Tips For Packing Household Items

Moving for the first time can be stressful and confusing.  Here are some tips for packing household items that may help you out.


Beds: Disassemble the bed frame.  Tie rails and cross pieces together with packing tape.  Be sure to mark on tape to show where piece fit together for reassembly.

Bicycles, Tricycles, Baby Carriages: Loosen, lower and turn handlebars at right angles to save space.  Clean and cover chains and pedals to protect other items from being snagged or soiled.

Books: They’re heavy, so use small boxes.  Don’t mix books with other items.  Pack books flat, alternating bindings, and fill empty spaces with packing paper or bubble wrap.

Bureaus, Dressers: Fill drawers with small breakable items and cushion well with loose clothes.  Secure drawers with pad or blanket and tape.  Do not overload drawers with heavy items.

Chairs: Wrap arms and legs to prevent scratches.  Bundle armless chairs in pairs, seat to seat, with a folded blanket or other padding between and tie seats together.

Clothes: Dresses, coats, suits – anything hanging in closets – travel best in reusable boxes, which can be used seasonally as “extra closets” for wardrobe storage.  Other clothes can remain folded in their regular dresser drawers.

Curtain Rod Hardware: Put the hardware in a plastic bag and tape to rod or pack in dresser drawers.

Dishes: Individually wrap each piece.  Place saucers, plates, and platters on edge.  Do not stack flat.  Cups and bowls may be placed inside each other and wrapped three or four in a bundle.

Fine Furniture: You may want to wrap your best furniture in bubble wrap, not only to protect it from scratching, but to keep dust and dirt off the upholstery.

Glasses: Wrap each glass separately in packing paper or bubble wrap (remember to wrap first in a plastic bag to save washing later.  Pack in study boxes.

Kitchenware: Pots, pans, etc. can be stacked in a box with packing paper between them.

Lamps: After dissembling lamps, pack small bases in dresser drawers surrounded by loose clothing, and large bases in boxes stuffed with packing paper or bubble wrap.  Box shades individually in boxes with plenty of packing paper for stuffing.  Don’t use newspaper because it smudges.

Lawn Mowers: Drain fuel and oil before moving.  Remove handle from hand mowers and place blade end in sturdy box.  Mark properly.

Mirrors: Small mirrors can be well wrapped in paper and packed in boxes.  For a large mirror, make a cardboard case by cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard.  Mark glass on the outside to prevent mishandling.  Always pack and store on end.

Paint and Flammables: Don’t move!  The same goes for other flammables such as alcohol, solvents, lighter fluid, ammunition, and greasy mops or rags.

Paintings and Prints: Place in mirror boxes, wrap individually in corrugated cardboard, or wrap in cardboard cushioned with thick blankets and tie bundles with cord.  Stand on sides.

Radios, TV’s: Box upright and make sure items are well padded on all sides.  For console-size equipment, surround with furniture pads, and then move and load upright.

Rugs and Pads: After vacuuming rugs and pads, sprinkle with moth flakes.  Roll up and tape.

Stereos, Compact Discs, and Cassettes: (If you still have these).  Separately pack components and pack in well padded box marked fragile.  Pack CD’s upright in their cases in a sturdy box with tape-reinforced bottom.  Tie CDs in a small bundle before packing, then fill air space with packing paper.  Mark FRAGILE.

Tables: For large tables, remove legs and tie together.  Put hardware in small sealed envelope taped to underside of table top.  Pad tops.  Pad and tie spare table leaves.  For smaller tables, pad top and wrap legs to prevent scratching.

Tools and Gardening Equipment: Drain hoses, coil and pack in boxes.  Fill remaining spaces with lawn sprinklers, small garden hand tools, etc.  Tie rakes, shovels, and other long-handled tools together with tape.

Valuables: Set aside jewelry, important papers and safe deposit box contents to be packed in a small container you can keep with you throughout the move.


Comment with other tips for packing household items you may have.