8 Best tips when self-packing

  1. Packing basics

If you decide to self-pack all of your items before your move, you will need to have everything properly packed and ready when the truck arrives. All packing should be finalized the evening before moving day. Only vital personal items you’ll need that day or the next morning should be left to pack last.
Make sure not to underestimate how long the packing is going to take. Start with the least important items, and leave your most used items to pack last. Staying organized is key, so make sure to pack every room separately, so you could save a great amount of time unpacking. If you want to speed up the loading process even more, you can label and sort boxes by weight, but make sure to limit your boxes to around 50 pounds. 

  1. Packing materials

You will need plenty of wrapping paper, so save old newspapers, or buy some tissue paper.

Make sure to prepare many boxes in different sizes. The boxes should be in good condition. Liquor boxes are excellent, as they are durable, and are ideal to pack delicate items like glasses, vases or plates.

The best tape for packing is plastic tape. Make sure you have tape that is at least a couple of inches wide.

Make sure you have markers on hand for marking your boxes with information like the contents of the boxes, fragile items or which side goes up.

It may be necessary to purchase some specific materials such as mattress covers, wardrobe boxes, and boxes for larger pieces of artwork. Keep in mind that most moving companies can offer you wardrobe boxes on the day of the move.

girlfriend and boyfriend with curly hair standing near cardboard boxes and looking away at new kitchen
  1. List of items

Even if you are moving with a moving company or on your own, you will need to make a list of items. This way, if a label gets damaged, torn, or wet, you will and inventory sheet with all of the contents of your boxes with you.
It may sound like a lot of unimportant work, but in reality, it’s not.Doing this will save you a great amount of timethat would otherwise be spent on opening all your boxes when you look for a specific item.
If you already have alist of items, it would also be great to send it to your moving company to help them assess the size of your move and hopefully avoid any unexpected issues on the day.
Check all items onto the truck at the loading locationto make sure nothing was left behind.

  1. Packing kitchen items

You can place cups and glasses one inside the other, and wrap three or four in the bundle. Make sure you place sheets of paper between each piece as protective lining.
If you have collected some liquor boxes with dividers, use them for these items. If there is some space between the top and the contents of the box, fill the box with paper.
As for flatware like plates, you can stack them on top of each other making sure that there is enough packing paper between each plate, and lining them as well. It would be best to fill the leftover empty space of the box with extra protective supplies like bubble wrap.

When packing pots and pans, repeat the same process as with the glasses and cups. Place them one inside the other and line then with paper to make sure nothing gets damaged. Seal your bundles of pots and pans with plastic tape to make sure that they don’t fall apart. You can use the same technique for packing larger bowls as well.

Kitchen appliances would be best to pack together in a box, rather than packing them with other items, so that you could simplify the unpacking process later. Wrap each appliance individually and place them in the box. If there is any leftover space, pack something else to not waste space or fill it in with packing paper. Remove all batteries from appliances before they are packed. Pack batteries in a separate box for use at your new home.

  1. Fragile items

-Electronics should be packed in their original boxes if possible. If you down have the original one, it would be best to go to a local electronic store to obtain one or ask our movers to provide them for you. It would be best to let the movers pack your electronics if you’re unsure about packing them yourself. Electronics are usually very fragile and are at most risk of being damaged during the transport.
– Mirrors, paintings and larger photo frames can be wrapped in towels or blankets to add extra protection during the move.
– China is best to pack in dish packs that are specifically designed to protect your China. If you don’t have dish packs, it would be best to leave packing these items for your movers.
– Large items like statues, glass table tops, paintings, and vases, can be easily damaged due to their bulk. Rather than packing these items yourself, consult with your relocation specialistabout leaving these items for the movers on your moving day.

  1. Non-fragile items

– Rugs should be rolled and wrapped before the moving day to ensure they don’t get dirty during the move.
– Placing curtains, table clothes and drapes in wardrobe boxes is the best way to move these items. You can fold them and place them in a box with some packing paper as an alternative solution.
– Mattresses should be protected with a mattress cover, or wrapped in shrink wrap to make sure you don’t get any dirt or dust inside your mattress fibers on the day of the move.
– Pack your books, CDs, and DVDs in separate boxes, make sure your boxes aren’t too heavy or they’ll break.
– For crucial files from your office, keep them in a safe or locked file box.
– Pack tools by putting them in a tool chest. Larger tools should be wrapped in towels and then packed in boxes. 

  1. Additional packing tips

-Pack similar items together. Do not pack your delicate items with pans, for example.

-Electrical cords should be fastened together so they don’t dangle and save some space.

-Use a double layer of newspaper for outer lining and extra protection.

-Place a layer of shred paper in the bottom of boxes for cushioning.

-Build up your box layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight in the middle and lightest on top.
-Keep all parts or pairs of things together to ensure nothing gets lost.

-Cushion well with crushed paper.Towels and blankets may also be a great alternative for padding andcushioning.

-The more fragile the item is, the more cushioning needed. Make sure that no sharp points or edges are left unsecured.

– Avoid overloading boxes, but go for a firm pack that will prevent items from moving around.The top of the box should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.

  1. What not to pack

Hazardous materials such as explosives,flammable liquids, compressed gases, oxidizers, corrosives and radioactive materials can’t be put on the truck. Common examples of these items are:

Propane cylinders


Lighter fluid



Oxygen bottles

Nail polish remover

Paints and paint thinners


Other items you should transport in your own vehicle and not on the truck include:

– Keys to your new place
– Medications you take daily
– A bottle of water and snacks
– Important documents

Self-packing can definitely save you a great amount of money during the move, but the potential damages and days spent packing can always be avoided if you hire your movers to help you pack as well. Carlsbad Local Movers offers a full pack service, where the customer doesn’t need to worry about the packing process or if their boxes are secured properly. We can do the job for you.

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