Close

Get a FREE Quote Now

Call (877) 954-9969

How to pack for moving tips and guide

The Ultimate How to Pack
for Moving Tips and Guide

Packing to move house, whether your entire home contents and worldly treasures or just some of them, can be overwhelmingly daunting. Knowing how to pack for moving is an essential first step in planning and preparing for a successful stress-free move.

Our Ultimate How to Pack for Moving Tips & Guide is the definitive compilation of moving packing tips from over 85 years' of moving industry-leading experience.

Utilize this valuable guide to help you plan and prepare, as well as protect and secure, your treasured belongings for a safe move.

As the largest moving company in the world, with over 1,000 service centers across 180 countries, successfully delivering 48,000 international shipments annually, UniGroup Worldwide International Movers will help ensure your move overseas is safe, seamless and as stress-free as possible.

Moving with UniGroup safe, seamless and stress-free

Moving with UniGroup safe, seamless and stress-free

For your convenience, you may:

  • Insufficiently protected or improperly packed belongings is a leading cause of loss and damage during a move.
  • There are many factors that can contribute to inadequately protecting your belongings during transit, including incorrect wrapping, insufficient, poor quality or incorrect packing materials, under-filling or overloading boxes, and improper stacking and loading.
  • It takes extensive training and experience to properly pack and load household goods to ensure their safe and secure transit.
  • Movers are not liable for, nor does their insurance cover, loss or damage of belongings they do not pack.
  • For these reasons, and the fact that these risks are magnified ten-fold when moving overseas, UniGroup International Movers strongly advises that you enlist professional international moving packers for preparing and protecting your belongings for an overseas move. Don’t risk your personal treasures; entrust the professionals.

General Moving House Packing Tips

General moving house packing tips for moving overseas General moving house packing tips for moving overseas

Use these general moving house packing tips to ensure you start the packing process as prepared as possible and to avoid unnecessary stress:

  • Start with items that you don’t use often, such those stored in garages, sheds, roof spaces, basements and other storage spaces
  • Work logically, moving from room to room in a systematic manner. This way, the contents from each room will be packed simultaneously and you can keep boxes containing similar content grouped together, making unpacking much easier
  • Never pack items inside drawers or cupboards. This can damage both the packed items and the furniture and it makes lifting pieces of furniture difficult.

Invest in Superior Quality Packing Materials and Moving Boxes

Superior quality packing supplies are a must. Second-hand boxes, blankets and towels won’t properly protect your items when being shipped internationally. So, be sure to invest in mover quality packing materials and moving boxes:

  • Essential packing materials include:
    • Custom-made moving boxes of different shapes and sizes (small, medium, large and extra-large), as well as different types of boxes (closet boxes, electronics boxes, ‘Dish Pack Kits’ and ‘Glass Pack Kits’)
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • Zip-lock bags
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Rubber bands or zip-ties
    • ‘Fragile’ stickers
    • Sheets of pliable cardboard.
  • Always purchase more packing material than you think you’ll require. This way, you won’t run out and need to source additional materials halfway through the packing process. Many professional movers will happily accept the return of unused materials and provide a refund
  • Never use newspaper to wrap your belongings as the ink can run and leave stains. Opt for sheets of white packing paper (such as butcher’s paper) instead
  • Loosing small but important things, such as screws and nuts from furniture, can be a nightmare when unpacking. To keep small objects safe, use well-labelled zip-lock bags.

How to Prepare and Pack Moving Boxes

Keep these general rules in mind to ensure the safety and security of both your belongings and your movers when packing boxes for moving house:

  • Moving boxes need to be reinforced with tape at the bottom, top and along all sides
  • Be sure to distribute weight evenly within each moving box; pack heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top to make carrying each box easier and safer
  • Never overload boxes; it increases the risk of breakage. Each box should weigh a maximum of 20kg (45lbs) and be able to be carried by one person
  • Limit movement within each box. Pack all the way to the top of the box, where practical, as the contents themselves will help reinforce the box when stacking.Use bubble wrap, bedding, towels, clothing or packing paper to fill in empty spaces to help prevent your belongings from shifting (and breaking) during transit
  • If you cannot easily tape down the flaps at the top of a box, the box is too full. Remove items until you can easily tape down the flaps
  • Choose the right box for the right job. Pack lighter items (like pillows and cushions) in large boxes, and heavier items (like books and CDs) in smaller boxes.

How to Create an Inventory and Labeling System When Moving

Creating inventory and labelling systems when packing to move Creating inventory and labelling systems when packing to move

A clear, consistent inventory and labeling system is essential when it comes to knowing how to pack for moving. Follow these rules to create an inventory and labeling system that helps make packing, moving and unpacking stress-free:

  • Devise an inventory and labeling system to make unpacking easier:
    • You can use a color-coded system that designates the location of your belongings. For instance, all boxes that belong in your kitchen might have a red label, while boxes that belong in your bedroom might have a green label
    • Create a priority system so you can easily tell which boxes need to be unpacked first. A good way to do this is to rate your boxes. For example, a rating of ‘ten’ might mean the box can be left until later (because it contains little-used books), while a rating of ‘one’ means it should be unpacked right away (because it contains often-worn clothing).
  • Label every box, and be specific with your labeling. Instead of labeling a box ‘Kitchen’, label it with ‘Kitchen - Dinner Plates and Placemats’. A specific label will make locating specific items and unpacking much faster
  • Compile a detailed inventory list that includes box numbers, contents and priority, so you can check off the pickup and delivery of your belongings.

How to Pack Delicate and Fragile Items for Moving

Packing to move delicate and fragile items overseas Packing to move delicate and fragile items overseas

Learning how to pack fragile or delicate items for moving requires both time and planning to ensure that your belongings arrive safe and sound. Follow our simple step-by-step process and take note of our more general tips for packing fragile items, so that you’re much closer to having all your precious items arrive intact.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Fragile Items for Moving

Superior quality packing supplies are a must. Second-hand boxes, blankets and towels won’t properly protect your items when being shipped internationally. So, be sure to invest in mover quality packing materials and moving boxes:

  1. Follow this step-by-step process for packing fragile items to help your precious items arrive safe and sound
  2. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new, double-corrugated, sturdy moving boxes, which are not too large. If possible, source specifically designed boxes from your mover. For instance, you can purchase ‘Dish Pack Kits’ and ‘Glass Pack Kits’, both of which are compartmentalized to accommodate either plates, saucers and bowls, or cups and wine glasses. In addition, these kits can come with foam padding to isolate items, ensuring even safer transportation
    • Individual sheets of pliable cardboard
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • ‘Fragile’ stickers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  3. Place the fragile item in the middle of your flat, clean working surface
  4. Assess the size and shape of the fragile item, taking into account any oddly shaped protrusions, such as handles on vases or stems on wine glasses, that might break or snap off easily
  5. Depending on the shape of the item you are wrapping, fill any ‘empty’ space (such as that in wine glasses, vases and china bowls) with scrunched up packing paper
  6. Individually wrap the item in white packing paper, fastening the ends securely with scotch tape so that the paper doesn’t unfurl
  7. Individually wrap the item in bubble wrap, fastening the ends securely with scotch tape so that the wrap does not unfurl while your items are in transit. Keep in mind:
    • Do not try to save on bubble wrap by wrapping multiple items in one sheet to create one ‘parcel’. Items wrapped together will likely move in transit and knock against one another, increasing the likelihood of breakage
    • Add additional bubble wrap to thin sections of fragile items, such as the handle of a vase or the stem of a wine glass.

