Packing Tips for Moving
Unless you have arranged for us to pack you, you should be packed & ready to go on moving day. Everything other than furniture needs to be boxed.
On moving day, our movers will bring wardrobe boxes (free of charge) for hanging items in your closets. Those items hanging in closets may be left until the day of your move. If you are moving locally, you can leave items such as clothes or linens in drawers.
Throw away or use up open liquid items from your refrigerator, i.e. cartons of milk, or any items that can leak or spill and cause damage to other goods.
Set aside jewelry, money, vital documents, medications and valuable items in a safe place. It is best you carry these items with you. Payment is expected at the end of day so remember not to pack away your checkbook or wallet.
- Assemble all your packing materials before you start.
- Tackle one room at a time.
- Line boxes first - a towel or blanket or unprinted newspaper for cardboard boxes.
- Place heavier items on the bottom, lighter ones on top.
- Place heavier items in smaller boxes.
- Keep a box labeled "Load last, unload first" for the essentials you'll need when you arrive.
- Set aside your "do not pack items" in a specific area. (For more information on what not to pack read You Packed what?! in our San Diego Moving blog.
Here's a list of packing supplies that will come in handy:
- Packing paper for delicate packing jobs.
- Plastic bubble wrap for figurines and fragile items.
- Markers and labels for identifying contents of cartons.
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. Make sure all boxes can close properly and be sealed so the tops are flat. If you over-pack a box you risk damage.
Types of Boxes to Use for Packing
Properly packing for your move is an important part of the moving process. You want to make sure that your belongings are securely packed to avoid any damage to your possessions. Below you will find information on which boxes we recommend using for packing your household goods.
A rule of thumb when determining the proper size of moving boxes to use and what to place in them is: pack your belongings into the smallest size of moving box that it will fit into.
When packing a box you want to avoid putting too many items into a single moving box or using too big of a box. It is very easy for a moving box to become too heavy to carry or to risk damaging your belongings with things knocking together inside the box or breaking the box because the items are too heavy. Even though your movers will most likely be able to lift a heavier box than you can, you want to be able to pack your boxes no heavier than you can safely carry. You may need to move those boxes around in your new home.
Use a dish pack
Use lots of packing paper and pad the top and bottom of the box
Wrap individual pieces in bubble wrap
Use a "layering" method and separate layers periodically with crumpled paper
Fill the entire box before starting another box of china
Make sure items in the box are secure and cannot rattle and move around.
Use small book boxes
Reinforce the bottom of the box
Do not pack them so that they are too heavy to move
Try to pack Electronics, TVs, stereo components, computers, etc. in their original boxes.
Label all of these boxes "FRAGILE"
When packing a personal computer, these steps will help you prepare it for safe
transport. To pack your computer, we strongly recommend that you use the
computer's original carton and packing materials. If they're not available, use
a box that is both strong and big enough to hold the computer, and pack it with
unprinted newspaper. For more advice, your local computer dealer can answer
1. Back up your software and data files. Take these with you or send to your destination via insured mail.
2. Park the hard drive (if applicable). See your computer's instruction manual for special steps to take. With newer computers, simply turning the power off initiates this safety feature.
3. Insert cardboard or an old disk into the disk drive(s).
4. Unhook all cables and power cords, indicating their positions for easy set-up. Pack cords separately with manuals and software.
5. Use only static-free packing materials like clean, wadded unprinted newspaper (not standard bubble wrap or packing peanuts).
6. Create a base layer of wadded unprinted newspaper and place your computer on top of that layer. Then surround sides and top with more wadded unprinted newspaper until firmly packed. Then seal carton with packing tape.
7. Remove all ink cartridges from the printer
- For local moves, we will provide wardrobe boxes for you to use on move day
Use wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes
Put shoes in bottom of wardrobe boxes
Use linen or large boxes for all other clothes
A moving rule of thumb: If it is not a piece of furniture, put it in a box.
Small 1.5 (16.75"/12.5"/12.5")
Books, movies, music, wine, toiletries, office supplies, cooking utensils, computer software and peripherals, knick knacks & fragile items
Medium 3.0 (18"/18"/16")
Pots and pans, shoes and purses, toys, small pictures, misc. kitchen items, papers, lamp shades, linens, folded clothing
Large 4.5 (18"/18"/24")
Blankets and linens, med kitchen appliances, table lamps, garden tools, med bulky items, pots and pans
X-Large 6.0 (22"/22"/21.6")
Bedding, Blankets, towels, toys, pillows
Dish packs (18"/18"/27")
Dishes, glasses, fragile items