Start now with items (books, etc.) you hardly use.
Protect your items with packing materials. Newspapers are one of the most effective – and most readily available.
Separate breakable items from non-breakable items, so the appropriate boxes can be given extra care. Mark them “FRAGILE” on more than one side.
Buy an assortment of quality boxes in standard sizes. You’ll find everything you need at our box store.
Pack boxes tightly, but watch the weight. Load heavier items on the bottom, to maintain balance. No box should ever weigh more than 50 lbs., and 20 to 30 lbs. is considered best.
Use packing tape, not masking tape – it’s not strong enough.
Label boxes clearly, on several sides. Writing should be legible, even when the boxes are stacked in a corner. Start an inventory list on paper or on your computer. Be consistent with your labeling method. List the general contents on the outside of the box for quick reference.
For items you’ll need immediately (cooking utensils, toiletries, remotes, etc.), write “OPEN FIRST” on the outside of the box.
Carry irreplaceable items with you – along with immediate necessities like cell phone chargers – in a special suitcase or tote.
Lay books flat. Alternate the spine and open end, as you stack, to keep weight evenly distributed. Remember to keep the weight of the box manageable-preferably between 20 and 30 lbs.
Cushion china by placing plenty of crumpled newsprint at the bottom of the box. Then carefully wrap each larger piece of china with newsprint. Place each bundle into the box, standing upright to form a row. Do not lay them flat. Surround each bundle with plenty of crumpled paper. Layer 2 to 3 inches of crumpled newsprint on top to support the next row of bundles. The upper row should be comprised of smaller articles-cups, saucers, etc.-to keep the box properly weighted.
Each piece of stemware should be wrapped in clean newsprint. Stuff the paper into each goblet and then wrap it around the stem. Cushion stemware with a final thick wrapping of paper, and then place the item in your container with the stem up
Seal bottles by wrapping tape around their lids, then wrap them in newsprint. Prepare boxes with crumpled paper at the bottom and placing your bottles on top. Pad the sides and top with more newsprint.
Take photos of wired connections and label cables. Consider using colored ties from a container store or office supply store. Bundle all wires and cables together with their components, for quick reassembly. Pad heavily on all sides to prevent damage.
Pack food last, after all other packing has been completed. Do not pack perishable food, even for local moves. Seal box openings with tape. Limit the amount of canned goods and heavy objects, to maintain a reasonable weight.