Limiting cartons, when possible, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds to make handling easier.
Wrapping items carefully.
Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock.
Using sturdy cartons that close.
Making sure cartons are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward.
Not mixing items from different rooms in the same carton, when possible.
Pack room by room. Start with the things that you no longer want. Next, pack things used infrequently and items that are currently out of season. Leave until last the things you’ll need until moving day.
Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, items not recommended for inclusion in your shipment and anything that would puncture or damage other items. However, blankets, sweaters, lingerie, bath towels and similar soft, lightweight goods may be left in drawers.
Pack similar items together.
Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic or cloth bags and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
Wind electrical cords, so they do not dangle.
Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping draws attention to very small things. Use a double layer of newspaper for a good outer wrapping.
Place a two or three inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a carton for cushioning.
Build up in layers, with heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top.
As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use bed sheets or cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets also may be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.
Pack small, fragile, individually wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper.
Place small boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
Seal cartons tightly with tape.
As you finish with each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while cartons are stacked) and in a notebook. You might want to number and/or code the cartons as well.
Indicate your name and the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
Put a special mark on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.
Use a material called bubble pack (plastic with bubbles) for exceptionally fragile items. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.
If wardrobe cartons are not used, clothing should be removed from hangers, folded and placed in a suitcase or carton lined with clean paper. Some lightweight clothing – such as lingerie and sweaters – may be left in bureau drawers.
Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other household items. Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton. Label cartons clearly for easy identification.