Packing tips for your move.

How To Pack For a Move


Every day is moving day for Southern Utah Movers. As your family gets ready to go new places® SUMovers is ready with the know-how and tools to move you safely and easily. The packers and movers bring best practices to ensure your belongings travel safely as well. Follow these tips and techniques to reduce the costs from breakage that can occur during transit.

Six Tips to get started.

  1. Gather your Supplies. Select an area large enough to handle your biggest boxes. A strong table with a protective cover offers a good work surface. (We don’t recommend using your good dining room table.) Have your markers, tape and scissors nearby. Spread a generous amount of neatly stacked packing paper flat on your table.
  2. Pack Room by Room. Pack a couple of boxes a day, starting well ahead of the move. Pack one room at a time; this will make it easier to stay organized.
  3. Label Everything. Mark all boxes with room and a box number. Record these in a box identification log that shows the number of boxes packed per room and the total number of boxes packed. (Your SUMovers Van Operator will provide an official inventory during the loading process).
  4. Fill Boxes Safely. Use plenty of filling material in boxes; when in doubt, use more. Improper packing is the most common cause of breakage and damage during moving.
  5. Check Box Bottoms. Make sure bottoms of boxes are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
  6. Keep it under 50 lbs. Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Do not exceed 50 pounds per box; it makes moving them a lot easier. Remember: the heavier the item, the smaller the box you should use.

The most important thing you should know about packing…

Simply stated – there are things you can pack, there are items the pros should pack, and there are things the pros cannot pack for you. Plus, there are perishable and hazardous items that should not be moved (see non-allowable items here).

Use the same professional grade materials SUMovers does. Call an SUMovers Agent to get your materials. Find your local Agent here.

Material


Before you pack, you’ll need the right materials in the proper amounts. Not sure what you need to keep your belongings safe? An SUMovers Agent can tell you which packing materials, and how much are right for every item. All materials below can be purchased from your SUMovers Agent.

Packing Boxes

  • 1.5 cube (small)
    Books, magazines, photo albums, canned goods, grain products, hand tools and other heavy items
  • 3 cube (medium)
    Small lampshades, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, shoes, hats and small breakables
  • 4.5 cube (large)
    Medium lampshades and small or medium kitchen appliances
  • 6 cube (extra large)
    Large lampshades and other items too large to fit into 4.5-cube boxes
  • Dishpack (china barrel)
    Dinner place settings, stemware, crystal or glassware, figurines, table lamps, vases, small pictures, mirrors and glass shelves
  • Flat Screen TV Box
    Specially designed box that provides added protection when transporting a flat screen TV
  • Mirror (2 or 4 section)
    Pictures, artwork, glass tabletops (less than 7 square feet), dresser mirrors or other high-value items
  • Upright Wardrobe
    For garments or floor-to-ceiling drapes
  • Mattress
    Crib, twin, double and queen/king mattresses
  • Miscellaneous
    Pole lamps, golf clubs, fishing rods, rifles or shotguns

Packing Materials

  • Corrugated or Interleaved Sheets
    For placement between dishes, saucers or other flat items and used to construct cylinders for delicate items
  • Tissue Paper
    Stuffing fragile cups and goblets, wrapping delicate figurines or artificial flower arrangements
  • Non-tarnish Paper
    Wrapping silverware, brass and pewter items
  • Brown Kraft Paper
    Wrapping large items such as pictures, mirrors or lamp bases
  • Cushioned Paper
    Used for easily scratched items
  • Wax Paper
    For oil paintings
  • Bubble Pack or Foam Peanuts
    For high-value porcelain figures, model ships or large crystal carvings

Your SUMovers Agent can make custom boxes & crates for special and valuable items needing extra protection.

You might already have useful packing materials.

There are a few tools, like markers, that you probably already have in your house. A few weeks before your move, start keeping an eye out for:

  • Plastic bags for parts; labels for identification.
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or air-popped popcorn for filling spaces in boxes.
  • Tissue and kraft paper for wrapping items.
  • Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile pieces.
  • Heavy-duty packaging tape (1.5 to 2 inches wide) for sealing boxes. Do not use duct tape or masking tape.
  • Markers and labels for identifying contents in each box.
  • Notebook and pencil for logging boxes.
  • Scissors, sharp knife, or both.

No matter where you get your packing materials, follow these pointers.

  • Use only strong, corrugated boxes with tops or flaps that fold shut.
  • Packing boxes discarded by your local grocery store can save you money, but make sure they are clean.
  • If you use old newspapers for packing, be aware the ink may rub off and stain items.
  • SUMovers will inspect items before they go onto the truck to ensure everything has the proper protection for safe transport. Be prepared to repack a box if your SUMovers Agent doesn’t believe it’s packed safely.

