If you plan on doing the packing yourself, here are a few tips to help you pack your items safely and avoid breakage (when you pack it releases the moving company from the liability of any breakage within those self-packed boxes).
1. Obtain Boxes and Packing Materials
• If using Movegreen, we will provide you an accurate estimated number of boxes or bins needed for your move. If you are doing the moving yourself, always overestimate the number of boxes. In most cases you will use all the boxes obtained, if not, Movegreen will reuse or recycle them at no cost to you.
• Find or buy the necessary boxes needed to complete your move. Craig’s List is a great way to obtain free moving boxes and packing materials or you can rent reusable bins from Movegreen. If you get free boxes, make sure they are moving boxes and are in good condition. Soft or overused boxes will crush under pressure and will cause breakage of your items. Boxes obtained via grocery stores or large chain stores often are of varying sizes and do not have lids. These boxes don’t stack well and will cause breakage of your items. To be safe rent reusable moving bins from Movegreen or purchase reused cardboard boxes.
• Obtain packing materials that are eco-friendly such as used or recycled content newsprint or kraft paper, used bubble-wrap that is still in good condition or eco-friendly loose-fill peanuts.
• Start packing at least 2 weeks prior to your move (1 week for every two rooms is recommended)
• Heavy items like books should be packed in small boxes and lighter items like bedding should be packed in large boxes. If using reusable moving bins pack heavy items in the bottom half of the bin and lighter items in the top half. Never fill a reusable bin with only heavy items.
• Place heavy items at the bottom of the box to eliminate breakage and awkward weight distribution of the box.
• Breakables should always be well wrapped with blank newsprint/kraft paper or bubble wrap.
• Pack the box to allow proper closing of the top flaps. Apply enough tape to secure the flaps. If using reusable moving bins ensure the latching lids close properly and secure each lid with a zip tie.
• Clearly label two sides of the box with the contents and the room from which the contents came. Write FRAGILE in big letters where appropriate.
• If storing your items, make sure to buy mattress bags or boxes for both the mattress and the boxspring.
• Properly dispose of any hazardous or flammable materials or transport them with you when you move.
• All of your dishes and glasses should be wrapped in recycled newsprint or kraft paper and packed into a dish pack using a cell kit to partition the dish- and glassware. The dish pack is the safest way to transport your fragile items because it has reinforced side walls. If using moving bins make sure to add extra padding around the sides of the bins.
• Pots and Pans should be packed into medium or large size boxes and padded well using dish rags, towels, or newsprint/kraft paper.
• Loose kitchenware such as forks, spoons and knives, should be wrapped in several protective layers of dish rags and or hand towels prior to getting boxed. They can also placed in a small plastic tub to ensure these items don’t puncture the box or cut someone as the items are being unpacked.
• Mirror Packs or Large Art Packs should be used to transport pictures and artwork. Make sure to use bubble wrap or newsprint to cover all of your pieces of art and/or pictures. It is especially important to make sure the get the sides and corners real well as these tend to get damages the easiest.
• For very large mirrors or pieces of artwork, make sure to get the items crated (if you are moving a long distance). This will ensure the items arrive at the destination safely.
• For oil painting, always make sure to use bubble wrap. Do not use newsprint as it may smear or ruin the painting.
• Remove the shade and wrap with newsprint/kraft paper and place in a box (usually a medium size box is perfect). Remove the light bulb and wrap it with bubble wrap and place it with the lampshade. Most moving companies recommend throwing your light bulbs away, however they usually still have life left in them. If you decide to dispose of the make sure it is in an environmentally safe manner. Most electronic waste recyclers will recycle your light bulbs for you.
• Wrap the lamp base with bubble wrap and place in a lamp base box (These boxes are made in a variety of sizes to fit any lamp).
• Family heirlooms, jewelry, high value art and anything that has special value or has significant meaning (ex. Financial files) should be taken with you when you move. If this is not possible, make sure to pack these valuables carefully, making sure to wrap, pad and secure them inside the box. Label the (remove) FRAGILE and make sure the movers pack these with care!
• Make sure all the boxes are labeled clearly with room and contents on the side of the box or bin. Label FRAGILE on all appropriate boxes.
• After all the packing is complete, stack all the boxes of each room against a wall or in the corner. This will drastically expedite the moving process on moving day. If using reusable moving bins, make sure the moving bins are stacked 4 high on the dollies provided.
• REMEMBER to go through the house one last time to make sure everything is packed. Any thing that can be packed must be packed. If it is not, Movegreen will pack any loose items and you will be charged for the packing materials used and per unit packing fees.