    Remember that you’ll need to take extra care if you’re wrapping and packing heavy, pointy, or oddly shaped items that are also fragile. Bubble wrap may not be enough to protect these items—the bubbles may all pop during your overseas move, leaving your fragile items wrapped in plastic sheets, without the air bubble pockets for added padding and protection. In this situation, do not use bubble wrap. Instead, opt for layers of packing paper, as well as polystyrene packing peanuts.

  8. Place the wrapped item on a sheet of pliable cardboard. Place an identically-sized sheet of pliable cardboard on top of the item. Bend the cardboard ends so that they meet—it should almost feel like you’re wrapping the item in cardboard. Fasten the ends of cardboard securely with scotch tape to ensure the fragile item is as snug and stable as possible
  9. Select a moving box that will comfortably house your now paper, bubble wrap and cardboard insulated fragile item. While your fragile item should fit inside the box comfortably, there should not be too much ‘empty’ space left inside the box
  10. Prepare your moving box:
    • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
    • Ensure your box has a strong, yet soft base, on which your fragile items can land if they are jolted during international transit. To create this base, use either scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap.
  11. Carefully place your fragile item inside the box, so that it is lying on the safe base you’ve just created. Be sure to place your fragile item the ‘right’ way up. The ‘right’ way will depend on what the item is. For instance, glasses and vases should always be placed base-down (as if in use), while other delicate items might be better laid flat
  12. Eliminate empty spaces within boxes by adding extra packing paper or polystyrene packing peanuts
  13. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  14. If additional protection is required, then you can use the double-box packing method:
    • Follow all steps outlined above
    • Once the first box is closed and the lid is securely fastened with box tape, source a second, slightly larger box
    • Create a soft base in the second, slightly larger box using packing paper, bubble wrap or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Place the first, smaller box inside the second, slightly larger box
    • Fill the excess space with packing paper, bubble wrap or polystyrene packing peanuts to prevent movement
    • Close the second, slightly larger box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required.
  15. Clearly mark the outside of the box with a ‘Fragile’ sticker, as well as an arrow that demonstrates which way up the box needs to be placed
  16. When the moving team arrives at your home, ensure you point out all the ‘Fragile’ boxes.

General Tips for Packing Fragile Items for Moving

In addition to our step-by-step process, there are several packing tips for fragile items that will help keep even your most breakable items in one piece. These tips include:

  • Never use newspaper as packing material. The black ink in newspapers can quickly and easily stain precious and fragile items, particularly if these items are wrapped for weeks (or even months) on end during long sea freight voyages
  • Never use second hand boxes. The integrity of the cardboard simply cannot be relied upon when it comes to fragile, easily breakable belongings. Instead, invest in brand new, sturdy professional quality moving boxes—double corrugated, where possible
  • If you have multiple fragile items, using a separate box for each item is preferable. However, this may not always be feasible, depending on the size of the items being packed. If you package multiple fragile items in one box, ensure that:
    • Each item is individually wrapped
    • The heaviest items are placed in the box first
    • There is a protective layer separating each item. This protective layer might be a sheet of pliable cardboard or bubble wrap.
  • If your fragile items have pointed or sharp edges, use foam or cardboard coverings to insulate these edges
  • Never over-pack your boxes or make the packing too tight. You should be able to easily close the flaps without any bulges
  • Never leave any empty space inside moving boxes—your fragile items will move around in transit. Always use packing paper, bubble wrap or polystyrene packing peanuts to fill in empty space to keep your fragile and delicate items snug and secure.

When it comes to filling your boxes with packing materials, remember this rule: If you can shake it, you can break it! Fill your moving boxes until you don't feel your fragile item shaking around inside the box. But, don’t fill your moving boxes so much that you must push the polystyrene packing peanuts down to close the lid.

How to Create an Inventory and Labeling System When Moving

A clear, consistent inventory and labeling system is essential when it comes to knowing how to pack for moving. Follow these rules to create an inventory and labeling system that helps make packing, moving and unpacking stress-free:

  • Devise an inventory and labeling system to make unpacking easier:
    • You can use a color-coded system that designates the location of your belongings. For instance, all boxes that belong in your kitchen might have a red label, while boxes that belong in your bedroom might have a green label
    • Create a priority system so you can easily tell which boxes need to be unpacked first. A good way to do this is to rate your boxes. For example, a rating of ‘ten’ might mean the box can be left until later (because it contains little-used books), while a rating of ‘one’ means it should be unpacked right away (because it contains often-worn clothing).
  • Label every box, and be specific with your labeling. Instead of labeling a box ‘Kitchen’, label it with ‘Kitchen - Dinner Plates and Placemats’. A specific label will make locating specific items and unpacking much faster
  • Compile a detailed inventory list that includes box numbers, contents and priority, so you can check off the pickup and delivery of your belongings.

How to Pack Bowls and Plates for Moving

Packing bowls and plates for moving abroad Packing bowls and plates for moving abroad

Knowing how to pack a bowl or a plate for moving requires careful preparation, expert wrapping and lots of bubble wrap. Follow this step-by-step guide to help ensure your bowls and plates arrive intact:

  1. Collect all the packing materials you need, including:
    • Ample amounts of bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • Sheets of pliable cardboard
    • Double-corrugated boxes, which are specially designed to protect plates and bowls such as a ‘Dish Pack Kit’, which is compartmentalized to accommodate plates, saucers and bowls and comes complete with foam padding to enclose each item for even safer transport
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Wrap your bundles of three plates or bowls in bubble wrap
  3. Prepare your moving box:
    • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
    • Ensure your box has a strong, yet soft base, on which your plates and bowls can land if they are jolted during international transit. To create this base, use either scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap.
  4. Place the wrapped bundles of plates or bowls into your moving box:
    • Plates should be inserted sideways (rather than flat) because they can withstand more pressure
    • Always pack larger and heavier plates and bowls on the bottom of the moving box, with lighter items towards the top of the box.
  5. Always pack plates vertically rather than stacking them in piles on top of one another. By packing plates vertically, you reduce the pressure that is placed on the center of each plate (which is usually thinner china), particularly the pressure on the plates at the very bottom of the pile. By reducing this pressure, you reduce the risk of damage due to shocks and movement whilst in transit.

  6. For added protection, insert sheets of pliable cardboard between ‘bundles’ to prevent scuffing during transit
  7. If you intend to create multiple layers inside your moving box, be sure to insulate each layer with scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap
  8. Fill in any empty space with additional packing material or bubble wrap
  9. Add a layer of scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap to the very top of the box
  10. Securely tape the box shut
  11. Clearly mark the outside of each box with ‘Fragile’, as well as an arrow that demonstrates which way up the box needs to be placed.

