The move is on! You’ve found your new home and your moving date is set. You’ve decided to do some (or perhaps all) of your packing yourself. Awesome! Today we’ll talk a bit about some good packing practices. The last thing you want to deal with while getting settled into your new home is to open up your boxes and find a bunch of broken items. (And let me assure you, when Aunt Janine comes by and doesn’t see that hand painted porcelain vase that she gave you for your wedding present, she is going to be UNHAPPY. So, let’s pack it up well and you won’t have to incur the wrath.)
We won’t touch on how to pack up everything in your home, we’ll touch on some of the more common items:
- “First-Out” Box
Most good packing practices are common sense based. For instance, for your dishes to arrive intact, you’ll want some padding in the box. Not just in the box though, wrapped around every item. Here at William C. Huff Companies, we use blank newsprint for wrapping and insulation when packing. For dishware, every item gets individually wrapped before being placed in a box with a healthy layer of wadded-up paper in the bottom of the box. We recommend placing plates vertically in the box instead of stacking them one atop the next. That way, if a box does sustain an impact, perhaps only a plate or two will get chipped instead of losing a whole stack. Once you’ve packed up the first layer of dishes, place another thick layer of crushed up paper in the box and then you can place your next level of items. We treat glasses the same way we treat dishes; each one is wrapped and placed in vertically. Finish up the box with a final layer of packing paper and you should be in good shape. (If your dishes are all wrapped well enough, you shouldn’t need to layer the sides of the box with paper, but it can’t hurt.) Also be sure that your boxes are filled. Empty space leads to items jostling around, which leads to breakage.
Packing electronics can be a bit trickier than other items. Not only are electronics inherently fragile, they can be a pain to reconnect if you aren’t paying attention when disconnecting everything at the old house. If you’re cable-impaired, a nice solution is to label each cable BEFORE you disconnect them. For instance, at the back of your TV, you’ll probably see at least two or three cables plugged in. With modern TVs, you’ll likely have a power cable and (at least) an HDMI cable. Before you grab hold and yank them out of the TV, label each cord with some masking tape. Use something like “TV-Power” and “TV-HDMI.” The HDMI cable will probably be plugged into a cable box, DVD/Blu Ray player or receiver. If possible, trace the cable back to the other device that it’s plugged into and label it appropriately. For instance, with your HDMI cable, one end would be tagged “TV-HDMI” and the other end would be tagged “CABLE BOX HDMI.” (Each device’s input should be marked, so you can use that indicator on your labels.) Seem a little daunting? It’s not as bad as it seems. Trust me, if you’re not the most technologically-inclined, you’ll be happy you took the time when you’re in your new house and the season premiere of VEEP is about to start! Packing up your Blu Ray player or receiver can be attacked just like packing up your dishes: place a thick layer of wadded up paper on the bottom of the box, then place in the component. Fill up the space around the sides of the item with more wadded paper and add another thick layer on top. Then you’re ready for the next component. Bear in mind that these items can get heavy. Don’t go crazy trying to get them all into one box. Your back will thank you. Modern TVs have come a long way since plasma screen flat-panel TVs were introduced. Initially, plasma TVs HAD to be kept upright at all times or the display would suffer. More modern LCD displays are much more forgiving and can spend some time laid flat, but it’s best to try and keep them upright just to be safe. Most moving companies offer specific TV boxes if you don’t have the original packaging. Some smaller TVs can fit into a dish pack box, but most screens larger than 25” will require a specific box.
These are some of the items that are pretty simple and straightforward to pack. As a rule, you can simply stack them up nice and neat in a box. The biggest thing to watch with these items is the weight. A few books don’t weigh too much, but cram 30 into a box and you’ll have your hands full. No doubt you’ve handled a few book boxes in your day. Notice the smaller size? The weight of CDs, DVDs and books add up fast. After every few books or discs that you put in a box, lift the box up and check the weight. Once it reaches a manageable weight, stop putting books or CDs in. Fill up the rest of the space in the box with a pillow or a throw blanket to keep everything nice and tight.
When you first arrive at your home you’ll definitely need some items close at hand. Personal items, toiletries and medications are some of the important items. Other items that will make your first night could be basic cleaning supplies, paper plates, cups, drinks, snacks and toilet paper. A second box with bedding, first aid kit, and clothing for a day or two. After a day (or multiple days) of moving, sometimes the only thing you want to do is flop down and crash out for a bit. With a First-Out box on hand, you can do just that and leave the big job for the next day.
As with all moving related questions, we’re here for you! If you just have a question about how to pack up that sweet, sweet life-sized Kiss mannequin or would simply rather not pack anything at all, feel free to call us at 239-263-8081. We’ll be there with bells on to assist!