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Start with what not to pack.

If you haven't used it or looked at it for the last 2 years ... Do you really need it?

Clean out all your 'junk' drawers and closets. Keep what you really need ... toss the rest.

If it's broke, decide if you're ever going to fix it ... or let it go.

What's it worth? ... If you're never going to need or use it ... give it up.

Check expiration dates on prescriptions, vitamins, toiletries ... etc ... whatever's in the kitchen or bathroom ... toss what's expired.

Are you planning to replace any furniture, rugs, storage units, TV antennas, BBQs, picnic tables,lawn mowers, swing sets ... etc?Especially any back-breaking items like sofa beds or storage units that are made of particle board.Are your curtains or drapes going to fit in the new house?

Plan a yard sale ... or take what's decent to shelters ... or donate it and have it picked up.

Give parting gifts to friends who deserve and would appreciate them.


Plan ahead and stay organized.  Delegate tasks. Designate a work area and set up a table to work on. Keep your packing materials together.

Keep the following on hand:  Boxes, assorted Tapes (Box Sealing, Masking, Filament...etc.), Tape Dispensers, 20" Stretch-Wrap, 5" Stretch-Banding, Labels, Pens, Permanent Markers, Newspapers and other Void Fill, Extra Blankets & Clothing (for padding), Scissors, Razor Knife, Assorted Cleansers, Rags, Garbage Bags, Zip-lock Bags, assorted Disassembly Tools (tape measure, phillips and slotted screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, wrenches, knife... etc.)

Start gathering packing supplies early.  How many boxes do you need?  Break down used boxes so you can stack them flat.  Save newspapers … they're great for wrapping fragile items and to fill in empty spaces.  Gather a supply of felt-tip markers and label the contents of every box you pack ... unmarked boxes can be a nightmare.  Small zip-lock bags are handy for knobs, screws, handles, picture hooks, etc. Tape them to the inside of drawers or tie them to the item they came from.

Pack similar items together … ie … Don't pack fragile glass with a frying pan.

The first things to pack are those things you know you won't be needing till after the move (like seasonal items).These can usually be marked as the first boxes into the truck and they can be the last to be unloaded.

Pack one room at a time.  Write / label the boxes on all sides with the room it came out of and the contents.  Be specific … Where did it come from? ... Where does it go? …  What's in it? ... Is it fragile?

Don't over-pack boxes.  Don't under-pack boxes. If you don't fill them up, use void fill to keep the contents from shifting.

Keep the weight of the boxes 'reasonable' (under 50 pounds).  Put heavy items in small boxes and load heavy items into the box first.

Pack medicines in a leak-proof container.

Use Box Tape for boxes … not Masking or Duct Tape.  Make sure the tape extends at least six inches down each side.

Don't apply tape directly to polished or painted or wood finishes. It could ruin the finish.

Consider double-boxing fragile items, with padding between the boxes.

Save blankets, pillows, towels and clothing to cushion breakable objects.


Small Appliances: If possible, pack them in their original packaging. If not, cushion in a box with plenty of newspaper, bubble or packing paper.

Major Appliances: check with the dealer for any special moving instructions.  For all large appliances, remove loose fittings and accessories and pack them separately.  Tie down, tape, or wedge any movable parts and doors.

Gas dryers or Stoves: Have the gas company disconnect these.

Dishwasher / Washing Machines: Stuff towels between machine sides and the tub to keep the tub from rotating. Pad the exterior well. Disconnect and drain the hoses, put them in a bag and place them in the tub.

Freezer / Refrigerator: Defrost, disinfect and dry the interiors well. Place a deodorizer inside and fill with lightweight linens, clothing or stuffed toys. If you want to lay your refrigerator down for moving, check first with the local dealer to determine if your brand can be moved like this. If so, make sure you stand it upright for at least 24 hours before you plug it in.

You'll want to have the use of a good hand cart and / or a platform dolly.


Beds: Disassemble the bed frame. Band the rails and cross-pieces together with filament tape or stretch banding. Mark on the banding to show where the pieces fit together for reassembly. Protect your mattress and box-springs with a Mattress Bag and / or Mattress Box.

Bicycles, Tricycles, Baby Carriages: Loosen, lower and turn the handlebars at right angles to save space. Clean and cover the chains and pedals to protect other items from being snagged or soiled.