How to Pack Glasses and Mugs for Moving

Packing glasses and mugs for an international move Packing glasses and mugs for an international move

Knowing how to pack a glass or mug for moving requires preparation, careful wrapping and, above all, lots of bubble wrap. Follow this step-by-step guide to help ensure your Favorite mug is delivered unbroken:

  1. Assemble all the packing materials you’ll need, including:
    • Ample amounts of bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • Sheets of pliable cardboard
    • Double-corrugated boxes, which are specially designed to protect plates and bowls such as a ‘Dish Pack Kit’, which is compartmentalized to accommodate plates, saucers and bowls and comes complete with foam padding to enclose each item for even safer transport
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Ensure all your glasses and mugs are thoroughly washed and dry
  3. Wrap your glasses and mugs one-by-one:
    • Spread out a large sheet of packing paper on a flat surface
    • Place the glass or mug in one corner of the sheet
    • Roll the glass or mug diagonally to the opposite corner, stuffing the packing paper inside as you roll until it is completely covered
    • Encase wineglass stems in a folded sheet of paper before wrapping the entire glass in bubble wrap or packing paper.
  4. Prepare your moving box:
    • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
    • Ensure your box has a strong, yet soft base, on which your glasses and mugs can land if they are jolted during international transit. To create this base, use either scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap.
  5. Place the wrapped glasses and mugs into your moving box:
    • Glass and mugs should be inserted the right way up (the way they are used)
    • Always pack heavier glasses and mugs on the bottom of the moving box, with lighter items towards the top of the box
    • For added protection, insert sheets of cardboard between each mug and glass to prevent scuffing during transit
    • Once you have filled one layer of the box, add a layer of scrunched up packing paper before loading a second layer of glasses and mugs.
  6. Fill in any empty space with additional packing material or bubble wrap
  7. Add a layer of scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap to the very top of the box
  8. Securely tape the box shut
  9. Clearly mark the outside of each box with ‘Fragile’, as well as an arrow that demonstrates which way up the box needs to be placed.

How to Pack Cutlery and Silverware for Moving

Packing cutlery and silverware for moving overseas Packing cutlery and silverware for moving overseas

Need to know how to pack cutlery and silverware? Ensuring that your utensils arrive in one piece without damaging your other household items with their sharp edges can be time consuming. You’ll need to thoroughly clean and dry your cutlery, bundle and wrap according to type, place into a cutlery tray, and then wrap the entire tray safely and securely. Luckily, our steps below run through all these steps in detail to make packing cutlery and silverware for moving a breeze:

  1. Assemble all the packing materials you’ll need, including:
    • Ample amounts of bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • Sheets of pliable cardboard
    • Double-corrugated boxes, which are specially designed to protect plates and bowls such as a ‘Dish Pack Kit’, which is compartmentalized to accommodate plates, saucers and bowls and comes complete with foam padding to enclose each item for even safer transport
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Thoroughly clean your cutlery and silverware
  3. Place your silverware in bundles according to utensil type (knife, fork, or spoon)
  4. Wrap each bundle individually in packing paper, securely fastened with scotch tape
  5. Place each bundle into a silverware tray (such as that in your kitchen drawer)
  6. Wrap the entire silverware tray in bubble wrap and securely tape shut
  7. If you do not have a silverware tray, place your wrapped bundles of cutlery flat inside a moving box, and pack with other kitchen utensils
  8. Fill in any empty space with additional packing material or bubble wrap
  9. Add a layer of scrunched up bundles of packing paper or multiple layers of bubble wrap to the very top of the box
  10. Securely tape the box shut
  11. Clearly label the outside of the box with its contents
  12. When packing sharp chef’s knives, take extra safety precautions:
    • Use packing paper to enclose all sharp edges
    • Alternate the directions of the blades as you place the knives into your moving box
    • Ensure the packet is clearly labeled with ‘Knives’ and ‘Sharp’.

How to Pack Kitchen Appliances for Moving

Packing kitchen appliances for moving overseas Packing kitchen appliances for moving overseas

Follow our tips and tricks to pack and protect your expensive kitchen items and appliances during transit.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Kitchen Appliances for Moving

Kitchen appliances can be fragile, particularly if they have small, sensitive parts that are made from glass. So, you need to ensure that they’re packed properly to arrive at your new home in perfect working order. Follow this step-by-step process to help you pack kitchen appliances for moving:

  1. Consult user manuals for manufacturer advice regarding packing for transport. If you haven't kept the manual, you may be able to download an electronic copy by searching the internet for the make and model of the appliance
  2. Take some time to find the original packaging in which the kitchen appliance came in. This packaging was designed to protect the appliance, and will be best at absorbing shocks and impact during shipping. You may even wish to contact the manufacturer and purchase specifically-designed packaging. Many manufacturers offer this service
  3. If you no longer have the original packaging, ensure that you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap and white packing paper (sometimes called Butcher’s paper)
    • Rubber bands or zip-ties
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new sturdy moving boxes. If you’re packing electrical appliances from your kitchen, use electronics boxes supplied by your mover. Electronics boxes are specially designed to safely transport items such as blenders, toasters and coffee pots
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  4. Unplug the appliance and neatly roll up the power cord; fasten the cord with rubber bands or zip-ties
  5. Disassemble the appliance and remove any smaller parts, such as the plate in a microwave and the blades from a blender
  6. If you’re packing appliances that contain water (such as coffee makers and coffee pots):
    • Drain the appliance
    • Ensure the appliance is thoroughly dry. Ideally, the appliance should be left to dry overnight before being packed.
  7. Thoroughly clean and dry the appliance, particularly any smaller, individual parts
  8. Wrap any smaller parts separately in packing paper or bubble wrap
  9. If possible, place the appliance (its user manual and any cords or detachable parts) inside the original packaging (both the box and any polystyrene packing material) in which the appliance was purchased—this will provide the best possible protection during transit
  10. If you didn’t keep the original box:
    • Lay out a sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap and place the appliance on top. Completely wrap the appliance (as you would a present) and securely fasten with scotch tape
    • Select a box of a similar size to the original packaging. If you’re packing an electrical kitchen appliance, use an electronics box supplied by your movers
    • Line the bottom of the box with packing paper or bubble wrap
    • Place the appliance in the middle of the box, keeping heavier components at the bottom of the box, and lighter pieces on the top
    • Place the user manual inside the box
    • Fill any gaps with scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap.
  11. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  12. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Kitchen – Blender’. Also, be sure to label the box ‘Fragile’ and which side is ‘Up’

How to Pack Clothes for Moving

Packing clothes for international moving Packing clothes for international moving

Want to know the best way to pack clothes for moving? Follow our simple yet comprehensive process for packing clothes to move, as well as a few additional general clothes packing tips below.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Clothes for Moving

Follow this step-by-step process to save time and stress when packing clothes for moving:

