Most movers, especially the do-it-yourself kind, are so happy to finally arrive in their new home that they don’t even mind that a few dinner plates are chipped, there’s a scratch on their table or that their favourite ornament has been broken. But there’s no reason your household goods should become casualties of the move. With a little care and planning and these moving tips from Packing Boxes, your possessions will stand the best chance of arriving in perfect condition.

A little common sense helps when packing for moving.  In the long run, it pays to purchase the right packing materials. Corrugated cardboard boxes and packing tape can be purchased at various locations. Supplement these with copious amounts of crumpled paper, blankets and pillows; even clothing can serve as a buffer between breakable objects. Then, pack with a plan.

When selecting packing material for your goods, remember:

  • Use only strong, corrugated cartons (Here are some good suggestions)with tops or flaps that fold shut.
  • If you are using second-hand boxes, make sure the boxes are clean of insects and other pests
  • Save old newspapers for packing material, but be careful — the ink may rub off and stain certain items.
  • Get plenty of packing tape, a tape gun or dispenser will make the job of sealing the cartons a lot easier.
  • A marking pen, to properly label your cardboard boxes with the room they should go in and description of contents.

Purchase boxes and packing supplies directly from the manufacturer

Moving Packing Tips

  • Pack one room at a time, labelling each box with a description of its contents and its destination (e.g., kitchen, bathroom). Be as specific as you can; it will make unpacking that much easier.  
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
  • Take extra care to make sure the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
  • Always pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top.
  • Keep the weight of your boxes reasonable. If possible, put heavy items in small boxes to make them easier to carry.
  • Don’t apply tape directly to polished or painted wood finishes. Removing the tape could ruin the surface. 
  • Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available; when in doubt, use more.

What you’ll need for the first night/day

When everything is packed and ready to load, make sure the items you need least are loaded first. Again, common sense is essential when loading the truck. Place the box containing your best china on top of the box of encyclopedias and not vice versa.

Prepare for the first night in your new home by packing essential items in a separate box and taking it with you. You may even want to prepare a simple meal that you can heat and serve on your first night.

  • For each person in the household: pack a change of clothes, a towel, prescription drugs, a toothbrush and other personal items.
  • For everyone: pack plastic utensils, paper plates, paper towels, plastic cups, toilet paper, toiletries, trash bags, a flashlight, first aid kit including pain relievers, pencil and paper, snacks, beverages and re-sealable bags.
  • Small tool kit for re-assembling items that couldn’t be moved whole.

Packing for moving with good technique and the right materials can mean an easier move and fewer chipped dishes.

For advice on packing methods for different household goods, please check out our packing methods page.