Before you start packing for your move, make sure you have all the packing supplies you need. You don't want have to run out and get more tape or other supplies in the middle of packing. Basic packing supplies include small, medium and large boxes, newspaper or brown paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and permanent markers. Moving supply companies sell packing kits with all the supplies you need for a particular room. For example, a bedroom packing kit would include a specialty wardrobe box and a box for your dresser mirror, while a family room packing kit would have boxes for electronics. Custom-printed labels ("Fragile," "This End Up," "Kitchen," "Bedroom," etc.) can make things faster and easier. Foam peanuts are useful for filling in empty spaces. A tape dispenser can also make packing quicker and more efficient.
Several weeks (or even a month or two) before your move, you can pack your non-essential items. Think about seasonal goods. If you're moving this summer, you can pack all your winter clothing, ski equipment, heavy bedding and other cold-weather items. Number each box as you pack it and keep an inventory list. If a particular box goes missing during the move, you'll know what's inside for insurance purposes. As your moving date creeps closer, pack everything but the necessities you'll need for the week of the move.
When it comes to things such as glassware, electronics, mirrors and delicate furnishings, you need to take great care that nothing gets broken during the move. Glassware and dishes should be wrapped in newspaper with plenty of packing peanuts or other filler in the boxes to reduce shifting during the move. When packing electronics, color-code the wires as you unplug so you know how to plug them back in. Plasma TVs, stereo equipment and computers should be packed and moved in their original boxes whenever possible. Use pads to protect furniture from getting scratched or damaged during transit. Check out this guide on how to pack pictures and frames without chipping corners or breaking glass.
Put your largest, heaviest items in first -- that's normally your major appliances. Keep them upright and secure with rope or ties if necessary. Next, place your beds, sofas, tables and other large items in the truck or moving van. Now you can start loading your boxes. Use all the available space by placing boxes on top of your furniture and appliances. Put heavy boxes in first, lightest boxes last. Fragile or oddly shaped items can also be loaded last. After everything is loaded, use pillows, cushions, towels and blankets for extra protection and to help reduce shifting.
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