  1. Declutter your closet by emptying your cupboards, dressers and drawers, and laying all your clothing out on your bed. Look objectively at each item to determine whether it’s worth bringing abroad. Be ruthless. Use the ‘One Year Rule’: If you haven’t worn an item of clothing in a year, then it’s time to say goodbye. Create four piles: keep, sell, donate, and throw-away, by using the following criteria:
    • Not needed: If you’re permanently moving overseas to a climate that is perpetually warm (such as that in South East Asia), you likely won’t need as many winter coats or wool sweaters
    • Not fashionable: Fashion trends change quickly and you likely own items of clothing that will never come back into fashion
    • Not in good condition: If you own pieces of clothing that are ripped, torn or damaged beyond repair, (or not worth the cost of repair) now is a good time to dispose of them
    • Not wanted: Maybe the item of clothing looked good in the store, but you never actually wore it, or maybe you’ve lost weight and it no longer fits. Whatever the case may be, reduce your shipping cost by disposing of excess clothing.
  2. Once you’ve completed the decluttering process, dispose of each unwanted ‘pile’ accordingly:
    • Sell them on eBay, Gumtree or have a garage sale
    • Donate them to charity
    • Make a trip to your local trash dump
    • Set aside any items of clothing that you might be able to use as packing material to protect fragile or breakable items in other moving boxes. For example:
      • If you’re packing long items, like golf clubs or floor lamps, you might be able to wrap them in the legs of old sweat pants
      • If you’re packing large serving plates, you might be able to wrap them in old shirts or sweaters
      • If you’re packing glasses or mugs, you might be able to wrap them in socks.
  3. Thoroughly wash and dry all the items of clothing you’ve decided to keep. If you pack dirty clothes, it may be impossible to remove stains and odors once they are unpacked
  4. Set aside items of clothing that you’ll need immediately on arrival in your new home. If you’re moving overseas, you’ll want to pack these items of clothing in your luggage to take with you on the plane or ship them separately by air freight. Keep in mind that if you’ve opted to use sea freight, your shipment can take months to arrive—you may need to set aside clothing for multiple seasons
  5. Determine the best way to categorize your clothing to make packing and unpacking quicker and easier:
    • By material: Natural fabrics and cotton are susceptible to creasing and silk is very delicate, so you will need take care when packing them. In contrast, synthetics and polyesters are quite robust and can even be used as padding in other boxes
    • By season: Classifying and packing your clothes by season will make unpacking in your new home easier, particularly if you’re moving to a different climate
    • By size: Pack long pieces (like full-length skirts and dresses) together in a hanging closet moving box, and t-shirts packed together in a ‘normal’ moving box
    • By purpose: You may want to pack your casual attire and active wear in one box and work clothing in another to make locating specific items and unpacking simple.
  6. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface
    • Brand new, sturdy boxes—if possible, purpose-made clothing moving boxes are the best. You can even invest in closet boxes that will allow you to keep your clothes on hangers during transit so they arrive less wrinkled.

    The weight of clothing is often underestimated. It is better to pack your clothes into more small boxes rather than fewer large boxes. If your boxes of clothing are too heavy, they will be difficult, and possibly dangerous, to carry and you run the risk of the bottom falling out, spilling your clothes everywhere. To make sure your clothing boxes aren’t getting too heavy, lift the box occasionally while you’re packing, and if it’s getting too heavy it’s time to start a new box.

  7. Select an appropriately sized moving box. If you wish to ship your clothing while still on hangers, professional movers will be able to supply you with closet boxes. These have a detachable bar across the top of the box from which you can hang clothes. These boxes minimize folding and creasing, but be sure to obey any weight restrictions—you don’t want the bar to break mid-shipment, leaving your clothes in a big heap at the bottom of the box
  8. Prepare your moving box for packing:
    • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
    • Place a layer of clean packing paper across the base of the box to protect your clothes from any dust, dirt or debris inside the box.
  9. Place your clothing inside your moving boxes. There are multiple ways to do this:
    • Folding: The most obvious and often used method when it comes to packing clothes is simply folding them. It is quick, easy, and safe for most types of clothing
    • Rolling: This packing method can save space and help prevent wrinkles in your clothing
    • Bundling: In this technique, you lay the largest item of clothing (like a jacket) face down on a clean surface. Then, place another small piece of clothing (like a t-shirt) on top and so on and so on. Once you have a small bundle, you fold all the items up together and fasten with string
    • Vacuum sealing: You can vacuum seal clothing to maximize the space inside each of your moving boxes. Remember that leaving clothes vacuumed sealed for a long period of time can damage natural fibers, such as cotton. So, if you’re shipping your goods internationally over a long distance, which may take months, you may want to avoid vacuum sealing.
  10. Place mothballs or clothing-safe insect repellant inside your moving boxes to prevent infestations of pests and other insects
  11. Eliminate empty spaces within boxes of clothing by adding extra packing paper or polystyrene packing peanuts, but take care not to over-fill the boxes
  12. Close the box and secure the lid with as much box tape as required
  13. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, if you’ve decided to pack by ‘Season’, your box label might be ‘Summer Clothes – Maxi Dresses and Skirts’.

General Tips for the Best Way to Pack Clothes for Moving

In addition to the simple-to-follow process above, there are also several ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ that you should be aware of when it comes to the best way to pack clothes for moving, including:

  • Never leave clothes inside drawers or closet. This makes the pieces of furniture heavier than normal, difficult to move, and more likely to fall over in transit, and therefore at more risk of damage
  • Do not transport clothing inside plastic bags. Without air, some types of clothing and materials can become musty and moldy
  • Pack hats separately and stuff them with packing paper (or other items of clothing) to help them keep their shape
  • Place small items of clothing, like socks and underwear, inside shoes to make the most of all available space and help shoes hold their shape
  • Some clothes are bigger than they first appear and will take up significantly more room in your moving boxes than you initially expect. So, be sure to have more moving boxes on hand than you expect to need. A professional mover should offer refunds on unused moving boxes, so it shouldn’t cost the earth.

How to Pack Shoes for Moving

Packing shoes for moving Packing shoes for moving

When it comes to the best way to pack shoes for moving, following our thorough method will help you complete the task quickly and easily. Plus, our shoe packing tips should see your shoes arrive in the same condition in which they were packed.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Shoes for Moving

The best way to pack shoes for a move is:

  1. Begin by emptying your closet and laying all your pairs of shoes on your bed. Look objectively at each pair to determine whether it’s worth keeping them. Be ruthless. Use the ‘One Year Rule’: If you haven’t worn a pair of shoes in a year, then it’s time to say goodbye. Create four piles: keep, sell, donate, and throw-away, by using the following criteria:
    • Not needed: If you’re permanently moving overseas to a climate that is perpetually warm (such as that in South East Asia), you likely won’t need as many pairs of knee-high leather boots
    • Not fashionable: Fashion trends change quickly and you likely own pairs of shoes that will never come back into fashion
    • Not in good condition: If you own shoes that are damaged beyond repair or not worth repairing, now is a good time to dispose of them
    • Not wanted: Maybe the shoes looked good in the store, but you never actually wore them. Whatever the case may be, reduce your shipping cost by disposing of excess pairs of shoes.
  2. Once you’ve completed the decluttering process, dispose of each unwanted ‘pile’ accordingly:
    • Sell them on eBay or Gumtree, or have a garage sale
    • Donate them to charity
    • Make a trip to your local trash dump
  3. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new, sturdy moving boxes, which are not too large
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  4. Thoroughly clean and dry all shoes, particularly leather shoes. Leather can hold moisture, which can cause mold and mildew inside your moving boxes

    Air out shoes (preferably outside in direct sunlight) for a couple of days before packing. This will help ensure that your shoes are completely free from moisture to prevent mold and mildew build up. Although you may not realize, shoes (particularly leather shoes) can hold moisture, such as sweat. To be on the safe side, you may even want to coat the inside of your shoes with foot powder to help draw as much moisture out of the fabric as possible.

