Many people are so annoyed by the process of moving, they just get free or cheap moving boxes and throw their possessions in them without a lot of thought. But that’s a recipe for disaster. If you want your possessions to arrive at your destination in good condition, you have to get the right kind of moving boxes and pack them correctly. The tips below will help you do just that:
- Start with Sturdy Boxes Free boxes from the grocery store or other sources will be fine to use, as long as they’re sturdy and clean. Watch for food remnants if you use boxes that formerly held products or other food products. It’s also a good idea to shore up the tape on just about all the boxes, because you don’t know how banged up they may have been before you got them. You can also ensure you have clean, sturdy containers by buying cardboard moving boxes and assembling them yourself.
- Construct New Cardboard Moving Boxes Correctly If you buy flat cardboard moving boxes, make sure you construct them by using sturdy clear or cloth tape. Don’t use the standard tape you keep on your desk, because it will never hold. Use a long piece of tape across the bottom seam of each one of the moving boxes to hold it together, and then use two pieces of tape in a criss-cross pattern across the seam. Make sure you allow at least four inches of tape to go up the sides of the boxes to make stronger tape-to-box bonds. If the boxes will be shipped a long distance or will be stacked with other boxes for moving, use the same criss-cross pattern across the top of the box to ensure stability.
- Use the Right Kind of Padding Always allow plenty of padding around fragile objects. Newspaper and plastic bags from the grocery store provide great padding inside moving boxes but you’ll want to use bubble wrap or plain packing paper to wrap each object. That will keep ink from the newspaper or plastic bags from transferring onto whatever you pack.
- Position Items Carefully in the Box Put the heaviest items on the bottom of the box and the lightest items on the top. Make sure to put padding underneath, in between and on top of all items within the moving boxes to protect the contents in case the boxes are stacked.
- Label Boxes Well Mark all the boxes for moving with the rooms they’ll be going to and their contents. The more detail you put on the box, the easier it will be to find everything when it comes time to unpack.
- Color Code Your Moving Boxes Color-coded stickers from the stationary store can be a big help when organizing. Pick a color for each room and put those colored stickers on the corresponding boxes. You can then stack all the same-colored boxes together while you’re packing, and load and unload them together. This will make it easy to sort the boxes by room at your destination.
Above all, remember that some moving companies have specific standards for packing and may refuse to load improperly packed boxes. So your best bet is to start with new moving boxes or at least used boxes that are in good shape, and use strong packing tape so you won’t have any problems when it comes time to load the truck.