Tips on How to Pack for Your Next Move


Moving is a task that most of us find difficult. Regardless of how far away you are moving, the process can be physically and emotionally draining. Despite these challenges, it’s important that you take the time to learn how to pack your items correctly before you begin your move. Haphazard or insufficient packing is the leading cause of damage to items that are broken during transit. We help make this process less hectic and frustrating with these easy to use tips on how to pack for your next move.

The first thing that you need to know before you begin to pack up your belongings and plan your move is that there are some items that you will be able to pack and move yourself, some items that are best left to a professional moving service and even items that are not meant to be transported long distances.

Things You Should Leave Behind and Not Pack

Avoid transporting perishable or open food items, such as condiments, sandwiches meats, dairy products, fresh, frozen or refrigerated items that could spoil in transit. Ideally, you want to begin to use up the items in your refrigerator one to two weeks in advance of your move.

Free Digital Landing Moving GuideAt least 24 hours prior to your move, completely clean out your refrigerator and unplug it, removing any items, spills, ice, or condensation from the unit. Leave the doors securely blocked open so that it will be completely dry before it packed up for your move. This will help retard the growth of any mold or other dangerous organisms during your move.

You should also try to avoid transporting any containers of potentially hazardous materials that may have been previously opened. Common household cleaners such as bleach and ammonia can become toxic or even explosive when they are combined, so placing items such as these in the back of a moving van could potentially be dangerous. Consider giving a neighbor any leftover food or cleaners rather than taking them with you when you move. You should also not pack flammables ,such as opened cans of paint thinner, or gasoline. You can also visit a site such as Earth911 to find local recycling centers in your area that will accept potentially hazardous waste.

You can also use your relocation as an opportunity to cull the number of your possessions and simply your life. If you have a lot of items that you rarely use, consider donating them to a charity or give them to a loved one that will use the item rather than packing it and taking it with you to create clutter in your new home.

Things You Should Pack to Take With You in Your Personal Vehicle

While many items can be safely relocated in the back of a moving truck or van, there are some items that you should personally bring with you in your vehicle. This includes items such as:

  • Your will
  • Deeds
  • Tax records
  • Medical records
  • Medicines
  • Passports
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Keys
  • Personal electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Sentimental items that you can’t replace, such as family photographs.

While you can technically pack all of these items into a box and stick them in your moving van, or leave them in the care of a professional mover, most companies will not insure them against loss.

Since it is difficult to replace many of these items, and few ways to recover a loss, it really is best that you just bring these items with you, in your personal vehicle, when you move. Houseplants are another item that are best to bring with you in your personal vehicle if you wish to protect them from damage.

Items that Should Be Moved by Professionals

While you can technically throw nearly anything into the back of a truck and move it yourself, there are several items where the risk of damage is so great during a move that you really are better off paying a professional to move the item.

Examples of items where this is true include: grandfather clocks, expensive works of art, rare antiques, large scale instruments such as grand pianos and floor standing harps, larger screen plasma and LCD TVs.

While it’s true that you will pay more to hire a professional to transport these items, doing so often provides you the opportunity to insure the item during the move, so that the mover assumes the risk and you would be reimbursed for the item if it was damaged or destroyed during transit.

How to Pack Things You Can Move Yourself

There are many items that you can pack and move yourself. For the full details on how to safely pack these items please refer to our recent article, Top 21 Packing Tips to Make Moving Easy and Fun.

Some additional tips to keep in mind when packing is to remember that shifting, crushing and dropping cause the majority of damage for items in transit. To prevent this, choose sturdy boxes large enough to allow you to add extra material to the sides, top and bottom, to help prevent the item from being crushed, but also be certain that the box is not too large, so that you prevent the packed item from shifting around inside of the box.

Be conscious of the amount of weight that you are placing in each box. It is better to use several smaller boxes to pack fragile items, such as dishes and glassware, rather than one large box that you might drop due to weight. In general, try to keep the weight in your packing boxes well under 50 pounds.

Now that you have some tips on how to pack so that you can get started on your next move, why not visit our site and download Digital Landing’s free moving guide? It’s full of more tips to help simplify every aspect of your move. While on our site, be certain to check out our handy comparison tool to help you find the best deals on bundled services once you are in your new home.

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