragile. There are free templates available that will make setting up the labels for printing a breeze. Make sure to use a large enough font in bold (as well as all capital letters) so that the labels can be read from a distance. You can create a label set just for your last name and a separate label set for each room name. This eliminates the need to hand-mark each box, and typed labels are far easier to read than most handwriting or printing. This tip is especially handy if you move frequently, because your labels will already be set up for your next move.
Numbering the boxes
If you intend to inventory items within the boxes you pack, number them so that your master inventory can list each box number and its contents.
Pack your clothes in separate boxes.
Wardrobe boxes are ideal for storing clothes that are hanging in your closet. This not only saves time, but also prevents wrinkling of clothing. Shoes should be placed at the bottom of the wardrobe box. T-shirts and jeans should be packed in suitcases and regular boxes. Inquire with your movers about which clothes may remain in your dresser drawers.
Create medium weight boxes
If your boxes become too heavy, the movers will be unable to lift them. Heavier boxes are more likely to break during transit, resulting in damage to your items. Mark any particularly heavy boxes so that your movers are aware before attempting to lift the box.
Handle beakable items with proper care.
Individually wrap breakable items. For ceramic jars with lids, for example, wrap the jar and the lid separately and place them in the same box. Fill in any empty spaces within the box to keep it from moving during transit. Plates and glass objects should be stored upright. Dish pack boxes from Mover’s are ideal for these items.
Packing most used items
Take boxes (if possible) containing items you’ll need right away, such as cleaning supplies, a hammer, a screwdriver, a flashlight, toilet paper, soap, a shower curtain, coffee, coffee filters, and your coffee pot. This way, you’ll be able to access these items before the movers arrive.
Some additional important packing tips:
- When packing or storing furniture, wrap it with blankets, towels, or old linens. This prevents it from being scratched or otherwise damaged. Most packing tips don’t tell you that furniture legs should also be wrapped.
- Back up important files and make a hard copy of important files on your computer.
- If you’re self-packing an item, label, number, or otherwise mark each piece for easy reassembly. It is preferable to hire an experienced and insured mover rather than risk damaging your furniture.Chairs should be stacked seat-to-seat with paper in between.
- Fit what you can inside any like item. For example, you can store sponges in pots. This will save valuable space and make unpacking easier.
- It is often easier to pack lightweight items yourself, such as books, tablecloths, clothing, toys and small kitchen appliances.
- Pack your own jewellery, family heirlooms, sports memorabilia, photo albums or other invaluable objects. If the size allows, transfer them on your own too, either in the car or as carry-on luggage.
- Before the movers arrive, it is necessary to clean and remove all major appliances. Which includes: refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, washing machine and dryer.
- When you select a moving company check with them about transporting pets and plants because each state and country has its own requirements. If you move with these items, they may require a “plant/pet suitcase” of their own.
- It is not a good idea to leave it until the last minute to decide what items to bring. This does not have to be a difficult process. Just focus on one room or one group of items at a time. You could, for example, list 10 items on Ebay each week or take 10 items to a consignment store. You won’t be stuck if it doesn’t work in one place. Here are some popular methods for getting rid of items you no longer require:
- Garage sale
- Online auctions
- Flea markets
- Consignment stores
- Donations to charity
- Pack all important documents in one place:
- Bank statements
- Legal documents
- Medical records
- School records
- Tax records
- Military records
- Mortgage records
- Veterinarian records
- Marriage license
- Birth certificates
- Stock certificates
- Insurance papers, receipts and pictures of valuable items
- Vehicle titles, insurance papers