Tip #1: Many consumers on a budget choose to pack their household goods themselves commonly referred to as self-pack and hire the services of a professional moving company to move their household goods. Whether moving short or long distance, your household goods will be loaded into the back of a moving van where items will be stacked in tiers. Empty spaces within the tiers will be utilized to place smaller items. Properly maximizing the cubic space within the back of the moving van is important to prevent damage to one’s property while being handled and transported. Knowing how to load the back of a moving truck is essential to avoid damage and multiple trips this and many other techniques separate amateurs from experienced, professional movers.
Tip #2: Moving pads are not an option; moving pads are a necessity to prevent damage to furnishings while the items are handled and loaded into the moving van. Your belongings will be stacked and packed tightly. Moving pads create a buffer between surfaces to prevent scratches, gouges, indentations, etc. Failure to use moving pads increases the likelihood of items being damaged during handling and transporting.
Tip #3: It is wise to use heavy duty corrugated boxes that can support heavy weights. Secure the bottoms (the seam) of the box with several strips of heavy-duty packing tape. Pack all boxes to the rim to prevent crushing when stacked. Fill empty space with crumpled paper, air bags or bubble wrap. Moving companies are not held responsible for damages as a result of a shipper’s poor packing which is referred to PBO (packed by owner). Moving companies are only held liable for PBOs if there is significant damage to the box (crushed, soaked, torn, etc.). Moving companies do have the right to refuse to carry a box that is not properly packed. Reason being is, moving companies want to avoid the risk of damaged due to a consumer’s poor packing technique.
Tip #4: Pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in bigger boxes. Wardrobe boxes are extremely efficient for packing closets. Seal boxes once packed; the top of the surface should be flat to accommodate stacking in the moving van. Please label your moving boxes i.e., Kitchen, Living Room, Master Bedroom and/or Fragile. Label your box on the sides, not on top. The boxes will be stacked; it is difficult to see labels on the tops of the boxes once stacked.
Tip #5: Use bubble wrap, newsprint quality paper or tissue paper to wrap glassware and/or fragile items. Ziploc bags are great for keeping hardware and accessories organized. Use a separate bag to keep accessories and hardware for beds, entertainment center, electronics, etc. Bags are also great for dumping items from cluttered drawers (pens, sticky pads, clips, etc.). Sharpies are great for marking boxes and bags. Small appliances and electronics should be packed in boxes specific to size. Avoid packing multiple items with your appliances and electronics. Disconnect and dismantle electronics properly, utilize individual plastic bags for accessories to avoid confusion when reassembling. Always pack the components of an entertainment center, including remote controls before the moving crew arrives. Remote controls not properly packed are easily misplaced or lost. One of the keys to alleviating stress during the process of a move is organization.
Tip #6: Glass/fragile items must be properly wrapped and packed in boxes. Flat cardboard can be used to cover large paintings, artwork or wall mirrors for short distance moves. Otherwise, mirror packs are available in a variety of sizes. Roll up area rugs and carefully secure with tape or rope. It is best to utilize small boxes when packing books, preferably a 1.5 cubic ft. carton. Insert books on edge to help reduce the stress to the books during transit. Alternate the up and down edges of the books. Make sure to completely fill the carton with books so there is no shifting. Do not use large boxes to pack books; the excessive weight may break the box and someone’s back. Unless you plan on transporting lamps yourself, the base of the lamp and shade must be packed in a box prior to loading on the truck. Lamp shades that are not appropriately packed in a box can easily crease during the loading process. Most moving companies will not transport lamps that are not properly packed in a box. The risk of damage to the base of the lamp and shade are too high; many professional moving companies will gladly place the item in your automobile for transport and unload at destination; again, for short distance moves. Items not to be moved should be clearly labeled “do not move”. Don’t pay to move items you will eventually dispose.
Follow these six simple tips prior to your professional movers showing up for an efficient moving day.
Gloria Pugh, CEO
AMWAT Moving Warehousing & Storage