Relocating to a new place or simply shipping items often comes with the challenge of packing efficiently. With the right approach, the use of shipping boxes and cardboard boxes can make this task a breeze. This in-depth guide will equip you with the essential knowledge to pack like a pro, ensuring safety and convenience during your move or shipping process.
Before diving into the packing process, it’s essential to comprehend why you should invest in specialized shipping boxes. The temptation of repurposing old boxes from your workplace or grocery store might seem cost-efficient, but in reality, it can endanger your valuables.
Shipping boxes are designated for the purpose of safely transporting and storing delicate items. These boxes are more robust than ordinary ones and offer reliable service when you are moving your goods in a vehicle or storing them in a warehouse. Repurposing old, worn-out boxes exposes you to the risk of collapse and potential pest infestation.
You can generally obtain durable shipping boxes from hardware stores or similar retailers in your vicinity, such as Home Depot and Lowes. Many storage companies also offer moving supplies and superior-quality boxes for long-term storage, facilitating their customers’ needs.
In case you’ve engaged a moving company, do not hesitate to inquire if they can provide moving boxes either complimentary or for an additional charge. Your movers can also guide you regarding the number of boxes required for your move, given that you provide them with the size of your living space and an approximate estimation of your belongings.
Essential packing materials to keep handy:
● Packing tape
● Packing paper, peanuts, or bubble wrap
Prior to loading your first shipping box, it’s advisable to group items of similar size and weight. For example, if you’re packing your living room, assemble all your small decorative items together. Group your gaming accessories if you’re packing your recreation area, and gather all your kitchenware when dealing with the kitchen. This method simplifies packing as the items in a single box will be of similar size, shape, and weight. Furthermore, unpacking becomes easy when items belonging to a specific room or section are already grouped together.
Pro Tip: Use colorful tissue paper to wrap small decorative items as you go. This way, you don’t accidentally discard anything while unpacking!
When packing non-fragile items in shipping boxes, make sure to effectively use all available space. Boxes that are not adequately filled might collapse when stacked. Fill any remaining space with smaller items that won’t break or add extra packing paper to ensure each box is tightly packed before sealing. For fragile items, ensure a minimum of two inches of packing material on all sides.
Your shipping boxes should not exceed a weight of 30 pounds. To stick to this weight limit without over or under-filling, use small or medium-sized boxes for heavy items like books. For lighter items like bedding, utilize large cardboard boxes.
Investing extra time to wrap and protect your breakable items can be the deciding factor in whether they reach your new destination intact. It’s better to cushion delicate items in your shipping boxes with protective material than to leave too much space for them to shift around and potentially break during transit. Store dishes and plates on their sides, never flat. If you stack cups and bowls, ensure to place paper or padding between each piece.
While most small, non-furniture items can be packed into standard-sized boxes during a move (with appropriate protection, of course!), certain items are better left outside a shipping box:
● Video game consoles, laptops, tablets, and other electronics
● Personal documents containing sensitive information
● Valuables such as jewelry, family heirlooms, and antiques
● Art pieces like paintings, small statues, sculptures, and other fragile art
● Perishable food items that can be overlooked amidst the moving chaos
For an added layer of protection for your breakable items, consider using dividers to section off your shipping boxes. These dividers provide excellent protection for your glassware and stemware and are available in different, customizable sizes. Wrap your glasses with packing paper or bubble wrap, then place them between the dividers. These dividers are also great for fragile decorative items and other delicate decor items.
Once each shipping box is packed, seal it with strong packing tape. Here’s a straightforward tutorial on how to tape a shipping box:
● Wrap the tape across the top of the box with the flaps.
● Next, wrap another piece of tape across the top of the box against the flaps.
This method prevents the shipping box from collapsing when stacked, which ultimately helps protect your belongings inside.
Lastly, clearly label each box with its room and contents. Labeling not only aids you but also makes your movers more efficient, which could save you money!
Determining the optimal time to start packing for a move can be tricky. As a general rule, it’s advisable to start packing about 4-6 weeks in advance. However, your answer might vary based on your specific situation.
Can you take a leave from work to prepare for your move? Or are you executing the entire moving process in a single day? If you have ample time or aren’t moving a lot of stuff to your new place, you might only need to start thinking about packing a few weeks out. For example, moving into a fully furnished apartment or your partner’s already-established house requires much less preparation and packing than moving into a completely empty house on your own.
If you’re anxious about the process or want to get a head-start, it’s never too early to begin packing for a move. Just ensure to keep all your necessities and essential items easily accessible in the meantime!
When stacking your boxes on the moving truck or in a self-storage unit, ensure you place the heaviest ones at the bottom. You want your shipping boxes to have a lower center of gravity to prevent them from tipping over unexpectedly. Plus, keeping heavier boxes on the bottom means less heavy lifting for you.
If you place heavy boxes on top of lighter ones, the light boxes will inevitably buckle under pressure. As those boxes collapse, the heavy boxes will fall to the floor, and everything inside will be at risk of breaking.
Stacking your shipping boxes is not the time to play a real-life game of Tetris. The goal is to protect your belongings, not to see how many items you can fit into a tiny space. Staggering how you stack your shipping boxes so they lay like bricks will help create a sturdy pile that can stand without falling.
Storing shipping boxes in your self-storage unit is only effective if you can easily locate what you need. By creating aisles when you stack your boxes, you always have access to the back of your unit, making it easier to find things no matter where in the room they’re located.
Packing for a move or preparing items for shipping doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With this comprehensive guide, packing your shipping boxes properly will be as easy as pie. We hope these handy tips help you pack your belongings, protecting your items during the move, and storing any additional boxes long-term. Best of luck with your upcoming move!