Your Packing Checklist

From an in-town move to an out-of-town move, packing is still critical and must be done properly to ensure the safe transport of your belongings from one residence to another.

  1. It can be more affordable if you pack items on your own. Keep in mind that you are aware of the value of many items more so than movers may be. It is always better to overprotect your breakable items than to not put enough cushion. Leave the larger items (furniture, beds, etc.) for the movers. Remember to mark your fragile boxes on multiple sides of the box.
  2. It is better to pack a lot of smaller boxes, instead of multiple items in a few large boxes. Keep box weight to under 50 lbs.
  3. Never let movers pack your jewelry, family heirlooms, or other priceless items. Should they be lost or damaged, the insurable value will not come anywhere near the 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 luggage if size allows.
  4. When you select your boxes, be sure to get a variety of sizes. Wardrobe boxes are easy for transferring clothes and will reduce ironing time later. When packing shoes, try putting them into duffle bags or small boxes. Shoes can become very heavy, so avoid putting them in large boxes.
  5. Padded dish boxes with dividers are the best way to protect your fine china. For your replaceable and non-fragile items, save money by using the free boxes that you can obtain from supermarkets and wrapping the items in old newspaper.
  6. Take the time to pack everything carefully. It is important for you to buffer and separate the fragile items that you pack with old newspaper, bubble wrap, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. Wrap each fragile item separately. Fill in empty spaces to minimize movement during transit. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked. Purchase strong moving tape – not masking tape, but either duct tape or the plastic and strapping tape that movers use.
  7. When the movers arrive it is imperative that you point out which boxes are fragile, valuable, etc. It is recommended that if possible, transfer valuable boxes yourself in your private vehicle. 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.
  8. To protect themselves, movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Before the movers arrive to pack and load, unplug and prep your refrigerator, washer and dryer. Also prep your computer and back-up your important files.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 down the carrying time and make the move much more efficient.