Packing Tips

If you decide to do at least some of the packing yourself, make sure you have everything properly packed and ready for loading when the movers arrive. Packing can take longer than you might think - start early to make sure you'll be finished in time. You should finish packing the day before your move day so you the movers can do their job as efficiently as possible. Only the things you'll need the night before your move, the next morning and immediately at your destination should be left for last-minute packing.

Be mindful while you are packing to make sure your items are secured inside each box to prevent damage during the move. Your packing is expected to meet specific standards, and the moving company representatives will inspect the cartons you have packed before they are loaded. If they find that items are not properly packed or boxes are susceptible to damage, they may refuse to load the items until they are repacked. This is solely for the protection of your items.

During your packing process, you may make changes to the items you plan to move. Make sure you inform your move coordinator of any changes to your original order, including the total number of boxes being packed. This will ensure that the crew is properly prepared with the right materials and equipment for your move. This also allows your move coordinator to make any necessary revisions to the price of your move, so you know the complete cost ahead of time.

Boxes packed by anyone other than the MiniMoves crew should be in good condition. The boxes should be sealed and items inside should not shift when the box is moved. If you are unable or unsure of proper packing for any fragile or valuable item, please ask for assistance. Items packed by you that are damaged in transit will not be covered by insurance policies. Learn more about our packing services.

Here are a few other packing tips to help you along the way...

What needs to be packed?

Obviously not everything will fit inside a box. As a general rule, furniture and major appliances will be wrapped and padded by your moving professional. Items requiring professional disassembly and/or crating (e.g. slate pool tables, chandeliers, or large glass table tops) are best left to professional crating companies. If you're packing on your own, make sure you feel comfortable with each item that you put inside the box. If you have any doubt of how to pack something, you should let the professional moving crew handle this - it will save you time and ensure your items are well protected.

What kind of boxes do I need?

Using new, quality packing materials specifically designed for moving will really make a difference in the safety of your items. Professional moving cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each are specifically suited to fit a variety of household goods.

  • Dish Pack (or China Barrel): Extra sturdy corrugated carton of double-wall construction for all breakables such as china and dishes, crystal and glassware. You may also want to use cellular dividers inside the carton as an extra measure of protection.
  • Small (Book Carton) 1.5 cu. ft. carton: A small, easy to handle carton designed for heavy items such as books and records.
  • Medium - 3 cu. ft. carton. Medium utility box often used for pots and pans, toys, non-perishable food and small appliances.
  • Large (Square/ Lamp) 4.5 cu. ft. carton: For bulky items such as linens, towels, toys or lampshades.
  • Large (Rectangular/ Lamp) 6.0 cu. ft. carton: For lightweight bulky articles such as pillows, blankets and large lampshades.
  • Wardrobe Carton: This large carton has a hangar bar to accommodate clothes from your closet or draperies.
  • Mirror Carton: Telescoping cartons fit almost any picture, mirror or glass.

Other Supplies you might need

  • Bundles of packing paper (clean, unprinted newsprint)
  • Bubble wrap, tissue paper, or paper towels for delicate items
  • Rolls of PVC tape
  • Tape dispenser
  • Broad-tipped markers for labeling
  • Scissors or sharp knife for cutting cartons
  • Notebook and pen or pencil for listing contents of cartons as they are packed.
  • Labels or stickers for identifying boxes

Packing 101

  • Start with out-of-season items, and things used infrequently. Pack things you'll need the night before or day of the move until the last minute.
  • Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
  • Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
  • Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic bags and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
  • Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
  • Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping paper draws attention to very small things that might otherwise get lost in a carton. Use a double layer of newsprint for a good outer wrapping.
  • Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of cartons for cushioning.
  • Build up the layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top.
  • As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
  • Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets may also be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.
  • Pack small, fragile, individually-wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
  • Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
  • Seal cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items that must be left open for the van operator's inspection.
  • As you finish with each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while stacked) and in a special notebook. You might want to number and/or code the cartons as well.
  • Indicate your name and the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
  • Put a special mark (the number 1, or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.