Ready, set, pack! Good packing means

Limiting boxes to a maximum weight of 50 pounds, when possible. Wrapping items carefully. Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock. Using boxes that close. Making sure cartons are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward. Not mixing items from different rooms in the same carton, when possible. Don’t forget to set aside about 5-10 boxes for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies Take a look at our moving kits. and checklist of packing basics.

How to Pack:

Moving company packers use a dish pack — an exceptionally sturdy corrugated carton of double- wall construction — for china, glassware and other fragile items less than 18 inches in size. Unless cartons of similar strength and construction are valuable, you might want to purchase several dish packs.

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually in clean paper. Using several sheets of paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newspaper serves well as an outer wrapping. A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware. Label cartons, “FRAGILE — THIS SIDE UP.”

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.
Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base

Even when using a dish pack and mini-cells for china, wrap cups individually, protecting handles with an extra layer of paper. Then, pack cups upside down.
If not using a dish pack or cells, wrap cups as previously described in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Complete the layer as for plates.

Because air causes silver to tarnish, all silver pieces should be enclosed completely in clean tissue paper or plastic wrap. Hollowware — including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes — should be wrapped carefully as fragile items and packed like china.
Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, and in clear plastic or tissue. If silverware is in a chest, you still might want to wrap the pieces individually and reposition them in the chest. Or, fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper towels. Wrap the chest with a large bath towel.

Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in newsprint that has been crushed and flattened out. Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.
Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually in tissue paper. A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass. Place items on edge in a carton.

Many moving companies use a material called bubble pack (plastic with bubbles) for exceptionally fragile items. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate,
it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for
maximum protection.

An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in its own carton. Wrap carefully in plastic wrap, tissue paper or paper towels. If possible, fasten the base of the floral piece to the bottom of the carton. Label the carton “FRAGILE — THIS SIDE UP.”
For instructions on moving live plants, ask your agent for a “Moving With House Plants” brochure.

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. (Use paper pads for large lamps.) Place them together in a carton, filling spaces with crushed paper. More than one well-cushioned lamp may be packed in a carton.

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper. Carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.
To allow for movement, use a sturdy carton at least two inches larger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade. A small shade can be nested inside a large one, if you are sure they will not touch. Only one silk shade should be placed in a carton to avoid stretching the silk.
Do not pack other items with shades. Label cartons “LAMP SHADES — FRAGILE.” It is best to have the moving company crate large Tiffany-type or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Pack them either flat or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing up, as glue can break away from the binder. Pack books of the same general size together.
Expensively bound volumes or those of special sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing. Because books are heavy, be sure to use small cartons.

Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other household items.
Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton.
Label cartons clearly for easy identification. If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.

Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other household items.
Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton.
Label cartons clearly for easy identification. If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.

Blankets, sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases and other linens may be protected by a large plastic bag and packed in a carton that has been lined with clean paper.
Wrap your most prized linens in tissue. Also, linens and bedding are good for cushioning or padding many types of items. Special mattress cartons in various sizes are available from your moving company for a nominal charge. Pillows may be placed in bureau drawers or packed in cartons.

Clothing wardrobes are ideal for moving curtains and draperies. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hanger, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe.
Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Pre-move preparation is required for many major appliances. Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment — or have your agent send someone out who is authorized to perform this service.

Items such as clocks, small radios and other small appliances should be wrapped
individually and packed in a carton cushioned with crushed paper.
Small clocks, transistor radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton with linens or as extra items with lamp bases. Make sure cords are wrapped so as not to scratch or otherwise damage items. Steam irons should be emptied of all water, wrapped and placed in the cushioned bottom of a box. Remove all batteries from small appliances before packing.

Long-handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately.
Hand tools may be left in tool boxes and the spaces filled with crushed paper, or they may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small cartons because tools usually are heavy.

Before moving day, dismantle children’s swing sets, TV antennas and garden sheds. Gather pieces and bundle together with nylon cord. Place small hardware in a cloth bag and securely attach to corresponding equipment.
Prepare lawn mower by draining gasoline prior to the day of loading.

Take only food items you are sure will travel well. Do not take anything perishable. In the winter months, do not take anything subject to freezing.

Open boxes of dried or powdered foods such as rice, macaroni and cereals should be sealed with tape. Small containers of herbs and spices, condiments, bouillon cubes, gelatin, flavorings, etc. should be placed together in a small box before packing in a large carton. Cover holes of shaker-type containers and seal with tape.

Since canned goods are heavy, the amount placed in one carton should be limited.