Moving to a new home or office can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with a task that many find daunting: packing.

Whether you’re relocating across town or across the country, the way you pack your belongings plays a crucial role in the overall moving experience.

In this blog, the moving specialists from Best Movers delve into the world of professional packing. We’ll share our expert advice on packing methods, the best materials to use, and how to handle even the most fragile items—providing you with everything you need for a worry-free move.

The Basics of Packing for a Move

Below we’ll explore the basics that will make packing for your next move as easy as can be.

Selecting the Right Packing Materials

The right materials are your first line of defense against damage during the move.

Here’s what you should consider:

  • Boxes: Opt for sturdy, high-quality moving boxes in various sizes. Small boxes are perfect for heavy items like books, whereas larger boxes are ideal for lighter items like pillows and linens. Specialized boxes can also be a lifesaver for specific needs.
  • Tape: Invest in heavy-duty packing tape to secure your boxes. Avoid using masking tape or duct tape, since they might not provide the necessary strength.
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts: These are essential for cushioning your items and filling empty spaces in boxes. Bubble wrap is ideal for wrapping fragile items while you can use packing peanuts to fill gaps in boxes to prevent items from shifting during transport.
  • Packing paper and soft materials: Use packing paper or soft materials like towels or linens to wrap and protect items. These can be particularly useful for padding out boxes and providing extra protection for fragile items.

Categorizing Your Items

Organizing your items can significantly streamline the packing and unpacking process:

  • By room: Pack room by room, keeping items from the same room in the same box. This makes unpacking more manageable and helps you keep track of where everything is.
  • By fragility: Separate your fragile items from your sturdy ones. Delicate items like glassware and electronics need special attention and packing techniques to ensure their safety.
  • By weight: Keep heavier items in smaller boxes to avoid overpacking. Distributing weight evenly is key to easy and safe transportation.

Packing Techniques for Different Types of Items

The packing techniques and materials required for securing different types of items vary widely. Let’s take a closer look at the best packing practices.

Packing Fragile Items

  • Wrap individually: Use bubble wrap or packing paper to wrap each fragile item individually. For glassware, stuff the inside with paper to provide extra support.
  • Secure with tape: After wrapping, secure the bubble wrap or paper with tape to prevent unwrapping during your move.
  • Use specialized boxes: For extremely delicate items, consider specialty boxes like dish pack boxes that offer thicker walls and dividers.
  • Label clearly: Mark these boxes as “Fragile” and “This Side Up” to ensure careful handling and proper orientation.

Clothing and Soft Goods

  • Wardrobe boxes: For hanging clothes, wardrobe boxes are extremely useful. They allow you to transfer clothes directly from your closet to the box, still on their hangers.
  • Vacuum bags: For bulkier items like bedding and out-of-season clothing, vacuum-sealed bags can save a lot of space and protect against moisture.
  • Use suitcases: Leverage your suitcases to pack clothing—they’re sturdy and perfect for transport.

Books and Heavy Objects

  • Small boxes: Use small, sturdy boxes to prevent them from becoming too heavy.
  • Even distribution: Distribute heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter ones on top to maintain balance.
  • Padding: Use soft items or packing paper to fill any gaps and prevent shifting.

Special Items

  • Original packaging: If possible, pack items in their original packaging, which is designed for their protection.
  • Custom crating: For extremely valuable or bulky items, consider custom crating for maximum protection.
  • Professional help: For certain special items, it might be best to hire professionals experienced in handling and packing valuables.

Organizing and Labeling for Easy Unpacking

When you don’t want to be overwhelmed trying to unpack your new home, the following tips will make this stage of your move much more straightforward.

Labeling Boxes

When it comes to labeling boxes, it’s essential to be as specific as possible. Instead of just marking boxes with the room they belong to, add a brief description of the contents.

For instance, instead of just “Kitchen,” you could label a box “Kitchen: Pots and Pans” or “Kitchen: Dishes and Glassware.”

This level of detail helps when you’re unpacking, ensuring that you find exactly what you need without having to rummage through multiple boxes.

Don’t Forget the Sides

Another helpful tip is to label the sides of the boxes, not just the top. This way, you can easily identify the contents and destination of each box, even when they’re stacked.

Remember to mark boxes containing fragile items clearly, using large, bold letters to indicate that they need to be handled with care.

This system makes the unpacking process more efficient and helps movers understand where to place the boxes in your new space, reducing the need for constant direction and supervision.

Packing Safely Is Important

There are some packing safety tips you should know about to keep you, your moving help, and your belongings from harm.

Here’s what we know:

Avoid Overloading Boxes

It’s a common mistake to overload boxes, especially when packing smaller items that might seem light individually but collectively add up in weight. Overloaded boxes are more likely to break or tear, compromising the safety of the items inside. They also pose a risk to those lifting and moving them.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Proper lifting techniques are crucial to avoid physical injury. Always lift with your legs, not your back. When picking up a box, bend at the knees and hips, keep your back straight, and use your leg muscles to lift. This helps prevent back strain and injury.

When carrying boxes, hold them close to your body to maintain balance and control.

Secure Loose Items

Another safety aspect to consider is the way items are packed within the boxes. Sharp objects like knives or tools should be wrapped securely to prevent accidents when unpacking. Likewise, ensure that items within the box are packed tightly to avoid shifting, which can cause imbalance and potential falls during handling.

Let Best Movers Handle Your Packing and Unpacking

If all these packing considerations sound a bit overwhelming, you can always hire a professional moving company like Best Movers to take care of the packing process.