Packing Tips for Moving

Packing Tips for Moving

Packing Tips for Moving

Following is a guideline to help you systematically pack up your home for your upcoming move.


  • Use heavy-duty boxes and containers that can be secured tightly
    • Don't use low grade, odd sized, lightweight boxes as they won't pack, stack, or protect well.
    • It's worth it to purchase boxes specifically designed to protect dishes, clothing, and other special items
  • Fill all the boxes to the top
    • Half-filled boxes tend to crush
    • Be careful not to overfill, as boxes with rounded tops are difficult to stack
    • Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into any box
  • Use professional packing materials
    • This will save you time and help ensure the safety of your items
    • Use packing tape rather than masking tape or duct tape, as both tend to tear easily
    • Cushion contents with packing material such as bubble wrap, newspaper, or tissue
    • Label all boxes on the top & sides noting the content type
  • Pack heavy items in small boxes
    • Example: canned goods, decorative items and DVDs in small boxes
    • Make certain all boxes are taped securely using 3 strips of tape on the top & bottom
  • Label each box and indicate
    • The room it should go to at the destination location
    • Whether it is fragile
    • If it should be loaded last so that it can be unloaded first
  • Make a list of things you will need over the course of the move
    • Separate these items such as toiletries, kitchen supplies, clothes, etc.
    • Pack medicines in leak-proof containers
    • Keep these items together and pack them in a box labeled "Open First"


  • Use china boxes and packing paper
  • Wrap each plate and saucer separately in packing paper
    • Place them in the box standing on edge
  • Wrap bowls individually, then stack 2-4 of them together and wrap them again
      Place in the box standing on edge
  • Wrap cup handles in paper and then wrap the entire cup
    • Place them in the box with all handles pointing in the same direction
  • Wrap everyday glasses individually
  • Wrap each piece of stemware in packing paper & place in a china or liquor box with dividers


  • Pack books flat and alternate the spine and open side of the book
  • Wardrobe boxes are ideal for hanging clothes
    • Other clothes, blankets, and linens can be folded and packed in linen boxes/suitcases
  • Use china boxes for pots and pans
    • Stack them together as much as possible separated by packing paper
    • Fill all empty spaces in those boxes with newspaper
  • Remove shades and light bulbs from lamps
    • Wrap lamps in layers of tissue paper and place in a box on their base
    • Wrap lampshades lightly in white tissue or packing paper and nest them inside each other as much as possible
    • Pack each nest of lamp shades in separate boxes
  • Wrap electronic and audio-visual equipment heavily in bubble wrap and place in a box, preferably in the original box if possible
    • Place bubble wrap at the bottom and sides to prevent movement
    • If you remove the screws, tape them to the object they were taken from
    • Label cables and tighten transit screws
  • Have rugs & draperies cleaned before moving and leave them in the wrapping for the move
  • Use picture boxes and bubble wrap for paintings, mirrors, and glass
  • Valuable pieces should be professionally crated by your moving company


  • Cats and dogs should be taken in the car
    • Be sure to take along food, a water dish, a leash, and sheets to keep your car clean
  • Pets can get carsick and may require frequent stops along the way
    • Be sure to plan ahead and reserve rooms at hotels that allow pets
  • Depending on your pet's temperament and size, it may be advisable to have it flown by air
    • Check to see if your destination has any local requirements or restrictions
    • You may need a health certificate, which can be obtained from your veterinarian
    • Check with the airline regarding their requirements for pet containers
    • You might consider giving your pet a mild tranquilizer from your veterinarian
  • Hamsters, birds and other small animals can easily be transported in your car
    • To help keep them calm and quiet cover their cages with a cloth
    • Make sure they have plenty of food and water available
    • It may be impractical and risky to move fish
    • Check with your pet store for recommendations on moving specific types of fish


  • Approximately two weeks before the move, prune your plants to facilitate packing
    • Consult a florist or plant book for instructions
  • A week before the move, place the plant in a black plastic bag along with a bug/pest strip, conventional flea collar, or bug powder
    • Seal the bag and place it in a cool area overnight in order to kill any pests on the plant or in the soil
  • The day before the move, place the plants in cardboard containers
    • Hold them in place with dampened newspaper or packing paper
    • Use paper to cushion the leaves and place a final layer of wet paper on top
    • If it's not possible to take your plant with you, consider taking a cutting along in a plastic bag packed with wet paper towels
  • On moving day, set the plant boxes aside and mark "Do Not Move"
    • Close the boxes and punch air holes in the top before loading them in your car
  • During the move, park your car in the shade in the summer and in the sun in the winter
  • Upon arrival, unpack the plants as soon as possible
  • Remove the plants through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking the stems
  • Do not expose plants to too much sunlight at first to allow them to gradually become accustomed to sunlight again
Source: Amazing Moves and Johnson Storage & Moving


    • Boxes
    • Bubble Wrap
    • Marking Pen
    • Newspaper/Tissue Paper
    • Scissors
    • Tape