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  • Michelle Mathena

Top Packing Tips When You Have Hired Professional Movers

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Top Packing Tips When You Have Hired Professional Movers

Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful, and using professional movers can make the process easier. However, packing your items correctly is crucial to ensure their safety during the move and to make your move more efficient. Improper packing is a primary reason why items get damaged during a move, and it's important to note that moving companies usually won't be held liable for any damages inside boxes unless they performed the packing. To make sure you are properly prepared, here are some helpful tips for packing boxes when working with professional movers.

Start Packing Early

One of the most important tips for packing, when you have hired movers, is to not wait until the last minute to start. Starting early will allow you to take your time and pack in a more organized and efficient manner, which can ultimately save you time, money, and stress. By starting early, you can also make sure that all of your items are properly packed and labeled, making it easier for the movers to move them safely to your new home. Additionally, starting early will give you the opportunity to declutter and get rid of any items you no longer need, which can reduce the amount of stuff you have to move and make the process smoother overall. So don't procrastinate - start packing as soon as possible!


Another important tip to keep in mind when preparing for a move with professional movers is to declutter and sort through your belongings before packing. Take the time to go through each room and determine what items you no longer need, use, or want. Consider donating, selling, or disposing of these items before you start packing. Not only will this make your move more efficient and cost-effective, but it will also help you start fresh in your new home with only the items you truly need and cherish. Remember, less stuff means less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack.

Pack the Items Used Least First and the Items Used Most Last

Start by packing the things you use the least, such as items in a storage area or seasonal decorations. This allows you to get a head start on packing and minimizes any last-minute rush. Additionally, it's a good idea to plan on packing items that you use every day last. This ensures that you have access to these essential items right up until the day of the move. Consider packing a separate box or bag with all of the daily essentials you'll need during the move, such as toiletries, medication, phone chargers, and snacks.

Make Sure Packing is Done Before Moving Day

Have all your packing done before the movers arrive. This will save you time and ensure that the moving process runs smoothly. If you find yourself overwhelmed with packing, don't hesitate to let your movers know right away. They may be able to make arrangements to assist you with the packing process. Additionally, if you don't want to deal with packing at all, you can let your movers know when you schedule your move to arrange for packing services.

Buy the Right Packing Materials

It's essential to have the right packing materials to ensure your belongings are safe and secure during moving. When it comes to purchasing boxes and packing materials, opting for free or cheap alternatives may seem like a money-saving solution, but it can actually put your belongings at risk. This could end up costing you more in the long run if your items get damaged during the move.

Don't skimp on the quality of the boxes you purchase. Choose sturdy boxes that can withstand the weight of your items and won't collapse during the move.

Order moving boxes in a few different sizes. It's best to avoid using a hodgepodge of assorted boxes and instead opt for uniform box sizes. Boxes that are similar in size are easier to stack and arrange in a cube when packing the moving truck. Packing a moving truck is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, and uniform boxes make this process much simpler.

Consider investing in specialty boxes, such as dish packs and lamp boxes, for fragile or oddly-shaped items. These boxes are designed to protect specific items during moving and can save you the hassle of having to replace broken items after the move.

In addition to boxes, you will need good-quality packing materials to protect your items during the move. Stock up on packing tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap to keep your items safe during moving. Avoid using newspapers to wrap items as the ink can transfer onto your belongings.

Resist the Urge to Pack Items in Garbage Bags

It's important to resist the urge to use garbage bags for packing. While it may seem like an easy solution, garbage bags are not sturdy and can place other items in the moving truck at risk. The shifting weight of the bags can cause the load to become unstable and potentially damage other items. In addition to the risk of causing the load to shift, garbage bags also cannot be stacked in the moving truck as boxes can. This means that they take up more space and can make it difficult for the movers to efficiently pack and load the truck. When using boxes, they can be stacked securely, maximizing the space in the truck and reducing the number of trips needed to transport your belongings. By opting for sturdy boxes over plastic bags, you can help the movers pack your items more efficiently and reduce the risk of damage during the move.

Pack Items in the Correct Size Boxes

It's crucial to pack your items in appropriate box sizes. To ensure ease of moving, heavy items like books should be packed in small boxes, while lighter items like linens can be packed in larger boxes. Ideally, you should use a combination of small and medium-sized boxes instead of overloading large boxes to minimize the risk of injury to the movers. Remember, packing too many or the wrong items in large boxes can make them challenging to lift, undermine their stability, or potentially cause harm to the movers.

Pack Your Boxes Full But Don’t Overstuff

When packing your boxes, aim to fill them up completely without overstuffing them. Use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill any gaps and keep your items snugly in place. If there is too much empty space in the box this can cause your items to shift around during transport and potentially get damaged. Additionally, packing boxes full makes it easier to stack them safely. When boxes are only partially full, they can be unstable and difficult to stack without toppling over. By packing the box full, you can create a sturdy foundation that makes it easier to stack boxes on top of each other without worrying about them tipping over.

Properly Tape Boxes Closed

To ensure a smooth move with professional movers, it's essential to close and tape your boxes securely before they arrive. Leaving boxes open can limit their placement in the moving truck, as nothing can be stacked on top of them. This can lead to a more time-consuming process of organizing items in the truck. By properly closing and taping your boxes, you can help make the loading process easier for the movers and protect your belongings during your move.

Label Boxes

When packing for your move, it's important to label your boxes. It makes the unpacking process easier, helps your movers know where to place each box in your new home, and makes them aware of any boxes that need to be handled with extra care. Use a marker to label the top and several sides of each box with large letters indicating which room they belong in. Be sure to indicate any boxes containing fragile items or those that need special instructions such as “this end up”.

Don’t Pack Items That Can’t or Shouldn’t Be Transported in the Moving Truck

To avoid damage, potential safety hazards, and other issues, it's crucial to identify items that cannot be transported by your movers. Some examples of these items include hazardous materials like cleaning solutions, chemicals, and batteries, perishable items like food and plants, and sentimental or valuable items like jewelry or important documents. It's also important to check with your moving company about their specific policies and restrictions on what can and cannot be transported.

In conclusion, packing your items correctly is crucial for a successful move. By following the tips mentioned above, you can make your move more efficient, cost-effective, and less stressful. Starting early, decluttering, and packing items used the least first are just a few ways to make the process easier. Purchasing high-quality boxes, packing materials, and avoiding using garbage bags are also essential to ensure the safety of your belongings. Finally, make sure to have all your packing done before moving day to save time and ensure a smooth moving process. With these tips, you'll be well on your way to a successful move with your professional movers.

Blog authored by Michelle Mathena, President of Under One Roof, a local moving company in Chicago. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the moving industry. Under One Roof has had thousands of satisfied customers since 1982.

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