Packing Tips

Packing Tips:

Good packing is essential for a good move. If you choose to do some or all of your own packing in preparation for your relocation, it’s especially important that you be familiar with the techniques that will best protect your possessions.

If your shipment includes delicate china, crystal, family heirlooms or other items that need special attention, discuss professional packing services with A1. We’ll be glad to explain costs, materials and unpacking services available at your new home.

You can depend on A1 for knowledge and experience in helping you prepare for your move. We’ll be happy to assist you by answering your questions and working closely with you to make your relocation as effortless as possible.


Before you Begin.....

If you decide to do the packing yourself, you automatically assume a major portion of the responsibility for your move’s success—including having everything properly packed and ready for loading when the van arrives. All packing must be completed by the evening before moving day. Only the things you’ll need that night and the next morning should be left for last-minute packing.

In addition, your packing will be expected to meet specific standards. This means complying with the principles of good packing.

Prior to loading the van, moving company personnel will inspect the cartons you’ve packed. If it is their opinion that items are improperly packed or cartons are susceptible to damage, the company may refuse to load the cartons until the questionable items are repacked by the moving compare or removed from the shipment. There is, of course, a charge for any packing services performed by a moving company.


Plan Ahead:

Normally, packers from A1 can complete packing for an average move on the day before goods are loaded on the van. "pack-it-yourselfers" should allow more time---several weeks, if possible. Since it’s unlikely you’ll be able to drop everything to devote an entire day to packing, plan to work at it between your other pre-move activities.

Preparing a convenient place to work and keeping your packing materials in one location are important in completing the packing job y moving day. If there’s a spare room available, consider making it your packing headquarters.

A large table covered with a heavy blanket, quilt or mattress pad makes a good, firm work surface. It is helpful to have a second covered table nearby for soon-to-be-packed items.

Gather together everything you will need:


Various sizes of sturdy cartons with flaps that can be closed completely.

White paper, tissue paper, paper towels or newsprint (unprinted newspaper cut into 20"x30" sheets) good for all-purpose wrapping and cushioning. Newspapers for cushioning or use as outer wrapping only.

Note: No matter how old the newspaper, the ink always rubs off and even can become embedded in fine china if used for wrapping. When using newspaper, wash your hands frequently to prevent leaving ink smudges on items you handle. Although ink smudges can be washed off some items, it’s better not to take a chance.

-Scissors and/or sharp knife.
-Gummed tape for sealing packed cartons.
-Felt-tip marker for labeling cartons.
-Notebook and pen or pencil for listing contents of cartons as they are packed.
-Labels or stickers.

You may purchase cartons (including those for special uses, such as for dishes, mattresses and clothing), unprinted newsprint, tissue paper, bubble pack and tape from A1 at a nominal charge. There is a charge for delivery to your home.

Not Recommended from Moving Companies:


It’s best to make other arrangements for the transfer of certain negotiable items or articles of extraordinary value - or, take them with you. If you decide to include such items in your shipment, be sure to list them on the High-Value Inventory form that will be provided by your A1 representative:

Deeds, wills or other such valuable papers
Documents pertaining to the move
Family photographs
Stamp or coin collections
Valuable jewelry


To guard against damage that can be caused by combustion, leakage or explosion, dispose of these items:

Aerosol cans
Food in glass jars
Frozen or refrigerated food
Furniture polish
Chemicals, such as those for darkrooms
Chemistry sets
Lighter fluid
Cleaning fluids
Cologne and perfume
Nail polish remover
Fertilizers with ammonium nitrate
Oil-based paints
Fire extinguishers
Starter fuel
Flammable goods
Tanks of compressed gas, such as for gas grills or diving

Note: Empty scuba tanks with the valve removed may be transported.

If it is absolutely essential to pack a liquid, such as a medical prescription, the lid or cap should be fastened tightly and taped shut. The container then should be placed in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Ready, Set, Pack!

Good Packing means...


-Limiting cartons, when possible, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds to make handling easier.
-Wrapping items carefully.
-Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock.
-Using sturdy cartons that close.
-Making sure cartons are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward.
-Not mixing items from different rooms in the same carton, when possible.


Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until last the things you’ll need until moving day.

Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, items not recommended for inclusion in your shipment and anything that would puncture or damage other item. However, blankets, sweater, lingerie, bath towels and similar soft, lightweight goods may be left in drawers.

Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.

Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic or cloth bags (which can be purchased from A1) and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.

Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.

Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels, or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal, and delicate items. Colored wrapping draws attention to very small things. Use a double layer of newspaper for a good outer wrapping.

Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a carton for cushioning.

Build up in layers, with heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next, and lightest on top.

As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.

Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets also may be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.

Pack small, fragile, individual wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box, filling spaces with crushed paper.

Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.

Seal cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items listed on United’s High-Value Inventory form. These must be left open for the van operator’s inspection.

As you finish with each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while cartons are stacked) and in a special notebook. You might want to number and/or code the cartons as well.

Indicate your name and the room to which each carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign o the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.

Put a special mark on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.

For Moving Day:

You might find it helpful to reserve a carton for last-minute items to be packed on moving day. Include such necessities as:

Facial and toilet tissue

The same carton can serve as an instant aid box for things you might need immediately upon arrival at your new home, such as:

First-aid kit
Powdered milk/creamer
Instant Coffee/tea
Screwdriver and hammer
Instant soup mixes
Light bulbs
Paper plates and cups
Small pan or electric coffee pot for heating water



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