Packing tips for different types of household goods
Dishes, china, glasses and various kitchen appliances
Packing is much more convenient, and less tiring when you have a good work area to Moving Help. It is suggested that you clear the kitchen table and do your packing on the table.
- Before packing your dishes, make sure your boxes are prepared. Cushion the bottom, sides and corners of each carton with wadded packing paper, old linens or towels.Pack them in such a way so that they won’t bang against each other. Put plenty of Styrofoam or crunched up newspaper in the voids and cavities in the box when packing. You can also use dish/glass dividers (also known as cell packs).
- You will need plenty of packing paper for your dishes, glasses and other breakables.A mover will usually have all packing materials on the day of the pickup. However, if you want to pack all your items yourself you can either request the moving company representative to deliver it prior to the move date, or you can order it from internet or any other source.
- Wrap each plate individually. Stack the wrapped plates in a bundle and rewrap the bundle with more paper.
- When packing, never stack dishes flat. Pack dishes, saucers and platters on their edge.
- Nestle your pots, pans, colanders. Cushion between each piece with packing paper.
- Remove lids from jars and ceramics. Wrap each separately.
- When packing your kitchen appliances like blenders and toasters, make sure they are clean. Cushion the bottom of the box. Use bubble wrap to pad the appliances all around and on top. Use medium sized carton, and mark it “Kitchen Appliances”.
- Mark your boxes “Fragile – Dishware”, or “Fragile – Glassware”
- When packing boxed food, such as cereals, seal with your plastic tape those boxes which have been opened. No need to wrap such items in packing paper. Note: If your shipment is going into storage then you should dispose of boxed foods. These items can attract rodents and insects.
- When packing spices make sure all cans are closed and won’t leak. If in doubt, seal them with tape.
Mirrors, artwork and lamps
To pack mirrors, frames and pictures you will need: tape, blank newsprint, bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, and flat boxes. Make sure you pack your pictures yourself.
- When packing a mirror:
- Place tape across the front of the mirror like an “X” to keep the pieces in place in case the glass breaks.
- Wrap your mirror in bubble wrap or blank newsprint with cardboard taped around them. Fill loose spaces with lightly wadded paper. Mark the box “Fragile – Mirror”
- When packing a framed prints, paintings framed with glass, or canvas:
- Wrap your framed prints individually in blank newsprint, tape cardboard around them or wrap them with bubble wrap.
- Cover a canvas with bubble wrap, and then tape it.
- Paintings framed with glass should be taped across the front like an “X”.
- Put your framed prints in flat fitted boxes. Fill in the spaces in the box with wadded paper in case the items fit loosely.
- If you build a box for your painting, to get the right size make sure that it is slightly larger that the painting itself.
- It is better if you pack your painting in 2 boxes, cushioned with bubble wrap in the space between boxes. Obviously, the second box should be larger that the first one.
- When you are done with boxing your paintings do not forget to mark them “Fragile – Art”
- Small pictures can be wrapped with bubble wrap and boxed with other items.
- When packing a sculpture:
- Wrap it carefully with bubble wrap.
- Place it right in the center of the box. The box has to be at least one-third larger than the size of the sculpture with bubble wrap. It must not touch the sides of the box. Fill in all around the sculpture with Styrofoam peanuts.
- When you are done with boxing your sculptures do not forget to mark them “Fragile – Sculpture”
- When packing a lamp:
- You will need large carton to pack your tall floor lamp.
- Make sure you remove lampshades and bulbs before packing your lamp.
- You can put 2 or 3 lampshades in one box, by nesting them. Protect from each other your lampshades from each other by placing blank packing paper in between, do not use newspaper.
- Remove the cord, if possible, or just wrap it around the base of the lamp.
- Put some wadded-up packing paper on the bottom of the carton, to insure protection for your lamp.
- Put several sheets of packing paper together and wrap your lamp with it. Use tape to prevent paper from coming apart.
- Put your lamp in the center of the carton. Fill the empty space in the carton with wadded packing paper or with bubble wrap.
- Do not pack anything together with your lamps and shades.
- Don’t forget to mark your lamp carton “Fragile – Lamp”
You can pack t-shirts and jeans in suitcases, garment bags and regular boxes but you shouldn’t pack your fine clothing in the same way. Hanging clothing such as suits, dresses and coats should be hung in wardrobe cartons. This will save you the trouble and expense of having your garments cleaned and pressed later.
- If possible ask your mover if you can leave some clothes in dresser drawers. If not, put your clothes from dressers into garment bags.
- Use mothballs or similar products to protect your clothing from insects and other pests.
- Pack free space in your boxes with fragile items with clothes such as t-shirts.
- Save space by tossing in shoes at the bottom of the wardrobe box.
