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!
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.