  5. Set aside any pairs of shoes that you’ll need immediately on arrival in your new home. If you’re moving overseas, you’ll want to pack these shoes in your luggage to take with you on the plane or consider shipping them separately by air freight. Keep in mind that if you’ve opted to use sea freight, your shipment can take months to arrive—you may need to set aside shoes for multiple seasons and reasons
  6. Stuff the inside of each shoe to ensure that it maintains its shape. You can use packing paper or bubble wrap as stuffing or even pairs of socks. Just be sure not to use newspaper as stuffing material—it can leave black ink stains on your shoes. If you’re packing boots, be sure that they are stuffed all the way to the top
  7. Wrap each shoe in packing paper to protect it from scuffing during transit
  8. If you have the original shoe box:
    • Line the original shoe box with packing paper
    • Place the wrapped shoes inside
    • Fill any empty gaps with packing paper or bubble wrap
    • Tape the shoe box shut
    • Select an appropriately sized moving box, and prepare your moving box for packing:
      • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
      • Place a layer of clean packing paper across the base of the box to protect your shoes from any dust, dirt or debris inside the box.
    • Place the sealed shoe boxes inside your moving boxes, placing heavier shoes (such as hiking boots) on the bottom and lighter shoes (such as high heels or flip flops) towards the top.
  9. If you do not have the original shoe box:
    • Place the stuffed, wrapped shoes into moving boxes, keeping heavier shoes (such as hiking boots) at the bottom and lighter shoes (such as high heels and flip flops) at the top
    • Alternate the direction of the shoes to help save space
    • Be sure to lay boots horizontally (rather than standing them upright).
  10. Place mothballs or clothing-safe insect repellant inside your moving boxes to prevent infestations of pests and other insects
  11. Fill any empty gaps with packing paper or bubble wrap
  12. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  13. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Shoes – Heels and Boots’.

General Tips for Packing Shoes for a Move

In addition to the steps above, keep the following general tips in mind to help ensure your shoes arrive safe and secure:

  • Although it may be tempting, never throw your shoes in pile in the bottom of a moving box. You’ll likely discover they’ll be damaged and unwearable on arrival
  • Always separate your shoes from your clothes by packing them in different moving boxes. Even the cleanest of shoes can create marks and stains on clothing, particularly over long periods
  • Never pack shoes in plastic bags. There are several reasons why:
    • Plastic bags tear, which can result in your shoes getting scuffed and scratched
    • Plastic bags provide little protection for the integrity of your shoes, which means your shoes are more likely to be crushed
    • Plastic bags trap moisture, which can cause mold and mildew to grow on and in your shoes
    • If the temperature inside the shipping container is too high, plastic bags can melt, and stick to your shoes.
  • Always pack shoes in pairs to avoid headaches when it comes to unpacking.

How to Pack Books for Moving

Packing books for moving abroad Packing books for moving abroad

Need to shed some light on how to pack books for moving? Packing books for moving house can be fraught with difficulties, from ripped pages and tattered covers to broken spines and dog-eared corners. Follow our step-by-step guide and more general tips and tricks on the best way to pack books.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Books for Moving House

Packing books to move? Follow these steps to assist in making the task easier and have your books arrive in pristine condition:

  1. Take this opportunity to sort through your books. Given the weight of books, moving them overseas can be an expensive exercise. So, any books that you no longer need, are not likely to read again, and hold no sentimental value can be donated to charity, sold or thrown away
  2. Once you’ve decided which books you need to pack, sort them into piles of similar sized books. It is much quicker and easier to pack similarly-sized books together in the same box. You may wish to use the following categories:
    • Large paperback books
    • Small paperback books
    • Large hardcover books
    • Small hardcover books
    • Children’s books.
  3. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new, double-corrugated, sturdy small moving boxes
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  4. Books are heavy, so select a sturdy, reinforced, corrugated cardboard moving box. This box should be smaller in size so that:
    • It can easily be lifted by a single person
    • You avoid over-packing, which can result in a box that is too heavy and more prone to breaking or crushing other boxes during transit.
  5. Assemble and prepare the box for packing:
    • If the box is still flat, assemble it and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary, particularly to the bottom of the box. Given how heavy book boxes can be, you don’t want the bottom of the box to give way—you can never use too much tape
    • Use scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the box, creating a soft bed for your books to rest on. This step is particularly important if you’re packing leather bound or hardcover books with dust jackets—it will help protect the surface from dust, dirt and other debris.
  6. If the books are valuable (such as first or limited editions, or have great sentimental value), wrap each book individually in packing paper and fasten with scotch tape—just as if you are wrapping a present. You can then wrap each book in a layer of bubble wrap, fastened with tape for added protection.
  7. If you’re packing hardcover books:
    • Place each book into the box in an upright position, with its spine resting on the side of the box, just like how you’d place a book on a shelf
    • Pack the books tightly within the moving box (to reduce movement in transit), but not so tightly that they will be damaged when removing them from the box.
  8. If you’re packing paperback books:
    • Place larger, heavier books on the bottom of the box
    • Place each book into the box, lying flat
    • Alternate the direction of the spines of the books.
  9. Fill excess space with bubble wrap or packing paper. Resist the temptation to use small objects (such as knick-knacks or remote controls) to fill any excess space. Small objects can be jostled in transit, quickly damaging pages and covers
  10. Place small silica gel packets inside the box to help wick away any moisture.

    In the months leading up to your overseas move, collect every packet of silica gel you can possibly find. These handy little packets soak up moisture and water. So, by slipping a couple of packets into every box of books, you can help ensure your books stay dry, and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. You can find silica gel packets in new shoe boxes, in electronics equipment packaging, and even in some food packets; they’re also relatively inexpensive to purchase new.

  11. Place a final layer of scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap on top of the books to line the box. As at the beginning of the process, this step will help protect your books from dust, dirt and other debris
  12. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  13. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Paperback Books – Romantic Novels’
  14. Once the box is sealed, move it to higher ground, rather than leaving it on the floor. Moisture and condensation can quickly damage books.

General Tips for Packing Books to Move House

There are a few universal truths when it comes to packing books for moving. These tips should provide added protection to help your books arrive intact:

  • To prevent warping and damage to pages, never pack books:
    • Resting on their spine, with the pages facing upwards
    • Resting on the side directly opposite their spine, with the pages ‘dangling’ down.
  • Take extra care with expensive bound books:
    • Individually wrap each book in both packing paper and bubble wrap before placing inside moving boxes
    • Separate each book with pieces of pliable cardboard to ensure spines remain straight and covers undamaged while in transit.
  • Always be careful when lifting boxes filled with books. They can be one of the heaviest types of boxes that you’ll move.

