Moving Tips

Moving Tips 2016-12-21T16:45:20+00:00

Packing the Kitchen & Laundry Room

Once you know you’re moving, you can begin packing your kitchen almost immediately by starting with your less-used serving dishes, seasonal items and small appliances. Next, tackle your large serving bowls, tablecloths and specialty pots and pans. Keep your everyday dishes for the last week before your move. You may even want to consider buying some disposable plates, cups and utensils for those last few nights when everything is packed away.

Use or dispose of all perishables before moving. You will also need to get rid of cleaning products and other kitchen chemicals. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped. Boxed or canned goods should be packed in small boxes. Dispose of any open packages and wrap glass jars to prevent breakage.

China & Glass

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.

  • A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware.
  • Label cartons with room, contents and “FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.”

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

  • Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.
  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.
  • Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

Packing the Dining Room

The dining room will generally include your most fragile china and crystal stemware. Each item should be carefully wrapped in paper and placed in dishpack cartons; cellular dividers are recommended for stemware. You will also want to include any items with values exceeding $100 per pound on your “High Value Inventory” form to receive proper valuation coverage.

China & Glassware

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges.

  • A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware.
  • A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.
  • Label cartons with room, contents and “FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.”

Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

  • Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.
  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces.
  • Add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier.
  • Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.
  • Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap.

  • Hollow ware — including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes – should be wrapped carefully like fragile items and packed like china.
  • Loose flatware may be wrapped individually or in sets, and in paper, clear plastic or small gift boxes that are then secured with tape.
  • Even if silverware is in a chest, consider wrapping the pieces individually and reposition them in the chest. Or, fill all voids in the chest with newsprint to prevent shifting. The chest can be wrapped in a large bath towel.

Figurines, Curios and Other Delicate Items Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

  • Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out.
  • Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint.
  • A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass.
  • Place flat items on edge in a carton.

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

It’s best to consult with your moving company about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Table leaves are best transported in paper pads, then taped to hold the padding in place. (Note: never place tape on the surface of wood.) Don’t use plastic wrap, as moisture may get trapped and damage wood.

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hanger, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move – you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items

  • Talk to your moving professional beforehand about any leather items.
  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.
  • You may want to consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.

Packing the Living, Family, & Great Room

Most pictures and mirrors can be wrapped and packed in telescoping mirror cartons. Fragile or valuable fine art may require special crating and should be handled by your moving professional.

Stereo Equipment

Advance preparation is required for compact disc players, digital video disc players and stereo turntables.

  • On compact and digital video disc players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit.
  • Most turntables have a plastic lock which should be used to hold the tone arm in place. For additional protection, you may tie a piece of string around the arm in case the lock does not hold. Also, secure the platter (where the records are placed) by tightening the appropriate screws. These are usually located on top of the turntable, but check you owner’s manual if in doubt.

Speakers

  • Pack speakers in well-cushioned dish packs.
  • Any large or unusually heavy speakers will simply be padded and placed on the truck.
  • Servicing is usually not required prior to packing for tape deck, receiver or speakers.

DVD or VCR

No special servicing is required to move a DVD or VCR. When installing at destination, place on a hard surface, provide appropriate ventilation for openings and do not set objects on top.

Satellite Dish

Contact an electrician or technician from a satellite dish distributorship for the disconnection and disassembly of this sensitive equipment. Depending upon the construction and size of the unit, it may need to be crated, a service which your moving professional can provide.

Compact Discs, Tapes and Records

Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books or or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark, “FRAGILE.”

  • Cassette tapes should be placed in their cases and wrapped individually in crumpled paper. Place individual tapes either vertically or horizontally on a couple of layers of crushed paper.
  • If records are not in jackets, wrap individually in tissue paper or plastic wrap to protect from scratches. Records are heavy and therefore should be packed in small cartons.

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack them either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.
  • Expensively bound volumes or those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.

Photographs

Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other households items. (Note: watch these when moving to very hot or humid climates by making sure the storage area protects items from the elements.)

  • Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton. Label cartons for easy identification.
  • If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.

