Over 40 million Americans will be “packing it up and taking it to the road” as they move to new homes this year. With fragile keepsakes and valuable household goods to keep in mind, proper packing techniques become essential. If you decide to pack your shipment yourself, plan ahead to have at least six weeks to pack and get ready for your move. Below are some suggestions:
Indicate boxes holding essential items (such as cooking utensils, bedding, linens and toiletries) that need to be opened first by writing “open first” on the box. Make sure these are the last boxes to be loaded onto the moving van.
Certain possessions require specific care during the packing process. The following are some of the basic packing techniques:
Wrap each item separately in unprinted newspaper, and use a specially partitioned box, such as a “dishpak”.
First, wrap the stems for extra protection; then wrap each glass individually and place it upside-down in a partitioned box.
Mirrors and glass-covered photos/artwork
Place a series of masking tape Xes on the glass to help strengthen it, then cushion the item with a generous amount of clean paper and place it in a flat package or a telescoping carton.
Nest utensils in groups of three or four, wrap securely and place in silver chest or cushioned box.
Handle shades only by the wire frames; place in large boxes. Shades can be nested together in one box if separated by clean paper.
Clothes can be folded and boxed. For faster unpacking, you can obtain special wardrobe boxes from your mover, allowing you to neatly pack your clothes without removing them from their hangers.
Small appliances, computers, stereo equipment
If possible, pack small appliances, computers, stereo equipment and VCRs in their original boxes. Otherwise, cushion them with crumpled packing paper. Tape down moving parts, such as turntable tonearms.
Glass jars and bottles
Pack glass jars and bottles in bubble wrap or several layers of paper. Secure stoppers or lids with masking tape. Do not move flammable items.
Statuettes, figurines, curios
Wrap generously in bubble pack, then in a layer of clean paper, and pack in boxes with plenty of crumpled paper or foam peanuts in-between items. Objects with delicate appendages, such as candelabras or figurines with extended arms, require more bubble wrap and should be surrounded with extra packing material.
Record albums, tapes, CDs
Stack these items together so they can absorb shocks with less chance of damage. Pack tightly to ensure they are secure and cannot shift.
Antiques, delicate furniture
Movers can supply specially-made crates to secure and ship fragile items and antiques.