- Clear out unwanted goods – hold a garage sale.
- Get rid of flammables – paint, petrol and gas cylinders.
- Empty fuel from mowers, clippers, trimmers and so on.
- Clothes – do you need them all? Charity shops may want them.
- Separate books – disposable, family reading, valuable.
- Check all electrical goods – will they work in the new home?
- Start making up your change of address list.
- Arrange to have mail forwarded.
- Arrange termination date for electricity, gas, oil, telephone and other main suppliers.
- If you are taking electrical goods such as a stereo, see if you still have their original boxes.
- Have rugs cleaned.
- If you have children, separate cherished toys to travel with you.
- Round up personal documentation – marriage/birth certificates, driving licenses and so on.
- Keep passports separate so they are not packed.
- Want to take the car? Check on import regulations and the duty payable.
- With regards to family pets– make sure vaccinations and documentation are up to date.
- Will your new home be ready? If not, you need to arrange temporary storage.
- Shops, schools, theaters, life styles – it’s never too early to find out about your new home.
- Start running down freezer stocks.
- Arrange your finances – close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts and so on, if necessary.
- Plastic bags and labels for easy identification.
- Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or “popcorn.”
- Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs.
- Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile items.
- Gummed tape (1 1/2 to 2 inches wide) and/or strong twine for sealing cartons.
- Markers and labels for identifying contents of cartons.
- Notebook and pencil for carton identification log.
- Scissors and/or sharp knife.
Packing glasses and stemware
- Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
- Lay down the corner of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
Despite what you’re packing, using crumpled packing paper in between each layer will ensure a snug fit. All boxes with “fragile” items should be marked accordingly.
Specialized packing tips
Canned goods and non-frozen food
Frozen foods and plants
Drapes and curtains
Flammables and combustibles
Lamps and lampshades
Mirrors, paintings and pictures
- Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
- Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
- Mark all boxes, designating room and box numbers. Make a carton identification log to show the number of boxes packed per room, and the total number of cartons packed. It’s a good idea to leave space in your log for a special comments section to note carton conditions or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high value items.
- Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available.
- Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
- Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
- Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier. A general rule to remember on carton size — the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.
We strongly recommend crating, packing and preparing these items for shipment:
- Marble, glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40″x 60″ or larger
- Pool table slates
- Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statuary, chandeliers and other items that require crating
These items should stay with you as you move:
- Cash, securities, jewelry and furs, firearms (consult local laws), personal papers and documents (like birth certificates, insurance policies and deeds), prescriptions, coin and stamp collections, special family photographs and videos and moving-related documents.
If you’d like to do the packing yourself, here are some tips we’d like to share:
- You can purchase the cartons and packing materials (unprinted newspaper, bubble wrap and tape) you’ll need from Reliable Transfer. We can help you choose the sizes and kinds you’ll need. You’ll save valuable time, compared to trying to track down suitable cartons at supermarkets. More importantly, our cartons are specifically designed for packing household goods.
- Wrap fragile articles the way professionals do; use two layers of unprinted newspaper per glass, dish, figurine, etc. Wrap firmly, but loosely enough to provide a cushioning effect.
- Don’t overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles cushion each other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure. Don’t mix incompatible items (like books with glasses). Pack clothing in our special wardrobe containers. That way your clothes will hang straight and stay clean and virtually wrinkle-free.
- Pack glasses standing on end, upside down, and not on their sides. Stack dishes on edge, and fill empty spaces with wadded unprinted newspaper. Before packing the dish pack box, layer the bottom of the carton with crumpled unprinted newspaper.
- Pack lampshades, mirrors, pictures, etc., in special cartons designed for them. Ask your North American representative for guidance.
- Tape boxes across tops and edges. Seal every opening tightly. (See types of boxes, tools and materials you’ll need below.)
- Pack your belongings room by room to make unpacking easier. Label each box with your name, North American contract number, the room the box goes to, and a brief description of the contents. Mark items you’ll need right away once you move with “unpack first,” and mark only truly fragile items with “fragile.”
- Don’t pack paints, turpentine, pressurized cans and corrosive items like bleach or any flammable liquid. The law forbids movers to carry flammables. Properly dispose of or give away anything that could cause a fire or damage.
Tools and materials you’ll need
- Unprinted newspaper and tissue paper (newspaper ink can soil and even damage some items)
- 2″ plastic tape (to assemble and close cartons)
- Utility knife
- Permanent markers
- Select a medium-sized carton (or mover provided dish pack) and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper.
- With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper.
- Grasp a corner on several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate.
- Stack a third plate. Grasp remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate.
- Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
- Re-wrap the entire bundle: start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth.
- Seal the bundle with packing tape.
- Place the bundle of dish-ware in a medium-size box so that the plates are standing on edge
- With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners.
- Now pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup.
- Nest a second cup directly on top, with the handle to the left (second cup should “nest” itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups).
- Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck corners inside the top cup.
- Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.
- Delicate cups, like China, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.