Silk or Artificial Flowers

An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in a separate carton. Wrap carefully in plastic wrap, tissue paper or paper towels. If possible, fasten the base of the floral piece to the bottom of the carton to prevent shifting. Label the carton “FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.”

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

It’s best to consult with your moving professional about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move – you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

TV Stand / Stereo Cabinet

Remove glass doors if possible and pack in a mirror carton.

Furniture

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items

  • Talk to your moving professional beforehand about any leather items.
  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.
  • You may want to consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.

Piano

A qualified service provider should take care of the preparations for moving a grand or baby grand piano.

  • Upright (spinet, console, studio) pianos usually do not require preparation in advance. All pianos are pad-wrapped to protect the surface.
  • Plan to have your piano tuned at your new home.

Pool Table

Disassembly and crating of your pool table should be provided by a third-party service. If possible, contact the store where the pool table was purchased to obtain assistance.

  • Crating is a possibility on slate.
  • You will need to make arrangements at destination to have the pool table uncrated, reassembled and leveled.

Packing the Office or Den

Your home office will likely contain your important paperwork and legal papers. Set these aside beforehand and plan to take them with you. Computer equipment and other valuables that exceed $100 per pound will need to be listed on your “High Value Inventory” form to receive proper valuation coverage.

Personal computer, printer, scanner, or other equipment

  • Disconnect and mark all wires and cables for easy assembly
    Detach paper holders/feeders from printers and wrap monitors and additional hardware as you would other home electronics
    Remove toner and ink cartridges
    Back up all of your computer files on DVDs or other file storage disks/devices
    Consult your PC user manual for additional instructions and precautions

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack them either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.
  • Expensively bound volumes of those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.

Office furniture

Any modular office furniture will need to be dismantled prior to move day. Use tape to mark where pieces go together and keep the hardware together (including drawer pulls) in one spot, like a plastic bag or coffee can.

Packing the Garage, Hobby Room, or Storage

Garages and storage sheds typically take the longest to pack, as they are filled with odd-shaped, sharp or heavy items that require special care to pack correctly.

Start by safely disposing of items that cannot be shipped, like pesticides, fertilizers, oil and gas. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped. Next, group items of a similar size or shape together, like long-handled tools with pruning shears. Then, make sure you have an assortment of boxes and newsprint to properly wrap and cushion items.

Tools

Long-handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately.

  • Hand tools may be left in tool boxes and the spaces filled with crushed paper, or they may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small cartons for heavy tools.
  • Use old towels to wrap and tape any sharp-edged tools.

Rakes & Brroms

Shovels, rakes, brooms and the like need not be packed; gather them together for your driver to bundle in a pad.

Lawn & Patio Furniture

Remove cushions and clean frames. Pack cushions in large carton or wardrobe.

Umbrella

Keep it clean and dry during transport by wrapping it in paper padding or a plastic bag and taping shut. Do not pack the weighted umbrella stand.

Grill

Dispose of any unused charcoal. Remove tank – it cannot be transported in the moving van.

Outdoor Equipment

Before moving day, dismantle children’s swing sets, TV antennas and garden sheds you plan to take with you.

  • Place small hardware in a plastic bag or old coffee can and label.
  • If the parts bag can be securely attached to corresponding equipment, all the better.
  • Prepare lawn mower by safely draining gasoline prior to loading day.

Pots and Planters

Pack small ceramic or pottery planters like any fragile item – individually wrapped with plenty of cushioning. If you plan to move any large or unusual planters, consult your moving professional.

Trash Cans

It may be easier just to buy new garbage cans at your destination.

  • Clean cans if you plan to take them with you.
  • If your cans are sealable or rollable, you may pack items in them, just don’t make them too heavy.

Packing the Bedroom, Nursery, or Bathroom
Start packing your bedrooms by tackling less-used guest rooms first. Children can help by setting aside the toys and books they want to take with them and packing the rest in boxes. Colorful stickers on the outside of boxes let children know their personal belongings are clearly marked, and allow them to identify their things when the moving van is unloaded.

