Resources: Packing Tips

Small Appliances
  • Group kitchen appliances, like blenders and toasters, or other small household appliances, like hand- held vacuums and telephones, two or three to a box. ( Make sure they're clean - don't pack yesterday's toast or blender drinks!)
  • Make sure the bottom of the box is securely taped, then pad the bottom of the box with blank newsprint (wadded up, not shredded) or your towels and sheets.
  • Put the appliances in and pad them well all around with packing material.
  • Then put another layer of packing materials on top, seal the box, and mark it "Kitchen Appliances."

Washing machine
  • Do all your wash a couple of days before you're ready to move.
  • Drain all the water out of the washer. If possible, take the washer outside and tip it sideways to empty out remaining water from the water hose. Then dry the interior completely with a towel.
  • Take out all accessories and fittings and put them in a plastic bag.
  • Stuff towels between the washing machine sides and the tub to keep the tub from rotating.
  • Fill the basket with clothes, linens, and stuffed animals (that's rights, stuffed animals). Also include a box of baking soda (designed so you don't have to tear open the top of the box) to cut down on mildew.
  • Tape the lid and electrical cord down, then tie a large pad around the outside.

  • Disconnect the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer and from the exhaust duct in the wall. Loosely roll the hose and place it in the dryer basket.
  • Tape the lint screen, electrical cord, and dryer door down.
  • Tie a large pad around the outside of the dryer.

  • One day before moving, empty out the contents and defrost. (Eat what you can, then give the rest away to neighbors - never transport perishable food.)
  • Empty the drainage pan underneath and disconnect and drain out your automatic ice maker.
  • Clean the walls, drawers, and shelves.
  • Some refrigerators have "leveling rollers," which are wheels that raise and lower each corner of the refrigerator so it is even. Check your manual to see whether you should raise or lower them for the move.
  • Wrap shelves (especially if they are glass) and tape them together. Tape down all other loose parts, including the drawers on the inside and the electrical cord and doors on the outside.
  • Tie a large pad around it.

  • Clean the oven and stove top.
  • Place all oven racks on the bottom rung and tape down.
  • Tape down the burners and the protective pans under each burner.
  • Tape the electrical cord and door to the stove (lock the door, if you can), then tie a large pad around it.

  • Remove all dishes and tape down the racks and silverware basket.
  • See your manual for removing and draining the water hook-up.
  • Close and lock the door. Tape the door shut. Now tape the hose and cord to the dishwasher.
  • Tie a large pad around it.

Air Conditioner
  • If your air conditioner's in use, shut if off the day before so the coils can dry and cool off.
  • Remove and clean or replace the filter.
  • Tape the cord to the side of the air conditioner (not the back, where the coils are).
  • Use the original box, if you have it, or another large appliance box well-padded with wadded up newsprint. (Don't use Styrofoam peanuts, which could get inside the air conditioner and cause problems later.)
  • If you don't have a box, tie two large pads around it to protect the coils.

  • Put tape across the front of the mirror like an X to keep the pieces in place in case the glass breaks.
  • Wrap in bubble wrap or blank newsprint with cardboard taped around them. Fill loose spaces with lightly wadded paper.
  • Put in a flat box, seal, and mark "Fragile - Mirror."

  • Disassemble the bed frames and mark the pieces so you know where they go later. Tie or tape rails together.
  • Take all screws, bolts, nuts, etc. put in plastic bag and tape to rails.
  • Tie large pads around headboard and footboards, if you have them.
  • Leave sheets on mattresses to protect them, or cover them with plastic mattress covers.

  • Never pack more than 30 pounds of books in a box, unless you're a weightlifter by trade.
  • Fill in small spaces in each box with smaller paperbacks. Alternate bindings every few books to keep stacks level in each box.
  • Tape shut and mark "Books."

  • Wrap arms of chairs with blank newsprint or bubble wrap and tape.
  • Leave slipcovers on or cover with large flat sheets.
  • Cover next with furniture pads.

