Moving to another home can be a stressful experience. Besides the anxiety of uprooting yourself and dealing with the uncertainties of adjusting to a new environment, there is also the arduous task of packing up your belongings and ensuring that it all gets to your new home in one piece.
If you don’t have the time or prefer professional help, then you can look for freight companies that pack and ship, letting them do all the heavy work from the onset. However, if you’d rather do it yourself, then you can pack your things on your own too! Just know that packing your belongings will limit your courier’s liability, as they will only claim liability for the items they packed themselves.
If you’re decided on doing it yourself, then here are nine of our best tips and practices for packing your possessions in preparation for transit:
Ensuring the safety and integrity of your items takes careful planning, which you will not be able to do if you’re pressed for time. Cramming leaves you no time to decide on things like organization and careful packaging.
While it may be tempting to do it all in one go, working on it for a few hours each day during the week of the move will give you more time to analyze your packing strategy and ensure that you are not leaving any valuables behind.
Whenever possible, use new boxes for your packing efforts. Old boxes can cave in or break during transport, which could potentially damage your items. New boxes are more likely to hold their own against the weight of your items, provided that you packed them correctly with respect to the advertised limits.
Packing tape helps hold your box together, preventing your items from being dislodged and getting damaged. Most packing companies use two-inch pressure-sensitive packing tape.
To seal off your carton bottoms, wrap it with three to four layers of this tape. Since the top of the box doesn’t carry weight, you can seal it with two to three layers of packing tape instead!
A standard 1.5 cubic feet box will hold around 65 lbs at most before beginning to show signs of wear. An overstuffed box will be prone to caving in during transit, causing you even more problems during the journey.
When traveling, much of the weight is concentrated towards the bottom of your box. When lifting and moving boxes, the objects on the base of your package will receive the most impact, making it good packing practice to layer the bottom with packing peanuts or old clothes.
Given that, ensure to put the heavier objects first and wrap them with bubble wrap when you’re packing your items into the boxes. The heavier objects always go in first to protect the lighter, more fragile items—which go on top. Take note, however, that you should not overstuff the box. Before sealing the top, insert more packing peanuts or old clothes for more added protection.
Your items must be kept snug and tight inside your boxes. Leaving any space inside your packages will allow your items inside to move and hit each other during traveling—which can cause damage to both the box that holds it and the items inside!
It’s normal to feel sentimental when moving residences. Sometimes this sentimentality manifests in people trying to pack and bring everything with them to their new residence—even old and useless trinkets!
Besides being costly, trying to bring everything with you is not a good idea because you might not have enough space in your new home. Take this as an opportunity to review your belongings and get rid of damaged or unused items instead.
All of your boxes, especially those carrying fragile items, should be labeled clearly with black broad tip markers two inches high on two sides and on top of the box. Whenever possible, print your last name, the address where the boxes are supposed to go to, and the list of contents. This information prevents your parcels from being separated from the rest of your belongings. It also makes it easier for people to send the package back to you if it gets lost!
It’s also a good idea to number each box and keep an inventory of your items for easy cross-referencing. Any special instructions, such as “Fragile,” “Top-Load,” and “Keep Upright,” should be printed on all four sides of the carton.
Some items should never be stored together in a single box to avoid damage. For example, sensitive electronic devices, such as laptop computers, smartphones, or tablets, should not be stored with portable speakers. This is because storage drives react negatively with the magnets inside your speakers—leading to possible data corruption issues.
Fragile items, especially those made from glass, such as ceramic plates, glass drinkware, and picture frames, will need to be triple-wrapped with packing paper, newsprint, old towels, or thick bubble wrap. To restrict movement during travel, use smaller boxes that will be easy to carry. As mentioned above, layer the bottom with packing peanuts or old clothes, and do the same for the top. Make sure to label the box clearly as well!
Some people will use bags to store miscellaneous items, especially during last-minute packing. This method has two significant downsides. First, things held in plastic trash bags can easily be mistaken for actual garbage and might get disposed of unknowingly.
Secondly, trash bags are impossible to reinforce. Items stored in the trash bag will move around during transit, which may damage its contents. For this reason, stick to using heavy-duty boxes!
Packing up your items in a way that will ensure its integrity while traveling over long distances is no small feat. During the process of packing, you may encounter more challenges than expected and may get overwhelmed. Hiring freight companies that pack and ship will help you ensure that professional standards are being applied to your items’ packing.
Sometimes, the unthinkable happens, and your parcels may arrive in less than ideal conditions. In that case, the pack and ship company you hired will also have to claim full responsibility—giving you the peace of mind and allowing you to recover any damages to your items incurred during shipping.
Are you looking for reliable shipping and moving services in Washington, D.C.? 1 Stop Pack n Ship is a global moving and shipping company. Besides moving services, we also offer cargo and freight, commercial, and residential delivery services, shipping both domestic and internationally. Contact us today to learn more about our services!