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10 Best Ways to Pack for a Move

You have your boxes and packing materials, but you aren't sure where to start. If you're relocating, here are 10 tips for how to pack for a move, to help ensure that all your items get there in one piece.

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boxSolis Images/Shutterstock

Heavy Items Go First

No matter what you’re packing, make sure the heaviest items go in the box first to ensure lighter items won’t be smashed or broken underneath the weight. Try to keep each box at less than 50 pounds, so you’ll still be able to pick them up and get them where they need to go. Here is how to move heavy furniture by yourself—use your head, not your back.

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Stack Dishes

When it comes to packing your dishes, Atlas Van Lines suggests the method “stack and cover.” Place a plate in the bottom of the box, then cover with packing paper before placing the next plate on the stack. “As a rule, make stacks no higher than the diameter of the dish,” the company says. Next, wrap the stack of plates upside down onto paper and re-wrap the bundle. Lastly, seal the bundle with packing tape and place it in the box so the plates are standing on edge.

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Keep Clothing in Drawers

If possible, keep your clothing in dresser drawers. While you’ll likely have to remove the drawers to make it easier to move the dresser, once the dresser is in the moving truck, you can place the drawers back in the dresser. Tape them shut if you have concerns about them coming out while in transit.

This step will create less work for you when it comes time to unpack.

Reduce your stress level by avoiding the 10 most common moving mistakes.

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Wrap Glassware

To safely pack glassware, you’ll want some newspaper, air-filled plastic wrap, Styrofoam peanuts and tape. Van Lines suggests wrapping each glass in air-filled plastic wrap and tape it so the wrap is secured. Layer newspaper or peanuts in the bottom of the box and place wrapped glasses in an upright position. Finally, layer a piece of cardboard or other packing material on the top and sides so the glasses stay upright.

If you’ve decided to make a new state home, make the transition less stressful by following these seven tips.

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Keep Furniture Hardware Safe

If you must disassemble any furniture for the move, an easy way to make sure you don’t lose any of the hardware is to tape it to the underside of the furniture itself. Gather up any loose bolts and screws, place them in a plastic sandwich bag, seal it up and tape it to the furniture (but not anywhere where the tape could ruin fabric or a wood finish). Don’t forget to include any assembly directions, if you have them.

Check out this zip-tie hack to secure moving bins.

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mirror Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Take Care With Mirrors and Artwork

If you’re moving a large mirror, Van Lines suggests putting tape across the front in an “X” in case the glass cracks or breaks. The tape will keep broken pieces from going everywhere. Wrap each mirror with newspaper or Bubble Wrap and put it in a box filled with lightly wadded newspaper.

For framed artwork, the same wrapping and boxing technique can be used.

Our ultimate guide will show you exactly how to pack those precious household items so they’re in tip-top condition when you reach your new home.

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Prepare Your Grill Properly

Since grills can be messy, be sure to thoroughly clean your gas or charcoal grill before moving. Allied suggests you then, “Fold and secure any drop-down parts and close the lid. Remove and pack attachments like shelves, rotisseries, side burners and anything else that was an add-on. Also, pack accessories like brushes, tongs and spatulas, and other lose items that you may have hanging on the grill. If your grill has a cover, you can leave it on, just be sure it’s clean of all debris.” Once you have the grill ready, Grunts Move Junk and Moving suggests wrapping the grill in a moving blanket to prevent scratches and other damage.

These super-smart yet simple handy hints will make moving so much easier.

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HammerEvgeny Starkin/Shutterstock

Pack Tools Safely

To pack up your tools, start by removing any detachable parts. Wrap the tool with air-filled plastic wrap or a clean rag to protect any sharp edges and place the tools in a box or tool caddy. Be sure to add packing material to secure tools in place so they don’t rattle around.

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Pack Lamps the Right Way

Because lamps are awkwardly shaped, it can be hard to find the right-size box. U-Haul offers a Lamp Box which not only works for moving lamps, but comes in handy for moving items such as vases and golf clubs. When you’re ready to pack your lamps, U-Haul suggests removing the bulb and shade, then wrap the cord and plug around the base of the lamp. Use Bubble Wrap to protect the base and place it in a box, upright. Fill the box with packing materials to prevent the lamp from shifting around.

Moving into a new house? Here are 20 things you need to do ASAP.

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Media Devices

For odd-shaped media devices, such as DVD and Blu-Ray players, CD players, turntables and gaming systems, Atlas Van Lines suggests packing these items in their original boxes, if you have them. If not, wrap these electronics in an old blanket and upright in a box.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.