Have plenty of supplies
You'll need LOTS of boxes, probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier!. Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You'll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you'll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly and simply return any unused supplies after everything is packed.
Mark all the boxes
Designate a letter or number for each room in the new home, such as "K" or "1" for kitchen, "DR" or "2" for dining room, etc. In your new home put a matching sticker with the letter or number on the door to each room. Our movers will know where to place everything when they arrive at the destination. It's also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, ("Boxes here please") to keep them organized and out of the traffic areas.
Limit boxes to a maximum weight of around 50 pounds to make handling easier and avoid injuries. Use small boxes for heavy items such as books and can goods and larger boxes for lighter, bulky items.
Wrap items carefully providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock. It's best to use sturdy boxes that close all the way. Be sure that the boxes are firmly packed and they do not rattle or bend inward.
Reserve parking for moving truck
If you are moving from or to a neighborhood where parking space is limited you may want to consider reserving parking space for the moving truck by either parking your own vehicles one day before your move date or by getting a parking permit issued to you by your local police department.
Remember that the closer the moving van to your door the faster loading and unloading can be achieved.
A good technique when packing the kitchen is utilizing a dish pack box and start with dishes. Have your packing paper laying flat next to you, start with the biggest dishes. Grab one and place it over the pile of paper facing downwards, fold the paper upwards creating cushion instead of folding them nice and perfect, then place is next to you with the cushion side down and repeat the process until you have a nice stack. Then place the pile sideways into the dish pack box. Continue repeating the process with the smaller dishes until you have covered the first layer of the box. You can divide and create extra protection by adding a square piece of cardboard and also divide your next layer of fragile items like small bowls or glasses working your way up with lighter items. You can continue with dishes or platters in a new box so that you can distribute the weight accordingly.
Dangerous household items are defined as anything flammable, explosive, corrosive, combustible liquid. Moving companies are required by law to refuse to move anything that fits these criteria. Make plans to either move these items yourself, or call your local recycling company or fire station to find out how you can properly dispose of dangerous items. Specific items defined as dangerous include:
Wood oil stains
Paint or varnish
Propane, butane, tanks or gasoline
Scuba diving tanks
Using boxes efficiently
Small box 1.5 CF.
Ideal for small heavy items such as books, canned goods, records, cd's, dvd's, vhs's. Also used for a variety of small items throughout the house.
Medium box 3.0 CF.
For packing small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, pantry items, toys, lamp shades, clothes and shoes.
Large box 4.5 CF.
Used for bulky items, large lamp shades, stuffed animals, pillows, bedding, clothes and towels.
Dish pack box 5.0 CF.
This heavy duty box is the right choice when packing china, plates and all glassware, porcelain, delicate decorations, art, electronics, computers and printers.
There are many things to organize when moving from a house or apartment. Being well organized and planning in advance can make things run smoothly. To ensure that your affairs are in order, it's better to notify a number of companies and services before moving. The following is a broad overview of some of these services and utilities.
U.S postal service mail forwarding or change of address.
The U S postal service offers a forwarding service, which will ensure that all of your mail is forwarded to your new address. It's very easy to setup in person or Online for your convenience. Even if you use this service, don't forget to notify others who send you mail regularly of your change of address. For more info you can visit www.usps.com
Electricity, gas, water and waste collection
Utility accounts in your old home will need to be either closed or transferred to your new place. Contact your electricity/gas service provider in good time to ensure that everything is working by the time you take possession of the premises. For gas and electric services in northern CA please visit www.pge.com and www.sce.com for southern CA.
Telephone and internet services
Telephone accounts can be transferred between old and new addresses like electricity and gas accounts, by doing so you'll have a working phone as soon as you move in. Likewise, if someone is moving into your old home immediately, you can transfer the account into their name. All the major telephone companies provide online relocation information and they will be able to answer any questions you may have about changing or setting up a new account. If you also have an internet connection, contact your service provider so you can organize your account in your new home.
