If you are making a move, you might be wondering whether you should do the packing yourself or hire a company, such as Movers Guys in Houston, that can do everything for you. Whether you are moving across town or out of state, packing and unpacking is the part that most people dread the most. There are advantages and disadvantages to packing everything yourself and to having someone else do the entire move for you. If you decide to do the packing yourself, we have a list of packing tips for moving apartments that will make the job easier.
Things You Will Need
The first thing that you need to do is to gather your supplies. Here are a few of the things that you will need.
- Cartons and boxes.
- Packing paper or newspaper.
- Packing tape.
- Bubble wrap and tissue.
- Cutting blade.
- Permanent markers.
When it comes to finding cartons and boxes, you have several different options. Many moving companies will provide you with supplies, so you should call and ask them what is available. You can also check with local grocery stores or retail stores to see if they have any that they will allow you to take. The advantage to this is that they are free, but there is a disadvantage in that the boxes might be damaged, cut, or have crushed corners. This could make them weak and cause items to be broken during the move.
You can purchase packing paper to use for most items, or if you know where to get newspaper for packing in large enough quantities, this is an option, too. Newspaper is something that used to be easy to come by, but with the rise of digital media, physical newspapers are becoming few and far between. One place that you might check is a drug store or grocery store that offers physical newspapers for sale.
Before we get started on individual items, it is worth noting that every single box should be labeled with the room it came from, any special handling instructions, and special notes on items that you will need to find quickly in your new home. Marking your boxes is the best way to communicate with your helpers so they know how to handle your items properly during the move.
Packing Specific Items
One of the advantages of hiring a moving company is that they are experienced and know how to pack most of the items in your apartment. If you choose the DIY route, there are some things that you need to know to make sure that your items do not get broken and to make unpacking easier. Here are some tips on how to handle a few of the items of special concern.
Plates and Dishware
Packing plates, dishware, glasses, cups, and stemware are some of the more challenging items, especially if it happens to be a special set, such as your wedding set or a family heirloom. The first thing to remember when packing these items is to start early because items are more likely to get broken if you try to rush the job. Professional movers have special techniques for handling these items and getting them to their destination safely.
The first thing you should do is to line the bottom, sides, and corners of the box with packing paper or bubble wrap. The box should be just big enough to hold the plates with little room for movement. Special plate barrel cartons are available for this purpose. The first plate should be placed in the center of the box. Next, place two sheets of packing paper or bubble wrap should be placed over the plate. Now, place the second plate on top. Create a plate sandwich, and end with paper on top. You should never go over stacks of four plates at a time.
When packing glassware, cups, or stemware, wrap each piece in two pieces of packing paper. Fold the four corners of the packing paper into the glass. You can now wrap a second glass in the same way and insert it into the first class. Do this until you have four glasses in a stack.
Now, you can place these individual stacks of glasses upright in the carton that has been pre-lined with packing paper and bubble wrap. You can put extra padding between the stacks of glasses for extra protection. Make sure to place them with the rim facing downward. When it comes to stemware, the best advice is to pack it on the bottom of the carton with the rim facing downward and use plenty of packing material around the stems.
Small Kitchen Items
If you have small kitchen items to move, you should wrap them individually and put them in small boxes. If you have something like a glass container on a blender or food processor, you should remove it and wrap it in several layers of packing paper or bubble wrap. Fold the packing paper or bubble wrap over the top of the rim and place these items on top of the base inside the box. You can also use additional packing paper or bubble wrap between each item. If you have a blender container, it should be placed upright on the bottom of a box that has been lined with packing paper with the rim side down.
Bureaus and Dressers
One tip to save space in the moving truck is to leave everything in the place if you have a bureau or dresser to transport. This can be done as long as the items are secured properly and there is not too much weight involved. You should make sure to remove any small, loose items that could be easily broken and pack them separately. When the moving company arrives, they will use special padding around the entire piece to make sure that the drawers do not fly open during transport.
