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Basic Packing Guidelines

Packing tips for your move

When Packing

Incorrect packing is the primary cause of damage. Some things to keep in mind when packing a box are:

  • No box should weigh more than 50 pounds.
  • Before packing a box, line the bottom with a few inches of crumpled or wadded paper for cushioning.
  • Make sure all items in a box are securely positioned so that they will not move during transit.
  • Fill in any voids in the box with wadded paper as you are packing and top off a loaded box with wadded paper.
  •  The more fragile an item, the more cushioning is needed.
  • Make sure there are not sharp points, edges, or rims left uncovered.
  • The sides of the box shouldn’t bulge.
  • The top of the box shouldn’t bulge or cave-in.
  • The heavier an item is, the smaller the box should be. Keep this in mind when you are packing books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc.
  • Always place the heaviest items on the bottom of a box.
  • Place similar items in the same box.
  • Do not mix breakable items with heavy items.
  • Do not scrimp on paper or other packing materials.
  • Tape each box and label appropriately

What Not to Pack

Valuables such as securities, jewelry, money, coin or stamp collections, and legal papers should not go on the moving van. These items should either be taken with you or shipped by a traceable, insurable carrier, such as UPS or FedEx.

Irreplaceable items with little or no insurable value, such as family photographs, should travel with you. You also may want to transport furs yourself, especially if heat and humidity is a concern (which may damage furs).

Do Not Pack List

There are a number of items which cannot be moved and, therefore, should not be packed:

  • Wet or damp items
  • Perishable food items
  • Open containers
  • Common household products and cleaning supplies (i.e., ammonia, bleach, dishwashing liquid, liquid laundry detergent)
  • Vinegar
  • Soda, beer, champagne, or any opened bottles of wine or alcohol
  • Batteries
  • Combustible or corrosive liquids
  • Explosives
  • Flammable material
  • Compressed gases
  • Propane tanks or container (whether or not they are purged)

Prepare Ahead for Your Arrival

Create a “survival” box. This box should contain any items you may need in your new home as soon as you arrive. It should be marked OPEN IMMEDIATELY. Some suggestions for its contents are:

  • Paper towels and bathroom tissue
  • Dish cloth and towels
  • First-aid kit
  • Personal items (i.e., soap, contact lenses, medications, etc.)
  • Tools and small toys (if you have children)
  • Paper plates, cups, napkins and eating utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Canned or boxed food items
  • Coffee maker, coffee, and supplies
  • Operating instructions for appliances, televisions, stereos, etc.
  • Keys
  • Remote controls

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