How to Pack Makeup and Toiletries for Moving

Packing to move makeup and toiletries Packing to move makeup and toiletries

Want to know how to pack makeup and toiletries for moving? Packing toiletries and makeup when moving house is a complicated process, particularly given the high risk of breakages, spills and leaks. You’ll need to separate your makeup into categories (wet, dry and hard), individually wrap each item, and place each item into zip-lock bags wrapped in bubble wrap before popping them into a sturdy moving box. We’ve compiled a step-by-step process covering all these tasks in detail below.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Makeup and Toiletries for Moving

Packing makeup can be fiddly and time consuming. Follow the below steps to help keep your lipsticks, eye shadows and nail polishes in perfect condition:

  1. Clean out your makeup cases and drawers. Makeup has an expiration date, and chances are, many of your products have already expired and should no longer be used. See How to Tell If Your Makeup Has Expired below. Some approximate examples include:
    • Powders (such as blush, bronzer and foundation): two years
    • Stick concealer: two years
    • Pencil eyeliner: two years
    • Lipstick and lip liner: one year
    • Oil-free foundation: one year
    • Cream eye shadows, blushers and bronzers: one year
    • Liquid eyeliner: three months
    • Mascara: three months
    • Makeup sponges: two weeks.
  2. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap, white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper), or polystyrene packing peanuts
    • Plenty of zip-lock bags
    • Glad wrap
    • Rubber bands
    • Cotton wall balls or cotton pads
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new sturdy moving boxes, which are not too large
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  3. Set aside your ‘every-day use’ makeup and toiletries. You’ll want to pack these items separately in the luggage that you take with you on the plane. That way, you’ll be able to use them immediately on arrival
  4. Separate your remaining makeup and toiletries into categories:
    • Wet items, such as liquids, creams and gels (liquid foundations, moisturizers, perfume, and so on) that could spill or leak
    • Dry items, such as powders (bronzer, blush, eye shadow, and talcum powder)
    • Hard items, such as makeup brushes, hair brushes, and so on.
  5. repare and wrap wet items:
    • Unscrew the lid of items and use a layer or two of saran wrap to cover the opening
    • Fasten the saran wrap in place using a rubber band
    • Screw the lid of the item back on
    • Place two to three items (depending on their size) inside a zip-lock bag. For efficiency and to save space, it’s best to place similar size and shape items in the same zip-lock bag. For instance, one zip-lock bag for all your lipsticks and lip glosses and another for all your moisturizers
    • Ensure that the zip-lock bag is securely closed.
  6. Prepare and wrap dry items:
    • Open the lid of the item
    • Place cotton pads or balls inside the compact to help absorb any impact while in transit
    • Close the lid, placing a rubber around the item to keep it firmly shut
    • Place two to three items (depending on their size) inside a zip-lock bag. For efficiency and to save space, it’s best to place similar size and shape items in the same zip-lock bag. For instance, one zip-lock for all your eye shadows and another for blush and bronzers
    • Ensure that the zip-lock bag is securely closed.
  7. Prepare and wrap hard items:
    • Depending on how fragile the items that need to be packed are, begin by wrapping each one in either packing paper or bubble wrap, which should be securely fastened with scotch tape
    • Place two to three items (depending on their size) inside zip-lock bags, ensuring that the bag is securely closed.
  8. Wrap each zip-lock in a layer of bubble wrap, fastening it securely with scotch tape.
  9. Label each bubble wrapped parcel using permanent marker, so that you know what’s inside when it comes time to unpack
  10. Assemble and prepare the box for packing:
    • If the box is still flat, assemble it and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary, particularly to the bottom of the box. You don’t want the bottom of the box to give way—you never use too much tape
    • Line the entire box with plastic. You can use either plastic sheeting or a trash bag. By lining the entire box, if something does break while in transit, you should prevent it oozing through the cardboard box and onto any other nearby boxes
    • Use scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the box, creating a soft bed for your makeup to rest on.
  11. Place each bubble wrapped parcel inside your moving box, with heavier parcels on the bottom of the box
  12. Fill excess space with bubble wrap or packing paper
  13. Place a final layer of scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap on top of the makeup to line the box. As at the beginning of the process, this step will help protect your makeup and toiletries from dust, dirt and other debris
  14. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  15. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Makeup – Eye Shadows and Lipstick’.

How to Tell if Your Makeup Has Expired

As it’s not mandatory for makeup companies to include an expiration date on products, it can be difficult to know if makeup has expired. There are, however, a few telltale signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Nail polish: If the polish begins to separate, chances are it’s expired
  • Liquid foundation: Again, if this begins to separate, it’s likely expired
  • Powder foundation: If the powder becomes flakey or the surface becomes hard and dry, the product is likely expired
  • Concealer: If the product starts to change color, it’s time to dispose of it
  • Blush, bronzer and eye shadow: If these are difficult to apply or the pigment starts to change color, it’s time to dispose of them
  • Mascara and liquid eyeliner: With a shelf life of just three months once opened, mascara and liquid eyeliner breed bacteria, particularly if you pump the wand in and out of the tube, forcing air inside. If mascara or eye liner turns clumpy or smells, it has expired
  • No matter what type of product it might be, a terrible odor is a sure sign that your makeup is off and should be thrown away immediately.

General Toiletries and Makeup Packing Tips

In addition to our step-by-step process for packing makeup and toiletries, there are a few more general tips that will keep all your treasures in tip-top condition:

  • If you’re packing makeup or toiletries that might stain other items, like self-tanning products, be sure to:
    • Double and even triple wrap them
    • Pack them in a separate zip-lock bag (or two!).
  • If you still have the original packaging in which the item was sold, leave it intact. After all, this packaging was specifically designed to protect the contents. Simply wrap the item, packaging and all, in a layer of bubble wrap and place inside your moving box
  • Make sure you confirm any customs rules and regulations. You may find that some items cannot be shipped overseas. For instance, some countries may not allow the importation of flammable items (such as nail polish and nail polish remover) or might impose strict requirements around their importation.

How to Pack Electronics for Moving

Packing electronics safely for an international move Packing electronics safely for an international move

If you need to know how to pack electronics for moving, look no further. Follow our recommendations and your expensive electronic equipment will be better protected and much more likely to arrive in one piece.

Step-by-Step Process for Packing Electronics for Moving

Electronics can be fragile, sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and expensive. So, you need to ensure that they’re packed properly, will survive transit, and arrive at your new home in perfect working order. This step-by-step process will help you pack electronics for moving:

  1. Consult user manuals for manufacturer advice regarding packing for transport. If you haven't kept the manual, you may be able to download an electronic copy by searching the internet for the make and model of the appliance
  2. Take some time to find the original packaging in which the electric appliance was sold. This packaging was designed to protect the appliance and will be best at absorbing shocks and impact during shipping. You may even wish to contact the manufacturer and purchase specifically-designed packaging. Many manufacturers offer this service
  3. If necessary, use the services of a qualified electrician to uninstall and safely remove any wall-mounted audio-visual equipment, such as televisions and speakers
  4. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap and white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper)
    • Rubber bands or zip-ties
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Brand new sturdy moving boxes (if you can’t find the original packaging). If possible, use electronics boxes supplied by your mover. Electronics boxes are specially designed to safely transport items such as DVD players, home entertainment systems and speakers
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.

    Always opt for anti-static packing materials like bubble wrap when wrapping electronic devices and appliances. Electronics can be sensitive to static electricity.

