How To Pack

Affiliated Movers have professional packers who are ready to take on all of your packing to save you the hassle, but if you prefer to pack yourself, we hope you will read through our packing tips.

Packing Essentials
Helpful Things to Think about when you move

Getting organized for a move isn’t easy. Below are many ideas from the people that do this for a living that can get you well on your way:

Basic Packing Rules; Necessities for the new home; Kitchen, Appliances; Dining Room, Living Room; Bedroom; Storage Areas; Proper Box Packing;

Be sure to read this helpful pamphlet from Arpin: How To Pack Like a Professional.pdf

More great tips can be found at AMSA here.

Boxes and Containers

Affiliated agents have packing containers suited to all your needs. Delivery of these containers can be arranged prior to the day of loading.

Wrapping Materials

Affiliated Movers can supply you with unprinted newspaper stock which avoids the possibility of ink rubbing off on your possessions. If you use actual newspaper, don’t wrap good china or lampshades in it – the ink can cause permanent stains.

Felt Tip Markers

Make sure every room has a marking pen.


Wide packing tape – called strapping tape – is the best. Get rolls with their own dispensers, which will make the job much easier.


Buy a couple of pairs of inexpensive, sturdy scissors at the hardware store.

Sealable Plastic Bags

Small plastic bags can be handy to hold knobs, handles, screws, picture hooks, and other easily lost items.

Trash Bags

Every room should have a trash bag. By always having one nearby, you won’t be tempted to pack things you really should discard.

Packing Room

Designate a packing room on each floor of the house; ideally it should be the one least used. Keep all your packing materials in there. Pack that room first, and then as you pack other rooms, put the filled boxes in there. This cuts down on clutter and makes your last days in your old home more enjoyable.

Basic Packing Rules

Valuables such as securities, furs, jewelry, coin or stamp collections and legal papers should not go into the moving van. Take them with you or make arrangements for their shipment by traceable, insurable carrier, such as UPS or Fed Ex. Irreplaceable items that have little insurable value, such as baby pictures or your grandfather’s pocket watch, should travel with you.

Write the room name on all sides of each box you pack. Once you’ve finished packing a box, write a description of the contents on the outside so you can find things without opening every box.

Incorrect packing is a prime cause of damage. The box should weigh no more than 50 pounds and the contents should not shift when moved. The sides shouldn’t bulge, and the top should close without caving in. Use paper to fill empty spots.

The heavier the items, the smaller the box should be. Keep this in mind when you’re packing books, CDs, tapes, etc.

To protect breakable items, don’t mix them with heavy items, and cushion them well.

The bottom of each box needs a layer of crumpled paper, with additional cushioning layers in the middle and on top. Fragile items can be given extra protection by boxing them individually before packing. Use “fragile” stickers to mark the outside of appropriate boxes. If a box must be kept right side up, indicate that on the outside with the stickers marked “This end up.” Stickers are available at no charge from Affiliated Movers

New Home Supplies

Before you pack any rooms, take a few boxes and mark them “New Home Supplies.” These will be a lifesaver when you arrive at your new home. Here is a basic list:

* Bedrooms and Baths – sheets, pillows, blankets, shower curtains and hooks, light bulbs, fuses, candles, alarm clock and towels.
* Toiletries – bar soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and paste and toilet paper.
* First Aid Kit – aspirin, tweezers, adhesive bandages, antiseptics and prescriptions.
* Household/Kitchen Supplies – bottled water, paper cups, plates, utensils, trash bags, paper towels, liquid soap, coffee maker and tea kettle.
* Tools – flashlight, hammer, pliers, screwdriver, wrench, scissors, utility knife, thumbtacks, nails and screws.
* Personal – change of clothing for everybody, baby needs and pet supplies.

The Kitchen

The busiest room in the house is usually left until last to pack. Start with all those things you rarely use – special china, the Thanksgiving platter, the big coffee urn. Get together your dishtowels and pot holders and use them for extra padding.

We strongly recommend that you purchase the special cartons designed to protect dishes. Pack plates standing on their edge – never flat. Nest bowls, cups and glasses after wrapping. Fill any empty spaces with appropriate packing material.

