Packing Hints

1. How many boxes will I need to move?

Movers hired? Check. Moving day scheduled? Check. Packed? Um… If your answer to this question is no, it’s probably because you’re overwhelmed by looking around at all the stuff in your home. One of the most common moving questions is: “How many boxes will I need?” Once you know the answer, it helps “move” along the packing process.

So, how do you know how many boxes to buy? We have created a handy graph to give you an estimate of how many boxes you’ll need based on the size of your home:

Calculating how many boxes you need in advance, saves you time and money; avoid running out multiple times to get more boxes or spending money on boxes you don’t need. General Rule of Thumb: The longer you have lived in your home, the more stuff you will have accumulated. You know if you’re a pack rat, now’s the time to own it. If you have lived in your home for more than 5 years or are just NOT a less-is-more type of a person, buy the higher number of boxes for your move. Also, check with your moving company to see if they buy back unused boxes or will give you a discount on used boxes. Some moving companies will do both! Check with the movers first, and then stock up!

2. General tips

  • Tape the bottom of every box; tape the top closed tightly when full. Run two strips of tape along the side and one strip down the center. (If the box is still not strong enough, apply more tape on the sides.)
  • Use small boxes for heavier items; larger boxes for light weight, bulky items.
  • Wrap small and/or fragile items individually.
  • Stuff the top, bottom and sides of boxes with paper. This helps prevent shifting, rubbing and possible breakage.
  • Stack boxes to the top to prevent them from being crushed. But don’t pack fragile items too tightly. Stuff with paper.
  • Label the contents of every box and the room where it belongs. Group boxes together that belong in the same room. Label any boxes/items "STORAGE" that will be stored for you.

3. Don't pack these items

  • Money, securities, valuable papers or jewelry. Keep them with you.
  • Flammable items: aerosol cans, paints, gasoline, etc.
  • Perishable times: frozen foods, produce, plants, etc.
  • Soaps, polishes or medicines.
  • Kitchenware or other heavy items in boxes with dishware.

4. Dishware and glasses

  • Use double corrugated boxes.
  • Cushion the bottom with rolled up paper.
  • Wrap each piece individually.
  • Bundle flatware in groups of three and wrap the bundle.
  • Don’t place one layer of dishware directly on top of another; separate with a layer of stuffed paper.
  • Cushion the top and sides with paper to prevent shifting. The steadier the contents, the less the chance of damages is.
  • For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing dishes.

5. Clothing

  • Put hanging clothes in wardrobe boxes.
  • Place shoes in medium size boxes. Use paper to protect and keep pairs separated.
  • Place non hanging clothes in medium size/linen size boxes.
  • For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing clothes.

6. Pictures

  • Use a picture box.
  • Line bottom of box with paper.
  • Place picture in box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper.
  • It is sometime possible to pack more than one picture in a box.
  • Packing of pictures is always required for long distance moves or moves into storage.
  • On a local move there is no need to pack your large pictures. The movers will deal with them on the day of the move.
  • For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing pictures.

7. Electronics

  • If possible, pack in original cartons. If not, pack each item in ample amounts of bubble wrap and/or white paper.
  • Color code wiring with color stickers and colored cord wraps for easy re-installation.
  • For tips on packing a desktop computer, check out this video about packing your computer.