Moving Tips

Doing your own packing? Start six weeks to one month before your move, and plan carefully to save time and money and minimize the work for you!

Don't pack junk

  • There’s no sense in moving a lot of stuff you don’t want. Decide what you’re going to throw out, sell or give away.

Get your equipment ready

  • Pick up free boxes and other packing materials that are often available at stores, or buy them from storage or moving companies. Start saving newspapers and other wrapping materials.
  • Make sure you have plenty of strong, wide packing tape to tape boxes securely.

Protect your belongings

  • Use “fragile” stickers and “this end up” arrows on cartons requiring special care.
  • Use towels and blankets as extra padding.
  • Wrap dishes in clean paper or bubble wrap, not newspaper, to avoid ink stains.
  • Pack flat items, such as china dishes, mirrors and pictures, on edge.
  • Pack lampshades by themselves and take light bulbs out of sockets.
  • Pack books on edge in small cartons. Be careful not to pack too many to lift!
  • Pack electronics and computer equipment in the boxes they came in whenever possible. Tape down moving parts to avoid damage during the move.
  • Put CDs, records and tapes on edge, packed tightly so they don’t shift around.
  • Tie brooms, mop handles and curtain rods in bundles.
  • Use wardrobe cartons to move clothing.
  • If you disassemble furniture, put the bolts, fasteners and assembly instructions in a plastic bag and tape to the underside of one of the pieces.
  • Fill the washing machine tub with blankets or stuffed animals to keep it secure during transport.
  • Secure drawers inside the fridge or other appliances so they don’t come loose. But don’t tape bureau drawers shut it could damage the finish!

Organization counts!

  • Begin your packing with seldom-used or off-season items.
  • Label tops and sides of boxes with content and destination.
  • Keep a master inventory list detailing what’s in each box and the box number in case any cartons go missing or you need to find something after it’s packed.
  • Put things you’ll need right away in boxes marked “Open First”.
  • Make up “Do Not Move” cartons for items you’ll be taking in the car.
  • Don’t forget to empty the “secret hiding places” in your home.

Pack Safely

  • Tape any sharp edges, such as scissors or tools, to prevent injury.
  • Don’t pack oily rags. Dispose of them.
  • Make sure containers of dangerous fluids are tightly closed.
  • Put paints, fertilizers, insecticides, etc. in strong cartons, padded firmly to avoid spillage. Clearly mark any boxes containing harmful substances.
  • Do not overfill cartons they should weigh less than 23 kg(50 lbs).

Packing Tips

  • Pack small articles in small boxes and nest them into a large box.
  • Wrap fabrics and china in clean newsprint.
  • Wrap all items separately to protect fine surfaces and protrusions from damage.
  • Wrap small articles in coloured paper so they will not be discarded with packing material.
  • If you must ship liquids, fasten and tape lids, seal in a plastic bag and place upright in a carton.
  • Record the contents of each carton in a notebook. Label each carton with your name, room location and special directions.
  • Tape small pieces and screws to where they belong or put them in a carton labelled “Set-Up Carton” for easy access at destination.
  • Place a “Do Not Move” sign on items, that are to remain in the house.
  • Place items from desks and drawers in small labelled cartons. Loose clothing may remain in dresser drawers.
  • Assign a place for suitcases and other items that are not to go in the moving van.
  • Send your important documents by Registered Mail or valuables (jewellery, furs, etc.) security carrier, or carry them with you.
  • Roll and tie electrical cords so they will not tangle.
  • Prepare a “Load Last Unload First” carton for things you will need as soon as you arrive.