February 16, 2017

Packing Strategies for Moving: How to Pack Boxes

There are many benefits to packing up your own belongings even when you hire a full service mover. It saves time which in turn saves you money, ensures that items are packed the way you want them packed, and allows you to organize your items by room and/or category. There are packing strategies to ensure safe and efficient packing that aren’t always the most obvious. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Packing Strategies – Get Started

Before you start throwing your home into boxes, make sure you have all the supplies you need to get you through the packing stage of your move.

  • Packing tape (this is cheap; use liberally)
  • Packing paper (butcher paper or newspaper works fine. Remember, newspaper dye may come off on china, proceed with caution)
  • Bubble wrap– for insulation
  • Packing peanuts– for insulation and to fill empty spaces in under packed boxes.
  • Packing plastic– for bundling

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Things to consider when filling boxes:
  • Pack items of similar size and weight together
  • Try not to mix items from different rooms
  • Always pack heavier items on the bottom and fill to brim with lighter items
    • Filled boxes should be kept between 30-50lbs maximum
    • Use small boxes for heavy items like books
  • Items are likely to become damaged when:
    • Boxes are overpacked– boxes rupture spilling all your belongings damaging them
    • Boxes are under packed– these boxes collapse with the risk of crushing your belongings. Many movers won’t move loosely packed boxes.
  • Leave no empty spaces in your boxes. Use packing peanuts or paper to insulate boxes and protect your belongings.
  • Put your suitcases to work for you.
  • Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. This will allow you to fill the box more efficiently and limits damage or breakage of dishes during the move.
  • Avoid packing with old boxes. Old boxes are susceptible to breaking thus increasing the chance of damaging your items.
  • Empty your furniture
    • Lighter and easier to move when empty
    • Unless furniture does not break down drawers are often not sturdy enough to survive a move unemptied.
    • Furniture left unemptied can become unbalanced and may fall over damaging your furniture or putting your mover at risk.
  • If furniture can break down, do it.
    • Not only does it save space on the truck, breaking down furniture protects it from damage during the move.
  • Keep everything together– screws and hardware in baggies and all pieces should be bundled together with packing plastic or tape.

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Bonus! Unpacking lifesavers
  • Clearly label boxes with room/destination and a non-detailed list of contents that makes sense to you.
  • Number your boxes and create a list of its contents for yourself. If a box is lost or forgotten you will know right away, and know exactly what is in the box.


Remember, for an efficient and stress-free moving day all packing should be finished the night before. Leave only the items that you will need day of move unpacked and items you are moving yourself should always be kept separate to avoid any confusion with the movers. For more tips check out our 10 Tips to Prepare for Your Move Before the Movers Arrive


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