Packing Tips: Protecting Your Favorite Belongings in a Move

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 26.4 million people moved within the United States last year. This represents around 8% of the total population.

There are a number of reasons why people move: a new job, a military deployment, or seeking more affordable housing. Whatever reason you may have for moving, packing belongings correctly is essential.

Fragile, valuable, and important items are the highest priority when you’re moving to a new home. Whether it’s across town or across the country, protecting your items requires following specific moving tips.

To find out more about essential packing tips and moving tips, keep reading this post to discover more information.

Moving Tips for a Smoother Packing Experience

Before you even start packing your belongings, you need to take care of some main tasks first. Taking the necessary steps will ensure moving to a new house goes without incident.

Proper preparation is key.

Get Your Packing Supplies First

First thing’s first. You need to have the required supplies for moving to a new house. This is one of the most important moving tips that often gets overlooked.

Buying your moving supplies first will save you from having to stop your flow to go out and buy items as you need them. This will save you time and allow you to maintain an efficient pace.

Stock up on essentials like moving boxes of all sizes and uses, packaging tape, and permanent markers for labeling. Having assorted sizes of small (12-14 in), medium (14-18 in), large (18-24 in), and extra large (24+ in) boxes will make sure you are prepared for items of all sizes in your home or apartment.

You should also use special types of boxes for specific item packing. The different types of boxes available for packing belongings are:

  • Banker’s boxes/File boxes- for storing paperwork and files
  • Wardrobe boxes- for packing hung garments and shoes
  • Dish boxes- for safely packing and reinforcing china and glassware
  • Book boxes- reinforced boxes for packing books and vinyl records
  • Lamp boxes- for packing floor lamps
  • Telescope boxes- connected two-part boxes for packing items like flat-screen TVs
  • Mirror/Picture boxes- for packing artwork and mirrors

In some places, you may be able to buy moving box sets that give you an array of different box sizes and varieties bundled together. You should also see about investing in some moving pads to protect delicate items, furniture, and appliances while packing and unpacking if you decide to do it yourself.

How Many Boxes Do You Need?

This is a question you’re probably also wondering. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are a few recommendations for the estimated amount of moving boxes you may need.

Moving tips recommend you base your number of boxes on the square footage of your house or the number of rooms your apartment or house has, as well as the number of people living there.

For example, a small studio-style apartment will need between 10 to 20 boxes, while a one-bedroom apartment will use 20 to 40 boxes. For a two-bedroom apartment, you should estimate the need for 40 to 60 boxes.

With houses, a two-bedroom house will require the use of around 60 to 80 boxes. A three-bedroom house will use between 80 to 100 boxes and a four-bedroom house will require upwards of 100 to 120 boxes. Anything over four bedrooms will need 120 or more boxes for moving.

Ultimately, the quantity and type of boxes you need will depend on your unique situation and the size, type, and number of belongings you have. A good rule of thumb is to equate needing one box for every one shelf or drawer.

Declutter and Organize Your Belongings

If you’re looking to scale down the number of items you bring to your new home or are in the process of downsizing, moving is a great opportunity to organize and clear out clutter. You’ll also find the process will go smoother when you don’t have to worry about packing up items that will only take up precious space in the moving van.

If possible, designate 2-3 boxes exclusively for tossing or donating items you no longer use or don’t want to take with you. This can include:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Clothing items
  • Shoes
  • Children’s toys
  • Exercise equipment
  • Housewares
  • Appliances
  • Electronics

Doing this also allows you to see what is really important to you so you can focus on these items instead of unnecessary clutter.

Plan Ahead for Your Move

This is another one of the most crucial moving tips. Don’t save packing for the last minute. You’ll be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t allow for ample packing time.

You’re more likely to rush and become careless trying to pack everything up frantically in just a few days. This could lead to items becoming damaged in the process because they were not given the attention and consideration they need.

Spread the process out over the weeks leading up to the final move-out date. This will give you the time you need to make checklists, take inventory of each room, gather the proper moving supplies, organize, and figure out the next steps.

Packing Tips to Protect Your Personal Belongings

Each home is a storied archive of personal history. Even if you’ve only been in one area for a few years, there’s still a vast accumulation of inherited family heirlooms and personal belongings to sort through and pack.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a pack rat or a self-proclaimed minimalist, there will always be important and essential items that need moving care. Follow these packing tips to minimize damage or loss of your personal belongings.

Use the Right Size and Type of Boxes for Your Items

This may go without saying, but to some people, a box is a box. They will see a box and just put things into it until it’s full. They may not take into account things like item size, weight, and breakability.

