One of the hardest parts of moving is packing all small items into boxes before the move. As a customer you have three choices: 1) have the moving company you select professionally pack all items that need to be packed; 2) have the moving company you select pack the fragile items and pack everything else yourself; or 3) do all of the packing yourself.

Packing can be tedious and time-consuming so we recommend you have the packing done by experienced and professional packers from the moving company you choose. Each move is different, however, and different people have different needs and budgets. Doing all or some of the packing will certainly save you a considerable amount of money.

Plan ahead to obtain necessary cartons

Cartons and other packing materials can be purchased at most moving companies and self-storage facilities. A substantial amount of money can be saved, however, by obtaining cartons for other sources such as friends who have moved recently and/or stores. Starting to collect cartons a month or two prior to your move so that you have adequate time to collect all of the cartons you need. Even if you obtain cartons from other sources you will still need to purchase other packing materials such as paper and tape.

Select the proper size and type of cartons

Heavy items such as books, record albums, canned food, etc. should be packed in smaller cartons. Some items such as large pictures, mirrors, glass tops and shelves, clocks and mattresses may require special cartons which your moving company can provide.

Packing of some items is optional on local moves

When you move a short distance some items do not necessarily need to be packed. Items such as floor lamps, mirrors, large pictures and mattresses can usually be transported safely for short distances without packing. Most moving companies will agree to wrap these items in moving blankets instead of requiring that they be packed. For long-distance moves, however, these items must be packed in order to be transported on the moving van. Lampshades must be packed if they are going on the moving van. One way to save money on a local move is to transport a few items such as lamp shades in your car instead of packing them for placement on the moving van.

Pack one room at a time

Packing can appear to be an insurmountable task when viewed from the perspective of the entire house. Packing one room at a time (and staying with that room until it is fully packed) has the effect of dividing the overall task into several smaller and more manageable tasks. This approach also makes it possible to set realistic goals, i.e. pack the dining room today, the garage tomorrow, etc.

Tape the bottom of cartons

Taping the bottom of cartons before filling them prevents the contents from spilling out during the move.

Heavy items on the bottom/light item on top

In each carton the heavier items should be placed at the bottom and lighter items on top to prevent damage.

Use a lot of paper

All breakable items should be wrapped individually in paper. Paper should also be used to cushion the bottom, sides and top of cartons with fragile items. Paper should also be placed between highly fragile and breakable items to prevent them from rubbing together.

Place breakables correctly in the carton

Plates should be stacked vertically as if in a dish drain – not flat like a stack of pancakes. Glasses and stemware should be placed in an upright position. Pictures and mirrors should be packed vertically, not laid flat.

Correctly fill cartons

Fill all cartons to the top without overfilling. Cartons with items sticking over the top cannot be properly closed or stacked; cartons that are under filled will crush when stacked. Always make sure each carton is filled totally to the top before closing. A small space at the top can be filled with paper, a towel, a blanket or other similar item.

Close cartons and seal shut with tape

Cartons should be closed and sealed with packing tape to prevent damage and make stacking easier.

Label each carton

Use a felt pen to clearly label each carton with its general contents and the room it is to be placed in at destination – not necessarily the room the contents came out of at origin. Label on the side of each carton rather than on the top so that cartons in stacks can be identified. If a carton contains fragile items the word “fragile” should be written on the carton and an arrow drawn to show which end must be kept up.
Stack cartons

Time will be saved on your move if you arrange cartons in stacks of similar sized cartons four to five feet high. The enables the cartons to be easily dollied from the house to the moving van.

Professional moving companies such as Golden Eagle Moving Services will always offer free advice regarding how to pack various items and what types of cartons should be used. Professional moving companies also sell both new and used cartons at a reasonable price. If the company you have selected will not provide advice or sell you cartons at a reasonable price, perhaps you need to select a different moving company.

At Golden Eagle Moving Services we are always to provide you with advice in person, on the phone or by e-mail. We also sell all of the types of packing materials you need and we sell used cartons at half price. If your purchase cartons you don’t use we will cheerfully refund the full price when you bring them back to our office. If you return used cartons to our office, we will purchase them back from you at 30% of what you paid for them.