Professional Packing vs. Your Own

Packing yourself can be a real money-saver!

To get started packing make sure you have ample supplies of:

  • Packing paper ( plain newsprint)
  • 2″ Packing tape
  • Permanent Markers
  • Quality Boxes
  • Utility Knife and Scissors

Don’t underestimate the importance of the Boxes!

Using quality used packing materials or brand new materials designed for moving can make the difference whether your items arrive safely or not.

  • 1.5 cu. ft. Cartons:  Small cartons for heavy items like books, files and DVDs.
  • 3.0 cu. ft. Cartons: Medium utility carton often used for pots and pans.
  • 4.5 cu.ft. Cartons: For bulky items, such as linens, towels, and toys.
  • 6.0 cu.ft. Cartons: For large, bulky items, or lightweight articles, such as lampshades.
  • Wardrobe Cartons: A “portable closet” that keeps clothes hanging on a built in bar.
  • Mirror Cartons: For framed pictures, mirrors or glass.
  • Mattress Carton: Available in queen, king, double, twin and crib sizes.
  • Dishpack: Heavy duty carton used for dishes and china, crystal and glassware.
  • Stretchwrap: A special plastic covering that’s used on overstuffed furniture and protects it from snags, tears, and dirt.

Preparations to consider:

When packing yourself, have everything properly packed and ready for loading the evening before moving day. Leave out only the things you’ll need that night, the next morning, and immediately at your destination for last-minute packing.

Basic Guidelines to making packing a snap:

  • Be organized, make a schedule, allowing enough time to do a little every day leading up to moving day.
  • Pack items in the basement, garage, or attic first- these items usually aren’t needed right away.
  • Easily stay orderly by packing room by room.
  • Designate a work area.
  • Clearly label items that you do not want to transport on the movers truck.

Pack for success

It’s recommended that your movers handle the following:

  • Marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments, and large mirrors.
  • Pool table should be readied by a third party service
  • Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statues, etc.

What not to pack

You should transport valuable and irreplaceable items with you rather than on the truck. In addition, there are several items that can not be put on the truck , such as explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives as well as radioactive and other hazardous materials.

Examples of items that cannot be move include:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Propane cylinders
  • Automotive repair and maintenance chemicals
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals
  • Matches
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles

Items additionally not recommended for transport on the truck include:

  • Fire arms
  • Family photos
  • Food in glass jars and perishable foods
  • prescription drugs needed for immediate use

Transport items of personal importance or sentimental value with you, such as:

  • Cash
  • Collections
  • Important personal papers (deeds, wills)
  • Negotiable papers (bonds, stocks)
  • Jewelry
  • Moving Documents

Labeling Hints

Each and every moving carton must be labeled.

  • Use a broad, felt-tipped marker.
  • Clearly mark the contents and the room it will be placed in.
  • Indicate “FRAGILE” on dedicates; “THIS END UP” where appropriate.
  • If available, include the bill of lading number from your moving company on every box

As you finish with each moving 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 moving cartons as well. Indicate your name and the room to which each moving carton should be delivered at the destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at the destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly. Put a special mark on the moving cartons you want to unpack first at destination.

Always remember that professional licensed movers like East Coast Moving LLC will gladly pack for you.  There is additional cost determined by size and quantity of materials used; but after all of the above data it might just be something you don’t care to do yourself.

A couple of additional thoughts:

  • Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until the last minute things you’ll need until moving day
  • Empty drawers of breakable, spillables, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture other items while moving.
  • Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same moving 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 of tied securely to the article to which they belong.
  • Place a two or three inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of the 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 level, or use sheets of cardboard cut from moving 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 moving 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 moving cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items that must be left open for the moving company’s inspection.

Now that you are all packed – the movers can load furniture and boxes per your request.  Safe move!

Now that's a lot of boxes!


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