An empty cardboard moving boxA bit of organization and forethought not only makes packing easier, it makes unpacking a breeze as well. Here are some packing tips from the pros:

Gather packing supplies before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop half-way through a packing session in order to get more supplies.

Pack one room at a time. Avoid mixing things from different rooms in the same box; it will make unpacking more time-consuming.

Pack clothing, shoes and linens in your suitcases. Also, most moving companies will let you leave clothing in dresser drawers, but be sure to remove anything that is breakable or will slide around in the drawers.

Pack small, breakable items in small boxes and place them into a large box. Clearly label each box (large or small) with your name, its general contents, an arrow indicating which side is up, “Fragile” if contents are breakable, and which room each box belongs in. Refrain from noting anything valuable (silver, jewelry, etc.) on the outside of a box.

Have area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They will return from the cleaners rolled, wrapped, and ready for shipping.

Use different colored labels for family members or corresponding rooms to make unpacking quicker.

Use small boxes for heavy items (books, small appliances), large boxes for light ones (pillows, lampshades), and medium boxes for everything in between. Heavier items should be placed at the bottom, lighter ones on top. A good rule of thumb is for packed boxes to weigh less than 50 pounds.

When disassembling furniture, put hardware in a sealed plastic bag and affix it to the corresponding piece (however, do not apply tape or any adhesives directly to polished or painted wood surfaces). Keep tools you’ll need to reassemble furniture in a separate box that is clearly marked.

Do not use standard garbage bags! They rip and tear too easily. If you’re going to pack linens and clothing in garbage bags, purchase the thicker, heavy ones to ensure they don’t burst during the move. Or double up.

Never pack flammables or combustibles.

Keep an inventory list of each box and its contents. This will be necessary if a box goes missing and you need to make a claim.

Of course, if all this seems like a lot of work and you’d like some help getting packed up, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves. :-)

Our thanks to nuttakit at for the photo, and Martha for the information used in today’s blog.