Handy Packing & Moving Tips
Here at The Handy Movers we understand that moving can be stressful, which is why we have compiled the following packing and moving tips to help you begin preparing for your move.
Moving with children?
Moving with children doesn’t have to be stressful. Children love a good adventure and will most likely embrace the moving process if they are involved in all aspects along the way. By involving your kids directly in the move, it can be fun, not fury.
- Tell your children about the move as soon as possible so they don’t overhear the news by accident from someone else. Talk with them, sharing the details you think they’ll understand – ask about and listen to their reactions.
Children of different ages respond differently to a move. For example:
- Younger children tend to miss familiar people like a favorite teacher, as well as safe and secure environments like church, school or even their bedrooms.
- Older children, especially teenagers, tend to miss their friends and others in the community with whom they have relationships.
- Involve your children in all aspects of your relocation, if possible, including house hunting, planning the move and tasks that are age appropriate.
- Have children help pack a special box with their most treasured possessions – they can even decorate the outside of the box so they can quickly identify it in your new home.
- Ask for their input on decorating or arranging things in their new rooms.
- Encourage your children to take the time to say good-bye to friends and maintain ties by exchanging contact information.
- Make plans to continue your child’s current activities (such as scouts, sports, dance classes, etc.) in your new community – continuity will make adjusting to a new location much easier.
- Moving with children can be a rewarding experience for both you and them. Moving should be a time of excitement and adventure. By involving your kids in various aspects of the move, you can reduce their stress levels and ease your tension about moving with children.
Do It Yourself Packing Pointers
Do-it-yourself packing is a big job, but it can be a worthwhile way to save money on your relocation costs. With the right materials and a little help from The Handy Movers in the form of packing tips, you can achieve professional results and maximize the protection of your possessions.
Before actually packing, it helps to have a game plan. For example:
- Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
- Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
- Mark all boxes with designated room
- Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available.
- Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
- Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
- Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier. A general rule to remember on carton size — the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.
Tips for Packing: Preparation
First, we recommend you start with professional materials, including:
- Bubble wrap (for fragile items)
- Packing paper (plain newsprint)
- 2″ packing tape
- Packing tape
- A utility knife
- Permanent markers
- Professional quality boxes
Tips for Packing: The Right Stuff
Below are box sizes with their intended purpose, to help you organize and safeguard your belongings:
- Dishpack: Heavy duty and extra protective carton used for dishes, crystal and glassware, fine china, crystal, and other high-value, hard to replace items.
- 1.5 cu. ft. cartons: Small carton for heavy items such as books, files, music CDs, DVDs, and VHSs.
- 3.0 cu. ft. cartons: Medium utility carton often used for pots and pans, toys, and small appliances.
- 4.5 cu. ft. cartons: For bulky items, such as linens, towels, toys, or lightweight articles, such as pillows or large lampshades.
- Wardrobe cartons: A “portable closet” that keeps clothes or draperies hanging on a built-in bar (Don’t forget at no additional cost – on move day, the movers will bring wardrobe boxes, you are welcome to use them during your move)
- Mirror cartons: 4-way mirror cartons retract to fit any size artwork, framed pictures, mirrors or glass.
- Mattress bags: Plastic bags keep your mattress clean during moving to protect against scuff marks, soil, dust, and move day weather damage.
Use newspaper only for cushioning-never place newspaper against items as the ink will rub off. It can get embedded in fine china, so be wary!
Tips for Packing: Basic Training
If you decide to do the packing yourself, you will need to have everything properly packed and ready for loading when the moving van arrives. All packing should be completed the evening before moving day. Only essential personal items you’ll need that night, the next morning and immediately at your destination should be left for last minute packing.
Some basic packing tips to keep in mind:
- Follow a timetable – people often underestimate how long it takes to pack!
- Start with items you won’t need right away, such as belongings stored in the basement, garage or attic.
- Packing room-by-room will help you stay organized.
- Establish work areas in each room.
- Limit cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds.
- For best results, have your mover pack: Marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40″ x 60″ or larger. Pianos.
Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statues, chandeliers, grandfather clocks, etc. Major appliances (Refrigerator should be empty)
Tips for Packing: Techniques
Our professionals will check your packed boxes to ensure safe transportation. If it is their opinion that items are improperly packed or cartons are susceptible to damage, they may ask you to re-pack these items.
- Provide plenty of cushioning by packing loosely crumpled newsprint in the bottom of boxes – leave room at the top for more crumpled paper.
- Wrap all fragile, breakable items in paper before packing them in boxes.
- Pack large and heavy items first, smaller items next, filling in all empty spaces with plain newsprint.
- Use only sturdy cartons that can be easily closed (don’t over stuff), then tape top seams securely.
- Label boxes clearly: The destination of where the box should go in your new home and a brief description of the contents
Tips for Packing: Electronics
When packing your TV, personal computer, printer, scanner, and other equipment:
- If you no longer have the original carton and packing materials, carefully pack the item in a sturdy carton that has been lined with newsprint or styrofoam “peanuts”.
- Securely seal the carton and mark the outside “Extremely Fragile”.
- Back up your entire computer files on DVDs or other file storage disks/devices.
- Disconnect and mark all wires and cables for easy assembly. If you would like us to move your flat panel TV, please leave your TV plugged in, the movers will verify it’s working condition, then relocate it. Please note: If we cannot verify that it is in working condition, we will not be held liable for it’s condition at the destination. Flat Panel TV Boxes are available for purchase at $8.00 each.
- Detach paper holders/feeders from printers and wrap monitors and additional hardware as you would other home electronics.
- Remove toner and ink cartridges.
- Consult your PC user manual for additional instructions and precautions.
Tips for Packing: What NOT To Pack
You need to transport valuable and irreplaceable items in the car with you rather than on the truck. In addition, there are several other dangerous items that cannot be put on the truck. These include hazardous materials such as explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials.
Common examples include:
- Nail polish remover
- Paints and paint thinners
- Lighter fluid
- Oxygen bottles
- Propane cylinders
- Other items not recommended for transport on the van include:
- Prescription drugs needed for immediate use
Tips for Packing: Labeling Hints
- Each and every carton must be labeled:
- Use a broad, felt-tipped marker.
- Clearly mark room and contents.
- Indicate “FRAGILE” on dedicates; “THIS END UP” where appropriate.
- As you finish with each 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 cartons as well.
- Indicate the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
- Put a special mark (the number 1, or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.
Tips for Packing: Tips from the Pros
- 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 breakables, spillables, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
- Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same 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 or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
- Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
- Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping paper draws attention to very small things that might otherwise get lost in a carton. Use a double layer of newsprint for a good outer wrapping.
- Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of 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 layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from 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 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.
“Highly recommend this company. They are friendly, hardworking, extremely careful, attentive, courteous, respectful, have a great attitude and willing to get the work done efficiently. Our movers were Mark, Gerardo & Mario! Would not think twice about hiring them again if need be. Thumbs up! They deserve more than five stars.”
-Monique, San Francisco, CA