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Sawyers EZ Move ~ Packing & Moving Guide

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General Moving Tips:

Room By Room Packing Tips:

Other Tips:

General Moving Tips
Do-It Yourself Packing or Full Service Move?

If you decide to pack yourself, consider the time and effort necessary to properly protect your belongings. While in most cases you can save money by doing your own packing, it is strongly recommended you let a professional pack any fragile or valuable items.

With a professional moving company, you have the option of doing some or all of the packing yourself, or you can leave it to the experts. Discuss your options with your moving company.

Packing Guidelines

If you decide to do at least some of the packing yourself, then you will need to have everything properly packed and ready for loading when the van arrives. All packing must be completed by the evening before moving day. Only the things you'll need that night, the next morning, and immediately at your new destination should be left for last-minute packing.

What Needs to be Packed?

As a general rule, furniture and major appliances will be wrapped and padded by your moving company. Items requiring professional disassembly and/or crating - such as slate pool tables, chandeliers, or large glass table tops - are best left to the professionals. For more information on specific items, the Packing Guide provides tips and hints for packing every room in the house.

Boxes - What Do You Need?

Using new, quality packing materials specifically designed for moving can really make the difference in ensuring that your items arrive at their destination safely. Professional moving cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are specifically suited to fit a variety of household goods.

Dish Pack (or China Barrel)

Extra sturdy corrugated carton of double-wall construction for all breakables such as china and dishes, crystal and glassware. You may also want to use cellular dividers inside the carton as an extra measure of protection.

Small (Book Carton) - 1.5 cu. ft. carton

A small, easy to handle carton designed for heavy items such as books and records.

Medium - 3 cu. ft. carton

Medium utility box often used for pots and pans, toys, non-perishable food and small appliances.

Large (Square/ Lamp) - 4.5 cu. ft. carton

For bulky items such as linens, towels, toys or lampshades.

Large (Rectangular/ Lamp) - 6.0 cu. ft. carton

For lightweight bulky articles such as pillows, blankets and large lampshades.

Wardrobe Carton

This large carton has a hangar bar to accommodate clothes from your closet or draperies.

Mirror Carton

Telescoping cartons fit almost any picture, mirror or glass.

Mattress Carton

Available in king, queen, double, single (twin) and crib sizes; you'll need one for every box spring and every mattress.

Other supplies:

Getting Started

Before packing cartons, you'll need to wrap most items to protect them from scratching and breakage. There are a variety of materials available, including bubble pack, foam peanuts and tissue. However, most professional moving companies use bundles of clean, unprinted newsprint (available at your moving supply store).

Start by placing a small stack of paper on a flat, uncluttered table or countertop. Round glasses and jars can be rolled up in two or three sheets of paper; always begin from a corner of the sheet and fold the sides in as you roll.

Large or odd-shaped items require a similar technique. Place them in the center of the sheet and bring the corners together. It may be necessary to flip the item over and wrap it again from the other side. If in doubt, use more paper! When the corners are brought together, secure them with tape.

Before packing each carton, line the bottom with a few inches of wadded paper for padding. Then place large, heavy items on the bottom and lighter, more fragile items on the top.

Plates, books and things of a similar shape, should be loaded vertically to utilize their own maximum structural strength. Don't overload cartons; keep them to a manageable weight. Fill in any voids and top off loaded cartons with wadded paper. Then tape cartons securely to avoid shifting while en route.

Packing Tips

Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until the last minute things you'll need until moving day.

Room By Room Packing How To
GARAGE/STORAGE

Garages and storage sheds typically are filled with odd-shaped, sharp or heavy items that require special care to pack correctly. In addition, there may be items such as pesticides, fertilizers, oil and gas that cannot be shipped. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Begin by grouping items of a similar size or shape together, like long-handled tools with pruning shears. Then, make sure you have an assortment of boxes and newsprint to properly wrap and cushion items.

Tools

Rakes & Brooms

Shovels, rakes, brooms and the like need not be packed; gather them together for your driver to bundle in a pad.

Lawn & Patio Furniture

Remove pads and clean frames. Pack pads in large carton or wardrobe.

Umbrella

Keep it clean and dry during transport by wrapping it in paper padding or a plastic bag and taping shut. Do not pack the weighted umbrella stand.

Grill

Dispose of any unused charcoal. Remove tank - it cannot be transported in the moving van. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Outdoor Equipment

Before moving day, dismantle children's swing sets, TV antennas and garden sheds you plan to take with you.

