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Packing Tips

Have you ever watched a mover pack?

If so, you've probably noticed that movers can pack very quickly and efficiently. They've packed so much that they've learned some packing secrets

We believe in sharing those secrets, so we're posting them on this page. If you're a DIY packer, these tips will save you time and money and will help to protect your belongings. 

Packing Materials

WARNING: Insect eggs and insects such as roaches can travel in food boxes, so you should avoid packing in boxes discarded by your grocery or liquor store. Use only strong, corrugated cartons with covers. We can supply you with specially-made cartons for everything from mattresses to clothing and mirrors. The added protection of mover-provided cartons will help avoid damage that can result from the use of poor-quality packing materials. 

Save old newspapers for use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items. 

We stock all the packing supplies you will need at prices lower than what you will usually pay at other stores. We can also help you estimate how many boxes and other supplies you will need. Call us at 903-238-2427 for more information. 

Here is a list of packing supplies that may come in handy:

  • Plastic bags and labels for easy identificationWe stock all the packing materials you will need
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets, or "popcorn"
  • Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs
  • Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile items
  • Gummed tape (1½ -2 inches wide) and/or strong twine for sealing cartons
  • Notebook and pencil for carton identification log
  • Scissors and/or sharp knife
  • Permanent marker to label the SIDES of boxes. (Labels written on the top of the box cannot be seen when the boxes are stacked.)

Packing Pointers

Before you begin packing, make a game plan. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pack one room at a time. This will help you keep items organized and will make unpacking easier. 
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move. 
  • Mark all boxes on the SIDE of the box, designating the room and the box number. Keep a box identification log to show the number of boxes packed for each room and the total number of packed boxes. Leave space in your log for comments to note the condition of the box or the location of high-value goods. Notify your mover of any high-value items.
  • Make sure you have plenty of "filling" material available. 
  • Make sure that the bottoms of all boxes are secured and will hold the weight of the contents. 
  • Use packing tape or gummed tape—not 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 is the heavier the item, the smaller the box. 

Packing DishwareTips for packing dishware

  • Use a mover-provided dishpack. If you cannot use a mover-provided dishpack, use a medium-sized box and line the bottom with crumpled packing paper.
  • With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper. 
  • Grasp the corner of several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until the sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on top and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull the sheets of paper over the second plate. 
  • Stack a third plate. Grasp the remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate. 
  • Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper. 
  • Re-wrap the entire bundle. Start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle. Cover the bundle with the next corner, then the third corner, and finally, the fourth. 
  • Seal the bundle with packing tape.
  • Place the bundle of dishware in a medium-sized box so that the plates are standing on edge. 

Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware. When packing smaller dishes, you may choose to stack in greater quantity.  

Packing Cups

  • With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners. 
  • Pull the nearest corner of the paper up and over the cup. 
  • Nest a second cup directly on top with the handle to the left. (The second cup should nest itself in the packing paper folded over the bottom cup.)
  • Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck the corners inside the top cup. 
  • Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll the cups to the remaining corner. (Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.)
  • Delicate cups, like China, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or China should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time. 

Packing Glasses and Stemware

  • Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
  • Lay the glass on the corner of your stack of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size). Pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
  • Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box. Heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom of the box. Delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in an upright position, not on its side.

No matter what you’re packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there’s a gap. Use a permanent marker to write the word FRAGILE on the sides of all boxes that contain fragile items. 

Specialized Packing Tips

The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our packing pointers. Here are some additional packing tips for major items. If you want a more comprehensive list of how to pack special items, call us or send us an email

Bureau Drawers

Don’t overload. Too heavy a load can cause damage. Remove firearms and any items that might break or leak. Firearms, along with serial numbers, must be registered with your moving  representative before the move.

Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Food

Pack items upright with no more than 24-30 cans per carton. Don’t attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small cartons.

Frozen Foods and PlantsPlants are prohibited on moving vans

Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items, your mover is prohibited from accepting these packed items when your shipment is being transported more than 150 miles and/or delivery will not be accomplished within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of loading. Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which—at time of loading—is at normal deep-freeze temperature.

Clocks

Remove or secure pendulum in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.

Drapes and Curtains

Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons or fold and pack in clean cartons. Remove curtains from rods; fold and pack in cartons or bureau drawers.

Flammables and Combustibles

Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak or even explode. For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you—not your mover—may be held liable.

Lamps and Lampshades

Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined carton. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper. Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons.

Medicines

Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright in small cartons. If needed during travel, carry these with you.

Mirrors, Paintings and Pictures

Tell your mover about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirrors for better protection against damage. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.

Personal Computers and Video Recorders

Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Label cords to identify usage and wrap them separately. Place cords in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton. Be sure your personal computer is “parked” and ready for transport.

Silverware

Wrap each piece in cloth or low sulfur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.

Tools

Drain fuel from power tools. (Do not ship flammables under any circumstances.) Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap separately if valuable.

Waterbed Mattresses

Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner’s manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.

Cars and Motorcycles

Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel. Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected. Automobile antifreeze should be ample to protect against severe cold in winter.

Barbecue Grills and Propane Tanks

Wrap grates and briquettes separately in a newspaper (or place all briquettes into a grocery bag) and place parts in a carton. Pad the carton with paper to reduce movement of contents. Propane tanks cannot be moved. Consult your local gas grill distributor for the safest method.