Hanging clothing from closets can be left on hangers and placed in wardrobe cartons. You may want to consider purchasing several of these special cartons from your moving company. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing on hangers; figure more cartons if wrinkles are a concern. If wardrobe cartons are not used, each garment should be removed from its hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper.

Hats may be left in hatboxes and placed in large cartons, or stuff the crown of each hat with crumpled tissue paper, wrap tissue loosely around the outside and place in a carton lined with clean paper, with the heavier hats at the bottom. Don’t pack anything else with hats. Label the carton “FRAGILE.”

Valuables such as fine jewelry should be removed from drawers and never packed with your household goods. They will be most secure if they remain in your possession. If you have an extensive high-value collection, consider a third party service that specializes in transporting jewelry.

Dispose of aerosol spray cans, such as hairspray or deodorant, or take them with you. Other bottles should be carefully taped shut and wrapped to prevent leakage, then packed in small cartons. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Blankets, sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases and other linens may be protected by a large plastic bag and packed in a carton that has been lined with clean paper.

Wrap your most prized possessions in tissue. Also, linens and bedding are good for cushioning or padding many other items.
If you decide to wash your linens before you pack them, make sure they are thoroughly dried first.

Mattresses should be placed in mattress cartons for added strength and cleanliness. Pillows may be placed in bureau drawers or packed in cartons. They also make good padding for other items.

Glass mirrors should be packed in special mirror cartons. However, if they are especially heavy, crating is recommended. Ask your Personal Relocation Consultant about crating services.

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangr, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move-you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

Packing the Garage, Hobby Room, or Storage

Garages and storage sheds typically take the longest to pack, as they are filled with odd-shaped, sharp or heavy items that require special care to pack correctly.

Start by safely disposing of items that cannot be shipped, like pesticides, fertilizers, oil and gas. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped. Next, group items of a similar size or shape together, like long-handled tools with pruning shears. Then, make sure you have an assortment of boxes and newsprint to properly wrap and cushion items.

Tools

Long-handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately.

  • Hand tools may be left in tool boxes and the spaces filled with crushed paper, or they may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small cartons for heavy tools.
  • Use old towels to wrap and tape any sharp-edged tools.

Rakes & Brooms

Shovels, rakes, brooms and the like need not be packed; gather them together for your driver to bundle in a pad.

Lawn & Patio Furniture

Remove cushions and clean frames. Pack cushions in large carton or wardrobe.

Umbrella

Keep it clean and dry during transport by wrapping it in paper padding or a plastic bag and taping shut. Do not pack the weighted umbrella stand.

Grill

Dispose of any unused charcoal. Remove tank – it cannot be transported in the moving van.

Outdoor Equipment

Before moving day, dismantle children’s swing sets, TV antennas and garden sheds you plan to take with you.

  • Place small hardware in a plastic bag or old coffee can and label.
  • If the parts bag can be securely attached to corresponding equipment, all the better.
  • Prepare lawn mower by safely draining gasoline prior to loading day.

Pots and Planters

Pack small ceramic or pottery planters like any fragile item – individually wrapped with plenty of cushioning. If you plan to move any large or unusual planters, consult your moving professional.

Trash Cans

It may be easier just to buy new garbage cans at your destination.

  • Clean cans if you plan to take them with you.
  • If your cans are sealable or rollable, you may pack items in them, just don’t make them too heavy.

Non-Transportable Items

The following items are examples of items that moving companies, by federal law or internal policy, cannot transport.

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials such as explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials are not allowed for transport.

Common examples include:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles
  • Propane cylinders
  • Automotive repair andmaintenance chemicals
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals
  • Matches

Other items not recommended for transport on the van include

  • Firearms
  • Food in glass jars and perishable foods
  • Prescription drugs needed for immediate use

Transport items of personal importance or sentimental value with you, such as:

  • Cash
  • Collections (i.e., coins)
  • Family photos
  • Important personal papers (i.e., deeds, wills)
  • Negotiable papers (i.e., bonds, stocks, certificates)
  • Jewelry
  • Moving documents