Moving Guide – Packing Tips

If you'll be doing some packing yourself, start packing several cartons each day a few weeks before your move. Be sure that the items you pack won't be needed before your move, of course. By pacing yourself, you'll be more organized and the job won't be so overwhelming.

Pack on a room-by-room basis and do one area of the room at a time. It's best not to mix items from different rooms in one box.

To prevent small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap miniature knick-knacks and other small items in brightly-colored tissue paper before placing them in the box.

On the top and front of each carton, write a general description of the room from which it came (or which it will go into in your new home).

Use different colored dot stickers for each box; then, at your new house, put a balloon of a corresponding color outside the room where you want the color-coded boxes to be delivered.

Allow children to pack their favorite toys. This gives them a stronger sense of belonging and helps them feel that they're playing an instrumental part in the move.

Use only unprinted newsprint paper to wrap items. Regular newspapers are messy and can soil your possessions.

Use clean cartons designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean, and they may not withstand the weight of the items that you'll be putting in them. Also, their odd sizes tend to make loading more difficult.

Hazardous materials - flammables such as paint, varnish and thinners, gasoline, kerosene and oil, bottled gas, aerosol cans, nail polish and remover, ammunition and explosives, corrosives, and cleaning fluids and detergents - are some examples of common household items which can't be included in your shipment.

Toilet paper, telephone, toothpaste and brushes, snacks, coffee and coffee pot, soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups and utensils, a couple of pans, and paper towels are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items, and ask your van foreman to load it on the van last so that it will be unloaded at your new home first.

Irreplaceable photos, financial papers and assets (bank checks, insurance policies, stock certificates, etc.), legal documents (will, passports, etc.), valuables (jewelry, coin and stamp collections, etc.), and medical and family history records should be personally transported by you during the move.

Unpack breakables over the box you're taking them out of; that way, if you happen to drop an item, it will land on some packing material, thereby reducing its chance of breakage.