Moving Tips

Proper packing is probably most important phase of your move. Correctly packed cartons will directly correlate to your shipment arriving safe and sound. If you choose to pack your home yourself, please invest some time to observe these proper packing techniques. Learning and implementing these best practices will create the foundation for a successful move.

Step 1 - Planning

Please allow yourself an ample amount of time to pack, as it will often take a lot longer than you think. Between sorting, wrapping, discarding or otherwise sorting all of the items in your house, packing up a single room could take several days of your time. For larger rooms or more delicate items, the amount of time required to prepare them for a move is even longer. Start as early as possible and avoid unnecessary stress!

Step 2 - Selecting the Proper Carton

When you’re wondering what kind and size of boxes to pack your belongings in, there are a few good “rules of thumb” to follow so you can keep everything neat, organized and packed appropriately (not to mention making it easier for you to unload them later!).

  • Small boxes (1.5 Boxes) – Perfect for heavy items such as books, CD/DVD collections, tools, small appliances, etc.
  • Medium boxes (3.0 Boxes) - Medium to heavy items are packed into this box. Small appliances, pots and pans, electronics, toys, etc.
  • Large boxes (4.5 Boxes) - Light items go in this box. Clothes, linen, toys, oversized items, etc.
  • Dish barrels or dish packs – (5.3 Heavy duty boxes) – Heavy and/or fragile items go in here. Their double wall construction makes this the strongest and safest of all the moving boxes. Dish packs are strongly suggested for all breakables such as china, glassware, dishes and crystal.
  • Wardrobe Cartons - This box was created so that hanging clothes will continue to remain hanging throughout the transportation process.
  • Mirror Cartons – These boxes are perfect for large pictures, artwork or mirrors.

Custom Crates

For all of those items that don’t fit neatly into boxes or containers, consider getting custom crates. Designed for your exact items, custom crates are a surefire way to ensure the safety and security of all your items during transport. Downy Moving & Storage can create custom wood crates for stone/marble tabletops as well as large glass tabletops. Due to their fragile nature, it is highly unlikely these types of items will arrive complete at your new home without custom crating. We also offer custom crates for all your artwork and other valuable and/or sentimental items.

Step 3 - Packing Fundamentals

All cartons must be packed tight to prevent shifting during transit. Even if the items inside are non-breakable it is still important that the box be firm and tight so that the crew can load the truck in a secure fashion. You may need to fill the box with packing paper at the top of the box in order to make it firm. While this may seem a little wasteful, it is an ultra-crucial step. It is of the utmost importance that all boxes are completely filled and have no open voids inside. If boxes remain unfilled and get piled into the truck, it can often lead to a box failure or a tier of boxes crushing while on the truck. More likely than not, it will result in damage to the items inside. Please be aware that a professionally packed dish carton filled with only plates, glasses, stemware and paper should be solid enough that an average sized adult could sit on it without any failure.

Step 4 - Packing Methods

  • Mirrors and pictures should be bubble-wrapped or paper wrapped and secured in a carton specially constructed to prevent damage to these fragile items.
  • Books should be placed flat in smaller boxes due to their heavy nature. Placing them on end can damage the binding. Please do not pack large boxes of books as they will be too heavy to safely move.
  • Lampshades should be packed individually with plenty of paper cushioning. Packing other objects along with your lampshades will probably puncture the fragile shades. Remember, always make the top firm!
  • Dishes should be individually wrapped and placed on their sides in a dish carton for safe transport. Fill the box to limit movement and be sure to pad both the bottom and top of each layer for added insurance. Add lighter things, like cups, toward the top.
  • Clothes should be transported suspended on hangers, using a sturdy wardrobe box. Your clothing should arrive at your new residence as clean and wrinkle-free as when they were packed. This box is designed to hopefully save you many loads of laundry and dry cleaning bills.
  • Electronic items such as flat panel TVs MUST be packaged in either the original boxes or a new box. Due to the expensive nature of these items, we cannot transport them unless they are properly packed.

Step 5 – Put Detailed Labels on All Boxes

Please clearly mark ALL your boxes with your name and order number if you have it. It is not uncommon for an inventory sticker to fall off a box. This simple step will save a lot of time and frustration later on.

As for furniture and large un-packable items, leave the big stuff for us. Banshee provides complimentary moving blankets which the crew will use to wrap and protect your belongings.

Packing is a vital step in the moving process. While we HIGHLY recommend using Downey's packing service, we do understand that many customers are trying to be economical. Should you choose to pack your own house, use the above tips to ensure that everything arrives safely, securely and without damage. A quality, thorough packing job is essential for a smooth move! For even more packing tips, or to get started on your own move with Downey, give us a call today or fill out our quick online form to receive your FREE, no-obligation estimate.