The Best Useful, Real-World Tips on Packing to Move

Gearing up to move sometime soon? If yes, one of your biggest tasks is packing all of your things into boxes. Packing is an essential moving task, to say the least. Many of your valuables will break or possibly get destroyed during the move if not done well. To help you avoid that, we have the best useful, real-world tips on packing to move below. It’s critical information that will undoubtedly save many of your favorite things from breaking.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Start as Early as Possible 

While not a packing tip per se, it’s crucial you start packing as early as possible. The reason is that packing takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. If you wait until a few days before you move, you might run out of time. It’s not good to pack in a hurry, especially for fragile items.

Purchase High-quality Boxes and Packing Materials

Yes, you can get used boxes from the grocery store (or wherever) and use them to pack your things. However, there are several benefits of purchasing new, high-quality boxes and packing materials. They include:

  • Your boxes will be clean and free of insects, food waste, etc.
  • All your boxes will be a consistent size, essential when loading your moving truck.
  • The packing materials, especially packing paper, will be clean and free of anything gross or dirty.
Tips on packing to move

Use the Correct Boxes

One mistake many folks make when moving is packing items in the wrong boxes. For example, a 1.5 cubic foot book box is for books, LP records, and very heavy items. It’s a small box so that, when full, it doesn’t weigh a ton. If you pack books in a 3 cubic foot box or larger, it will be extremely heavy when filled. That makes it dangerous to lift and increases the risk the box will break open. 

Another excellent example is packing fragile items like china in a regular, single-thickness moving box. Dish-pak boxes are double-thickness,  meaning they have two layers of cardboard instead of one. That extra layer is like an extra insurance policy protecting your most fragile things. Dish-pak boxes also cost more, so you don’t want to use them to pack toys, linens, and pillows. Instead, pack those items in a regular 6 cubic foot large box to save money.

Tips on packing to move

When Packing China, Start Heavy and Go Lighter as you Fill the Box 

A Dish-pak is a large box, usually 5.5 cubic feet. That means it can fit a lot of stuff. However, you don’t want to fill it with heavy items like dinner plates. Instead, start with dinner plates on the bottom, then move to salad plates in the middle. Above those, you can pack a level or two of glasses and finish with lightweight items on top. (See more below.)

Put a Thick Layer of Crumpled Packing Per on the Bottom of (Almost) all Boxes

As your moving truck rolls down the street and the highway, it will bounce, move and shake. (A lot!) For that reason, putting a thick layer of crumpled packing paper in each box is essential. This paper will act as a cushion protecting your things as your moving truck bounces down the road. One exception, however, is non-fragile items. Things like linens, shoes, plastic toys, and books don’t need that extra layer of packing paper. You can if you want to, but since they aren’t fragile, it’s not necessary.

How to Pack a Dish-Pak with Fragile Kitchen Items 

Some of the most challenging things to pack are in the average kitchen. Pack dinner plates, glasses, Pyrex bowls, and other items well for obvious reasons. Even more challenging are items like crystal vases, champagne glasses, wine glasses, etc. You should pack all these things into a double corrugated dish-pak for the most protection. Here’s how:

  1. Place a thick layer of crumpled-up paper at the bottom of the dish-pak. Between 10 and 20 sheets should be enough.
  2. Fill the bottom with the largest dinner plates you have. Packed two or three together, with one or two pieces of packing paper between each plate. Then, wrap two or three extra pieces of paper around them like a package. Then, stand the plates on their edge inside the box.
  3. Fill the bottom of the box with similar-sized plates, making sure they’re tightly packed together.
  4. Place another thick layer of crumpled paper on top of the 1st level of plates.
  5. Next, make a level with salad plates or similar-sized plates. Remember to also stand these plates on edge, never flat. Fill this level tightly also. Your dish-pak should now be about half full.
  6. Place another thick layer of crumpled paper on top of the 2nd level of plates.
  7. The next level should be large glasses like champagne, wine, and specialty drink glasses. Roll each glass separately in one or two pieces of packing paper. As you do, stuff some paper into the open end of the glass. Then stand the glasses up straight on top of the layer of crumpled paper.  Pack in as many glasses as possible nice and tight.
  8. Place another thick layer of crumpled paper on top of the 1st level of glasses.
  9. If you have room, you can make another level of large glasses similar to the one you just made. If not, make a level of shorter drinking glasses using the same technique.
  10. Place another thick layer of crumpled paper on top of the 2nd level of glasses.
  11. Once finished, you will likely have a few inches left at the top of the dish-pak. You can fill this with small, fragile items, silverware, kitchen tools, butter dishes, and other kitchen items.
  12. Place one last thick layer of crumpled paper at the top of the dish-pak.
  13. Seal the dish-pak well with packing tape.

Lay Fragile Plates of any Kind on Edge 

We talked about this already, but it’s important enough to repeat. From dinner plates to Pyrex baking plates, you should pack any type of plate on its edge. That even goes for glass pot lids. The reason why is that, on edge, they are much stronger than laying flat. The moving truck bouncing will put a lot of pressure on these items during moving. Packed on their edge, they will have a better chance of arriving undamaged.

Tips on packing to move

Let Professional Movers Pack Large, Heavy, Fragile Items 

Our last packing tip is to let professional packers handle large, heavy, fragile items. These include large paintings and prints, especially with glass panes. Also, fish tanks, large mirrors, oversized vases, and anything else extremely fragile, heavy, or large. Professional movers have specific skills to pack these fragile, heavy things well. Also, if you have moving Insurance, it will cover these things if they get damaged. If you pack them yourself, however, moving insurance won’t cover them if they get damaged. (Even if it was the movers’ fault!)

These Tips on Packing to Move brought to you by Northwest Self Storage

We hope today’s tips on packing to move have been helpful and useful. Northwest Self Storage can store your things wherever you move in the Northwest. Our self-storage locations feature safe, clean, and secure storage units. Also, 24/7 video security and on-site managers.

For questions about self-storage, you can chat with us online. You can also visit the Northwest Self Storage location nearest you in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. The onsite manager can answer your questions and point you toward the best storage units for your needs. Best of luck packing your things from all of us at Northwest Self Storage. Also, for a safe, successful, and stress-free move to your new home.

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