Tips for Self-Packing

If you want to save a little money when you move, then you’re probably considering packing some of your items yourself.

Here are our top tips for safely and correctly packing items yourself.

1. Use sturdy, new boxes.

Avoid ‘used’ boxes that are worn or damaged. Reinforce all suspect edges and corners with sturdy packing tape. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and office supply stores like Office Depot have affordable, clean, new boxes.

Try the following locations for gently used boxes:

  • Grocery stores – Arrange with the store’s manager to pick up boxes. Be prepared to collect them during the early morning, when most stores re-stocking their shelves.
  • Shoe stores – Avoid large-size boxes. Stick with smaller, sturdier, easier-to-manage and easier-to-transport boxes.
  • Big-box stores – Sam’s club, Costco, and other warehouse stores
  • Dollar stores

Be sure to check with store management before taking boxes, and don’t climb into recycling bins or dumpsters to find boxes (it’s illegal AND dangerous).

2. Use the right packing material for the job.

Stores that sell moving boxes often also sell packing paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and inflatable packing wrap. Avoid using newspaper as it can leave a newspaper ink and damage or dirty your items.

3. Don’t skimp.

Almost all packing material is recyclable, and trying to save money on packing material at the expense of your household items is unwise. It’s better to over-stuff packing material in your boxes rather than over-stuff your boxes with your goods. If you fail to use sufficient packing material you may have to deal with the heartache and expense of disposing of items after you’ve moved them.

4. Don’t over-fill your boxes.

Overfilled boxes are cumbersome and difficult to move. Over-filling boxes can lead to breakage of both the box and the items it contains. Choose smaller, easier-to-manage boxes for heavier items.

5. Use the right box.

Specialty boxes for paintings, mirrors, wardrobes, televisions, and so on are a better choice rather than standard boxes. Items packed in specialty moving boxes are less likely to be broken. If you can’t find specialty moving boxes, use existing boxes to fashion boxes to suit your needs, and be sure to secure all seams and edges with packing tape.

6. Don’t start packing until you have everything you need.

Buy your labels, pens or markers, packing material, and boxes to ensure correct packing and labeling. While you may want to ‘just get started,’ a failure to have everything you need before you begin can lead to packing troubles.

7. Break up the packing job into doable tasks.

Pack one room at a time, and don’t rush. If you exercise care in packing, you’ll have less breakage and clutter to deal with when you arrive at your new home.  

8. Label correctly.

Use a visual indicator for each box. It may be easier to purchase specialty or colored tape or label and affix it to each box for easy visual reference or to use a specific color marker to label the boxes for each room.

9. Don’t over-stack after you pack.

Keep your boxes neatly and securely packed in stacks, and avoid stacking excessively high. Keep heavier boxes on the bottom of your piles.

10. Don’t do a rush job.

Begin packing when you have several hours to dedicate to the task. Plan on at least 2 hours per room to do a proper packing job.

In Need of Assistance

Good luck with your packing!

If you need help with your move, contact Liberty Moving & Storage. We can assist you in getting everything to your new home.