1. When you are preparing to move, there are various ways packing can be done. If you
choose, you can do all of it yourself. Some people prefer to have movers professionally
pack all of their belongings. Or you may wish to do some of the packing of non-fragile items
yourself, such as books, linens, clothing and shoes, inexpensive plates and small kitchen
appliances. These items can be cheaper to replace in case of damage, as opposed to hiring
workers to perform the extra labor. Other people may have only a few items they wish to
have professionally packed.
2. Remember, the heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. A good rule of thumb is
if you can’t lift the carton easily, it’s too heavy! Keep the weight of the box under fifty (50)
pounds, and remember to always lift with your knees, not your back.
3. If at all possible, do not have movers transport your jewelry, photographs, family heirlooms
and other priceless items. Should they become lost or damaged, the reimbursement on a
claim will not replace the sentimental value you place on them. Pack these items and take
them with you, if space allows.
4. Obtain the proper cartons for your items – the right size and strength. Save space by putting
shoes at the bottom of wardrobe cartons, but be reasonable. Don’t let boxes become too
heavy, or susceptible to fallout from the bottom. If you have fine china, purchase padded dish
cartons with dividers to protect it. For your more easily replaceable and non-fragile items,
save money by wrapping them in newspaper, using standard moving cartons.
5. Take the time to pack everything carefully. It is important for you to buffer and separate,
wrapping each fragile item separately. Fill the empty spaces to minimize movement during
transit. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked. Purchase strong
tape, either the plastic or strapping tape that movers use.
6. Movers are required to inspect each box tendered for shipment. Immediately point out to
your mover each and every carton that you packed yourself, especially if they are fragile and
valuable. The mover will advise you on whether the cartons need to be repacked in sturdier,
more appropriate cartons. They have the right to refuse to load any carton they deem
improperly packed. Therefore, any improperly packed carton must be repacked either by
you, or the mover, prior to loading. All repacking services are an additional cost. Professional
moving companies use only sturdy, reinforced cartons. Although the boxes you can obtain
from your neighborhood supermarket may be free, they are not nearly as strong, or padded.
They are also more susceptible to causing damage to your valuables while in transit. Keep in
mind that movers are not liable for items they do not pack.
7. Movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Before the movers arrive to pack and
load, unplug and prep your refrigerator, along with any other appliances being moved. Also
prep your computer and, as a safety precaution, back up your important files.
8. Plants and pets will not be moved with your household goods. Both are the responsibility of
the shipper to see that they arrive at destination safely. Don’t forget to prepare them for the
move. Pets need their own “suitcase”, with food, water and a few toys. Your pets need to
know that they are being included.
9. Hazardous materials cannot be shipped. These items can include, but are not limited to, paint,
thinner, solvent, oil, varnish, gas, motor oil, bleach, ammunition and aerosol cans. There is a
danger of explosion if items such as these are transported. If firearms must be shipped with
the rest of your household goods, the carton in which they are packed must be left open for
the driver to inspect and obtain the serial number(s). There should be no mention on the
outside of the carton that a firearm is inside. Additionally, no liquids should be moved.
Although they may appear seemingly harmless, contents can leak and cause damage to
surrounding household belongings.
10. Additional measures need to be taken if firearms are being moved, for your protection, and
that of the general public. Pack any firearms in cartons that do not mention on the outside
that firearms are enclosed. Additionally, leave those cartons unsealed so the driver can
inspect and obtain the serial number(s). Only after that information is taken, can you seal the
11. Make the loading process easier and more organized by designating a room in your home,
preferably the one closest to the door, in which to place all of your cartons. Keep related
cartons together since they probably will end up in the same room. This will help reduce
carrying time and make the move much more efficient.