Packing Advice from A Professional Move Manger: 9 Dos and Don’ts

August 10, 2018 | Moving Tips

damaged moving box with crushed top

If you have a move coming up, packing is probably on your mind. With some pre-planning and the right materials on hand, you can help keep costs down by avoiding common packing mistakes.  If your belongings are packed safely and properly, your move will be faster, allowing you to minimize per-hour costs.

1)   Don’t use wrong-sized boxes.

The weight of large boxes will slow down the moving crew and cost you more money. When a box is too heavy, it can compromise the stability and increase the risk of damage to your belongings and injury to the mover. Books are one item that should never be placed in large boxes.

What you should do:

Pack books, files, and canned goods in small boxes. While you may end up with more boxes, the move will be more efficient. Remember, movers can carry several smaller boxes with their moving straps.

2) Don’t underuse tape.

The bottom of heavy boxes can collapse if too little tape is used.  Don’t just put one line of tape on the bottom of the box, or all your items will fall through!

What you should do:

Reinforce boxes with multiple strips of strong packing tape.

3) Don’t add confusion with labeling.

You don’t want it to be difficult to know where a box is going. If you have to open up a box to figure out where it goes, the move will take longer.  Movers use dollies and straps and carry several boxes at a time. It is not always possible to see the top of each box. Not adding labels, only putting a label in one spot (which could be covered), or having multiple, conflicting labels on a box all make it hard to know where a box is going.

What you should do:

It‘s ok to reuse boxes from a previous move, but cover old labels. On both the top and sides of each box, write in waterproof marker the room it’s going to and its contents for easy sorting and unpacking.

4) Don’t under-fill boxes.

Half-filled boxes may collapse when stacked.

What you should do:

Fill every space that you can without making the box too heavy. Add excess packing if needed so that the box is completely full.

5) Don’t skimp on packing supplies.

Packing your good china takes a lot more care than boxing up children’s toys.

What you should do:

Use bubble wrap, packing paper, or foam packing peanuts, and wrap each fragile item with care. Do not skimp on paper.

6) Don’t wait until the last minute.

Haste makes waste. You will quickly find yourself under an enormous amount of stress trying to pack up a whole house in a short period of time.

What you should do:

Plan well ahead and set up wrapping stations (e.g. boxes, paper, markers, tape). Pack items on countertops or furniture, like a dining room table.  Start well in advance and pack a little bit each day. Pack items that you do not use regularly first.

7) Don’t have a hodgepodge of box types.

Avoid using a mixture of boxes obtained from the grocery store and online package deliveries.

What you should do:

Stick with three or four sizes (small, medium, large, and wardrobe) so the truck can be easily and efficiently packed.

8) Don’t place items incorrectly.

Plates are at risk of breakage if placed flat. Thinly wrapped fragile items may not make it through the move. Liquids and perishable food should not be packed. Don’t mix food with chemicals or cleaners.

What you should do:

Fragile items like plates and framed pictures should be triple wrapped and placed on their sides. Lamp shades should be packed alone. Power cords, cables, and remotes should be packed with the main item.

9) Don’t skip sorting.

Do not pack everything you own. Don’t waste time and money moving things you no longer need.

What you should do:

Declutter your home before you pack.  You will spend less on moving and be happier in your new home with a fresh start.

Choose Potomac Concierge for Move Management in DC, MD & Northern VA

Avoid the common mistakes we see too often. If you lack the time to pack and don’t want to burden friends and family, call Potomac Concierge for help. Our professional Move Managers are all friendly and efficient. They can also help you unpack and organize your new home.

If you want a seamless, stress-free transition to your new home, choose Potomac Concierge’s move managers if you need help moving in the DC area. We guarantee complete satisfaction and will provide all that you need for the moving process. You can put your trust in the hands of our moving experts, whether your new home is just a few blocks or a few thousand miles away.

Contact us online or call (240) 200-4824 today to get started on your moving services!

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