Pots and Planters

Pack small ceramic or pottery planters like any fragile item - individually wrapped with plenty of cushioning. If you plan to move any large or unusual planters, consult your moving company.

Trash Cans

It may be easier just to buy new garbage cans at your destination.

Vehicles

You have the option of moving your vehicles with your household goods, or separately by using a automotive transport service provider.

Let your moving company know if you have any of the following items:

HOME OFFICE DEN

Your home office will likely contain your important paperwork and legal papers. Set these aside beforehand and plan to take them with you. Computer equipment and other valuables that exceed $100 per pound will need to be listed on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage.

Home Computer

Back up all files on a floppy disc, CD or tape and take with you. Label cords and cables and pack them in the same box as the appropriate electronic equipment.

Home Copier

If your home copier is larger than desk size, it must be serviced by a professional before transport.

Home Printer

The toner and laser cartridges of any laser printer should be removed. Dispose of them safely and get new ones at your destination. On other types of printers, the print head should be secured by a professional, with preparation depending on the model.

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

BEDROOM/NURSERY/BATHROOM

Start packing your bedrooms by tackling less-used guest rooms first. Children can help by setting aside the toys and books they want to take with them and packing the rest in boxes. Colorful stickers on the outside of boxes let children know their personal belongings are clearly marked, and allow them to identify their things when the moving van is unloaded.

Clothing

Hanging clothing from closets can be left on hangars and placed in wardrobe cartons. You may want to consider purchasing several of these special cartons from your moving company. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing on hangers; figure more cartons if wrinkles are a concern.

Shoes

Footwear may be left in shoe boxes and placed in large cartons, or wrapped individually and then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage to heels or ornaments. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.

Hats

Hats may be left in hatboxes and placed in large cartons, or stuff the crown of each hat with crumpled tissue paper, wrap tissue loosely around the outside and place in a carton lined with clean paper, with the heavier hats at the bottom. Don't pack anything else with hats. Label the carton "FRAGILE."

Jewelry

Valuables such as fine jewelry should be removed from drawers and never packed with your household goods. They will be most secure if they remain in your possession. If you don't feel comfortable or don't have the means to take your fine jewelry or other valuable collectibles with you (like stamp or coin collections), consider hiring a third-party armored vehicle service.

Toiletries

Dispose of aerosol spray cans, such as hair spray or deodorant, or take them with you. Other bottles should be carefully taped shut and wrapped to prevent leakage, then packed in small cartons. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped.

Bedding, Linens & Towels

Blankets, sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases and other linens may be protected by a large plastic bag and packed in a carton that has been lined with clean paper.

Wrap you most prized possessions in tissue. Also, linens and bedding are good for cushioning or padding many other items.

If you decide to wash your linens before you pack them, make sure they are thoroughly dried first.

Mattresses & Pillows

Mattresses should be placed in mattress cartons for added strength and cleanliness. Pillows may be placed in bureau drawers or packed in cartons. They also make good padding for other items.

Bed Frame

If you can dismantle any bed frames beforehand, it will be one less thing to worry about on moving day.

Mirrors

Glass mirrors should be packed in special mirror cartons. However, if they are especially heavy, crating is recommended.

Draperies & Curtains

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangar, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

LIVING/FAMILY/GREAT ROOM

Most pictures and mirrors can be wrapped and packed in telescoping mirror cartons. Fragile or valuable fine art may require special crating and should be handled by your moving professional.

Stereo Equipment

Advance preparation is required for compact disc players, digital video disc players and stereo turntables.
On compact and digital video disc players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit.

Most turntables have a plastic lock which should be used to hold the tone arm in place. For additional protection, you may tie a piece of string around the arm in case the lock does not hold. Also, secure the platter (where the records are placed) by tightening the appropriate screws. These are usually located on top of the turntable, but check your owner's manual if in doubt.

Speakers

Pack speakers in well-cushioned dish packs.

Television

Some large televisions will need to be crated prior to moving day. Let your moving company know if you have a big screen or plasma television.

Videocassette Recorder (VCR)

No special servicing is required to move a VCR. When installing at destination, place on a hard surface, provide appropriate ventilation for openings and do not set objects on top.

Satellite Dish and Antennas

Contact an electrician or technician from a satellite dish distributorship for the disconnection and disassembly of this sensitive equipment. Depending upon the construction and size of the unit, it may need to be crated, a service which your moving professional can provide. Have any outside antennas disconnected and taken down if they are to be included in your move.

Compact Discs, Tapes and Records

Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark, "FRAGILE."

