Guide to Packing Like a Pro
There is no better way to get through packing than embracing it in its totality. But, whether you are packing yourself or hiring a moving company to pack for you, it can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve got some helpful tips to prepare for a stress-free packing experience.
Before packing your things, take a moment to clarify what’s going on the move and what’s not. It is an excellent time to identify the things you want to keep and the things you may wish to donate, sell or discard. Once you have a good idea of the items you want to move, the packing process will become much easier (and less costly).
We generally tend to underestimate the amount of time it takes to get something done. A few weeks before your move, start packing several boxes a day. Begin with items that are least essential to your daily life. If you pace yourself, you will be more organized, and the job won’t be so overwhelming. Make packing easier by not waiting to get started.
Materials and Resources
The following guidelines are only general suggestions. Keep in mind that you may have more or fewer things based on your space and the number of items you have. Please make a note of supplies you’ll also need like tape, packing paper and bubble wrap (to protect delicate things before boxing them up), and pens/markers for labeling. If we use materials for your job such as boxes, bubble wrap, shrink wrap, mattress bags etc., the cost will be added to the final bill on the day of the job. You will be charged only for what we actually use. See our price list here.
How Many Boxes Do I need? On average:
Studios may use between 10 to 20 boxes
1 Bedroom (small) may use between 20 to 40 boxes
1 Bedroom (large) may use between 40 – 60 boxes
2 Bedrooms may use between 80 to 120 boxes
3 Bedrooms + may use between 100 or more boxes
Types of Packing Boxes
China Box: On average, kitchens may use between 10 – 20 boxes
Wardrobe Boxes: Each one holds 24 inches of hanging clothes and can even include other items such as belts, shoes, and sweaters at the bottom. You may buy it or rent it from us (and we recycle the box afterward).
Book Boxes: On average, with a standard 24″ wide bookcase, one shelf may use 1 to 1.5 book boxes.
Linen Boxes: These are the larger boxes and are often used for linens, comforters, clothes, pillows, and packing things that are less dense and heavy.
If you have reusable plastic bins, you can use them on your move. Or, if you prefer, you may even consider eco-friendly packing bins, like those at our local partner Box-up Rental, or our tri-state partner icanstorage.
What to Pack
When considering what to pack for your move, let’s start with the most frequently asked questions about packing up around the home.
Dressers, Chest of Drawers, Cabinets, Bookcases, TV Units, Kitchen Islands, and any furniture with storage:
It is recommended to remove all items from the furniture before your move, especially anything heavy, fragile, or sensitive. If the contents are not removed, movers may spend the time packing them up before wrapping/preparing your furniture for the move.
Electronics: Remove cables and tape them together to the unit to ensure they do not get lost. It’s a good idea to take photographs of the back of electrical items before you remove the cables, so you can reconnect your devices with ease.
Bulbs and lampshades: These should be removed and packed in dedicated bins/boxes with utmost care.
Fragile Items: Fragile items must be properly packed, whether by our crew or you. If fragile items are not correctly packed, movers reserve the right to repack the items when there is the risk of damage for moving.
What Not To Pack:
Essentials: Make sure you set aside basic care items and essential things you will need during the course of your move. Check out What’s an Essentials Box and How do I Pack One? or Things to Pack In Your Essentials Box.
Personal valuables: You should personally transport heirlooms, important papers, jewelry, cash, legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), and other valuables. Do not box these up for your movers to transport.
Plants: Better to leave it to the movers. Plants often do not fare well during a move.
Hazardous Items: Don’t wind up on the wrong side of the law. Read our list of some common household items that can’t be shipped because they are hazardous and therefore can’t be on the moving truck:
- Butane tanks & Charcoal
- Cleansers containing bleach or ammonia
- Combustibles, Flammables & Incendiaries
- Lighter fluid
- Nail polish remover
- Oil or gas of any sort
- Paint cans
- Pesticides and poisons
- Pets and other domestic animals
PACKING TIPS & STRATEGY:
- A week before you move, you’ll want to stop buying groceries.
- Pack room-by-room.
- Start with rooms with the least impact, like the living room, common room, storage, and closets. Save the most vital rooms like Kitchens and Bedrooms for last.
- Focus on one area of a room and start packing items that will have the least impact on your daily life, like books, decor, and wall art as a starting point.
- Don’t mix items from different rooms in one box.
- When packing “breakables” – fragile and delicate items, be generous with packing paper to provide enough cushion support against each other.
- To prevent miniature knick knacks and small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap them in brightly-colored tissue paper.
- Label boxes for your new home by destination rooms. This helps the movers know where to place the boxes at the new destination, and it helps you quickly find what you need and unpack faster.
- Details are helpful. On each box, write the name of the room and a general description of the contents. You may also consider using stickers or markers to color code boxes by room and to indicate fragile items.
- Packing Books, albums, etc., use only book boxes for books. The book box is 1.5 cubic feet and measures 17”x12 3/8”x 12 3/8”. If you use larger boxes, be sure to mix with linens or towels so that the total weight does not exceed 30 lbs.
- Do not overfill boxes. Any box exceeding 30 lbs. potentially puts both the mover and the items at risk and may have to be repacked at the movers’ discretion.
- Packing Kitchens – Use clean, unprinted newspaper for packing glasses, dishes, etc. Regular newspapers may leave ink marks on your items.
A Note on Boxes:
Unless renting Eco-bins, stick with Moving Boxes. Use boxes designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and might not hold the weight of the items you will be putting in them. Also, varying box sizes can make loading more difficult.
Furniture Assembly / Disassembly:
Furniture Assembly / Disassembly – Some items may not fit and may need to be disassembled. If you want to save time, you can disassemble the furniture in advance. However, you can leave it to the movers who can handle it better and faster than you probably can.
Couches and sofas
Even after removing detachable legs, larger couches and sofas may need structural disassembly, sometimes involving removal of upholstery. Often this comes as a complete surprise – but not to worry!! We recommend MJS Furniture and can make arrangements for this service on the day of the move, on the spot.
Carpets and rugs
Clean thoroughly and put it in plastic to protect it from dirt and moisture. Load them last on the truck so that they can be unloaded first.