  • Hang clothes from closets in wardrobe boxes. If the boxes still have some space, consider filling them with lightweight items like lamp shades covered in bubble wrap.
  • Pack some clothes from bureaus in boxes or suitcases so the bureaus won't be too heavy to move.
  • Consider using some clothes as packing material in between breakable items or to fill spaces in other boxes that contain items from bedrooms.
  • Mark boxes "Clothing" or with the person's name.

  • Back up all the files on your computer.
  • Your computer company may recommend that you "park" your hard drive. That means using a special program (possibly called "SHIP.EXE") that makes recording heads in the hard drive pull back from the data area into a "safer" area of the CPU.
  • Pack your disks in a separate box, but not with anything magnetic.
  • Bundle cables and wires and color code them to their matching holes so it's easy to reconnect in your new home.
  • If your computer's completely cooled off, put each component part in a plastic bag to keep dirt out during the move, then inside the foam forms in their original boxes. Fit cables and other accessories in the sides of each box and fill with
  • peanuts.
  • If you don't have the original boxes, use the double-box method. Fill the smaller of the two boxes with Styrofoam peanuts, put the "bagged" monitor or CPU in the middle, and fill the box the rest of the way so the component sits in the middle of the box without touching the sides. Fit in cables and accessories, close and seal that box, then fill the bottom of the second box with peanuts, put the sealed box in, and fill all around the rest of the way with peanuts.
  • If you have a small printer, you can pack it with your CPU. Be sure to remove the printer cartridges. If your printer uses pins to form-feed paper, leave the paper in during the move to keep the pins in place.
  • Mark each box "Fragile - Computer."

  • Pad the bottom of the box with wadded-up blank newsprint or Styrofoam peanuts.
  • Place a stack of CDs in the middle of the box. If your box is big enough and you don't have a lot of CDs, put your entire CD holder in the center, CDs and all. CDs can weigh a lot, so you'll probably have to divide them into several boxes.
  • Fill in tightly all around and on top with peanuts or wadded paper so the CDs won't jiggle.
  • Tape and mark "CDs."

Plates and bowls
  • Layer bubble wrap in between, leaving space at the top of the box to fill in with wadded newsprint.
  • Place wadded newsprint or peanuts in the bottom of a box and put layers of plates or bowls on top. Then fill in top and sides with peanuts or newsprint.
  • Seal and mark "Fragile - China."

Glasses and Teacups
  • Wrap each glass or teacup in a piece of bubble wrap and tape it.
  • Put a layer of peanuts or newsprint on the bottom of the box. Place wrapped cups or glasses on top, upright as if you were placing them on the table.
  • Place a layer of cardboard and another layer of packing material on top and the sides.
  • Keep layering in wrapped cups and peanuts until you've reached the top. Put a final layer of packing material on top, seal, and mark "Fragile - Crystal/China."

  • Take lightbulbs, harps, and lamp shades off lamp.
  • Wrap lamp shades in bubble wrap and stack them in a large box with wadded paper, or put them in an armoire or large chest.
  • Wrap cord around lamp and wrap lamp in bubble wrap. Place in empty, defrosted refrigerator, unplugged dryer, or drained, unplugged washer. Or put them in boxes with wadded paper, seal, and mark "Lamps."

  • Unplug your big screen TV. Be sure to leave the cable and cable box behind, since those belong to the cable company.
  • Lay it gently on its side and slide the foam forms on either end. Then slide it into the box, set it upright, seal it, and mark it "Awesome Big-Screen TV."
  • If you don't have the original box, you will still need more than plastic peanuts. Companies that sell packing materials probably have dense Styrofoam blocks you can use. Gently lay the TV on its side on top of a piece of foam. Tape another piece of foam on the bottom and slide the whole thing into the box. Fill in all sides with foam, then seal and mark " Big-Screen TV."

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