Packing Tips

Integrity Movers BC - Packing Tips

Your Ultimate Packing Tips

Proper Packing is one of the most important things that you can do to save time, money, and aggravation! If you are not fully packed on moving day then your moving team will have to help you finish packing and your moving day will go on and on. The list of individual household items is endless, however the following list of packing tips and pointers should make your move painless.

Packing Materials

We can supply you with specially made cartons for everything from mattresses, clothing and mirrors. The added protection of mover-provided cartons may avoid damage that results from the use of poor-quality packing materials. Your alternative is to collect boxes discarded by your grocery or liquor store. Save old newspapers for use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items.

Here's a list a packing materials you will need:

  • Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile items
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or packing popcorn
  • 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
  • Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape
  • Plastic bags and labels for easy identification
  • Scissors and/or sharp knife
  • Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs
  • Use only strong, corrugated cartons with covers

Packing Strategy

A good packing strategy will help you. Here are some packing tips to keep in mind:

  • All boxes with "fragile" items should be marked accordingly.
  • Important documents, money, jewellery and other valuables are best carried with you on the day.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you will have plenty of "filling" material available.
  • Make sure the bottom of your boxes are secured and will hold the weight of the contents, ask your moving company.
  • Make sure that the following are always on hand - extra boxes, tape, marking pens, newspaper, a small tool kit, garbage bags.
  • Mark all boxes, designating room and box number.
  • Notify your mover of any high value items.
  • 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.
  • Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top.
  • Save room by packing breakables amongst towels, blankets and clothing. Make sure these boxes are marked FRAGILE!
  • Tape remote controls and cables for electrical appliances to the back of the relevant appliance.
  • 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.
  • Use your luggage instead of boxes for packing clothing.
  • When dismantling beds make sure that all screws, nuts and bolts, etc., are taped to the relevant piece of furniture - makes reassembly for that first nights rest a breeze!
  • Wrap white china or white dishes in butcher's paper before protecting with newspaper - it keeps them white!

Packing Cups

Below you will find great packing tips for cups.

  • 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 handle to 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.

Packing Dishware

When packing smaller dishes, you may choose to stack in greater quantity. Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware.

  • Select a medium-sized carton (or mover provided dishpack) 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 dishware in a medium-size box so that the plates are standing on edge.

Packing Glasses and Stemware

No matter what you're packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there's a gap.

  • Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
  • Delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in an upright position, not on its side.
  • Heavier items (dish-ware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom of the box.
  • Lay on 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.
  • Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box.
  • Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.

Clothing / Curtains / Drapes

These items may require special boxes.

  • Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons, or pack folded in clean cartons.
  • Remove curtains from rods, fold and pack in cartons or bureau drawers.
  • Wardrobe cartons are the best way to move clothing.

Computers / Stereos / Electronics

Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available.

  • Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton.
  • Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton.
  • Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder.
  • Wrap cords separately; label to identify usage and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces.
  • Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped.
  • Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton.
  • Be sure your personal computer is "parked" and ready for transport.

Food and Pantries

These items may require special boxes.

  • Pack upright with no more than 24-30 cans per carton.
  • Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small cartons.
  • Don't attempt to move perishables.
  • Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items, your mover is prohibited from accepting these packed items when your shipment is being transported more than 150 miles and/or delivery will not be accomplished within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of loading.
  • Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which at time of loading is at normal deep-freeze temperature.

Furniture / Clocks / Pianos / Plants

These special items require moving expertise and special care.

  • Try not to overload drawers.
  • Too heavy a load can cause damage.
  • Remove any items from drawers that may break or leak.
  • Remove or secure pendulum in large clocks.
  • Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.
  • Pianos should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.
  • Plants need special care and should be moved in special boxes.
  • Plants need protection against severe cold in winter.

Lamps / Lampshades

These items require special care.

  • Remove bulbs, harps and shades.
  • Make sure you roll up the cord and secure it properly to the lamp.
  • Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined carton.
  • Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade.
  • Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper.
  • Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons.

Mirrors / Paintings / Pictures

These items require special care.

  • Tell your agent about valuable paintings for special care.
  • Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons.
  • Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers.
  • Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons.
  • For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirror to protect better against damage.
  • Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.


Barbecue Grills and Propane Tanks

  • Wrap grates and briquettes separately in a newspaper (or place all briquettes into a grocery bag) and place parts in carton.
  • Pad carton with paper to reduce movement of contents.

Cars and Motorcycles

  • Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel.
  • Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected.
  • Automobile antifreeze should be ample to protect against severe cold in winter.

Flammables and Combustibles

  • Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed.
  • Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak, or even explode.
  • For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you, not your mover, may be held liable.


  • Firearms must be registered with your van line representative before the move.
  • Firearms serial numbers will be recorded before the move.

Tools and Power Tools

  • Pack tools in small, strong cartons.
  • Wrap valuable tools separately.
  • Drain fuel from power tools.

Waterbed Mattresses

  • Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time.
  • Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles.
  • Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.
  • Consult your owner's manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress.


  • Propane tanks cannot be moved.
  • Consult your local gas grill distributor for the safest method, and ask for CA movers regulations.
  • Do not ship Flammables under any circumstances.
  • Firearms must be registered with the moving company prior to the move.
  • Insect eggs and insects such as roaches can travel in food boxes. Keep this in mind when getting boxes from any food stores.