How To Pack For A Move - Like A Pro


Packing is definitely one of the areas that doesn't get its fair share of attention when moving. With so many different things to do in order to get prepared for moving day, it's no wonder packing typically gets pushed to the last minute. With that said, packing is the single most critical activity to keep items safe during a move, which is why we thought it best to provide some tips to those do it yourselfers looking to save some cash by tackling a pack job. Packing yourself is undoubtedly a great way to save - as long as it's done right. This article will cover several tips on the hows and whys to effectively packing for success on moving day.

What materials will be needed to pack properly on moving day? There are many different items that can be deployed to keep your valued possessions safe while moving, but these are by far the most important and minimum recommendations to ensure success on move day:

  • Boxes - Small, medium, and large boxes are recommended to keep your items safe from bumps and bruises during transportation. Did you know boxes that boxes will also ensure that your truck can be loaded up to maximum space and prevent extra trips? That's indeed a true story. Properly packed boxes allow you or your movers to maximize the space in the moving truck. Keep in mind, free or inexpensive boxes can be found all around you. Retailers and department stores regularly discard boxes which could be great for packing up your prized possessions. Visit local retailers and simply ask if they have used boxes they are looking to get rid of. If that's not a viable option, home goods stores and local moving companies will definitely have all your moving and packing supplies at reasonable prices.

  • Packing tape - Packing tape will be used to seal boxes. Don't get too caught up in the thickness of the tape. Simple 2 inch wide cardboard tape will be just fine.

  • Newsprint - In case you were wondering, newsprint is essentially newspaper that has not been printed on. Knowing that, used or old newspapers will do exactly the same trick, plus these will allow you to save some cash!

  • Mattress covers - Mattress covers keep your bedding safe from dirt, dust, stains, and other mishaps which might occur during a move.

  • TV Boxes - We like to think that we've seen in at all when it comes to protecting TV's during a move. With that said, taping or strapping blankets alone is not recommended as it doesn't provide the level of support you'd like to see while being packed into a moving truck. We recommend the original manufacturers box (if available) as the best option. Next best is using a TV bag, which can typically be rented by moving companies. The TV bag has a large vinyl bag with cotton padding on the inside and velcro seals to keep your TV packed tight. Third best would be buying a TV box from a local household goods store or moving company. Any of the three options mentioned should be sufficient to protect your prized flat screen during a move.

How should the packing materials be used? Now that you know what materials will be used, let's get into how to use these materials, since misusing them can minimize the effectiveness:

  • Boxes - Right, but which boxes are best for what?

  • TV Boxes - Be sure to add padding such as bubble wrap, fluffy blankets or newsprint to fill loose space in the box. A loose box will cause the TV to shift and will make it more susceptible to damage. We recommend packing the TV tight with padding and then sealing it with tape to ensure it can withstand both the weight and shifting which will during a move.

  • Large Boxes - Best for pillows, blankets, and other light weight items.

  • Medium Boxes - Best for miscellaneous items of medium weight.

  • Small Boxes - Best for dishware, books and fragile items.

  • Mattress covers - All mattresses should be covered with mattress bags to protect from dirt and moisture. We recommend sealing the mattress bags to ensure dirt and moisture isn't able to find it's way into the mattress during the move.

What other tips and recommendations can help you to pack like a pro?

  • Pack and seal boxes prior to moving day. If using movers, all items should be packed, sealed, and ready to move prior to your appointment to avoid delays while your movers are on the clock. Never leave boxes unsealed since open boxes could fall resulting in damage. We strongly recommend (and most moving companies will require) that all boxes be sealed prior to moving day.

  • Fill extra space in boxes with newsprint or bubble wrap. Empty space in boxes is the number one culprit for damaged items. Empty space allows items to shift in transit, and shifting is the most frequent cause for damage. We recommend filling all empty space with light and shock resistant materials, which will protect the items from shifting, stacking, and dropping.

  • Mark any sensitive items with as "Fragile" for safety. Whether using movers or friends and family, always mark any sensitive or highly valuable items on both the top and side of the box with fragile markings. Marking all items which have glass or are otherwise sensitive with "fragile" will alert anyone handling the box to handle with extra care.

  • Never overfill boxes. Overfilled boxes are one of the most common contributors to damages for do it yourself and professional moving companies alike. As a rule of thumb, never pack a box with over 50 pounds worth of goods. Overfilled boxes result in unexpectedly openings which can send your valuables flying without protection. Additionally, overfilled boxes are not setup to safely stack and are likely to cause injury to the individuals moving the boxes. As another rule of thumb, use a bigger box if the box will not close without manipulating the square top or sides of the box. Overfilling the box will make items susceptible to damage in all phases of the move.

  • If unsure, hire professionals to pack your home. Packing is a critical step in the moving process, but it's also a way to save good way to save on moving costs. When making the decision to using professional movers or packing services, be sure to weigh not only the time cost, but the intrinsic value of your goods. While reputable moving companies always provide protection, it's impossible to replace items with sentimental or intrinsic value.

  • Never pack perishables. Instead throw them out. Perishable foods are known for going bad and do cause bacteria to manifest with the temperature fluctuations which come while moving. We recommend that all perishable foods be thrown away and simply replaced to avoid the danger of damaging other items or causing sickness. Canned and boxed goods are typically much safer to transport in boxes.

  • Never pack chemicals or liquids in boxes that are going to be stacked in a moving truck. Chemicals, gases, and other flammable items are major no no's since they endanger both people and household goods during a move. For that reason, it's best to either safely discard or find a safe means of transportation. The moving truck is a dangerous place for these items, which is why all licensed moving companies are not allowed to transport these and other potentially harmful items.

  • Keep high value items in your possession. We highly recommend that you handle the transportation of any highly valuable items such as cash, jewelry, etc. yourself. As we alluded to earlier, items of high value are simply irreplaceable, so it's not never with risking them being damaged in heavily packed moving truck.

You knew this was coming...But we can help save your time and give you piece of mind by professional packing your valuables. Totable provides both packing materials and packing labor to guarantee the safety of your items during a move. When booking a Tote, simply add on packing services at booking. By adding on packing services, the materials needed will be provided, plus you will gain the piece of mind that comes from knowing certified professionals are handling your items with the utmost care.

Now that your armed with the key packing tips from the pro's, we recommend that you bite off a little bit at a time on your pack job, and don't forget to enjoy your favorite beverage of choice while packing away.

If you have any questions about how to prepare for your move or need further packing advice, please feel free to reach out to us at help@totable.com and we'll be more than happy to help.

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