Cable and digital television
If you subscribe to cable or digital television services, you will need to contact your service provider to either cancel your account or arrange for a service in your new home. You may be able to transfer your account from your previous address, depending on where you are moving you should check their website or contact them directly.
Department of motor vehicles (DMV)
You must report your change of address to the DMV within 10 days. You can do this online keep in mind that a new driver license, identification card or car registration will not be issued unless you go in person. More information can be found at www.dmv.ca.gov
Packing can take up a great amount of time. Keep in mind that it is just one part of your move. For your move, Ontrack Moving has all the correct materials. If you need any assistance with partial packing and/or unpacking, Ontrack Moving can provide that to you with the right team, tools and attitude to get the work done. If you have any special needs or requests, just be sure to talk to one of our moving consultants and we will work together with you to fit your needs at a price you are comfortable with.
Below you will find some packing advices that will help you make your move easy and smooth. Here are some helpful ways:
It’s Only The Beginning
- To save time and money with your move, before you begin packing, it’s wise to go through and get rid of any items you do not want. There are many things you can do with these unwanted items; simply throw them away, have a garage sale, sell them online, donate them or have Ontrack Moving provide you with disposal services.
- Make a checklist. or use our Moving Checklist on our site! Having a plan can lower stress and manage time better. Make sure you have enough boxes and packing materials. If you need to order these supplies, don’t hesitate to contact one of our moving specialists here at Ontrack Moving.
- First, pack the items you use the least. Pack your most frequently used items last, for easy access. Some items won’t be packed until last minute, as part of your final arrangements with us. Ontrack Moving can and will provide a service fully meeting your needs.
- Before you begin packing, you need to plan the organizing of your packing. Make a system for keeping track of your boxes. One easy way is to write on the box itself, or use labels. You can label it by room (i.e. “kitchen”) or by the items themselves. Make sure to keep a list to keep track of your items, and a numbering system to keep track of boxes. The more organized your approach, the easier it is for our movers to make the process fast and less stressful.
- Most of the time there will always be a box you need to unpack first. Mark that box clearly and largely with “Open First” or “#1” when you label your boxes.
- Almost every room requires some nails, screws, nuts and/or bolts for pieces of furniture or other items. Use a sealable Ziploc bag to keep these items together. Mark the baggie with a permanent marker labeling which room or item the parts belong to, and place the bag in the corresponding room box.
- Try not to over-pack your boxes, and make sure to seal the box with tape to make sure it is secure.
- There are certain items you should definitely not pack, these include:
Perishable foods, lighters, matches, paints & construction chemicals, ammunitions and firearms, fireworks, vehicle related chemicals, poisons, prescription medication, important documents and licenses. Our moving specialists at Ontrack Moving will provide you with a comprehensive list of items you cannot pack if you are unsure or have questions.
- If you have pets, be sure to check our page for tips on how to best handle your pets during your move.
- If you have a big aquarium for fish, speak to an aquarium specialist to help move this item and your pets. The fish are much more fragile and delicate than the aquarium itself, and it is vital that they safely make the trip.
How to Pack…
- Keep this in mind as you pack: the general rule of thumb is..." if it makes noise and clattering", it is not packed correctly. Make sure boxes are reasonably packed and secured for moving by testing them out and seeing what items should fit properly.
Where Should I Start?
- This can be the most difficult part. Once you start, you just want to keep going to get the job done.
A basement, garage, or spare room is the best place to begin. It gives you the time & peace, and not to mention space to practice packing up things that are not number 1 priority. From this point, you will know which room you want to pack next, and the rest will come. A good tip is to pack while listening to music; it helps pass the time and is a great motivator as well.
- Make sure you have bubble wrap and clean sheets of newspaper or packing paper, carefully wrap any glassware, china, and other fragile items. Protect each item separately and provide plenty of cushion to avoid breakages.