Kitchen




Dishware (dinner plates, saucers, bread and butter dishes, etc).

  1. Prep the Box. Select a medium-sized box and line the bottom with crumpled packing paper.
  2. Cover the Plate. Center a single plate on your stack of packing paper. Grasp one corner of several sheets of paper at once and pull it over the plate. It should be completely covered.
  3. Stack and Cover. Stack a second plate on the first and, moving clockwise, grasp the next corner of the paper and pull them over the second plate. Stack a third plate. Grasp the remaining two corners and fold over the plates as you did the first two corners. For smaller plates, you may choose to stack greater quantities together. As a rule, make stacks no higher than the diameter of the dish.
  4. Wrap your Bundle. Turn the wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your paper. Re-wrap the entire bundle. Start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle; cover the bundle again by pulling on the next corner, then the third corner, then the fourth. For non-fragile plates, you can pack five or six to a bundle.
  5. Pack it Away. Seal the bundle with packing tape and place it in the box so the plates are standing on edge.


Cups and Bowls

  1. Position Cup. Position a single cup, bottom down, six to eight inches from one corner of your packing paper. Pull the nearest corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  2. Add another Cup. Nest a second cup inside the first cup, with the paper between the two.
  3. Pull and Tuck. Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck them inside the second cup.
  4. Roll and Pack. Hold the two cups together and roll them to the remaining corner. Place cups in a vertical position, lips down, near the top of the box. Do not stack heavy items on top of the cups.



Glasses and Stemware

  1. Stuff the Glasses. Before wrapping, stuff glassware and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper.
  2. Roll Them Up. Lay the item on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size). Pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the item and continue rolling to the far corner. You may use corrugated paper if you want added protection.
  3. Pack and Label. Place glasses and stemware toward the top of the box. (Place heavier items—dishware, pitchers, etc.—toward the bottom.) Position glasses vertically with lips down—never on their sides. As you pack each layer of a box, place crumpled packing paper in the gaps for a snug fit. Mark boxes Fragile, using labels supplied by your SUMovers Agent.

Unique Items


Some items are large, odd-shaped or simply require special attention to ensure their safe transit. Use these tips on packing TVs, appliances and more to help you protect them during your move.

Packing Appliances

  1. Stuff the Glasses. Before wrapping, stuff glassware and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper.
  2. Roll Them Up. Lay the item on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size). Pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the item and continue rolling to the far corner. You may use corrugated paper if you want added protection.
  3. Pack and Label. Place glasses and stemware toward the top of the box. (Place heavier items—dishware, pitchers, etc.—toward the bottom.) Position glasses vertically with lips down—never on their sides. As you pack each layer of a box, place crumpled packing paper in the gaps for a snug fit. Mark boxes Fragile, using labels supplied by your SUMovers

Packing Specific Items

  1. Barbeque grills. Wrap grates and briquettes separately in newspaper (or place briquettes in a grocery bag). Place in a box and pad with paper to minimize movement of the contents.
  2. Bedding. Fold and pack pillowcases, sheets, linens, and towels in clean, medium-sized boxes (3 cube). Pack blankets, quilts and comforters in large boxes (4.5 cube). SUMovers furniture movers will disassemble and set up most beds in your new home.
  3. Books. Pack on edge in small boxes (1.5 cube) and alternate the direction of the bindings with each layer of books. Keep the box weight under 50 pounds.
  4. Canned and non-perishable foods. Pack upright in small boxes, no more than 24 to 30 cans per box. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small boxes. If you don’t want to take any food to your new house, SUMovers can help you donate your food to Move for Hunger.
  5. Cars and motorcycles. Drain fuel to near empty. Disconnect the motorcycle’s battery. See that the automobile has sufficient antifreeze.
  6. Clocks. Remove or secure the pendulum.
  7. Clothing. Place dress clothes on hangers inside wardrobe boxes. Fold and pack other clothing in clean boxes.
  8. DVD and Blu-Ray players, Gaming Systems, and CD players and turntables. Pack these items in the original boxes if you have them. If you don’t, refer to the owner’s manual for proper packing. Wrap DVD players, CD players and turntables with an old blanket and place them upright in the box. To stabilize the laser on your CD player, replace the transport screws (usually located on the bottom of the unit). For your turntable, stabilize the platter to secure the changer and tone arm by tightening screws located on the top of the turntable. Label the packing boxes “Fragile” and “This Side Up”.

    Pack high-value items in the presence of your SUMovers Professional Van Operator or packing crew, so we can identify these items and write them on the inventory.