- Don’t forget to write “Clothes” on your wardrobe boxes.
- To safely move your bed you need to follow several steps:
- Disassemble it first. Take apart the bed frames. It is a good idea to mark the pieces so that you do not have to spend time when assembling them back. Tape the rails together.
- Put all the screws, nuts and bolts in plastic bag. Tape the plastic bag to the rails, so that you know that they belong to your bed.
- Wrap all wooden arms and legs with plastic, paper, or bubble wrap. Cover them with plastic or a drop cloth. Put large pads around your headboards and footboards.
- Cover your mattresses with sheets or mattress covers. If you have a waterbed mattress, drain all water from it and then fold it 15-20 inches at a time.
- To safely move your table you need to follow several steps:
- Remove legs and extra leaves from a table.
- Pad all the items and tie them together.
- Put hardware in plastic bags and tape it on the underside of table tops.
- Protect the surfaces with cardboard or blankets.
- To wrap an armoire you need to close all its doors, pad it with blankets and tie it with the tape or rope.An armoire can be a great packing for hanging clothes, pillows, or breakables like lamp shades (wrapped in bubble wrap, or lightly wadded paper)
- When wrapping a chair first wrap arms with bubble wrap, put tape around them. Then, cover the chair with moving pads, blankets or sheets and you are done.
Books and CD’s
If you’ve collected lots of books over time, it’s a great time to reevaluate what you really want to keep. Consider selling some at a yard sale or to a secondhand bookstore.
- Pack your books in small boxes, so as they can be very heavy to lift when in a large box. Never pack more than 30 pounds of books in a box.
- Fill in small spaces in each box with smaller paperbacks. Lay the books flat and alternate bindings to prevent damage and to keep stacks level in each box.
- Record albums and CDs should be packed on end vertically, rather than placed flat and stacked.
- Don’t forget to write “Books” or “CDs” on those boxes.
It is best to pack electronics in the original cartons. If you do not have one, use another carton box with the appropriate size. Wrap items in bubble wrap before putting it inside the box.
- When packing a computer:
- Remember to have backup for all your files and programs. Put all your backup discs and floppy diskettes in safe container.
- Use original or new boxes and foam forms to pack your computer.
- Before packing your computer, first shut it down and ONLY then carefully unplug all the cables.
- Protect the screen of your monitor from it being scratched or cracked. Pack the monitor in its original box, or any other box of appropriate size, use Styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap around the monitor.
- When packing CPU make sure that the motherboard is protected. Make sure that the system is packed upright or on its side – with motherboard side on the bottom –and that it is not being turned up and down during the move.
- When packing a TV or a VCR:
- Make sure to disconnect your TV/VCR from the cable and cable box. Cable box and the cable belong to the cable company; therefore make sure not to pack it.
- Unplug your TV/VCR and check if it cooled off before you start packing it. Note that it usually takes up to half an hour for the TV to cool off.
- To pack your TV/VCR use foam forms to protect it on the ends, then slide it into the box. Mark your TV box as “Fragile – TV – Keep upright” and you are done.
- When packing stereo components:
- Make sure to mark all the cables and cords, so that you know where they should go when the items arrive to the new location.
- Prior to packing your stereo components, check if they cooled off completely.
- Original boxes are the best for packing your stereo components.
However, if you do not have them, you can use two regular carton boxes instead, one a bit larger than another. Just take the smaller box, fill it with Styrofoam peanuts, and place the piece inside. Then place the smaller box in the larger one that is filled with peanuts on all sides. Close is, type it well and you are done.
Before packing any of your large appliances, you should look through the user manual. There might be some special instructions for packing them.
To protect themselves, movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Make sure your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer are all unplugged and ready for the move when they arrive. Have a qualified technician or an appliance service company prepare them for moving.
- To prepare a washing machine for a move:
- Drain all the water out of the washer and dry the interior thoroughly with a towel or sheets.
- Take all accessories and fittings out of the machine, and put them in a separate bag.
- Place towels or linens between the washing machine and the tub to prevent the tub from rotating.
- Put towels or linens inside the machine. Tape the lid and the cord down securely. Finally, tie moving pads around the outside.
- To prepare a dryer for a move:
- Disconnect the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer and from the exhaust duct in the wall.
- Place the hose in the plastic bag or inside the dryer basket.
- Put towels or linens inside the dryer. Carefully tape the lint screen, electrical cord, and dryer door down.
- To prepare a refrigerator or a freezer for a move:
- Empty out the contents of your refrigerator and allow it to defrost. The doors should be left open several hours to air after defrosting. You should do it one or two days before the move.
- Empty the drainage pan underneath and disconnect and drain out your automatic icemaker.
- Clean the walls, drawers, and shelves with a disinfectant cleaner and dried well to prevent mildew.
