Packing Tips

Begin packing well ahead of your moving day, if at all possible. Start packing items that will be least used in your home until moving day.

This could include such items such as tools in garage or basement, little-used children’s toys, out-of-season clothing, rarely used china, books and cassettes/CDs and tools not needed in immediate future, etc.

Keep reading to find out what type of box you should use for packing all of your belongings. Always remember to pack the heaviest items into the smallest box, and vice-versa, the lightest items in the larger boxes. Always remember to pack the box full to ensure that the carton will not collapse if another one is placed on top of it.

What Not To Pack For the Moving Truck

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Contents of Safety Deposit Box
  • Coin/Stamp Collections
  • Deeds/Wills
  • Mortgage/Bank/Stocks/Bonds/Other Valuable Documents
  • Sentimental Objects/Family Photos

Hazardous Goods

  • BBQ Tanks/Pressurized Tanks
  • Ammunition and/or Loaded Firearms
  • Firecrackers/Flares/Explosives
  • Gasoline/Kerosene
  • Matches or Lighter Fluid
  • Flammable or Corrosive Chemicals
  • Paint
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Cleaning Fluids and Bleach
  • Batteries
  • Perishable Goods/Food in Glass Jars

Recommended Packing Materials
Cartons:If you go to your local grocery or liquor store for moving boxes, please be careful to only get boxes that are not damaged or cut in any way, have crushed corners, or are built too flimsy.

You can obtain proper packing boxes from your mover. These boxes are built to specifically meet the needs of all your belongings, from all-purpose cartons to lampshade cartons.

Most of our members offer/sell packing supplies and boxes.

Packing Paper:
The best type of paper to use is professional moving packing paper. It does not have any black ink on it (unlike newspapers). It will save you time later because you will not have to wash your dishes or have other items soiled.

Packing Tape:The best type of tape to use is packing tape. It is strong and wide and will do a great job. Do not use masking tape, as it is prone to come off the boxes in a hurry.

Bubble Wrap:Your mover also stocks bubble wrap and other specialty packing items, which will help you to professionally pack delicate items or unusual items.

Carton Types
Crystal Carton:This specialty carton is a carton to pack very fragile items. The carton is then placed inside another carton.

Small Boxes (1.5-2 cu ft):

This box is a small carton used to pack heavy items such as canned goods, books, CDs and small tools.

Medium Boxes (4 cu ft):

This box is used for mid-weight and mid-size items such as clothing, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, plastic food containers, and small pictures.

Large Boxes (5 cu ft):

This box is used for clothing and bedding, linens, towels, toys, lampshades, etc.

China Barrel:

This box is built with thicker-than-usual walls and is used to pack dishes, china, glassware, and larger fragile items, such as pictures, lamps, etc. (Please note: You should always pack dishes “on end” and not flat, into the box. This will take stress off the glass item when moving and prevent breakage!!)

Mirror/Picture Carton:

These boxes come in various sizes and are built so that they produce a telescopic effect to fit various sizes of pictures and mirrors.

Wardrobe Carton:

These cartons act as miniature closets, so that clothing can be placed right on the hanger onto a bar that goes from one side of the carton to the other. You can push the clothing quite tightly together which accommodates approximately 6-8 feet of normal closet space. These cartons are excellent for winter clothing which otherwise would take up a lot of room in a regular box. You can also use this carton to hang draperies. You can place empty hangers, shoes, boots, or even long rolls of Christmas wrap on the bottom of the carton.

Mattress Carton or Mattress Bag:

These cartons or bags come in various sizes to accommodate every mattress type.

Remember to ask our movers for the Right Materials for the job.

Specific Items – Packing Guidelines and Suggestions

You can leave clothing or bedding and linens in the drawers. Remove any heavy items such as books, stationery, photo albums you may have in the drawers, and pack separately. Also remove smaller items such as perfumes, jewelry, or fragile items. Do not overload the drawers, as they could become damaged. Your mover will pad and wrap each furniture item separately.

Glass and Stemware

Place crumpled packing paper in the bottom of the carton to create a cushion. (You can also use towels, pillows or other linens instead. This way you will have a nice cushion and also save packing these items in a different box.) Use two to three pieces of packing paper for each glass, cup or stemware.

Place each individually wrapped piece upright in the box, not flat. Ensure that there is plenty of cushioning between each layer of glasses as well as at the top of the carton. Seal the box securely, ensuring there is no “give” to the top of the carton. Mark “Fragile – Glassware” on the outside of the carton.