  9. Drapes and curtains. Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe boxes or fold and pack them in clean boxes. Remove curtains from rods, fold them, and pack in boxes.
  10. Electronic media (DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, software discs, records, audio cassette tapes and video tapes). Layer the bottom of a small box with shredded or crushed paper. Pack media in their protective sleeves or cases if available. Or wrap in tissue paper or plastic wrap to prevent scratching. Stand CDs, software discs and records on edge in boxes (do not lay flat). Brace at both ends using a hardback book, or layer pieces of cardboard to provide a snug fit. Fill in with paper as needed. Mark the box Fragile.

    We recommend you use a qualified third party to properly prepare home theaters and large electronics. Your SUMovers Agent can connect you with a specialist.

  11. Firearms. Notify SUMovers before you move if your shipment contains long guns or other firearms. Firearms must be unloaded, have legible serial numbers, and be packed in the presence of the SUMovers Van Operator.
  12. Home theater systems, TVs, surround sound and entertainment system components. It is best to use the original packaging when available. Consult your owner’s manuals for specific instructions.
  13. Lamps and lampshades. Remove bulbs, harps, and shades, and roll up the cord. Pack lamps with bedding, or wrap them separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined boxes. Wrap the harp and finial (top ornament) with packing paper and tape inside the box containing the shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper, and place upright in large, tissue-lined boxes.
  14. Mattresses. Typically, your SUMovers Professional Van Operator and crew will prepare these items, making sure they are fully wrapped, transported and stored flat. We take care not to stand them on end, because the layers can separate. SUMovers offers affordable boxes for your thick or memory foam mattress if you want extra protection. You can also help protect mattresses by covering them with old sheets or mattress covers and wrapping them in plastic wrap. Mark the box: Lay Flat – Memory Foam.
  15. Microwave ovens. Remove loose articles from the oven, such as cookware, glass or wire shelves and carousels. Wrap these and place them in a separate container. Tape the door shut in an X-pattern to protect the glass. Use the original manufacturer’s box if available; otherwise, follow instructions below for packing personal computers.
  16. Mirrors, paintings and pictures. Tell your SUMovers Agent if you have valuable paintings that require special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings and frames in unprinted newspaper or paper pads and place on edge in boxes or mirror boxes.

    Never place printed newspaper in contact with paintings; newspaper ink can smudge or damage your art.

  17. Personal computers (PCs, scanners, printers, etc.). Pack these in the original boxes if you have them. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated boxes and place protective padding inside the bottom of the box. Wrap the item with a blanket or protective pad and place it in the box. Place additional padding between the box and the computer. Wrap detachable cords separately, label them, and put them in a plastic bag. Place cords between the padded computer and the box.
  18. Rugs. Leave large rugs to be rolled up by your SUMovers Professional Van Operator and crew.
  19. Silverware. Wrap each piece in cloth or low-sulfur-content paper to prevent tarnishing. Wrap the silver chest in an old blanket or moving pad to prevent scratching.
  20. Tools and lawn equipment. Pack hand tools in small, strong boxes. Wrap separately if they are valuable. Drain oil and fuel from gas-powered tools such as leaf blowers, trimmers and chain saws. SUMovers will not transport flammables under any circumstances.
  21. Waterbeds. Drain the mattress completely. Grasp the internal baffle with the external vinyl and fold the mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid creases across individual baffles. Do not place your mattress in contact with sharp or pointed objects. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your SUMovers Agent if you have questions.

You can always call your SUMovers Agent for advice on packing specific items or have them do it for you.

No Pack List


  • Grandfather clocks. Your SUMovers Agent can call a qualified service provider to prepare your grandfather clock for transport.
  • Handguns. You are responsible for transporting handguns and ammunition.
  • Hot tubs. Your SUMovers Agent can contact a qualified service provider to drain your hot tub and prepare it for transport.
  • Medicines. SUMoversy if exposed to heat. Check with your pharmacist.
  • Perishable food. SUMovers cannot take perishable items.
  • Propane tanks. SUMovers
  • Flammables and combustibles. These are considered non-allowable items, and SUMovers will not transport them. Plan to dispose of these or give them away before you move.

Some items are large, odd-shaped or simply require special attention to ensure their safe transit. Use these tips on packing TVs, appliances and more to help you protect them during your move.

If you are moving yourself, it’s still a very good idea to leave Propane Tanks, and Flammables and Combustibles behind for your safety.

Unpacking


At your new home, your SUMovers crew places your furniture where you want it. They’ll carry boxes to the kitchen, bedrooms, basement and garage as marked. They’ll unroll rugs, reassemble beds, and place these in rooms as you have requested.

If you choose unpacking service, your SUMovers crew will unpack every plate, cup, glass and spoon, place them on the kitchen counter, and take away the packing material when they leave.


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