The proper preparation and packing of your possessions for loading is essential to the success of your move. That is why most people prefer to have their household goods professionally packed. If you elect to pack part or all of your goods yourself, please read the following information and packing tips carefully.
Before You Start
- Responsibility for damage to goods in a carton that you pack is difficult to establish if there is no visible damage to the outside of the carton.
- Professional packers can pack an average household in one day. It will take you much longer and you will have to start well before moving day.
- If your packing is improperly done, the mover can refuse to load the cartons until they are properly packed.
Packing Supplies and Materials You’ll Need
- Rigid, heavy-duty moving boxes or cartons of different sizes with good lids.
- Clean newsprint and tissue paper for wrapping and cushioning.
- Tape, scissors, felt markers, notepad.
Prepare for Packing
- Dispose of unwanted articles at a garage sale or donate them to charity.
- Dispose of articles liable to cause damage to the contents of the van or container. Prohibited items include: gasoline, propane, aerosol cans not classified as personal toiletries, barbeque tanks, oxygen, fire extinguishers and fireworks. For a complete list of prohibited goods see “Handling Dangerous Goods.”
- For allowable dangerous items prepare a carton labeled “Consumer Commodity-Dangerous Goods Exempt” to contain non-restricted household chemicals such as cleaners and cosmetics. These are detailed in “Handling Dangerous Goods.”
- Do not ship canned or bottled foods during freezing weather. Use them up, give them away or donate them to a food bank.
- Use up frozen foods. They can be moved by us only under certain conditions.
- Roll and tie rugs in three different places.
- Your dry cleaner can give you drapery hangers with plastic strips to protect against chafing during transport.
- Sort and prepack the items you won’t use before moving day.
- Make a list of the things that cannot be packed until the last minute.
How to Pack
China and dishes: Place a 7-10 cm (3”-4”) layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a sturdy carton. Place several layers of wrapping paper on your work table. Place one plate on the paper and fold the corner of one or two sheets diagonally over the plate. Place another plate on top and fold another piece of paper over it. Add two more plates in the same manner. Fold the sides of the paper over the bundle and roll the plates, keeping the sides of the paper straight for a neat bundle. Place bundles ON EDGE in the carton and pack them snug. When you have completed a layer in the carton, place another layer of crushed paper over it. Fill the carton, adding a layer of cushioning paper after each tier. Leave space at the top of the carton for a cushion of paper, then fold the top flat, seal with tape and label.
Cups, bowls and odd-shaped pieces: Wrap cups individually and protect handles with an extra sheet of paper. Place them upside-down with handles toward the inside of the carton. Keep them at the top of the carton so there will be less weight on top of them. Wrap and nest bowls into each other and pack on edge. Smaller items can be wrapped and nested inside bowls, pans, canisters, etc. Wrap sugar-bowl lids in coloured paper and place upside-down on top of the bowl. Then wrap the bowl in two sheets of paper.
Small pictures and mirrors: Pack vertically in a carton, cushioned well with paper, linens or blankets.
Stemware, glasses, figurines, etc.: We strongly recommend that you have delicate and valuable items professionally packed. Wrap others individually and pack in celled cartons. Protect with plenty of cushioning. Wrap wine glass stems first to cushion them, then wrap the entire glass into a bundle and place all glasses open side down in the carton. Mark the carton “Fragile”.
Silverware and stainless flatware: Wrap silverware individually, replace in silver chest, pad it well with paper or towels, and place at the bottom of the carton. Wrap holloware and other large silver pieces in clear plastic, then in clean paper, and pad well for packing. Stainless steel does not require special handling.
Lamps: Remove the bulb and harp (the metal framework surrounding the bulb), and roll up the cord. Wrap the base, bulb and harp individually and place together in a carton. Protect them with paper or small cushions wrapped in clean paper. Do not allow the lamp to protrude above the height of the carton. Several lamps may be packed together, provided there is lots of cushioning. Pack lampshades individually with cushioning at the bottom of the carton but not around the lampshade. You can nest smaller shades inside larger ones. But it is best to pack only one per carton. Tiffany type and other glass shades and chandeliers should be professionally packed.
Paintings, large mirrors, glass tabletops, marble slabs: These items are easily damaged and should be packed or crated professionally.
Clocks and radios: Pack these in their original cartons or wrap them separately and pack into well-padded cartons. Have grandfather clocks serviced by an expert to prevent the pendulum from damaging the cabinet.
