Packing is a bit of a rabbit hole – we could write entire posts on how to pack all kinds of things.
But most people want a general guide to help them get started. Here are our top tips to help you pack like a pro, from our friends at Cassidy’s Ottawa movers.
- Start Early
You may have forgotten how much work packing really is. If you’re packing by yourself on weekends, give yourself about a 3-month head start (for the average home).
Sound incredible? It’s not. Remember, you have to disassemble bed frames, wrap soft furniture, and give breakables the extra TLC they deserve.
- Assemble Packing Supplies Before You Start
Getting your boxes on a onesy-twosy basis from the liquor store may be OK for starving students, but it will dramatically increase the time needed for packing.
We recommend that you buy boxes in batches, and have them ready before you start. Also make sure you have these supplies:
- A marker for labelling boxes.
- Packing tape.
- Packing paper – use ink-free newsprint to keep your hands clean.
- Bubble wrap for fragile items.
- Plastic sheeting or moving wrap for mattresses and soft furniture.
- Resealable sandwich bags for hardware.
- Masking tape (for labelling sandwich bags).
Hint: if your budget is super tight, you can buy boxes second hand on Kijiji or Craigslist. Just make sure the source is reasonably trustworthy, or you may be bringing home uninvited guests like bedbugs.
- Pack Items You Don’t Need First
When it comes to packing, it helps to take care of any off-season clothing or sports equipment first. This will help you live life normally as long as possible.
As moving day draws nearer, you’ll find you’re living with less and less, and your collection of boxes takes up more and more room in your house.
For essentials and valuables like important documents and jewellery, put them in a separate area and take them with you in your car.
- Pack Heavy Things in Smaller Boxes
Don’t pile heavy items like books in giant boxes – you won’t be able to lift them. Or you may be able to do the lifting, but may injure yourself. While smaller boxes may mean more trips, it’s better than back strain.
When you’re packing heavier items in the same box as lighter items, but the heavy items on the bottom of the box.
- Invest in Heavy Duty Boxes for Fragile Items
For dishes and glasses, ask for 2-ply cardboard boxes, also known as China cartons.
When packing, use this simple method:
- Put a layer of crushed paper on the bottom for cushioning.
- For glasses and mugs, stuff any openings with paper. Support handles with paper as well.
- Wrap each item in paper and place it in the box. Dishes should go on their sides, not flat.
- Stuff all corners with crushed paper.
- If you can fit two layers in a box, separate the layers with sheets of paper.
A tightly packed box is better, provided everything is well padded. If items are too loose in the box, they can bang together and break.
- Bag Cables, Remotes, and Hardware
For cables, screws, adaptors and other small fittings, collect them together in resealable zipper sandwich or freezer bags. Create masking tape labels so that you know which set of hardware belongs to which appliance.
- Wrap Soft Furniture
With soft furniture, the risk isn’t breakage, but dirt.
To protect your mattress, you can wrap it in plastic sheeting. Other soft furniture can be protected in moving wrap (which is like cling wrap you use in the kitchen, except heavy duty).
- Bag Liquids Before Packing
If you’re taking toiletries with you, put them in freezer bags first before you pack them, in case they leak. Don’t pack any cleaners or other household chemicals; they may be dangerous in your moving van. Ask your movers for a complete list of what you shouldn’t pack.
If you have other items that can spill, like loose pasta or rice, seal the package well before packing.
Most movers will ask you to take any alcohol in your car, as glass bottles are heavy and can be extra prone to breakage.
- Use Wardrobe Boxes for Clothing on Hangers
Wardrobe boxes have a rail across the top, so you can transfer your good clothes from the closet, to the box and into your new closet without having to take them off the hanger. For most items this should prevent wrinkling.
- Use Extra Care With Electronics
If you can, pack electronics in the original packaging. If this isn’t possible, protect each item with anti-static bubble wrap before boxing it (electronics can be damaged by the static created by normal bubble wrap). Put one item in each box, and label the box well.
Flat screen TVs and computer monitors have delicate screens, so use a microfibre towel to protect them. Stand them upright in their boxes (never lay them flat) and invest in double-walled boxes to keep them safe.
- Prepare Your Refrigerator
Whether you’re moving your fridge or not, you’ll want to have a plan to eat up, throw out, or give away all the food it contains. It’s also important to defrost the freezer a few days before you move, and give it a clean.
You don’t want to have the next person open the fridge and be greeted by rotten food, or get a tidal wave of water from the freezer.
Doing it Right is a Lot of Work
If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is. That’s why most people turn to the professionals at Rockbrune to do it for them.
You’ll be able to move to your new home with minimal disruption to your daily routine for as long as possible – not to mention we spare you the sore muscles the day after.