  5. Take a photo of the appliance while it is still set up, especially if it has multiple cords at the back or a difficult wiring configuration or set-up. This will make reassembly much easier
  6. Be sure to remove:
    • All batteries, as battery acid can leak and cause damage
    • CDs, DVDs, USBs, and games from computers, TVs, consoles and other media devices and tape the drives shut
    • Ink cartridges from printers.
  7. If you’re packing computers:
    • Back-up all files
    • Ensure passwords are difficult to crack
    • Vacuum the back of computer equipment to remove excess dust.
  8. If you’re packing appliances that contain water (such as coffee pots, irons, and coffee makers):
    • Drain the appliance
    • Ensure the appliance is thoroughly dry. Ideally, the appliance should be left to dry overnight before being packed.
  9. Unplug all power cords (after taking a photo of the wiring configuration, as per step four) from the appliances and electronics, labeling them as you go. This can be done simply with color coding; place a colored sticker on each cord, and a correspondingly colored sticker on the port it plugs into. Eight different colors should be plenty. Once unplugged, neatly roll up all cords and fasten with the rubber bands or zip-ties
  10. Remove any detachable parts (such as remote controls, speakers from sound systems, bases from coffee pots, and so on). Wrap these detachable parts separately in packing paper or bubble wrap
  11. If possible, place the appliance (its user manual and any cords or detachable parts) inside the original packaging (both the box and any polystyrene packing material) in which the appliance was purchased—this will provide the best possible protection during transit
  12. If you didn’t keep the original box:
    • Lay out a sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap and place the appliance on top. Completely wrap the appliance (as you would a present) and securely fasten with scotch tape
    • Select a box of a similar size to the original packaging, preferably an electronics box supplied by your mover
    • Line the bottom of the box with packing paper or bubble wrap
    • Place the appliance in the middle of the box, keeping heavier components at the bottom of the box and lighter pieces on the top
    • Place the user manual inside the box
    • Fill any gaps with scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap.
  13. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  14. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Electronics – Living Room DVD Player’. Also, be sure to label the box ‘Fragile’.

General Tips on How to Pack Electronics for Moving

Remember the following general tips for packing electronics when moving to help ensure peace of mind that your household treasures will arrive in full working order:

  • Place all small items like remote controls inside one specific box designated ‘Electrical Appliance Parts Box’, so they are not lost during your move. Be sure to label this box clearly, and to keep a detailed inventory of its contents to avoid misplacing any vital parts
  • When it comes to unpacking your electronics, remove them from all the packing material and then leave them to rest for a few hours at least before plugging them into power. This will enable them to reach room temperature (preventing damage to cables and power cords) and give their internal mechanisms time to settle
  • Always pack electronics in an upright position
  • Never pack speakers next to anything with a hard drive as the magnet in the speakers can erase and damage the drive.

How to Pack Artwork, Pictures and Mirrors for Moving

Packing to move artwork, pictures and mirrors overseas Packing to move artwork, pictures and mirrors overseas

Learning how to pack artwork, pictures and mirrors when moving presents a unique set of problems. Not only are these items large and difficult to maneuver, but the very elements meant to provide protection (namely the frame and the glass pane) can damage your art while in transit. To keep your artwork safe, you’ll need to protect the surface of the artwork by applying an ‘X’ in box tape as well as pliable cardboard sheets, affixing corner protectors to the frame, wrapping the art in bubble wrap, and placing it inside a sturdy moving box marked ‘Fragile’.

With much more detailed information on each of these steps, our guide on how to pack pictures and mirrors is sure to assist, as are our tips on topics like how to pack an oil painting, and how to pack a canvas painting.

Step-By-Step Process for Packing Paintings, Mirrors and Pictures

Use this step-by-step guide to help ensure your paintings, mirrors and pictures are packed properly for moving, so that they arrive safe and sound:

  1. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap and white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper)
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Permanent markers
    • Sheets of cardboard
    • Custom crating or specifically-designed moving boxes
    • Glassine paper (if you’re packing oil paintings)
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Carefully remove the artwork or mirror from the wall and lay it flat on your clean working surface
  3. If you’re packing a mirror or a piece of art with a glass pane, use box tape to create a large X across the surface. This will help prevent breakages by strengthening the surface
  4. Cover the surface of the glass or the mirror with a sheet of glassine, particularly if you’re packing an oil painting, to protect the surface
  5. Cover the glassine with a sheet of cardboard. This sheet should be large enough to completely cover the mirror or glass, but not so large that it is bigger than the frame itself. You may need to cut the cardboard down to size
  6. For additional protection for the corners of frames, purchase and affix cardboard corner protectors, specifically designed for this purpose
  7. Wrap the mirror or artwork in bubble wrap. For extra protection, it’s a good idea to wrap it both vertically and horizontally. Secure the bubble wrap with scotch tape, making sure that the tape is not stuck to any part of the artwork, mirror, or frame, as the glue on tape can leave permanent marks or stains
  8. Assemble and prepare the box for packing:
    • If the box is still flat, assemble it and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary, particularly to the bottom of the box. You don’t want the bottom of the box to give way—you can never use too much tape
    • Use scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the box, creating a soft bed for your artwork or mirror to rest on.
  9. Place the wrapped mirror or artwork inside the box
  10. Fill any empty spaces with bubble wrap or scrunched up packing paper. You can gently rock the box backward and forwards; if the mirror or piece of art moves, add some extra packaging material to prevent it from moving
  11. Securely tape the box shut
  12. Clearly mark the outside of each box with ‘Fragile’, as well as with an ‘up’ arrow illustrating which way the box should be kept
  13. Once the box is secure, leave it stacked on its side, rather than laying it flat. This way, if nearby boxes fall over, they won’t land directly on the surface of your mirror or artwork and smash the glass.

General Tips on the Best Way to Pack Pictures, Art and Mirrors for Moving

Keep these tips in mind when safely packing pictures, art and mirrors:

  • Make sure that you’re using the right kind of packing materials. Some packing materials can damage artwork. For instance, newspaper can leave stains on canvas, and certain types of parchment paper can scratch glass
  • Avoid using polystyrene packing peanuts. They can break up into tiny pieces and get stuck in behind the glass pane on pieces of art
  • If your artwork is loose inside a frame, the best way to transport it might be to remove it from the frame altogether, roll it up, and place it inside a cardboard tube. You can then wrap the frame separately in bubble wrap and place it inside a moving box
  • If you’re moving a particularly fragile, delicate or antique frame, arrange to have this professionally crated for the utmost protection.

How to Pack Lamps for Moving

Packing lamps safely for international moving Packing lamps safely for international moving

The process for how to pack lamps for moving can be difficult. Lamps are fragile and oddly shaped. The best way to pack lamps for moving is to approach the job in two stages: pack your lamp base, then pack your lampshade separately. Our step-by-step instructions will help ensure your lamp base arrives in pristine condition and your lampshade remains uncrushed and wrinkle free.

How to Pack Lamp Bases for Moving House

To safely and securely pack lamp bases for moving:

  1. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap and white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper)
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Permanent markers
    • Rubber bands or zip-ties
    • Brand new sturdy moving boxes
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Unscrew the fixture and carefully remove the lampshade. Set this to one side as you will need to pack it separate. See How to Pack Lampshades below for further information
  3. Remove and dispose of the light bulb. Depending on the country that you are moving to, incandescent bulbs cannot be shipped overseas due to customs and safety regulations. Plus, given how fragile light bulbs are, they probably won’t make it to your destination in one piece
  4. If you’re packing a floor lamp, dismantle it as much as possible. For instance, you may be able to unscrew the base from the stand and the stand from the fixture that holds the lampshade
  5. Bundle the cord in a neat arrangement, using a rubber band or zip-tie to keep it in place
  6. Wrap the base and power cord separately in packing paper or bubble wrap, securely fastening the wrapping with scotch tape
  7. Wrap the stand separately in packing paper or bubble wrap, securely fastening the wrapping with scotch tape
  8. Assemble and prepare the box for packing, keeping in mind that you will need a second, separate box for the lampshade:
    • If the box is still flat, assemble it and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary, particularly to the bottom of the box. You don’t want the bottom of the box to give way—you can’t use too much tape
    • Use scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the box, creating a soft bed for your lamp to rest on.
  9. Place the base and power cord in the moving box, keeping the heavier items at the bottom of the box
  10. Fill any empty spaces with bubble wrap or scrunched up packing paper
  11. Securely tape the box shut
  12. Clearly label the outside of the box with a detailed description such as ‘Main Bedroom Lamps – Bases and Stands’, as well as an arrow that illustrates which way up the box must be placed
  13. Move on to packing your lampshade as per the instructions below.

