Once you have your boxes and packing supplies, use our packing advice and packing checklists to pack everything properly so your belongings arrive at your destination intact.
IMPORTANT TIP: Label all boxes so it’s easy to put them in the right room when you get there.
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Pack small appliances in their original containers or in boxes cushioned with wadded paper or Bubble Pack. Do not use shredded paper—it can clog the appliance.
For major appliances, check with the dealer for any special moving instructions. For all large appliances, remove loose fittings and accessories and pack separately. Tie down, tape or wedge all movable parts and doors.
- Gas Dryer
- Have the gas company disconnect it.
- Washing Machine
- Stuff towels between the machine sides and tub to keep the tub from rotating.
- Pad the exterior well.
- Disconnect hoses, put them in a plastic bag, and place the bag in the tub.
- Defrost and dry interiors well.
- Fill interior spaces with lightweight linens, clothing or stuffed toys.
- If you want to place your refrigerator on its side for moving, check first with your local dealer to determine if your brand can be moved like this.
- If so, make sure your refrigerator stands upright for at least 24 hours before plugging it in.
Disassemble the bed frame. Tie rails and crosspieces together with rope or tape. Pad the ends of the rails in order not to damage other items. Use marked tape to show where pieces fit together. Use mattress protection bags to keep mattress clean. Wrap headboard in protective paper or bubble pack.
Bicycles, Tricycles and Baby Carriages
Loosen, lower and turn handlebars at right angles to save space. Clean and cover chains and pedals to protect other items from being snagged or soiled.
Use small boxes so they won’t be so heavy. Pack books flat, alternating bindings, and fill empty spaces with wadded paper. Reinforce the bottoms of all boxes with extra tape to prevent them from giving out.
Bureaus and Dressers
Fill drawers with small breakable items and cushion them with loose clothes. Secure drawers with a pad or blanket (tape can remove the finish) and tie with rope. Do not overload drawers with heavy items.
Wrap arms and legs to prevent scratches. Bundle armless chairs in pairs, seat to seat, with a folded blanket or other padding between them. Tie seats together.
Dresses, coats, suits—anything hanging in closets—travel best in reusable wardrobe boxes. Other clothes can remain folded in their regular dresser drawers or in suitcases and duffel bags.
Curtain Rod Hardware
Put the hardware in a plastic bag and tape it to the rod or pack it in dresser drawers.
Individually wrap each piece. If you use newspaper, wrap the dishes first in plastic bags to save dishwashing later. Place saucers, plates and platters on edge. Do not stack flat. Cups and bowls may be placed inside each other and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Place the wrapped dishes in a box and fill any empty space with wadded-up newspaper.
Wrap each glass separately in newspaper or bubble pack. Pack in sturdy boxes—dish packs are perfect for glassware as well as dishes—and fill any empty spaces with wadded-up newspaper.
Pots and pans can be stacked in a box with a sheet of paper between them.
After disassembling lamps, pack small bases in dresser drawers surrounded by loose clothing, and pack large bases in boxes stuffed with wadded paper. Box shades individually in boxes with plenty of tissue paper for stuffing. Don’t use newspaper—it will smudge. Pack light bulbs separately.
Drain fuel and oil before loading. Remove handle from hand mowers and place blade end in sturdy box. Mark properly.
Small mirrors can be well wrapped in paper and packed in boxes. For a large mirror, make a cardboard case by cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard. Mark “GLASS” on the outside to prevent mishandling. Always pack and store on end.
Paint and Flammables
Don’t move them. Dispose of them properly instead. The same goes for other flammables such as alcohol, solvents, lighter fluid, ammunition and greasy mops or rags.
Paintings and Prints
Place in mirror boxes, wrap individually in corrugated cardboard, or wrap in cardboard cushioned with thick blankets and tie the bundles with cord. Stand on sides.
- Your pet should always ride up front in the truck cab with you.
- Be sure your pet is on a leash, in a kennel or in a cage when outside your truck and that it is always wearing an ID tag with its name, your name, and your destination address and phone number (or a friend’s or relative’s).
- Do not leave your pet in the truck. If you absolutely must, park the truck in a shaded area and open the window.
- If your pet becomes overheated while traveling, take it to an air-conditioned area and place it in a shallow tub of cool water or rub it down with cool, wet towels.
- Check with your pet’s veterinarian to see if a mild sedative is recommended for the move. Make sure your pet has enough food and water for the trip.
- Store plants in plastic bags with holes punched for air. Place them in boxes if possible.
- Temperature is the most critical factor. Temperatures below 34°F or above 94°F for much over an hour can be fatal.
- Plants are susceptible to shock when moving. The distance or time in transit doesn’t make the shock greater—it will just take longer for the plants to recover.
- Potting soil should be moist when plants are loaded into the truck.
- Check with your local Department of Agriculture office regarding what state or federal plant regulations may be in effect throughout your journey that might prohibit the transportation of your plants to your destination.
Radios, TVs and Computers
Box upright and make sure items are well padded on all sides. Tape extra layers of bubble pack to TV and monitor screens. For console-size equipment, surround with furniture pads, then move and load upright.
Rugs and Pads
After vacuuming rugs and pads, sprinkle with moth flakes. Roll up and tie with twine.
Stereos, Compact Discs and Cassettes
Separately pack components and pack in a well-padded box marked “FRAGILE.” Pack CDs upright in their cases in a sturdy box with a tape-reinforced bottom. Tie CDs in small bundles before packing, then fill air space with wadded paper. Cassettes can be packed in a similar manner, although you can group them in larger bundles.
For large tables, remove the legs and tie them together. Put hardware in a small sealed envelope taped to the underside of the tabletop. Pad the top. Pad and tie spare table leaves. For smaller tables, pad the top and wrap legs to prevent scratching.
Tools and Gardening Equipment
Drain hoses, coil and pack in boxes. Fill remaining space with lawn sprinklers, small garden hand tools and so forth. Tie rakes, shovels and other long-handled tools together with rope or tape.
Set aside jewelry, important papers and safe deposit box contents to be packed in a small container you can keep with you throughout the move.
- Car registration certificate
- Car ownership records
- Children’s school records
- Insurance policies
- Bank statements and credit records
- Medical and dental records
- Irreplaceable photos and snapshots
- Tax return records