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Packing Tips

Packing is a daunting job for many people - it can seem like there's no end. Cassidy's has been moving people and freight locally and around the world since 1908, and we've spent a lot of time packing. We've created this guide to packing your moving boxes to help you save time and trouble.

Easy Does It...And Does It Right!

From our experience, many people don’t allow themselves enough time to do the job right. This leads to a rushed job that adds stress to an already stressful time. Planning, preparation and the right attitude will go a long way to make your packing job easier and even enjoyable. 

More Packing resources

Our partners at United Van Lines have produced several excellent packing videos to help you.

View Packing Tip Videos

General Packing Tips

Here are some general tips to get you started the right way:

  • Start early.  Nothing says you can’t start packing months before you move.  Start with seasonal items that you know won’t be used before your move (i.e. winter clothes).  Move on to the basement, hobby rooms, guest rooms, good china, anything that won’t be used between now and your move.
  • Mark your cartons with the contents and the room they are going to be moved to.  This simple preparation will pay big dividends on moving day and while unpacking.
  • Don’t use flimsy moving boxes that are likely to break under pressure. Invest in a variety of double-ply cardboard boxes that will protect your belongings and hold up during the moving process.
  • Moving is a good time to purge unwanted items.  Before you start make piles of things you need to sell, donate and throw away.  The time to do this is before you go through the work and expense of packing and moving them.
  • Packing can often lead to a trip down memory lane.  Resist that temptation.  Pack now and reminisce later.
  • Set aside a “do-not-pack” area or closet.  As you go through the house put any items not moving in this area.  This can include keys, important papers, jewelry and valuables, clothes for the moving time, favorite toys, contact information or any other items you feel might be required at the time of the move.  If you are in doubt, put it here.  You can always pack it later.
  • Make and clearly mark a moving day set-up carton.  This valuable carton can hold all the things that you will need first thing on moving day as well as any screws, wires and cords, legs or other items that can be easily misplaced in the hustle of the move. 
  • As moving day approaches, it’s time to get serious.  Pack one room at a time and complete the room as much as you can.  For example, if you are packing a bedroom, pack everything except the bedding on the bed.  The person sleeping there can live out a suitcase until the move is done.  Make sure you check and check again to make sure you have packed everything.  Under the bed, shelves, wall decorations, hanging clothes, toys….Everything should be packed.  The living room, dining room, shed and basement should all be completely done. Most of the kitchen should be completely packed.  You can leave out the most commonly used items but pack everything else.  The Kitchen takes the longest to pack.  Do not leave this room until the last minute. 

Packing Your Moving Boxes

Here a few simple tips that you can use when packing your cartons:

  • Gather everything you need before you start like boxes, paper and tape. Once you get rolling, you don’t want to stop to look for materials.
  • Use only high quality carton that can be completely sealed.  Packing in things like garbage bags or open top boxes is going to cause damage and loss.
  • Keep clothing in dresser drawers
  • Pack heavier items in the bottom of the box
  • No box should exceed 50 lbs.  Pack heavy things in small boxes.
  • Wrap everything that can break or rum in clean newsprint or tissue paper
  • Put small items like screws in a bag before you pack them
  • It is important to fill every corner and void in the box, especially at the top.  Cartons tightly filled to the top are less likely to crush during the move.
  • Completely seal the finished carton with tape and don’t forget to label the carton.
  • Anything that has the potential to spill (laundry soap, shampoo, pasta…) should be sealed with tape and placed in a plastic bag before you pack.  These cartons should be clearly marked “this side up”.
  • Similarly sized long items (fishing rods, curtain rod, rakes…) should be bundled together with tape. 
  • Rugs should be rolled and tied with twine.  Under lays can be folded in many cases.
  • Lamps and lamp shades should be packed separately.
  • Dishes and glass should be packed in separate, specially designed cartons.  A layer of crushed paper should be in the bottom of the box, between each layer in the box and at the top of the box.  Dishes should be packed on end.
  • Purchase mattress bags to protect from soiling
  • Put items, particularly electronics, in the original cartons whenever possible.  
  • Do not pack hazardous or perishable materials like:
    • Propane tanks
    • Gasoline and other flammable liquids (lawnmowers etc. should be drained of fuel)
    • Car and household batteries
    • Solvents, bleach, household chemicals
    • Matches and lighters
    • Oils, paints and aerosol cans
    • Frozen Food
    • Produce
    • Refrigerator contents