How to Pack Lampshades for Moving House

If you need to know how to pack lampshades, simply follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Ample amounts of packing material, such as bubble wrap and white packing paper (sometimes called butcher’s paper)
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • ‘Fragile’ stickers
    • Permanent markers
    • Brand new sturdy moving boxes
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface.
  2. Wash your hands. Lampshades are often quite light in color and can stain easily. After packing the base of your lamp, your hands might be dirty
  3. Select the right-sized box for your lampshade. It should be large enough so that there is 5cm (2 inches) of space on either side of the largest lampshade that you wish to pack
  4. Assemble and prepare the box for packing, keeping in mind that you may need a second, separate box if you wish to pack multiple lampshades in the same outer box:
    • If the box is still flat, assemble it and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary, particularly to the bottom of the box. You don’t want the bottom of the box to give way—you can never use too much tape
    • Use scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the box, creating a soft bed for your lampshade to rest on.
  5. To pack more than one lampshade in a box, use the ‘nesting’ technique:
    • Start with the smallest lamp shade you wish to pack, holding it by its rim, and place it inside the moving box
    • Spread a layer of plain packing paper across the entire lamp shade
    • Place the next lamp shade on top of the smaller one
    • Repeat the process until all your lampshades are packed.
  6. If your lampshade is made of silk or a similarly delicate material, do not use the ‘nesting’ technique—pack each shade separately, in its own box.

  7. Fill any empty space with packing paper or bubble wrap. As lampshades are fragile, do not pack any other items inside the same box. Even bedding and clothing (often used to fill empty space) can crush or damage a lampshade while in transit
  8. Add an extra layer of scrunched up packing paper or bubble wrap to line the top of the box
  9. Securely tape the box shut
  10. Clearly label the outside of the box with a detailed description such as ‘Main Bedroom Lamps – Lampshades’, a ‘Fragile’ sticker, and an ‘up’ arrow that illustrates which way the box must be kept.

How to Pack Soft Furnishings for Moving

Packing soft furnishings to move overseas Packing soft furnishings to move overseas

The process for how to pack lamps for moving can be difficult. Lamps are fragile and oddly shaped. The best way to pack lamps for moving is to approach the job in two stages: pack your lamp base, then pack your lampshade separately. Our step-by-step instructions will help ensure your lamp base arrives in pristine condition and your lampshade remains uncrushed and wrinkle free.

How to Pack Lamp Bases for Moving House

To pack sheets, blankets and towels for moving, simply:

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry all bedding, linen, blankets, sheets and towels. Damp items can cause mold and mildew to develop inside your moving boxes
  2. Ensure you have quality packing materials on hand. You will need:
    • Box tape and scotch tape
    • Box tape dispenser
    • Box tape refills
    • Box cutter
    • Scissors
    • Permanent markers
    • A large, flat, and clean working surface
    • Brand new, sturdy boxes.
  3. Select an appropriately-sized moving box and prepare your box for packing:
    • If packed flat, assemble the box and securely tape all flaps shut. Add as much additional tape as necessary. You can never use too much tape
    • Place a layer of clean packing paper across the base of the box to protect your sheets, blankets and towels from any dust, dirt or debris inside the box.
  4. Place your sheets, blankets and towels inside your moving boxes. There are multiple ways to do this:
    • Folding: The most obvious and often used method when it comes to packing sheets, blankets and towels is simply folding. It is quick, easy and safe
    • Rolling: This packing method can save space and help prevent wrinkles. For more information, see How to Roll Clothes for Packing (the same method can be applied to sheets, blankets and towels)
    • Bundling: In this technique, you lay the largest item (like a blanket) face down on a clean surface. Then, place another smaller item (like a towel) on top and so on and so on. Once you have a small bundle, you fold all the items up together and fasten with string
    • Vacuum sealing: You can vacuum seal sheets, blankets and towels to maximize the space inside each of your moving boxes. Remember that leaving sheets, blankets and towels vacuumed sealed for a long period of time can damage natural fibers, such as cotton. So, if you’re shipping your goods internationally over a long distance, which may take months, you may want to avoid vacuum sealing.

    Do not pack sheets, blankets and towels inside plastic bags during the packing process. Without fresh air, some materials can become moist, causing mold, mildew and musty smells to develop.

  5. Place mothballs or clothing-safe insect repellant inside your moving boxes to prevent infestations of pests and other insects
  6. Eliminate empty spaces within boxes of clothing by adding extra packing paper or polystyrene packing peanuts, without over-filling the boxes
  7. Close the box and securely fasten the lid with as much box tape as required
  8. Clearly label the outside of the box, including the exact contents. For instance, your box label might be ‘Bedding – Queen Size Sheets and Blankets’.

How to Pack Curtains for Moving

To pack curtains for moving, simply follow the process above, keeping in mind to:

  1. Vacuum and thoroughly clean curtains prior to moving. Investing in a professional steam clean is always a good idea
  2. Leave your curtains to air in the sun for a day. This will help remove any odors and will also help to kill any small insects that may be present
  3. You can use a closet box to move curtains, rather than folding, rolling or vacuum sealing them. Simply place the curtains over a padded hanger and fold them lengthwise to protect against wrinkling.

How to Pack Rugs and Carpets for Moving

To pack rugs and carpets for moving, simply:

  1. Vacuum and thoroughly clean rugs prior to packing and moving. If you can, investing in a professional steam clean is an even better idea
  2. Leave your rug to air in the sun for a day—hang it on a clothes line if possible. This will help remove any odors and will also help to kill any small insects that may be present
  3. Roll rugs and carpets into a long thin cigar shape, keeping the ‘fluffy’ side facing outwards to protect the backing of your rug. Never fold a rug or carpet—this weakens the fibers and you’ll find that you may never be able to remove the crease
  4. Once the rug is rolled into a cigar shape, tie the rug up using twine, which will ensure the rug stays rolled but won’t leave dirty marks or stains on its surface
  5. Wrap the rug in moving blankets or canvas. You can use heavy-duty plastic wrap, but keep in mind that plastic can cause condensation and moisture build-up if left in place for an extended period
  6. Unroll the rug as soon as possible to prevent permanent curling.

Disclaimer

We have been furnished with the above information, however, UniGroup Worldwide Moving gives no guarantees or undertakings concerning the accuracy, completeness, or up-to-date nature of the information provided. It is essential that users verify all information contained here before taking any action or relying upon it. UniGroup Worldwide Moving cannot be held liable for any actions taken based on the information contained within this Guide.