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You can save a lot of money by packing yourself. If not done properly, however, you can actually cost yourself more money. Be sure to purchase the proper materials when packing. Also, label your boxes correctly. Check with the movers if you are going with professionals. Many will not insure boxes that you pack yourself. If you decide to pack yourself, plan on at least 5-6 weeks to pack.

Here are a few tips to make the packing process less cumbersome and more efficient:

Weed Out The Old
Organize your Load
General Rules for Packing
Packing Specifics


• It is best to take precious items yourself such as jewelry, financial papers, family photos, medical records, coins, legal documents, etc.


• Label all boxes with the appropriate room the items belong in on at least two sides if possible. Label fragile items and use arrows to indicate the top of the box. Tag-A-Room labels can be purchased from most of your box stores or moving companies. You can also order online at


Weed Out The Old

• Before packing, go through all your possessions to determine if there are any that you wish to sell, donate, or throw away.

• Dispose or give away any hazardous or flammable materials such as butane, turpentine, or even paint. Not only is it unsafe to move these products, but it is against the law as well. Contact the EPA for more information on this subject.

Organize Your Load

• Mark boxes with essential items inside "OPEN FIRST"

• Pack things that you don't use on a daily basis and will not need first. Try to keep items of like size and weight together. Don't overload boxes. This can cause problems either with the box or your back.


General Rules for Packing

• Pack one room at a time, one section of the room at a time. Try to avoid mixing pieces in one box.

• Seal the bottom of each box with tape securely before filling. Pad the bottom with wadded up (not shredded) papers or linens.

* If you run out of items to pack in a particular room, fill the box with paper or linens to secure loose items within the box and prevent collapse of the box if something is placed on top of it.

• Make sure to clear the top of a table to pack your fragile items. It is always easier to pack if you have a table to work on such as a card table or folding table.

• Wrap fragile items in clean newsprint. Printed paper may stain your valuables.

• Remember that everything you pack, will have to be unpacked. The more organized you are in the packing process, the easier the unpacking process.


Packing Specifics

• When packing any type of machinery, avoid plastic peanuts or shredded papers that may get inside the item and ruin it.

• Label small items wrapped in plain paper clearly or utilize colored paper to prevent these belongings from being accidentally thrown away during unpacking

• The heaviest items should go in smaller boxes.

• Wrap each piece of fine china, crystal, or glassware individually and pack in boxes designed to hold them. Stand plates on end, not flat.

• Remove all light bulbs before packing lamps.

• Pack blenders, toasters, or other small household appliances 2 or 3 to a box. Roll up and tie the electrical cords before packing and make sure the item is clean.

• Pack glass bottles/jars in multiple pieces of paper or bubblewrap. Tape stoppers or lids to the top of each item. DO NOT MOVE FLAMMABLES!

• Make sure to lay books flat in the box when possible. This will reduce stress on the binding. Remember not to pack too heavy.

• Clothes can be folded and packed. Hanging clothes can be hung in special wardrobe boxes that can be purchased from moving or box companies. This will save on dry cleaning expenses.

• Turn outdoor furniture upside down to ensure all water is drained out of the frames of chairs and tables. Clean all BBQ grills and lawn furniture well. Keep in mind, propane cannot be moved by moving companies.

• If available, pack all small appliances and electronics in their original cartons. If this is not feasible, tape down any moving parts and pad these items with crumpled paper.

• When packing lamp shades, place in large boxes using only metal frames for handling. They can be stacked in one carton if separated by packing material. Give extra protection by adding more paper to the top and bottom of each box.

• Strengthen the glass of mirrors and/or framed artwork by placing Xs across them with masking tape. Following that, wrap the item in bubblewrap and place in a flattened packing box.

• For large fragile items, fill one-third of the box with packing peanuts. Wrap the piece with bubble wrap, stand it in the box in the upright position, then fill in all around and on top with peanuts. Avoid having the item touch the sides of the box. Be sure to label the box clearly on the outside - "FRAGILE" or "ARTWORK"

• Once you finish packing the entire room, stack all boxes against the wall, out of the path of foot traffic. This makes moving out safer and more efficient.