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Top 10 Tips to Pack Moving Boxes Like An Expert

Aug 17, 2007
Discover the Top 10 Packing Tips that can be used when you pack boxes and move homes. Remember too, that these tips will also come in handy when storing your items at a self storage facility.

1. You can save a lot of money if you do the majority of the packing on your own. Limit yourself to non-fragile items such as books, bedclothes, garments and shoes; and replaceable items such as plates, dishes (not fine china or expensive silverware), and small kitchen appliances. These items will be less expensive to replace in case of damage. Leave the furnishings, mattresses, and heavy appliances to be packed by the mover.

2. The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. Don't toss everything into one large box. It will make the lifting and carrying much more strenuous. A good rule of thumb is if you can't lift the box easily, it's too heavy! Keep the weight of the box under 50lbs and remember to always lift with your knees, not your back.

3. Never let the movers pack your jewelry, family heirlooms, or other priceless items. Should they be lost or damaged, the insurable value will not nearly cover value you would place on them. Such items include jewelry, sports memorabilia, photo albums, and various hobby collections. Pack these items yourself and take them with you, either in the car or as carry-on baggage if size allows.

4. Get the right boxes for your items - the right sizes and strengths. Have sufficient wardrobe boxes, as they'll save you ironing time later. You can pack t-shirts and jeans in suitcases and regular boxes but you don't want to pack your fine clothing such as suits or dresses in the same place. Save space by tossing in shoes at the bottom of the wardrobe box, but be reasonable. Don't let the box become too heavy or susceptible to fallout from the bottom. Buy the padded dish boxes with dividers to protect your fine china. For your replaceable and non-fragile items, save money by using sturdy boxes with unprinted newsprint paper for wrapping.

5. Take the time to pack everything carefully. It is important for you to buffer and separate the fragile items that you pack with newsprint, bubble wrap, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. Wrap each fragile item separately. Fill in empty spaces to minimize movement during the move. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked. Purchase strong tape (not masking tape) but either duct tape or the plastic and strapping tape that movers use.

6. For the safety of your items, movers are required to inspect each box tendered for shipment. Immediately point out to your mover each and every box that you packed yourself, especially if they're fragile or valuable. The mover will advise you on whether the boxes need to be repacked in sturdier, more appropriate boxes. They have the right to refuse to load any box they deem improperly packed. Any improperly packed boxes must be repacked either by you or the mover. All repacking services are additional costs. However, if you agree to use used boxes, they may give them to you for free. Professional moving companies use only sturdy and reinforced cartons. Although the boxes you can obtain from your neighborhood supermarket may be free, they are not nearly as strong or padded. They are more susceptible to causing damage to your valuables in transit. Keep in mind that movers are not liable for items they didn't pack.

7. To protect themselves, movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Before the movers arrive to pack and load, unplug and prepare your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer. Also prepare your computer and back-up your important electronic files.

8. Movers will not transport living things such as your plants or pets. If you do not wish to give them away, don't forget to prepare them for the move. They will need a "plant/pet suitcase" of their own.

9. Movers will not transport or allow you to pack hazardous materials. These items include: paint, thinners, solvents, oils, varnishes, firearms and ammunition, bottled gas, propane, lamp oil, anything flammable, explosive or corrosive, motor fuels and oils, nail polish remover, bleach and aerosol cans. Also note that spilled sesame oil leaves a terrible stench on nearby items.

10. Make the loading process easier and more organized by designating a room in your home/apartment, preferably the one closest to the door, in which to place all of your boxes. Keep related boxes together since they'll end up in the same room. This will help cut on the carrying time and make the move much more efficient.
About the Author
David Luce is the Operations Manager for AAA Storage, a private storage company specializing in building and managing clean, safe storage facilities. AAA Storage provides affordable, hassle-free storage in all sizes so that customers only pay for the space that they need. Receive Self Storage Tips and FREE Self Storage Coupons at aaa-storage.com
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