Books, records, CD’s and cassettes: Pack heavy items in small cartons. Wrap valuable books separately and pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Pack records, CDs and cassettes on edge on a layer of crushed paper. Mark the carton “Fragile.”
Stereos: Pack these in their original cartons or wrap them separately and pack into well-padded cartons.
Clothing: Fasten zippers and buttons to secure clothes on their hangers and place in wardrobe cartons. Do not overload or pack anything else into the wardrobe. If you do not use wardrobe cartons, remove hangers, fold items and place in lined cartons. Use tissue paper between folds to prevent wrinkling. Lightweight items such as lingerie may be left in dresser drawers.
Large appliances: Clean and dry thoroughly to prevent mildew and odors. Drain water from dishwashers, washers, air conditioners, and so on. Clean and rinse refrigerators and freezers with baking soda, and leave their doors open for 24 hours before loading. Tape shelves and drawers securely or remove, wrap and pack into cartons. Some appliances must be serviced before moving.
Blankets, pillows, linens and towels: Pack in clean cartons or use as cushioning material. Wrap good linens in tissue paper or leave in drawers.
Small appliances, pots and pans: Pack in original cartons or wrap them separately and pack into well-padded cartons. Each should be clean and free from food particles and grease. Empty steam irons.
Artificial flower arrangements: Wrap carefully in plastic, tissue paper or paper towels, and pack individually. Mark the carton “Fragile”.
Drawers: Remove valuables and anything that will leak or spill. Stuff drawers with paper to keep articles in place.
Canned goods, preserves, small food packages: Use up as much food as possible before you move. Do not ship canned goods during freezing weather. Tape bottom of boxes closed, then wrap and pack food. Do not ship perishables. Avoid moving glass containers; if you must ship them, seal in watertight packaging and place upright in cartons.
Tools: Dismantle large tools for moving. Wrap smaller tools and pack in small cartons since they are heavy. Remove all fuel from all gasoline-powered tools.
Plants: A mover does not accept liability for plant damage by frost, poor packing or adverse conditions. He may agree to include your plants if you accept his waiver of responsibility; they will be shipped entirely at your risk. Find out more about moving plants.
Window coverings: Fold curtains and drapes lengthwise over a hanger, pin them securely and place in a wardrobe container. They can also be folded and packed in large cartons.
Mops, brooms, curtain rods: Bundle them together with tape or twine. You are responsible for removing drapery tracks, curtain rods and other items attached to the walls, ceiling or floors.
Rugs: Leave them flat on the floor. If they have just been cleaned, leave them rolled.
Garden furniture, swings, sheds: Disassemble and place nuts and bolts in a labeled plastic bag and pack in a carton.
- No carton should be so large that it will obstruct the view when carried or be over 23 kg (50lbs) when packed.
- Do not over fill or under fill cartons; this practice increases the risk of damage. Tops must close flat and be sealed with tape.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top. Pack articles snugly so they will not shift.
- Cushion every carton with clean, crushed paper-on the bottom, between layers, at the top, and in any empty spaces between articles.
- Pack small articles in small boxes and nest them into a large box.
- Wrap fabrics and china in clean newsprint.
- Wrap all items separately to protect fine surfaces and protrusions from damage.
- Wrap small articles in coloured paper so they will not be discarded with packing material.
- If you must ship liquids, fasten and tape lids, seal in a plastic bag and place upright in a carton.
- Record the contents of each carton in a notebook. Label each carton with your name, room location and special directions.
- Tape small pieces and screws to where they belong or put them in a carton labeled “Set-Up Carton” for easy access at destination.
- Place items from desks and drawers in small-labeled cartons. Loose clothing may remain in dresser drawers.
- Place “Do Not Move” sign on items that are to remain in the house.
- Assign a place for suitcases and other items that are not to go into the van or container.
- Send your valuables (jewels, furs, important papers, etc) by registered mail or security carrier, or carry them with you. We cannot accept responsibility for their shipment.
- Roll and tie electrical cords so they will not tangle.
- Prepare a “Load Last-Unload First” carton for things you will need as soon as you arrive.
If you have any questions or need further clarification about any aspect of your Do-it-yourself Packing Guide, please ask your Highland Moving Consultant. As professional experienced movers we appreciate your concerns and would be pleased to assist you.