Do It Yourself Packing
If you choose to go with a professional moving company to help you, you can offset the total costs of your move by packing many, if not all, of your belongings yourself. However, keep in mind that professional movers are not responsible for any damage caused to the items packed – unless there is visible damage to the exterior of the box.
When you decide to pack your belongings yourself, it is very important that you plan the entire process beforehand. Preparing a list of what articles to pack and when will help avoid chaotic and disorderly packing later. Packing fragile items and electronic equipment such as computers, DVD players and stereo equipment may need special preparation.
We’ve provided some general guidelines below to assist you in your efforts.
DIY Packing Basics
Before you can start packing, you will require packing supplies. It goes without saying that you will require a large number of boxes. Start collecting as many boxes as you can, and as early as possible. Boxes take up a lot of space, but they can reduce the cost of supplies significantly.
Be sure the ones you collect are strong enough and will properly protect your possessions, even when they are stacked in the van.
- Place large heavy items in the box first, using smaller items to fill the gaps.
- Pack tightly - fill every gap with a wrapped item or crumpled paper.
- Pack your clothes in garment boxes; they have a crossbar on which you can hang your clothes.
- Covering your clothes with plastic protects them against moisture and dust.
- Clear plastic bags are useful for storing small items that don’t have sharp edges. They are beneficial as one can see its contents.
- Clear labeling on the box using a felt marker, identifying the contents of a box and their intended room, makes it easy for quick and systematic unpacking later.
- Books and vinyl records should be packed on their edge.
- Place a cushion of crumpled paper on the bottom of the box.
- Wrap individual items in paper.
- Lift the box occasionally as you pack to ensure its not too heavy for one person to handle.
What Not to Pack
Some items are too dangerous or are illegal to pack and include with your shipment. Do not pack anything that could damage your belongings if it were to leak. This includes:
- Gasoline, oil, aerosol cans, paint, solvents, corrosives, ammunition.
- Flammable material such as nail polish remover, matches, candles, lighter fluid.
- Perishables, plants, prescription medications you may need.
Items to Have With You
- Cash, jewelry, furs, keys, coin and prized collections.
- Documents such as deeds, insurance policies, personal papers, passports.
- Cell phone in case of any emergency.
Items to Let the Professionals Pack
- Valuables that require special care such as heirlooms.
- Heavy breakables like marble or glass tops, large mirrors, paintings.
- Bulky fragile items like trophies and sculptures.
- Items requiring special servicing such as pool tables, appliances, grandfather clocks, etc.