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Room By Room Packing Tips


Packing Basics



Since this is the busiest room in the house, it is usually left until last. This can lead to haphazard packing, so start with all those things you rarely use, special china, the Thanksgiving platter, that big coffee urn. Get them out of the way early and you'll cut down on the size of the job later. Get together all your dish towels and pot holders, use them for extra padding.


We strongly recommend you purchase the special cartons designed to protect dishes, usually called Dish packs. Pack plates standing on their edges, never flat. "Nest" bowls, cups and glasses inside each other after wrapping. Be sure to fill any empty spaces with appropriate packing material. Think twice before you move any opened food containers.


With spices and grains, first consider their age. If you've had them for a year or more, don't take them. If you must take opened containers, tape them shut securely and enclose in plastic bags before packing.


Appliances should be clean, dry and disconnected for moving day. This means defrosting and airing freezers and refrigerators, and contacting the gas company to disconnect any gas appliances. Internal motors must also be secured.


Your moving crew can prepare your washer for moving, and can ready all your appliances for installation once they reach your new home. If you come upon appliance operating instructions while packing, either put them in your moving accordion file or tape them to the inside of the appliance. Otherwise, they could easily be misplaced.


Dining Room

Delicate crystal, china and bric-a-brac need extra protection. Consider boxing some things up before putting in packing containers. If you seal napkins and tablecloths in plastic bags, you can use them for additional padding. Make sure everything is snug and mark the boxes "FRAGILE."


If you have fine silver, avoid discoloration by making sure it's clean, and don't wrap using rubber bands. If you have a case for it, fill in all the empty spaces with soft cloth or tissue, seal shut with wrapping paper and tape and then wrap in toweling. Otherwise, wrap each piece in soft cloth or special silver paper before packing. This will protect it from tarnish and scratches.


Living Room - Dining Room

Mirrors and framed pictures need to be packed in special cartons which you can obtain from your mover. Lamps should be taken apart, bulbs removed, and the shade wrapped carefully and boxed. Use the right size box and don't use newspaper for packing. Use as little paper as possible to avoid denting.


Dried flower arrangements should get the same treatment as lampshades, and make sure to label the boxes with "THIS END UP." Electronic equipment should be moved in original packing cartons when available. Secure all parts prior to packing. If you are moving in the summer, certain items can be damaged by the heat. Candles, CDs, records, tapes and floppy disks are all at risk. Consider taking them yourself, or shipping in a way that will reduce transit time.



Clothing can either be folded and packed or hung in wardrobe "closets" or cartons, available from your mover. Try to keep out-of-season or special occasion clothes together. When unpacking, you'll be able to leave those for last. Dresser drawers may be packed with lightweight clothing, but be sure to remove any liquids or breakables first.


For conventional beds, strip beds completely, but leave them assembled. They will be dismantled by the moving crews and reassembled at your new home. If you have a water bed, empty it the day before the move. For canopy or "four poster" beds there may be an additional charge for dismantling and assembling. Toiletries that are flammable or aerosol cannot be moved in the van, so you should throw them out or take them with you.


Attic - Garage - Basement - Outdoors

Before you move anything that's been in a storage area, clean it well and make sure it's in sound condition. Drain garden hoses and empty and wash any plant containers or garden equipment using soap and water. You don't want to risk moving insects or disease.


Gasoline powered equipment, such as lawn mowers, motorcycles, and snow blowers must be emptied of all fuel and oil a few days before the move to assure complete evaporation.


Propane tanks also must be purged before loading. If your car is being transported, it should have less than 1/4 tank of fuel to allow for expansion. And yes, in most cases we can drive your car right on to the moving van.

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