We offer special china and dish boxes, and highly recommend you use them. It will give you affordable packaging that won’t give way to the weight of your fragile items, and will make packing easy. If you decide to use your own boxes, make sure to put bigger plates at the bottom laying them sideways, and work your way up the box adding smaller items than the previous (think of a pyramid).
Make a cushion on the bottom of the box and use plenty of padding to cushion your items, such as bubble wrap or “plastic pellets.” By doing this, it prevents any breakage during your move. Mark the box as “FRAGILE” so you and your movers know to be extra cautious while handling it. Remember to place larger items at the bottom, and one the item is in the box, use more padding to prevent it from moving around.
- Silver is a quite sensitive metal, and will spoil or stain after overexposure to air. Keep that in mind when packing your silverware, and work fast, but thoroughly. Wrap each silverware item in a clean tissue paper, then wrap that in packing paper, and finally place in the appropriate box.
Plates and Bowls
- Plates can be wrapped and packed just like silverware. Wrap each plate in paper, and put plates in a box accordingly, starting with the biggest at the bottom, making your way up to smaller plates and saucers (keep in mind the pyramid again).
Bowls are a bit more challenging. Include these in the same boxes as your plates where available. Place a sheet between each bowl in a pile of 2 to 3, and then wrap paper around the pile once you have placed in the paper sheets. Then place the bowls so that they sit in the box, and use more padding around the bowl space to secure them from rattling around.
For the lids of jars and sugar bowls, wrap the lid and the jar separately. Put the wrapped up lid upside down into the bowl, and then wrap the two items together. Place them in the box, and make certain they are padded throughout, just like the bowls.
Glasses, Mugs and Cups
- When packing glasses, mugs or cups, stuff paper inside the cups themselves, and then wrap the filled mug or glass in paper. Think of it like wrapping the glass inside out. Wrap the wrapped item in newspaper. While packing them into the box, make sure they are secured with bubble wrap or packing peanuts for stuffing. This will give it the most protection for items that can slide around during the move. Place the glass, mug or cup upside down in the box and work to fill the area of the box. This may take a few tries to see what fits the best. One suggestion is once you have made your first layer, insert a cardboard layer or divider to support the next set of glasses, and repeat for every layer of glasses. Make sure to leave an abundant amount of space at the top of the box for secure padding.
- Many times, it’s only when it comes to moving do we realize how precious an item is to us. These can be glass or porcelain figurines, a handful of framed pictures, or other collectible items. If you are not sure about how to pack these, simply call Ontrack Moving and we will inform you as to how to go about doing so.
The general rule is easy, and this simple 5 step system will make sure even the most uncertain packer will have a worry and trouble free time moving.
1) Wrap in clean paper, until the item is fully covered. If it is hollow, stuff with clean tissue paper (like the glasses, mugs and cups above). This layer of paper must be thin material, and non-aggravating to your item.
2) Wrap your covered item in a layer of bubble wrap, newspaper or packing paper.
3) Make sure the box you are placing the item into is cushioned, and once it is placed, use more padding to secure and protect the item during the move.
4) Mark the box the item is in as ‘FRAGILE’.
5) Make sure you list the item on the box as part of the boxes content so you know exactly where it is always.
- Books can be somewhat easy to pack, since they are all one shape. If you have a large amount of books, pack them in many smaller boxes instead of one big box. This will make lifting much lighter and easier for you.
Place a sheet of paper between each book, or wrap the book with the paper like a present to prevent aby sticking. Alternate the spine/open side pattern as your pack to get evenly placed pile sizes.
Pack these into a box using your larger hardback books as a foundation, and build your way up with smaller paperbacks to the top.
Lamp Shades and Vases
- First, remove the light bulb carefully. If the light was on, make sure to turn it off to cool down or else you may burn yourself. Wrap the light bulb in newspaper, and put it in a small box. Take the base, and wrap it in newspaper or packing paper. Place the base in a box and make sure to cushion it well.