Plates & Dishware

Place crumpled packing paper in the bottom of the carton to create a cushion. Wrap two or three pieces of packing paper around the plate. Do not wrap too tight, you should have a small cushion of air around each item for some “give”. Place each plate on edge, not flat, in the carton.

If you are packing other items alongside the plates, such as heavier glass Corningware serving dishes you should place them in the bottom of the box, then place the plates, then place cereal bowls, dessert dishes and cups and saucers on top.

If you find you have too much “room” at the top of the carton and you would be using so much packing paper to fill up the box, you could still pack light ornaments on the top layer. Mix and match the dishes to also suit the size of the box you are packing. Secure the top of the box and mark “Fragile – Glassware”.

Small Kitchen Appliances

These items could be packed together in one or several smaller boxes. Each appliance should be wrapped in packing paper, sitting on top of a cushion of crushed packing paper placed on the bottom of the box.

You can fill in empty spaces within the carton with small kitchen items such as small Tupperware, serving spoons, forks, and ladles, or small pots and pans and baking pans.

Dry or Canned Food

Ensure all lids on food items, such as spices, or extracts, are very securely closed. If you have dry food in glass jars or containers you will have to wrap each item in two or three pieces of packing paper.

It might also be useful to completely seal certain items with packing tape to ensure no leakage. You definitely should securely tape up dry goods that originally came in paper or plastic wrapping.

Large Appliances

Many large appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and dryers require special servicing by professional appliance service people to ensure that the items arrive at your new home intact. All parts should be secured prior to moving. Gas-powered appliances most definitely require professional disconnection and reconnection.

Pianos/Large Antique or Modern Organs

You should contact your mover to find out which is the best way to service the moving of these items. Most pianos require that they be moved on piano skids, which is a customized moving dolly.

Large or Grandfather Clocks

These large clocks should be serviced by a professional and/or crated. Your mover can provide crating service. Always remove the pendulum when moving the clock.


Provide the lamp with a cushion of paper to sit on at the bottom of the lampshade or larger box. Remove all hardware and the lampshade. Pack the lampshade in a separate box, but tape the hardware onto the lamp, wrapped in packing paper and cleared marked as “lamp attachments”. Wrap the actual lamp in several layers of packing paper and place on end (not flat) in the box. Fill in any empty spaces in the carton with bedding, linens, or pillows. Seal the box securely and mark “Fragile” on the box.


You can place two or three lampshades together in the same box, providing there is enough room. If you place more than one lampshade in each box place a layer of packing paper between each lampshade so they don’t rub against each other. Ensure that you have plenty of crushed packing paper in the box to protect and cushion the lampshades. Do not pack anything else in the box, which may cause the lampshade to be damaged in any way.

Large Pictures/Paintings/Mirrors

These items should be packed in either large cartons or specialty picture/mirror boxes. Ensure that you have a good layer of cushioning at the bottom of the box. Wrap each picture/mirror separately with several layers of packing paper. Do not wrap the paper tight around these items. Allow some air space so if the picture or mirror should become jarred there is enough cushion to prevent any damage. If you are packing these items in a large box, but it is not a specialty box, ensure that you place the picture/mirror on end – do not lay it flat in the box! If you are using the specialty mirror carton, you will slide the picture/mirror into the box, ensuring that you have plenty of cushioning on the bottom, on the sides and on the top.

You can also place a thinner blanket inside the mirror box to provide extra cushioning. Make sure you seal the carton securely and mark “Fragile – Pictures/Mirrors” on the outside of the box.

Computers/Printers/Fax Machines

Before packing your computer, make back-up copies of all your data. Remove any loose disks or CDs from the tower. Remove all ink cartridges or toner from the machine and pack them in a separate box.

Make sure you pack all your computer cords in the same box as the computer, etc. You could place these cords in a separate plastic or paper bag and label it. It is always best to pack these items in the original box they came in, if possible.

Tools and Garage Items

Long-handled garden tools can be taped together with packing tape. Large toolboxes do not have to be packed.

They can be placed in the truck as is, although your mover will want to pad them to prevent any rubbing damage to anything else. All gasoline and oil must be drained from all tools and machines.

This would include lawnmowers of any sort, chain saws, leaf blowers, etc. All batteries should be disconnected from tools and machines. Give away or dispose of all propane tanks.