Northern Virginia Moving Blog

Packing 101: Important Packing Tips for Your Move

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 22, 2016 9:10:51 AM / by Michael Rhodes


One of the most essential steps in any move is the packing. However, it’s not as straightforward as simply throwing some items into cardboard boxes. If you want all your belongings to arrive safely and if you want the movers to work efficiently, knowing how to pack for a move matters. The following are some basic packing tips for your move that can help make relocating as painless as possible.


Important Moving Packing Tips 

Before Packing


  • Allow plenty of time


If you’re tackling the packing job yourself, remember that it always takes longer than you anticipate. (Allot approximately half an hour per box.)


You should never leave packing to the last minute, as rushing can lead to broken items, unnecessary stress, and the added cost of making your residential moving company wait around on move day.


  • Purchase plenty of packing materials


Stock up on bubble wrap, newsprint, and plenty of moving boxes. Making multiple trips to the store for packing supplies can quickly become a headache and time sink. Remember, especially when it comes to cushioning the boxes, it’s always better to have a little extra than not enough.


  • Purchase the right kind of packing material


Use boxes that seal shut. They should either have lids or flaps that can be taped down. (Double or triple taping is recommended.) Unsealed boxes are a recipe for loose, broken, or missing items.


During the Packing Process


  • Properly pack dishes and glasses


All dishes should be packed standing up rather than lying down. If you have particularly expensive china or anything of sentimental value, special dish pack boxes might be your best bet.


  • How to label moving boxes correctly


Label boxes with what rooms they are going to rather than what’s inside. This helps the movers know exactly where to place each box, which speeds up the move and saves you money by limiting billable hours with your moving company. It also speeds up the unpacking process.


Label each box on the top and at least one side in thick, readable pen. If relevant, mark “this side up.” Movers pay attention to these kinds of directives.


  • Use the right box for the job


Using the correct size box is an important step that many people miss when self-packing.


For example, you should use a 1.5 cubic foot box for books and magazines. This ensures no individual box is too heavy, which makes each box easier to move.


Medium size boxes are great for heavy items or china, and large boxes should be reserved for clothes, linens, purses, and bulky items (such as lamps) that won’t fit in medium boxes.


  • Note fragile items


If a box contains anything fragile, make sure that box is labeled as such. However, refrain from marking every box as fragile. Some items will need to go on the bottom of the pile in the moving truck.


  • Make an “open first” box


Leave aside one box of essentials to open first. This can include items such as your coffee maker or anything else you’ll want access to before the unpacking is complete.


General Packing Tips


  • Don’t be frugal with cushioning


When packing a box, use plenty of paper between items. Every box should be full with a very slight mound of cushioning on top after sealing. This prevents boxes from being crushed or items shifting during transport.


  • Use uniform boxes


Even though spare boxes from your grocery store or liquor store are free, using odd shaped boxes can actually slow your movers down because these boxes are harder to fit neatly into the moving truck. When your moving company is on the clock, that extra time can end up costing you money.


  • Use proper packing technique


Always cushion the bottom of a carton, and don’t forget to wrap fragile items individually. Heavy items should go on the bottom of a box, and light items should go on top.


  • Know what not to pack


Never pack fluids. If a salad dressing or other liquid has a broken seal, you’ll have to transport that yourself.


For more information about packing 101 tips, please feel free to contact a representative of All Star Movers, a Fairfax VA moving company.

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Topics: Moving Tips, Moving in Maryland, Moving in Washington DC, Moving in Northern Virginia, Moving Packing Tips, Packing Supplies, Residential Moving

Michael Rhodes

Written by Michael Rhodes

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