When it comes to the lampshade, do NOT wrap it in newspaper. Use tissue or packing paper, or you could even use a pillowcase, bedding, or towel. If one lampshade fits comfortably under another without touching it, then you can pack them that way, but make sure to use enough padding to guarantee they do not touch the other and damage each other.
This is one of the most common items that movers have trouble with. If you are not sure how to pack your lamps, Ontrack Moving is just a phone call away to solve your problem. We offer advice, or we can arrange for one of our moving specialists to pack it for you.
Antiques and Art
- First and foremost, you should leave the packing of arts and antiques to professionals, to make sure no damage is caused. Let Ontrack Moving know as soon as possible if you have anything to move in this category. We will come to your house and assess these items. We will calculate their worth, along with the tools needed to safely remove, pack, and handle them. Each item will be added to a “high value” inventory list.
Mirrors and Glass Table Tops
- Glass table tops and mirrors are one of the most common items damaged during a move, as well as marble, which can easily crack Ontrack Moving has the appropriate packing items you need to pack a large mirror, but we suggest you let us do the packing for you, to ensure safe packing and transit, as many accidents happen during this stage, at the hands of the person moving. Ontrack Moving has the experience to handle such large fragile items.
Bedding and Clothes
- We supply you free use of wardrobe boxes on the day of your move, so you will not have to take anything off the hanger. If you prefer not to use our wardrobe boxes, we suggest folding the clothes and placing them in suitcases. Keep hangers in one box and be sure to mark the box “Hangers” so you will know where they are.
If you have hats, you may wrap them in paper and place them individually in the appropriate sized boxes. You may mark the box “Fragile” if you wish.
When it comes to packing shoes, if you do not have shoeboxes stuff them with tissue paper and put them into one box. You may choose to wrap the shoes as well on the outside. Keep pairs together, by using laces to tie one to another. Use rubber bands or string to pair up shoes without laces, placing the shoes sole to sole to reduce damage.
Bedding and towels can easily be folded up and put into a plastic bag or shrink wrapped. Bedding can also be used as padding for your more fragile items. Vacuum packed is a smart way of reducing your bedding and towels into a smaller size.
- First, check your electronic items to make sure no discs left inside. Check all disc players, stereos, DVD players, and computers for any discs inside.
Pack all of your CD/DVD disc cases in one box, and use packing peanuts to cushion them during the move. You may come across one or two empty cases along the way. Keep these empty cases until the packing is complete. If the discs still have not been found, throw the cases away, or remove the sleeve and save them for extra cases.
Records should be wrapped in newspaper, and the box holding the records should not weigh more than 25 lbs. You may want to mark this box as fragile.
Try to pack DVD’s separately from CD’s and other items, and mark the box to make sure what kind of disc they are. It is very easy to mix them up and confuse them, and in the end it may be difficult to tell them apart. This will make unpacking much easier.
- Keep electronics in their original boxes or packing, if you still have them. If not, make sure that when you pack these items, you pack them with the correct sized box, with plenty of stuffing used throughout. Again, bubble wrap or packing paper is the most cost effective way of making sure your electronics do not get damaged.
Remove all wires that can be removed, and tie up cords into neat little bundles. You may use rubber bands or twist ties for this.
You can put numerous smaller appliances, such as a kettle, toaster, or blender, in a bigger box. Use plenty of packing materials inside the box to make sure there is no damage caused during the move. Mark these boxes as “Electronics” and “Fragile”. Keep your microwave separate from other appliances, as it will weigh more than your other appliances.
Make sure you have all external items relating to your electronics, such as mouse pads, remotes, computer accessories, etc. Pack these with the relating item if there is space in the box or pack these into the appropriate room box, write on the box “Computer Accessories” or something similar.
When packing your television, be cautious. Storing it in the original box is the best option.
- If you are unsure or find this task too difficult, don’t hesitate to let one of our moving specialists know and we will take care of it for you. This goes for ANY item in your household! We will not finish the job until you are 100% satisfied.