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Packing Checklist

The proper preparation of your possessions for loading is essential to the success of your move.  That is why most people prefer to have their household goods professionally packed.  If you elect to pack part or all of your goods yourself, here are some useful tips.


Before You Start 

  • Professional packers can pack an average household in one day.  It will take you much longer and you will have to start well before moving day.

  • The mover is not responsible for damage to goods in a carton which are not professionally packed.

  • If your packing is improperly done or if the condition of the cartons will cause damage, the mover can refuse to load the cartons until they are properly packed.

Prepare for Packing

  • Dispose of unwanted articles at a garage sale or donate them to charity.

  • Dispose of articles that may cause damage to the contents of the van or container. 

  • Prohibited items include: gasoline, propane, alcohol, any flammable items, aerosol cans not classified as personal toiletries, barbeque tanks, oxygen, fire extinguishers and fireworks.

  • Do not ship canned or bottled foods during freezing temperature or during times of extreme heat.  Use them up, give them away or donate them to a food bank.  Do not ship frozen food.

  • Sort and prepack the items you won’t use before moving day. Make a list of items that cannot be packed until the last minute.

Packing Materials

  • Rigid heavy-duty cartons of different sizes with good lids / closures.

  • Clean newsprint and tissue paper for wrapping and cushioning.

  • Tape, scissors, utility knife, felt markers, notepad.

Types of Cartons

  • 2 cu. ft. – Use for heavy items such as books, shoes, canned goods, small appliances, power tools.

  • 4 cu. ft.  – Use for toys, pots and pans, kitchen utensils.

  • 5 cu. ft. – For large, lightweight items such as bedding, pillows, clothes. Do not overload.

  • China Carton – Use for dishes, glasses, general kitchenware, knickknacks.

  • Wardrobe Carton – Equipped with a bar for hanging clothing and drapery.

  • Mirror Carton – Provides protection for mirrors, large pictures, flat screen t.v.’s.

  • Mattress Bags – available in all bed sizes.

How to Pack

China and dishes: Place a 7-10 cm (3”- 4”) layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a sturdy carton. Place several layers of wrapping paper on your worktable.  Place one plate on the paper and fold the corner of one or two sheets diagonally over the plate. Place another plate on top and fold another piece of paper over it.  Add two more plates in the same manner.  Fold the sides of the paper over the bundle and roll the plates, keeping the sides of the paper straight for a neat bundle.  Place bundles ON EDGE in the carton and pack them snug.  When you have completed a layer in the carton, place another layer of crushed paper over it.  Fill the carton, adding a layer of cushioning paper after each tier. Leave space at the top of the carton for a cushion of paper, then fold the top flat, seal with tape and label.

Cups, bowls and odd-shaped pieces: Wrap cups individually and protect handles with an extra sheet of paper. Place them upside-down with handles toward the inside of the carton.  Keep them at the top of the carton so there will be less weight on top of them. Wrap and nest bowls into each other and pack on edge.  Smaller items can be wrapped and nested inside bowls, pans, canisters, etc. Wrap sugar bowl lids in coloured paper and place upside-down on top of the bowl. Then wrap the bowl in two sheets of paper.

Small pictures and mirrors: Pack vertically in a carton, cushioned well with paper, linens or blankets.

Stemware, glasses, figurines: We strongly recommend that you have delicate and valuable items professionally packed. Wrap items individually and pack in celled cartons. Protect with plenty of cushioning.  Wrap wine glass stems first to cushion them, then wrap the entire glass into a bundle and place all glasses open side down in the carton. Mark the carton Fragile.

Silverware and stainless flatware: Wrap silverware individually, replace in silver chest, pad it well with paper or towels, and place at the bottom of the carton.  Wrap hollowware and other large silver pieces in clear plastic, then in clean paper, and pad well for packing. Stainless steel does not require special handling.

Lamps: Remove the bulb and harp and roll up the cord. Wrap the base, bulb and harp individually and place together in a carton.  Protect them with paper or small cushions wrapped in clean paper.  Do not allow the lamp to protrude above the height of the carton.  Several lamps may be packed together, provided there is plenty of cushioning.  You can nest smaller shades inside larger ones, but it is best to pack only one per carton.  Tiffany type and other glass shades and chandeliers should be professionally packed.

Paintings, large mirrors, glass tabletops, marble slabs: These items are easily damaged and should be packed or crated professionally.

Books, records, CDs and DVDs: Pack heavy items in smaller cartons. Wrap valuable books separately and pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Pack records, CDs and DVDs on edge on a layer of crushed paper.   Mark the carton Fragile.

Clothing: Fasten zippers and buttons to secure clothes on their hangers and place in wardrobe cartons.  Do not overload or pack anything else into the wardrobe. If you do not use wardrobe cartons, remove hangers, fold items and place in lined cartons. Use tissue paper between folds to prevent wrinkling.  Lightweight items such as lingerie may be left in dresser drawers.

Blankets, pillows, linens and towels: Pack in clean cartons or use as cushioning material.  Wrap good linens in tissue paper or put in dresser drawers.

Small appliances, pots and pans: Pack in original cartons or wrap them separately and pack into well-padded cartons. Each should be clean and free from food particles and grease.  Empty steam irons.

Artificial flower arrangements: Wrap carefully in plastic, tissue paper or paper towels and pack individually.  Mark the carton Fragile.

Drawers:  Remove valuables and anything that will leak or spill.  Stuff drawers with paper to keep articles in place.

Canned goods, preserves, small food packages: Use up as much food as possible before you move. Do not ship canned goods during freezing weather. Do not ship perishables. Avoid moving glass containers; if you must ship them, seal in watertight packaging and place upright in cartons.

Tools: Dismantle large tools for moving.  Wrap smaller tools and pack in small cartons since they are heavy. Remove all fuel from all gasoline-powered tools.

Plants: Movers do not ship plants.

Window coverings: Fold curtains and drapes lengthwise over a hanger, pin them securely and place in a wardrobe container. They can also be folded and packed in large cartons.

Mops, brooms, curtain rods: Bundle them together with tape or twine. You are responsible for removing drapery tracks, curtain rods and other items attached to the walls, ceiling or floors.

Rugs: Leave them flat on the floor. If they have just been cleaned, leave them rolled.


Packing Tips

  • No carton should be so large that it will obstruct the view when carried or be over 23kg (50lbs) when packed.

  • Do not over fill or under fill cartons; this practice increases the risk of damage. Tops must close flat and be sealed with tape.

  • Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top.  Pack articles snugly so they will not shift.

  • Cushion every carton with clean, crushed paper; on the bottom, between layers, at the top, and in any empty spaces between articles.

  • Pack small articles in small boxes and nest them into a large box.

  • Wrap fabrics and china in clean newsprint.

  • Wrap small articles in colored paper so they will not be discarded with packing material.

  • If you must ship liquids, fasten and tape lids, seal in a plastic bag and place upright in a carton.

  • Record the contents of each carton in a notebook. Label each carton with your name and room location.

  • Tape small pieces and screws to the item they belong to or put them in a carton labeled Set-Up Carton for easy access at destination.

  • Place items from desks and drawers in small, labeled cartons.  Loose clothing may remain in dresser drawers.

  • Place a Do Not Move sign on items which are to remain in the house.

  • Assign a place for suitcases and other items that are not to be loaded in the moving van or container.

  • Transport any valuables (jewels, furs, important papers, etc.) with you. We cannot accept responsibility for their shipment.

  • Roll and tie electrical cords so they will not tangle.

  • Prepare a Load Last-Unload First carton for things you will need as soon as you arrive in your new home.

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