- Some refrigerators have “leveling rollers,” which are wheels that raise and lower each corner of the refrigerator so it is even. Check your manual to see whether you should raise or lower them for the move.
- Remove and wrap shelves (use bubble wraps if they are glass) and tape them together. Tape down all other loose parts, including the drawers on the inside and the electrical cord and doors on the outside.
- Tie a large pad around it.
- To prepare a stove for a move:
- Disconnect the stove prior to pickup. Make sure gas lines are shut tightly and capped.
- Clean the oven and stovetop.
- Place all the oven racks on the bottom rung and tape them down. For electric ranges, removable coils and all other removable parts must be packed separately.
- Tape down the burners and the protective pans under each burner.
- Tape the electrical cord and door to the stove, lock the door, if you can, then tie a large pad around it.
- To prepare a dishwasher for a move:
- Remove all dishes and tape down the racks and silverware basket.
- Remove and drain the water hook-up. See your manual for instructions.
- Close and lock the door. Tape the door shut. Tape the hose and cord to the dishwasher.
- Tie a large pad around it.
- To prepare an air conditioner for a move:
- If your air conditioner’s in use, shut if off the day before so the coils can dry and cool off.
- Remove and clean or replace the filter
- Tape the cord to the side of the air conditioner (not the back, where the coils are).
- Use the original box, if you have it, or another large appliance box well padded with wadded up newsprint. (Don’t use Styrofoam peanuts, which could get inside the air conditioner and cause problems later.)
- If you don’t have a box, tie two large pads around it to protect the coils.
Clocks: Large clocks, such as grandfather clocks, often require special disassembly and possibly crating, which your mover can provide. With any clock, it is important to remove the pendulum.
Pianos: It is best to ask your mover if the moving crew is able to handle the disassembly/reassembly of your piano or if a specialist should be hired to do this. Crating of this item is also recommended.
Statuary, figurines, and curios: Wrap generously in bubble pack, wrap in a layer of clean paper and pack in boxes with plenty of crumpled paper or foam packing “peanuts” in between items. Objects with delicate appendages, such as candelabras or figurines with extended arms, should be wrapped with extra bubble pack and surrounded by extra packing material.
Carpets and rugs: Carpets and rugs should be rolled up and tied securely with tape or rope.
Bicycles: Bicycle handle bars should be loosened and turned sideways. To protect your other items from grease cover the chain and pedals with plastic.
Tools: Check that tool boxes are closed and secure with tape or rope. Cover sharp tools with clothe or bubble wrap to prevent injuries. Power tools should be |packed| with plenty of cushioning.
Gardening and other mechanical devices: All gasoline and oil must be drained from any tools or machinery that is to be transported. Batteries must also be disconnected.
Do not put these items in boxes – wrap them in plastic or cloth tarps and secure with rope or heavy tape. Label each item after covering. Do not put boxes or other heavy items on top of your mechanical items. For specific instructions follow the tips in your owner’s manual or contact the original manufacturer if you no longer have the manual.
Outdoor furniture: Disassemble it and place screws, nuts and bolts into a plastic bag. Tape the bag securely to the furniture.
When you finally reached your destination and we have a pile of boxes and furniture in front of you to house movers Alberta, it means you are almost done. All that is left to do is to unpack and put everything on its new place.
Consult the following tips to make your unpacking a more pleasant experience:
The kitchen: start unpacking from the kitchen. It is the best place to be set up first, because it gives your family a place to escape to from time to time for a break. Don’t unpack everything though, stick to the basics. You can leave less frequently used items in the boxes until you decide your room and storage arrangements.
The bathroom: after kitchen move to unpack the bathroom. It is small, and shouldn’t take too long to finish. Make sure toiletries are unpacked and put in place, and the bathroom’s mechanical systems are functioning.
Once the kitchen and the bathroom are unpacked you can safely proceed to the other rooms.
The living room: before making any moves with your furniture, prepare a plan on a paper. Make sure you consider where cable and electrical outlets are located. Once you are satisfied with your planning start moving the furniture unpacking and hanging pictures and mirrors, and unpacking boxes.
Bedrooms: don’t get stressed that you will not set up the bedrooms on the first day. Put mattresses and pillows in one room to go through the first night. Use help of your family members to reassemble the beds and place heavy furniture, but allow each bedroom dweller to unpack and arrange his/her personal belongings.
Inventory: check your initial inventory to see if things are missing or broken. Any broken or damaged items should be kept on hand as a proof for any insurance claims.
Breakables: unpack breakables over the box you’re taking them out of. That way, if you happen to drop an item, it will land on some packing material, thereby reducing its chance of breakage.
Disposable items: it’s never too late to throw out those items that you haven’t used in forever. If you can’t find any place for them in your new home, get rid of them!