Putting your jewelry into one box, or just putting your jewelry box into a big box is the worst way to move jewelry. It will not stay in place and will become tangled. If you do not know how to pack jewelry for moving, you can end up with broken pieces, which can be especially bad if they are high-value or meaningful pieces. The best advice on how to pack jewelry when moving Is to wrap every item individually in tissue paper and place it carefully in a small box. This box should be padded on the inside with bubble wrap. You should also make sure that the jewelry is solidly in place using packing paper and will not move around if the box is turned upside down or jostled.
Packing Large Pictures
How to pack large pictures for moving can be challenging. Small paintings and pictures should be individually wrapped in bubble wrap and placed upright in the carton. You should place a layer of packing paper or bubble wrap on the bottom to provide shock absorption before placing the pictures and the box. They should not be laid flat on the bottom. When it comes to packing larger pictures or paintings, there are several steps that you should follow to protect the glass or canvas.
The first thing that you should do is to place masking tape on the glass to protect the movers and you in case the glass should be broken. You should place strips vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. The purpose is to make sure that glass shards are contained and will not cut someone in case something should go wrong. Next, you should wrap the entire picture or canvas and bubble wrap and tape it generously. You can use tissue paper or packing paper to protect the frame or canvas from tape. Large pictures or canvas should always be transported vertically when they are being moved, and you should never lie them flat at any point during the process.
Items that Cannot Be Packed
You also need to be aware that there are certain items you are not allowed to pack. These items include those that are hazardous and could cause a fire or explosion hazard. If you have any of these items to move, you should consult with your moving company to find out the best way to do it. Some of these items include:
- Aerosol cans
- Cleaning product
- Paint and paint thinner
- Lighter fluid
- Barbecue tanks
- Food in glass jars
- Pressurized tanks
- Firearms or ammunition
Things to Keep with You
There are some items that you will not want to pack away because you might need them and want to make sure that they do not get lost during the move. Some of these items include:
- Health insurance cards
- Mortgage and rental paperwork
- Deed and wills
- Family photos
- Stock and bond certificates
General Rules and Tips
Now that you know a few of the basics, here are a few more general rules and tips to make it remove go more smoothly.
- Start early. The best piece of advice is to start as early as possible. You are more likely to cut corners and cause yourself to break things if you decide to do your packing at the last minute.
- One room at a time. It is always best to go one room at a time. That way, when you are unpacking all of the similar items are in the same box. Also, make sure to label which room the box came from so that you can find the things that you need quickly in your new home.
- Don’t overload. As a general rule, the heavier the item, the smaller the box it should be in. This is especially true for items like books. You can always fill in the space with lighter items, such as bed linens or a pillow, but an entire box of books is more likely to break or hurt you when you pick it up, so keep it light.
- Mark fragile items. Make sure to mark fragile or high-value items so that your movers know to be extra careful with that box. Also, make sure to put an arrow pointing upwards so that the movers know not to turn the box on its side or upside down. Experienced movers will take extra care when moving fragile items if they know about it.
- Tape box bottoms. You should always put extra tape on the bottoms of the boxes, especially with heavy items. This gives it a little more reinforcement and helps to ensure that you will not have spillage and breakage during transport.
- Heavier on bottom. When packing boxes, you should always put the heavier items on the bottom, like books or your favorite rock collection, and place lighter items on top. Make sure that the items on top do not crush the items on the bottom. It is usually a bad idea to put glassware or anything breakable on the bottom, even if lighter items are on top because of the way they may be stacked in the truck.
If you decide to do the packing yourself, you now have a few tips on how to make the move go as smoothly as possible. You can also hire local moving companies that help you pack. Movers Guys offers a full moving service in Houston. We offer a wide range of options from only moving the items from one location to another to helping you pack so that all you have to do is enjoy the ride. If you are planning a move anytime soon, it is best to give us a call so we can get you on our schedule.