Here are just a few tips about the best ways to pack your different items. Read them carefully - they might save you a lot of money and heartache over broken and damaged items.
You have the option to save a lot of money by doing most of the packing & crating yourself. Limit yourself to non-breakable items such as clothing and books and replaceable items as plates and small kitchen appliances. These items will be cheaper to replace in case of damage. Leave the furniture and heavy appliances to be packed by the professional movers.
Heavy items should be packed in a box as small as possible. Do not put everything in one large box, which will make the lifting much more difficult. Lift with your knees not with your back.
Do not let movers pack your jewelry, heirlooms or priceless items. Should anything happen to them the insurance will probably not cover their full value or anywhere near it. Pack these items yourself and take them with you, either in your car or as carry on luggage if size allows it.
Get the right size and strength for your boxes. Get plenty of boxes for your wardrobe so you'll save time on ironing later. Place shoes at the bottom of the boxes and don't pack your fine clothes along with your t-shirts and jeans. Get the padded boxes with the dividers for your fine china but you can save money by packing the replaceable and non-fragile items in regular supermarket boxes and wrapping them with newspapers.
Wrap each fragile item separately. Use old newspaper, bubble wrap, sheets, blankets and towels. Try filling all empty spaces in the box to minimize movement during the move. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather then flat and stacked and use towels to pad the boxes. Use duct tape or the plastic and strapping tape that movers use.
wrap and tape can also be used to protect your furniture. Wrap them around table legs, chair arms, bed frames and so on.
Don't use tape directly on wood and painted furniture.
When packing a computer remember to place your disks in a separate box that doesn't have anything magnetic in it. Bindle the cables and wires and make a note of how to reconnect them later. Box each component of the computer separately and double box them using bubble wrap and packing peanuts. If possible, of course, the best way is to pack the computer in it's original box.
Movers are required to inspect each box meant for shipment. Consult with the movers, show them the boxes containing valuable and breakable items. The mover can advise you and give you moving tips if the boxes need to be re-packed. Movers might charge you extra for re-packing, sometimes if you agree to use used boxes they may give them to you for free. Remember that the movers are not liable for items they didn't pack.
For their own protection movers will not disconnect your major appliances. Try to disconnect your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer prior to the mover's arrival. Also don't forget to back up and save all the important documents on your computer before unplugging it and preparing it for moving.
Movers do not move living things such as plants or animals. Use a "plant/pet suitcase" in order to move them.
Movers will not pack or move any box packed by you, which contains hazardous materials. Hazardous materials include: Paint, thinners, solvents, oils, firearms or ammunition, propane, and anything flammable, explosive or corrosive.
Shorten the loading process by designating one room in your home (preferably the one closest to the door) for all the boxes. Keep related boxes together since they'll end up in the same room.
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