Moving Boxes Why Size Really Does Matter

Top 5 Sensible Rules for Packing

First, lets understand what we mean by packing…

When we speak of packing, we are talking about the things you keep in file cabinets, dresser drawers, on the shelves, and in closets and cabinets.

The movers will take care of the larger, fragile items like pictures, mirrors, all of the furniture, and the odd, over-sized things you are unlikely to find a box for – for example, the vacuum, humidifier, the multi-function copier, industrial sewing machine, air conditioner, ironing board, large toys, skis, etc.

You may not be as fast as the movers, but if you have the time you can do it by following these five sensible rules.

Rule #1: Use the right size boxes for your belongings

Try to approximate a sensible size of box for suggested uses. For starters, you can check in at our  site’s Moving Services page and click on “boxes and packing materials”, for more details. Filling a too-large box with papers or books makes it very heavy, and very likely to split open.

If you can find a used box of suitable size, that’s great:  trees will be saved, and you will be closer to heaven having contributed to a more sustainable planet.   If not, we do have the boxes and can deliver them to you.

All boxes should be filled with alike things – put books and papers together in small boxes, dishes together in thick boxes, pots with other pots, linens and folded clothes, with linens and folded clothes etc.

Rule #2: Label the boxes

Remember that your boxes will be stacked, so you should label boxes on their sides. A consistent upper right hand corner will work, and put  just enough info to indicate where that box should go. For example

  • LR – living room
  • BR1 – first bedroom
  • BR2 – second bedroom
  • K – kitchen
  • Bath, bsmt, etc

Or for your office

  • O1 – office 1
  • O2 – office 2
  • CR – conference room
  • L- library
  • Rec- reception
  • MR- mail room

The details can be on the top, so you will be able to see what is in each one.

Rule #3: pack fragile items with care

Using the “lasagna method” for fragile items will ensure they travel safely. (credit for name to Frank M., customer, ca. 1985)

First, all items should be wrapped individually with insulating material (newspaper works well – you can get the same paper without messy ink on it from our store).

A thick crumpled layer of paper should line the bottom of the box and then the individually wrapped items be placed on edge (as if in a drying rack) rather than flat (as they might be on your shelves). This reduces surface area contact with the earth and reduces the chances for breakage.

Start with the heaviest items first and begin the bottom layer, place plenty of crumpled paper over and around the first layer, and add a second etc. till the box is full.

If you have done this correctly and enough insulation is used (it takes a little time but you can do it, it is not that hard) nothing will break if that box is dropped from waist height, and the box will not break either.

Rule #4: The “Here l Am” boxes

It is a good idea to gather the things you will want to unpack first (for households:  bathroom items, essentials for the kitchen, night clothes, medicines, remote controls and connecting wires, battery chargers, next day clothes, important toys…; for offices:  wiring, current files, back up disks, address/phone books …) so they can be packed into a few well marked boxes. The movers will then be sure that you know where they are when they are ultimately delivered. (See Sanity Inducement for more details.)

Rule #5: Keep track of the wires for all your electronics

If you don’t have the original boxes that your electronics came in, which is usually the case, undo the wires and set them aside in a place that you will not forget (see Rule #4). The movers can take care of safely packing your electronics, but they will be less entertaining if you can’t plug them in when you arrive at your new place.


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