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packing advices



  • Stow away items (books, etc.) that you hardly use.

  • Protect your items with packing material. Newspapers are effective and readily available. However, the ink rubs off easily so utilize it with discretion. Consider using clean newsprint paper, available at office supply stores, instead.

  • Separate your breakable items from your non-breakable items, so the appropriate boxes can be given extra care.

  • Never pack flammable items. A full list is available in the section Items That You Should Not Ship.

  • Buy an assortment of quality boxes in standard sizes.

  • Pack all boxes as tightly as possible, but watch the weight. Load heavier items on the bottom, to maintain balance. No box should ever weigh more than 50 lbs, and 20-30 lbs. maximum is preferable.

  • Use real packing tape, not masking tape – it’s not strong enough.

  • Label boxes clearly, on several sides. They should be legible, even if stacked in a corner. Start an inventory list, on paper or on your computer. Be consistent with your labeling method.

  • Use colored stickers to designate a box for a specific room at your destination.

  • Mark a box as FRAGILE if it contains breakables

  • For a box that contains items you’ll need immediately (cooking utensils, toiletries, remotes, etc.), mark “OPEN FIRST” on the outside of the box.

  • Carry irreplaceable items with you, along with immediate necessities like cell-phone chargers and personal items, in a special suitcase or bag.


Books: Use a Book box

  • Lay books flat in the box. Alternate the spine and open-end, as you stack them, to keep their weight evenly distributed.

  • Place a clean piece of paper between books to prevent them from sticking to each other.

  • Keep the weight of the box manageable (pref. between 20-30 lbs).

Bottles & Liquid Containers: Use a China box

  • Never pack anything flammable! Many liquids and substances are dangerous. For a guide, see Items You Should Not ship, a federally mandated list.

  • Seal all bottles by wrapping tape around their lids.

  • Wrap bottles in newsprint paper. Prepare boxes with crumpled newsprint paper, at the bottom, and place your bottles on top. Add more newsprint, padding the sides and top.

China /Dishware: China box

  • Before packing china, cushion the bottom of the box with plenty of crumpled newsprint paper.

  • Carefully wrap each larger piece of china individually with newsprint, and bundle up to three similar pieces together with one piece of newsprint.

  • Level 2-3 inches of crumpled newsprint on top of the bottom row, to support the next row of bundles.

  • The upper row should be comprised of smaller articles—cups, saucers, etc. – to keep the box properly weighted with heavier items at the bottom.

Better Clothing: Use a Wardrobe Box

  • Pack tailored clothing in a wardrobe box, especially if you plan to store them. Winter coats and bulky items should also go into the box.

  • If the packed wardrobe box is being placed into storage, consider using moth repellant and sealing the box with tape, to protect your items and keep out dust.

Foldable Clothing: Use a Linen Box or other container

  • Clothes and other foldable items can be packed into laundry baskets/bags or suitcases.

  • Another alternative is to place folded clothing in a linen box.

Computers & Electronic: Use a China Box

  • Take photos of your wired connections and label the cables. Consider using colored ties from a container or office supply store.

  • Disconnect all wires and cables. Bundle these items together with their components, for quick reassembly.

  • If possible, use original containers for computers and electronics. Use proper packing materials (foam sheeting, newsprint paper, bubble wrap, etc.).

  • If the original container is not available, start by cushioning the bottom of your chosen box with plenty of crumpled paper. For flat screen TV’s, consider using a picture box.

  • Wrap your electronic item in clean newsprint or a plastic bag.

  • Place the item in the prepared box, and pad heavily on all sides to prevent damage. Have the item standing on its edge.

Food: Use a Linen Box

  • Pack food items last, after all other packing has been completed.

  • Do not pack perishable food items, even for local moves.

  • Seal all box openings with tape.

  • Place small spice jars and containers into a small box first, and then into a bigger one. Remember to use tape where necessary with spice containers.

  • Limit the amount of canned goods and heavy objects you place into each box, to maintain a reasonable weight.

Lampshades: Use various boxes

  • If possible, separate lampshade from the lamp base.

  • Make sure to handle a lampshade by its wire base only.

  • Surround the lampshade with clean newsprint paper. Lampshades can be nested inside each other, separated by newsprint. Keep them at the top of the box and well padded.

Photographs: Use a book box

  • Photos, videos, and film negatives should be packed separately from other household items. They may be irreplaceable.

  • Protect your framed photos with padding, standing each on edge within the box.

  • Label containers clearly to easily identify their contents.

  • If the item is truly irreplaceable, carry it with you.

Shoes: Use a linen box

  • Pack shoes into shoeboxes or clear zip lock bags. Then group them into a bigger box.

  • If shoeboxes are not available, wrap each shoe in clean newsprint to minimize abrasion.

Soft Goods: Use a China box

  • Pack pillows and bedding essentials into a lined container.

  • Separate each item with a layer of clean newsprint.

Statuary and Figurines/Knickknacks: Various boxes

  • Wrap statuary and figurines with bubble wrap. Consider packaging some items with smaller bubble wrap first. Then layer the outside with larger bubble wrap. Exceptionally fragile items may require additional protection. Pack foam peanuts tightly around the piece, as added padding and to ensure the item remains in place. Recyclable peanuts are available.

  • If bubble wrap is not available, wrap clean paper around the item until it is well cushioned.

Stemware: Use a China box

  • Each piece of stemware should be wrapped in clean newsprint paper.

  • Stuff newsprint into each goblet and then wrap it around the stem.

  • Cushion stemware with a final thick wrapping of paper, and place the item in your container STEM UP.

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