Think twice before you move any opened food containers. With spices and grains, first consider their age. If you must take open containers, tape them shut securely and enclose them in plastic bags before packing.


Appliances should be clean, dry and disconnected for moving day. Defrost and air freezers and refrigerators, and contact the gas company to disconnect any gas appliances. You are responsible for the actual disconnecting and reconnecting of all appliances. Put appliance operating instructions in a special place, otherwise, they could be misplaced.

The Dining Room

Delicate crystal, china and bric-a-brac need extra protection. Consider boxing some things up before putting them in packing containers. If you seal napkins and tablecloths in plastic bags, you can use them for additional padding. Make sure everything is snug, and mark the boxes with “Fragile” stickers.

If you have fine silver, avoid discoloration by making sure it’s clean, and don’t wrap it with rubber bands. If you have a case for it, fill in all the empty spaces with soft cloth or tissue, seal it shut with wrapping paper and tape and then wrap it in toweling. Otherwise, wrap each piece in soft cloth or special silver paper before packing. This will protect it from tarnish and scratches.

The Living Room / Family Room

Mirrors and framed pictures should be packed in special cartons available from your Affiliated Movers representative. Lamps should be taken apart, bulbs removed, and the shade wrapped carefully and boxed. Use the right size box and don’t use newspaper for packing. Use as little paper as possible to avoid denting. Dried flower arrangements should get the same treatment as lampshades, and make sure you label the boxes with “This end up” stickers.

Electronic equipment should be moved in original packing cartons when available. Secure all parts prior to packing. If you are moving in the summer, certain items can be damaged by the heat, such as candles, CDs, records, tapes and floppy disks. Consider taking them yourself, or shipping them in a way that will reduce transit time.

The Bedroom

Clothing can either be folded and packed or hung in wardrobe “closets” available from Affiliated Movers. Try to keep out-of-season or special occasion clothes together. When unpacking, you’ll be able to leave those for last.

Dresser drawers may be packed with lightweight clothing if the dresser is sturdy, but remove any liquids or breakable items first.

Strip beds completely, but leave them assembled. They will be dismantled by the moving crews and reassembled at your new home. If you have a waterbed, empty it prior to the move. Toiletries that are flammable or aerosol containers cannot be moved in the van.

Storage Areas

Before you move anything that’s been in a storage area, clean it well and make sure it’s in sound condition. Drain garden hoses and empty and wash any plant containers or garden equipment using soap and water. You don’t want to risk moving insects or disease.

Gasoline-powered equipment, such as lawn mowers, motorcycles or snow blowers must be emptied of all fuel and oil a few days before the move to assure complete evaporation. Propane tanks also must be purged and certified before loading. If your car is being transported, it should have less than a ¼ tank of fuel to allow for expansion.

Items We Cannot Move

By law, there are some items van lines are not allowed to move, so be sure you don’t pack them. Flammables, explosives and corrosives, ammunition and firearms, fireworks or flares, gasoline, kerosene, motor fuel and lamp oil, oil based paints, thinners and varnishes, lighter or starter fluids, fire extinguishers, nail polish remover, bleach, sterno, aerosol cans, propane tanks and cylinders, and matches can’t be transported.
Properly Packing Your Boxes:

See ideas of what to pack in each size box – Carton Selection.pdf
1.5 cu ft moving box 1.5 cu ft moving box
A 1.5 cubic foot box (small) is best used for heavy small items, such as book’s, dvd’s, cd’s, canned food, etc.
3.1 cu ft moving box 3.1 cu ft moving box
A 3.1 cubic foot box (medium) is useful for medium lampshades (use packing paper), small electronics, kitchen appliances, pillows, etc.
moving boxes moving boxes
4.5 cubic foot box (large) is used for pots and pans, artificial flowers, lampshades, hats, shoes, etc. A 6.0 cubic foot box is used for linens and towels, pillows, comforters, or any large light item. Dishpacks are for breakable dishes, picture frames, art, etc.
moving boxes The main thing to remember when packing (other than dishpacks) is “The bigger the box, the lighter the item.” This will help manage the boxes easier at destination. Also, remember to use at least 2-3 strips of tape to seal the bottom of the box and that the top of the box should always be flat and sealed so that it is easily stacked and does not cause tipping