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Moving & Packing Tips

Make Your Next Move - Easier!

Packing Tips

Don't reuse boxes that have been used and are starting to wear. Keep in mind that that the box you pack could easily end up on the bottom of a large stack.

Pack all boxes to their capacity. Boxes that are under filled are more likely to be crushed and boxes that are overfilled can tear or fall apart.

Boxes should weigh about 25-30 lbs each. It's important to be consistent here for the sake of your friends (if you're moving yourself) and the movers. When boxes weigh much more or less than people expect, accidents happen.

Label all boxes as soon as you're done packing them (e.g. "Bathroom", "Bedroom", "Kitchen"). When labeling, draw an arrow on the box to indicate which side is the top of the box and write the room label on multiple sides. This will save you a ton of time unpacking (or trying to find that one item that you need) and will help ensure the safety of your property while it's being shipped.

Start early! If you're moving in the summer, there's no reason that you can't pack your winter clothes two months before your move date.

Wrap all glassware, china, and breakables individually in towels or packing material. If you're trying to save money, wrap each item in newspaper! Don't be tempted to cram items together--they'll "clink" and break.

Don't pack it if you don't need it! The cheapest way to pack and ship something is to NOT do it. If you don't need something in a new location, sell it at a garage sale before you move. We see lots of people pack and ship items that they later realize they don't need--what a waste!

NEVER pack explosives, combustibles (gasoline), food of any kind, liquids, or pets. These could cause damage and will void your insurance.


Moving Checklist

Two Months before your move:

Start to clean out things you won't bring. Plan a yard sale to sell it. It's not free to ship, so if you don't need it, get rid of it! Clothes, old school projects, and strange gifts from ex's all fall into this category.

Start shopping around for a mover (check out our page on "how to pick a mover"). Decide if you want to pack yourself or have professions pack for you (often wise if you want to guarantee that insurance will cover breakage). Generally, two months is plenty of time though if you planning on moving in the summer months, you might want to start looking 10 weeks in advance to be safe.

Insurance. While shopping for a mover, check out insurance and call your homeowner's insurance agent to see if you are already covered.

Start talking to young children the impending move. Moves to new locations can be traumatic for young children. Preparing them in advance gives the child plenty of time to prepare for the move.


One Month before your move:

Start Packing. As early as one month before, you can buy boxes, packing supplies (markers, etc.) and tape. Pack rarely used china or off-season clothes (if they still fit!). When packing, keep in mind that it's most important to fill boxes to capacity. Under-filled boxes can get crushed and over-filled boxes may fall apart. Pick the right size box for the job--boxes should be between 25-35 lbs each.

Save all your bills. Remember to save your last bills--they have crucial information like account numbers and customer service telephone numbers that will help you change your utilities, credit cards, magazine subscriptions, etc.

Change magazine subscriptions to new address. In the last few hectic weeks, you probably won't have time to read them anyway!

Get a copy of medical records. We've just heard too many horror stories of people losing medical records because they don't see a physician or dentist for a while, etc. Get a copy of your medical records and transfer them to a new physician in your new location.


Two Weeks before your move:

Cancel your local newspaper. Or change the address if you get a major national paper delivered to your house.

Notify all financial accounts of your move. Banks, credit cards, brokerages (401k, personal stocks/mutual funds, other investments, etc.) all need to know your new address. Make a list and call/write them all!


Three Days Before your move:

Disconnect major appliances. Refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc. should all be disconnected, defrosted, and dried out.

Finish packing!

Valuables. There are a small number of things that you'll probably want to carry with you or in a personal suitcase. Passport, jewelry, cash, house deeds and other important documents should be set aside and stored in a safe place.

First Night. For each member of your household, you'll want to pack a few nights' worth of clothes, bedding, toiletries, etc. And dishware for meals. Remember that it will take you some time to UNPACK on the other end!


Moving Day:

Enjoy! Since you've prepared so well, just relax while the movers load your well-packed boxes onto the truck!

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