Making sure you have all the appropriate moving supplies is an essential step in preparing for your move. When preparing your belongings before a move, make sure ALL items, whether fragile or not, are packed using the correct materials.
- Choose the right box: Use a box that’s strong enough to protect the contents and large enough to leave space for adequate cushioning. New boxes are best, but if you choose a previously used box, make sure you remove old shipping labels, and make sure the box is in good shape with no weak spots or cracks.
Bonus packing tip: Old or new, make sure the box is made of heavy corrugated cardboard. And use specialty boxes where they are available and appropriate.
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- Protect and Pack: Don’t skimp on cushioning material! Use 1-inch bubble wrap. Pack items tightly to avoid shifting, and make sure the cushioning material covers all sides of the object. If you’re shipping several items together, wrap each one separately and provide enough cushioning to prevent movement.
Bonus packing tip: You can never have too much cushioning! To purchase bubble wrap, click here for availability and prices.
- Seal Carefully: After packing, gently shake the box. If nothing moves, it’s ready to be sealed. For a strong seal, always use packing tape that is designed for shipping.
Bonus packing tip: Cover all seams with tape, and be sure not to leave any open areas which could snag. You can order packing tape here.
- Label Your Boxes: Remember, your boxes will be going long distance on a truck with other boxes. So label each box with your name and the destination address.
Bonus packing tip: Create an extra label for each box and put it inside, in case the outside label gets torn or defaced.
- Shipping Insurance: This is not a packing tip, but it is important: If your items are being shipped long-distance, make sure you have the proper shipping insurance
Soft Goods – Items such as linens and pillows can simply be placed into boxes that are the correct size. No bubble wrap or newsprint paper is needed. Remember not to over-pack the boxes.
Clothing – Does not require bubble wrap or newsprint unless there is extra room in box. If clothing is easily ruined or very expensive, use wardrobe boxes.
Books – When packing books and magazines, use medium to small sized boxes so they do not become too heavy. You may want to place clean sheets of paper in between books in order to avoid sticking.
Furniture – When it comes to furniture, keep in mind that most movers will prepare the furniture for you. When shipping 1-10 items of furniture long distance you can save money by using packing it yourself.
Electronics – When shipping electronics, pack the items in the original box if possible. If not, bubble wrap electronics in several layers of bubble wrap and place in a sturdy box.
Fragile Items – Wrap thoroughly with bubble wrap and use newsprint paper in between wrapped items for cushioning to prevent movement and to ensure items will not break.
Kitchenware – When packing pots, pans, and others be certain to use plenty of newsprint paper and bubble wrap to prevent breakage and scratching. Never pack heavy, bulky kitchenware items such as stoneware, heavy bowls, etc. with more fragile breakable items such as wine glasses.
Artwork & Mirrors – Special boxes are used to package paintings and mirrors. To keep corners safe, use corrugated cardboard edge protectors.
-Living plants or animals
-Money, securities, valuable papers, jewelry, and/or items of particular sentimental value. Keep these items with you at all times
-Flammable items such as aerosol cans, paint, gas, etc…
-Perishable items such as food
-Hazardous materials such as poisonous, corrosive, or explosive solids, liquids, and/or gases
Understanding how to properly pack a box is not nearly as simple as people think, and how you pack them makes all the difference in the world. No matter how careful movers are with your items if your boxes aren’t properly packed items may still arrive damaged!
• Start by grouping items of similar size and weight together. Try not to put unlike items in the same box (this also makes it easier once you try to unpack your boxes). For example, keep pots and pans in one box and your frames and photos in another.
• Wrap any items that you want to protect from breaking or water damage. Books should be wrapped in plastic bags that seal (this also protects photos and paintings). Kitchen items that are breakable can be wrapped in extra kitchen towels, or small blankets. Bubble wrap can be used as well.
• Layer and Fill the Whole Box! Use extra bubble wrap and packing peanuts – Fill All The Space. Boxes with nothing in the top space can collapse and get crushed when other boxes are stacked on top. If you do not have packing peanuts or bubble wrap – use other things to fill the unfilled space, like old newspapers or clothing. This also prevents your items from moving around in the box during transport. Keep in mind that heavier items should be on the bottom.
• Keep your box around 30 lbs. Boxes that are too heavy can break open (spilling the contents everywhere) and cause injury if you lift them incorrectly. But, be careful not to under pack boxes! If there is extra space in your box it can be easily smashed, not to mention the extra space leaves more room for your belongings to bounce around and break.
• Tape the box correctly! Tape the top, the bottom and around the entire box, along the seams too – tape helps to reinforce the box so it won’t break or split open
• Finally, label all sides with your name and address in case they are misplaced.
Call to speak with a TSI moving specialist about your packing and shipping needs.