Perhaps you’ve chosen to use a moving company but would prefer to pack your own belongings. Called a self-packed move, this type of move is a little more economical but still delivers the same exceptional customer service for loading and delivery of your belongings. It’s still a great deal easier than loading everything in your car or driving a large box truck. Let’s look at a few tips for self-packing.
1. Use your clothes. Instead of buying huge rolls of bubble wrap, most clothing works well to pad your breakables. This is especially true of winter wear and other fluffy clothing. If it keeps you cozy, you can definitely use it as a shock absorber.
2. Are boxes returnable? Check with your moving company. If they have a policy that allows you to return unused boxes, use it! Order double what you think you’ll need to pack your house and simply return the unused boxes to the store for a full refund when you’re finished. Why? We almost always underestimate our belongings, especially those hidden in cabinets and drawers. No one wants to stop mid-packing to run out for more boxes.
3. There are alternatives to purchasing boxes! Do you have a stack of plastic totes with nothing in them? Fill them up with your belongings. This is especially handy if they have locking handles! You may also check with local grocery stores and department stores for oversized or oddly-shaped boxes.
4. Cable ties are your friend. Have piles of cords or connectors that need to move with your electronics? Have jewelry without boxes to keep it in? Cable ties keep tiny bits and pieces together. They’re also great for sealing zip-top bags, drawstring bags that have lost their string, and large plastic storage bags.
5. Pack your scale last. That way you can weigh your shipment as you pack it. This allows you to have a fair idea of how much weight you’re shipping.
6. Dishes stack. Never ship your dishes packed on their side. Always place them stacked, as you would have them in a cupboard. This protects against edge chipping and gives them more room to distribute any shock. Place a kitchen towel between each dish for further protection.
7. Make your own inventory list. If you label boxes with a number and correlate it to a list, you’ll be able to find move-in day necessities in an instant.
8. Leave whole rooms together. Once you finish packing for the day, leave the boxes in the same room you packed them in. Boxes are typically loaded together as they are stacked. If they are all from the same room, they will be delivered in the same manner. You can then sort them more easily.
9. Allow the movers to wrap and pad the big stuff. Though we know this is a self-pack move, the movers are still going to be the ones moving the items out to the shipping crates. You may or may not be allowed to help, depending on the company involved. However, we recommend that you stay back. The movers are pros at padding your piano against your mattress. Let them work.
10. Work within your limits. Don’t try to hoist your king-size mattress by yourself. If you need help putting a zipper bag around your mattress, simply ask the movers for assistance when they get there. In very few situations will they say no to simply holding a large, bulky item for someone who cannot possibly hold it on their own. However, if you have many of these items, reconsider a self-packed move and upgrade to a mover-packed move.