Packing Tips
Good packing is essential for a good move. If you choose to do your own packing in preparation for your move, it's especially important that you be familiar with the different packaging techniques that will best protect your possessions. Below are helpful tips on how to pack different items for swift relocation.
China, Glassware & Silverware.
  •     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 from the moving company.
  •     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,
Flat China & Glassware.
  •    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
        for the next tier. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.
  •     Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls can make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in
        the same way as larger items.
Bowls & Odd-Shaped Items.
  •    Depending on their weight, these might be used either as the bottom or middle layers. Wrap
        the same way as flat plates.
  •     Stand shallow bowls (soup plates, etc.) on edge in the carton and deep ones (such as
        mixing bowls) nested two or three together, upside down on their rims.
  •     Wrap sugar bowl lids in tissue, turning them upside down on top of the bowl. Then, wrap
        both together in clean paper, followed by an outer double layer of newspaper. Wrap
        cream pitchers in clean paper and then a double outer wrapping. Place sugar bowls,
        cream pitchers, sauce containers and similar pieces upright in the carton. Complete
        the layer as for plates.
  •     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. Holloware — 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.
Figurines & Other Delicate Items.
  •     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.
Fragile Items.
  •     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.
Artificial Flowers.
  •     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"
Lamp Bases.
  •     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
  •     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


Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings,
Statues & Large Vases.
  •     All are easily damaged. Glass might shatter, and marble slabs can crack at veins. Paper
        never should be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.
  •     It's best to consult with your moving company about custom-made cartons and crates for
        items of this kind.
  •     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.
Compact Discs, Tapes & Records.
  •     Remove these items from the stereo or storage cabinet. Keep in mind records are heavy
        and should be packed in small cartons.
  •     If records are not in jackets, wrap individually in tissue paper or plastic wrap to
        protect them from being scratched.
  •     Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper.
        Support at both ends with a large, hardcover book or several pieces of cardboard
        cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the
        outside of the box and mark "FRAGILE."
  •     Clothing left on hangers and placed in wardrobe cartons used by moving companies will
        arrive at destination wrinkle-free. You might want to purchase several of these special
        cartons from your moving company. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing
        on hangers.
  •     If wardrobe cartons are not used, each garment should be removed from its hanger, folded
        and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper. Some lightweight clothing —
        such as lingerie and sweaters — may be left in bureau drawers.
  •     Hats may be left in hatboxes and placed in a large carton. Or, stuff the crown of each
        hat with crumpled tissue paper; wrap tissue loosely around the outside and place in a
        carton lined with clean paper, with the heavier hats on the bottom. Don't pack anything
        else with hats. Label the carton "FRAGILE."
  •    Footwear may be left in shoeboxes and placed in a large carton. Or, wrap each shoe
        individually and then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage to heels
        or ornaments. Don't pack heavy items on top of shoes.
  •    It is recommended that you take your furs with you rather than having them moved on
        the van.
Linens & Bedding.
  •    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.
Draperies, Curtains & Rugs.
  •    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.
  •     Leave rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle. If they've just been returned from
        the cleaners, leave them rolled.


Small Appliances.
  •     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.
Outdoor Equipment.


  •     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.