Books

Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

Photographs

Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other household items. (Note: watch these when moving to very hot or humid climates by making sure the storage area protects items from the elements.)

Silk or Artificial Flowers

An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in a separate carton. Wrap carefully in plastic wrap, tissue paper or paper towels. If possible, fasten the base of the floral piece to the bottom of the carton to prevent shifting. Label the carton "FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP."

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

It's best to consult with your moving professional about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

TV Stand/ Stereo Cabinet

Remove glass doors if possible and pack in a mirror carton.

Furniture

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items.

Piano

A qualified service provider should take care of the preparations for moving a grand or baby grand piano.

Pool Table

Disassembly and crating of your pool table should be provided by a third-party service. If possible, contact the store where the pool table was purchased to obtain assistance.

DINING ROOM

The dining room will generally include your most fragile china and crystal stemware. Each item should be carefully wrapped in paper and placed in dish pack cartons; cellular dividers are recommended for stemware. You will also want to include any items with values exceeding $100 per pound on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage.

China & Glassware

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges.

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge. Plates, platters and other flat serving pieces should be wrapped individually and loaded vertically on their edges to utilize their own maximum structural strength.

Cups

If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

Silver & Flatware

To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap.

Figurines, Curios and Other Delicate Items

Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

Fragile Items

Consult with your Moving Professional on the packing of exceptionally fragile items. Items with values exceeding $100 per pound need to be listed on your "High Value Inventory" form to receive proper valuation coverage. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

It's best to consult with your moving company about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Table Leaves

Table leaves are best transported in paper pads, then taped to hold the padding in place. (Note: never place tope on the surface of wood.) Don't use plastic wrap, as moisture may get trapped and damage wood.

Draperies & Curtains

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangar, pin securely and hang in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.

Rugs

Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

Furniture

Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items.

KITCHEN/LAUNDRY ROOM

Once you know you're moving, you can begin packing your kitchen almost immediately by starting with your less-used serving dishes, seasonal items and small appliances. Next, tackle your large serving bowls, tablecloths and specialty pots and pans. Keep your everyday dishes for the last week before your move. You may even want to consider buying some disposable plates, cups and utensils for those last few nights when everything is packed away.

Food Items

Use or dispose of all perishables before moving. You will also need to get rid of cleaning products and other kitchen chemicals. See our list of Items That Cannot Be Shipped. Boxed or canned goods should be packed in small boxes. Dispose of any open packages and wrap glass jars to prevent breakage.

China & Glassware

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

Bowls and Odd-shaped Items

Depending on their weight, these might be used for either the bottom or middle layers. Wrap the same way as flat plates.

Pots & Pans

Pots, pans and similar items should be wrapped and packed in medium size cartons. Depending on their weight, these might be used for either the bottom or middle layers.

Cups

Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down. If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint.

Silver & Flatware

To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap. Hollow ware -- including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes - should be wrapped carefully like fragile items and packed like china.

Figurines and Other Delicate Items

Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

Fragile Items

Consult with your Moving Professional on the packing of exceptionally fragile items.

Other Tips
SMALL APPLIANCES

Items such as clocks, small radios and other small appliances should be wrapped individually and packed in a carton cushioned with crushed paper. If their cords disconnect, wrap them in plastic and secure them to the appliance they belong to.

Cookbooks

Pack cookbooks of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

MOVING APPLIANCES

In preparing large appliances for your move, it is important that they be clean and dry to avoid the build up of mildew and mold. Grease left on a stovetop will catch dust and dirt, and unfortunately, leave spots on anything that it touches. Dry out refrigerators and freezers, especially those that contain an ice maker and are scheduled to be serviced by a third party service provider.

Dishwasher

Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses. Leave the door open for a few days prior to the move. Wrap dry hoses in towels and packing paper and place inside the dishwasher.

Washing Machine

Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses.

Clothes Dryer

Before cleaning, unplug or turn off the dryer from electrical power.

Stove Top/Range/Oven

Clean thoroughly. Detach all removable parts and pack safely in a box, clearly marked with the contents.

Refrigerator

Microwave Oven

Any glass trays should be removed, wrapped and securely packed in a carton.

NON-TRANSPORTABLE ITEMS

The following items are examples of items that the moving companies, by federal law or internal policy, cannot transport.

Hazardous Materials

Items that are flammable, corrosive or explosive

Perishables

Food, plants or living things that may die or spoil in transit

NOT RECOMMENDED

Items of personal importance or sentimental value

Important Information



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