The reason for the different styles and sizes of boxes is to make the moving process easier. For heavier or more fragile items, use smaller boxes that are reinforced for extra security. Focus on only packing those items away in their own boxes.

Don’t put too many heavy or fragile items into a large box to cut down on the number of boxes you have. Your items could knock into each other inside and scratch, dent, or break one another.

Overloading a box will also make it heavier to try to pick up and move. The box could break, sending everything spilling to the floor. You need to have the right balance of weight.

On the other hand, leaving too much space around an item inside of a box will make it more susceptible to shifting around in transit and could damage the contents inside. Using the proper-sized box will ensure there is less movement.

Always use bubble wrap, inflated air pocket packaging, newspaper, cushion wrap, and packing peanuts to fill in any spaces inside the box and protect your items. For items like glass stemware, use special boxes that come with cardboard dividers to keep the glasses from crashing against one another.

Wrap Each Item Separately

Wrapping your items individually in newspaper, paper towels, bubble wrap, or cushion wrap may seem like a tedious task, but it is also one of the most vital packing tips you need to follow. It provides an extra layer of damage protection.

Never just place an unwrapped loose item inside a box assuming that it should be fine if everything else is already wrapped. Careful prevention is the key to ensuring your personal belongings survive the journey unscathed.

Label Each Box

Label each box with the contents inside as well as the location inside the house where it came from in big bold lettering on the top and sides of each box in a dark-colored permanent marker that will be easy to see (i.e. Kitchen- plates and cups).

Also, be sure to note if the contents inside are heavy or fragile and must be handled with care. This provides a reference for you and anyone else helping you move to know how the box should be transported.

Make a note of how many boxes you have from each room on your checklist so you can easily account for all of your personal belongings once you arrive at your new home. Proper labeling ensures a smoother transition for unpacking on the other end.

Pack Similar Items Together

Packing requires using sense to minimize any incidences of damage to your personal belongings. You may still be trying to cut down on expenses by maximizing box space and placing mismatched items together. However, this will cost you in the long run in other ways.

Don’t pack books with delicate tchotchkes, no matter how well they’re wrapped. Likewise, you should avoid packing non-perishable foods with personal care products from the bathroom that could leak or spill and contaminate your food items.

Only place similar items together in boxes that won’t cause damage, like towels and linens. Always place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top.

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Never Pack Valuables in Moving Boxes

Don’t put your valuable items in moving boxes for transport in the moving van. You run the risk of something potentially getting stolen or lost in transit.  Always keep valuable items like expensive jewelry and watches tucked away out of sight in your personal luggage.

This also goes for important documents you don’t want getting misplaced. Prescription medications should always be carried on your person at all times as well.

Properly Catalog and Insure Your Items

Verify that your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s policy protects against damage during the move. Expensive artwork, appliances, electronics, and family heirlooms need extra protection against damage during a move. In the event of damage or loss of an item, you can receive monetary compensation to repair or replace it.

You must be able to verify the item’s condition has been altered in some way, so it is important to take photographs of each item from multiple angles with your cameraphone prior to the move. This way, if you do need to file a damage claim, you’ll have the required evidence to show proof of any damages.

If you do opt to use a moving company, research if they offer additional insurance to reimburse you for any lost or damaged items; otherwise, you’ll get a standard rate of 60 cents per pound of each item’s worth. This means for lightweight but expensive electronics, you’ll only receive pennies of the item’s true value.

Hire a Reputable Moving Company

You may think you can save money by doing everything yourself and not going with professional movers, but this isn’t the case. Using professional movers can help save you the headache of packing and moving to a new house.

They have the experience and the knowledge needed to navigate you through the moving process from start to finish. Professional movers also have the proper equipment and accessories to protect special items like pianos and antique hutches.

Military members who move each time they receive a new assignment are especially prone to damaged personal belongings. They suffer an estimated $450 million in damage claims out of 30,000 moves each year due to using careless or inexperienced moving companies.

Uprooting your whole life and constantly moving around is stressful enough. You don’t need the added stress of having to worry about your possessions, too.

Check reviews of professional movers on major review sites like Yelp and Google. Or view a moving company’s reputation and rating on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

You can also get references from friends and family who have moved recently. Get quotes to compare prices for your moving job too.

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Find Your Professional Movers at Boston Best Rate Movers

Using these essential packing tips and moving tips can help simplify the complex and overwhelming process involved with packing and moving house. With so much to worry about already, why would you trust your move to anyone else who isn’t an experienced mover?

If you’re in the Boston area and are looking for a reliable moving company, look no further than Boston Best Rate Movers. Our professional movers can make the process easy. We’ll handle the heavy lifting to pack and transport your personal belongings with care at a great price.

Contact us today to get your free moving quote.

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