Packing Tips and Information for Moving Customers


MoveChat, where moving stories, tips, and advice are shared


On the first and third Thursday of the month, movers from across North America participate in a discussion on Twitter, called MoveChat, where stories, tips, and advice are shared. Every chat, we discuss a specific part of the moving process. This week the topic was, “Packing Tips and Information for Moving Customers” and what follows is an edited transcript of the discussion. To see the full discussion, simply log into Twitter and follow the hashtag #movechat.

Q1A – What are the pros of a customer packing their own boxes?

PortageCartage It’s a good way to save money on the move. Packing can be 25% – 40% of move costs if you have the pros do it.

jkmoving Pros – Some stuff can’t be moved by movers (cleaning supplies) and others (like important documents) should be moved by shipper

HolmanMoving it is definitely a great way to save money

HolmanMoving and customers can have complete control over certain items that hold both monetary and personal value

Q1B – What are the cons of a customer packing their own boxes?

HolmanMoving A lot of people underestimate the time it will take to pack up their home.

PortageCartage Also, if you pack it yourself, the mover is off the hook for damage to contents of your boxes.

jkmoving Cons – Run risk of damage during pack. If pbo, valuation does not cover boxes. If it’s important/ has value let movers handle

Q2 – When packing boxes, what should my target weight be?

budgetvanlines It’s best to keep boxes under 50 pounds

jkmoving Target weight should be around 50 lbs. Remember, the heavier the items (like books) the smaller the box. Label heavy boxes!

HAuston Around 50lbs. and be sure to evenly distribute weight!

HolmanMoving Great point @HAuston It is really important to evenly distribute weight!

PortageCartage I bid 51 lb, Drew.

jkmoving Make sure your box is filled as well, if it’s not can cave in when placed in truck or carried

HolmanMoving you also want to fill in any gaps with extra packing paper so items in the box don’t move around too much

Q3 – I’m going to pack myself, do I want new boxes or recycled? Can I use any box?

PortageCartage The key with choosing boxes is that they are clean, intact, and stackable. Consistent sizes are good to have too.

jkmoving Whatever boxes you use, make sure the box has all flaps and tops. You don’t want the bottom dropping out during the move!

HolmanMoving Your mover can provide you with new boxes, but if you use recycled boxes make sure they are still sturdy and in good shape

HAuston New boxes are preferred: however, be sure any recycled boxes are in good condition

PortageCartage A lot of people are looking at companies like @FrogBox for an effective & green solution too.

jkmoving For additional stability, tape the bottom and top of the box.

PremierTransfer If using used boxes, tell customer to tape around all edges to add stability, especially around the bottom.

Q4 – Share any additional packing tips for any consumer packing themselves.

PortageCartage When you label the boxes, note the rooms they are to go into rather than the specific contents for better security.

jkmoving Color code any wires or plugs before disconnecting them. It will make reconnecting much easier.

PremierTransfer Use packing paper and put like items in the same box. Also, put heavier items in a smaller box.

HAuston Have plenty of supplies on hand and allow plenty of time!

HolmanMoving It’s important to know what NOT to pack too. Like important documents or valuable jewelry. Keep these on your person

jkmoving Newspaper ink can rub off on your items. Look for plain newsprint for additional padding and protection.

HAuston Pack a moving day box of essentials: snacks, tool kit, first aid kit etc.

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  1. Wrap items individually and place in a box that’s been lined with several layers of newspaper and a sheet of bubble wrap. Any breakables should also be wrapped in bubble wrap. Use clean tissue or wrapping paper for the first layer to prevent newspaper print leaving marks. Pillows and blankets are also useful for wrapping valuables and protecting furniture prone to dents and scratches.

  2. When packing glass do not fill the packing boxes completely with your fragile items. Fill empty space of the boxes with soft items such as cushions, blankets, clothing etc. By doing this boxes does not become too heavy.

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