Books: Use Small Moving boxes. Don't mix books with other items. Pack books flat, alternating bindings, and fill empty spaces with paper or bubble.

Bureaus & Dressers: Fill the drawers with small breakable items and cushion well with loose clothes.  Secure drawers with pads or blankets and tape closed. Don't overload drawers with heavy items.

Don't wax or oil wood furniture before moving … some products may soften the finish, making it vulnerable to imprinting.

Chairs: Wrap the arms and legs to prevent scratches. Bundle armless chairs in pairs, seat to seat, with a folded blanket or other padding between them, then band the seats together.

Clothes: Dresses, shirts, coats, suits - anything hanging in closets will travel best in Wardrobe Boxes. These can be used seasonally as 'extra closets' for wardrobe storage. Other clothes can remain folded in their regular dresser drawers. Large Moving Boxes can hold quite a few clothes without getting too heavy.

Comforters, Blankets, Large / Light Items:  Use Extra Large Moving Boxes. If you have small fragile items, you can pack a few in between the pillows for extra protection.  Just don't forget they're there ... list them on the box.

Curtain Rod Hardware: Put hardware in a plastic bag and tape to the rod or pack in dresser drawers.

Dishes: Individually wrap each piece. Use blank Newsprint Paper ... don't use newspapers ... you would risk lead poisoning. Use a Dish-Pak Box and Cell Pak or pack them in Medium Moving Boxes. Pack saucers, plates and platters on edge... Do Not Stack Flat!  Cups and bowls can be placed inside each other and wrapped three or four in a bundle. For expensive sets, consider our Saf-T-Packs for Dishes or Glasses. Everything will need to be thoroughly washed when you un-pack.

Glasses: Wrap each glass separately in packing paper or bubble wrap. Use a Small Moving Box with a Cell Pack to keep them separated.

Kitchenware: Pots, pans, etc. can be stacked in a box with packing paper between them. For bulky items, use Large Moving Boxes. Don't make the box too heavy... someone has to carry it.

Steam Irons: Empty the water!

Fine Furniture: Consider wrapping your best furniture in Bubble Wrap, not only to protect it from scratches, but to keep dust and dirt off the upholstery. Stretch Wrap also helps to prevent small scratches and dust from damaging furniture. Wrap tightly to prevent snags during the move.

Lamps: Disassemble lamps. Pack small bases in dresser drawers surrounded by loose clothing. Pack large bases in boxes stuffed with packing paper or bubble wrap. Box shades individually in boxes with plenty of packing paper for stuffing. Don't use newspaper... it smudges.

Lawn Mowers: Drain the gas and oil before you load it. Remove the handle and place the blade end in a sturdy box.

Mirrors, Paintings, Prints: Small mirrors can be well wrapped in packing paper and packed in boxes. For larger mirrors and large picture frames, use our custom made, double-walled Picture Boxes. For expensive pictures, use our picture boxes with our E-Z Pack for Pictures or Bubble-Wrap.  Mark GLASS on the box and always pack and store on end.

Paint and Flammables: Don't pack these … gas, alcohol, solvents, lighter fluid, ammunition and greasy / oily mops or rags. It can be dangerous and even illegal to transport these!

Radios, TVs: Box them upright and make sure they are well padded on all sides. For console-size equipment, surround with furniture pads, then move and load upright.

Rugs and Pads: Vacuum, sprinkle with moth flakes, roll up & tape.

Stereos, CDs, DVDs and Cassettes: Pack components in their original packaging if you still have it. If not, pack separately in well padded boxes marked FRAGILE. Pack CDs upright in their cases in a sturdy box with a tape-reinforced bottom. Wrap CDs in small bundles before packing, then fill any voids with packing paper. Mark the box FRAGILE. Pack cassettes similarly...you can group them in larger bundles.

Tables: For larger tables, remove the legs and band together. Put hardware in a small sealed envelope taped to the underside of the table top. Pad the top. Pad and band spare table leaves. For smaller tables, pad the top and wrap the legs to prevent scratches.

Tools and Gardening Equipment: Drain hoses, coil them and put them in boxes. Fill the remaining space with lawn sprinklers, small garden hand tools, etc.  Bundle rakes, shovels and other long-handled tools together with Strapping Tape or 5" Stretch Banding .

Valuables: Gather jewelry, important documents and safe deposit box contents … pack them in a small container and keep them with you.


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