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How to Pack Your Belongings When Moving – Packing Tips

Updated: January 23, 2019

Bekins Moving & Storage has a complete range of cartons and material specially designed to provide specific items with maximum protection.

Packing Plates

China: For these fragile items, you should use dish-packs or sturdy, medium cartons with 3-4 inches of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the carton for additional cushioning. Everyday plates can be wrapped in stacks of four, however, the more delicate the plates, the smaller the stack. Place one plate in a corner of your stack of unprinted newsprint and using 1-2 layers of papers, pull the corner up and over the top plate. Fold the side corners of the paper into the middle and then place another plate on top. Repeat the process until you have four plates in a stack, individually protected by layers of paper. Finish the process by rolling the stack away from you to the far corner until the bundle is completely wrapped and protected. Then place the bundle into the carton ON EDGE. Never lay plates flat or in a corner.

Plates: Packing Plates can form the bottom tier or layer of the carton, followed by bowls in the next layer and finally by cups, glassware, goblets and other light, fragile items. Separate each layer in the carton with a cushion of newspaper and ensure that each wrapped piece is snug in its layer to prevent movement. Empty spaces can be filled with crushed newspaper and the top of the carton should be marked “Fragile”.

Bowls: Bowls and odd shaped items are just right for the second layer. Following the same method for packing plates, wrap individually in unprinted newsprint, stack three or four to a group and wrap them again in a double layer of newsprint. As with plates, place shallow bowls or odd shaped pieces on edge in a row in the carton.

Packing Drinking Items

Cups: Everyday cups can be stacked in groups of two. Place one cup in a corner of your packing paper. Using 1-2 layers of paper, pull the corner up and into the cup. Make sure that the paper completely fills the cup and covers all edges, then stack the second cup into the first with the handle facing the opposite direction. Now pull up the side corners of the paper and fill the inside of the second cup. Roll the bundle away from you until it is completely protected. Place the bundle upside down in the carton with the handles to the inside.

Fragile Cups: should be wrapped individually with their handles additionally wrapped with paper towels or a single sheet of white newsprint. Handles should face in.

Glassware: Again, a sturdy carton and a generous amount of crushed newspaper as cushioning is necessary for additional protection. The top layer of your dishpack is perfect for glassware and cups. Glasses are wrapped like cups and can be nested in sets of three or four, using your own discretion. Start by placing the glass diagonally on your sheet of white newsprint and wrap from corner to corner. Stop midway and fold the two remaining corners of the newsprint to the bottom and the rim of the glass covering it completely. You can then nest an additional glass and complete wrapping by rolling it to the far corner.

Stemware and goblets: are more fragile and should be wrapped individually. Fill the goblet with crumpled tissue and then roll the goblet in the same manner as the glasses.

Glass pitchers: and vases are also wrapped in this method. Large items go into the bottom of the dish-pack. It’s bottom up when you pack.

Packing Other Items

Books: Packing Books Books are heavy so use small cartons. Place in an upright position, alternating bound edge to open edge. Do not press against the exposed edges which would mar the pages. Expensive, sentimental, or unusual books should be wrapped individually.

Clothing/Drapes: Bekins Moving & Storage uses a special dust proof wardrobe carton with a metal bar for hanging clothes such as dresses, suits, coats and drapes. It will save you the inconvenience of pressing them later. Ask Bekins Moving & Storage for this time saving container. If you wish, clothing can be folded and placed in a suitcase or a large carton. Dresser drawers can also be utilized for some clothing although all other items should be removed from the dresser drawers and packed in cartons. The contents of the dresser drawers should not be heavy.

Food: Try to use up as much food as possible before moving. Seal open boxes of food such as cereals, powdered foods, etc. Cover holes of shaker-type containers and seal with tape. Put small containers of condiments and spices together in a small box before packing them into a larger carton. Canister contents can be left in canisters with tight fitting lids although they should be individually wrapped with newsprint and sealed with tape to prevent spillage and damage.

Liquids: If it is necessary to pack a liquid, the lid should be fastened securely, taped, and the entire container placed inside a plastic bag with a tight closure.

Pots, Pans & Small Appliances: These items should be packed in medium size cartons. Don’t forget the crumpled paper in the bottom of the carton first. If pots, pans and trays are a graduated set, each one should be wrapped separately and then nested together. The heavier the item, the smaller the box. Keep a layer of newsprint between each wrapped pan, pot or tray. Small unbreakable wrapped packages can be placed inside the wrapped group to utilize space.

Small appliances: should be wrapped in several layers of newsprint. Remember to drain water from any appliance that has a reservoir, for example, steam irons, vaporizer, humidifiers, dental appliances, coffee makers. Always pack cords and accessories with the appropriate appliance to avoid confusion during unpacking. If the appliance has a fixed cord, put a layer of paper between the cord and the appliance to prevent scratches.

Radio – Clock: If they are small, these and similar items can be packed with the linens; otherwise, pack as for appliances. Grandfather clocks should be serviced by an expert.

Lamp Base: Remove the shade, harp and bulb. Wrap the body of the lamp in plenty of packing paper, keeping at least one layer of paper between the lamp and its attached cord. Pack the base, UPRIGHT, in a dish-pack or join two cartons together and fill the spaces with crumpled paper. Wrap the bulb, harp and other small lamp parts and pack with the base.

Lamp shades should only be handled by the metal framing and packed in a medium carton. Surround the shade with sheets of tissue paper or clean packing paper and fill in all empty spaces. The only other item that should be packed with a lamp shade is another lamp shade, one that will nest inside or on top without pressing against the other shade. Do not use newspaper as protective linings between each shade and you should not use crushed paper for packing. It’s alright to use small pillows or bath towels inside the shades.

Mattresses: It’s a good idea to use cartons for additional protection of your box springs and mattresses. Have the proper size cartons on hand and slip the mattresses into the cartons or paper coverings at the last minute. You can fold the sheets and place them in a suitable carton for quick bed making at destination. Put the pillows in an empty drawer or large carton.

Linens: Towels, sheets, linens etc., should be packed in large cartons or, if suitable, substituted for cushioning material.

Silver – Sterling or Plated: The important point about protecting silver from tarnishing is to keep the air out. With silverware in a chest, all empty spaces should be filled with crushed tissue or hand towels and the entire chest wrapped in unprinted newsprint. Loose silverware can be wrapped, individually or in groups, in clear plastic wrap or tissue.

Plants – Artificial: An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in its own carton, surrounded with paper towels, or even cotton. If possible, fasten the base to the bottom of the carton.

Plants – Real: Ask Bekins Moving & Storage for the brochure on live house plants and specialized shipping arrangements.

Paintings: Glass Table Tops-Marble Slabs – Certain large pictures and marble tops, because of their size and value should be packed in custom-made cartons or crates available from Bekins Moving & Storage. For smaller pictures etc., they should be well wrapped with three sheets of white newsprint and placed on edge in a carton. Linens, blankets and towels can serve as additional cushioning material.

Rugs: Leave rugs on the floor, but untacked, or if they have just been cleaned and delivered to your home, leave them rolled.

Bekins Packing Material

Tools: Take a group of long handled garden tools and bundle them together with tape or twine. This also applies to mops, brooms curtain rods etc.

These are a few of our general packing techniques. Bekins Moving & Storage can provide more specific advice for the care and protection of your possessions. We will provide each customer who purchases boxes, with one complimentary box delivery on any Saturday, or for a nominal fee, deliver boxes on any day.

Boxes are available at all Bekins locations.