Mountain Moving & Storage, agent for Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, offers the following packing tips and guidelines for selecting boxes and packing particular items for your move.
Getting Ready For Your Move
Designate a workplace. If there is a spare room available, consider setting it up as your packing headquarters.
A large table covered with a heavy blanket or mattress pad provides a good, firm work surface. It may be helpful to have a second table nearby for soon-to-be-packed items.
You will need boxes and packing materials — newsprint (unprinted newspaper for wrapping), bubble wrap, tissue paper, packing tape, a felt marker, scissors and newspapers. Ink from newspaper transfers; newspaper should be used for outer wrapping or cushioning only and hands should be washed frequently to avoid rubbing transferring ink.
The boxes you use are important. To minimize damage, select boxes suitable for your items. Make sure that your boxes are not packed too heavy as they can break open, or too light as they can crush when stacked.
Note: As the size of the box increases, the weight of each item should decrease.
1.5 cubic foot box
(Book or Small Carton) This is the smallest general-purpose box, used for items such as books, CDs, DVDs, tools and canned goods.
3.0 cubic foot box
(Medium Carton) Known as the “workhorse” of boxes, smaller, heavier items are packed into this box. Small kitchen appliances, lamp bases, pots and pans and small outdoor tools are suitable for this size box.
4.5 cubic foot box
This box is used for non-hanging clothes, linens, larger lamp bases, lamp shades, unbreakable kitchen goods and toys.
6.0 cubic foot box (Large Carton)
The largest general-purpose box, this box is used for lightweight, bulky items including stuffed toys, pillows and winter coats.
Specialty Boxes Dishpack (Barrel or Dish Barrel)
Multi-layer construction makes this the safest and strongest of all moving boxes. Dishpacks are recommended for all breakable kitchenware, china, and crystal.
All mattresses must be transported in boxes. King size box springs will require either twin or king boxes, please consult your Stevens Van Lines representative.
Mirror cartons are expandable boxes used for mirrors, pictures and small glass table tops.
This box is constructed so that hanging clothes will remain hanging during the move.
Specialized Cartons and Made-to-Order Crating
Specialty containers are available for the moving and transport of items such as high-end TVs, golf clubs and grandfather clocks. Made-to-order crates are recommended for extremely fragile pieces. Your Stevens representative can assist with information about these special boxes and crates.
How to Pack For Your Move Packing and Moving China and Glassware
Stevens recommends using dishpacks for china and glassware. Place plenty of cushioning material in the bottom of the carton and between layers.
Wrap each item in several sheets of clean paper. Begin wrapping items from the corner of the paper, tucking the edges as you roll. Place items in the box with rims down. Remember, the heavier pieces go on the bottom!
Plates should be wrapped individually using several sheets of paper. Start from the corner, wrapping diagonally, continuously tucking in overlapping edges. Bundle four to six plates in a double layer of newspaper. Place bundles in a row, standing them on edge. Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces.
Stand shallow bowls on edge. Deep bowls (such as mixing bowls) are nested two or three together, on their rims. Wrap sugar bowl lids in tissue, turning them upside down on the bowl before wrapping them together. Place sugar bowls, pitchers and similar pieces upright in the carton.
Cups and glassware should be wrapped in a double layer of paper and placed on rims, in a row, on the upper layer within the box with all the handles facing upward in the same direction.
Packing and Moving Silverware
Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, in clear plastic or tissue. If the silverware is in a chest, you still may want to wrap the pieces individually and replace in the chest. Fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper toweling.
Packing and Moving Silver-plate or Sterling Silver
Since air causes silver to tarnish, all silver pieces should be completely enclosed in fresh, clean tissue paper or plastic wrap. Silver bowls, tea sets and serving dishes should be carefully wrapped as fragile items and packed the same as china.
Packing and Moving Books
Because books are heavy, use small cartons. Pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Pack books of same general size together.
Packing and Moving Lamps
After removing the light bulb, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately, in newsprint, and place together in a box, filing spaces with crushed paper. Carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of fresh tissue paper, a pillow case or large lightweight towel. Large, Tiffany-style lamp shades and chandeliers should be packed in a crate. Your Stevens representative can arrange to have a custom crate built.
Packing and Moving Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Mirrors and Art
It is best to consult with your Stevens representative about obtaining custom-made cartons or crates for these items. Note: Paper should never touch the surface of oil paintings.
Packing and Moving Clothing
Footwear may be left in shoe boxes and placed in large size boxes. Shoes may be wrapped individually, then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage occurring to high heels or ornaments. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.
Leave clothes on hangers and transport in wardrobe cartons. You may remove garments from the hanger, fold and place in a suitcase or lined box. Some lightweight clothing such as hosiery and lingerie may be left in dresser drawers.
Stevens recommends taking any furs or high-value items with you, rather than packing them.
Packing and Moving Linen and Bedding
Because linens are lightweight, they can be used for padding delicate items or folded and placed in larger, lined boxes.
Packing and Moving Draperies, Curtains and Rugs
Draperies and curtains may be folded and packed in larger, lined boxes. An alternative is to place the items on hangers in a wardrobe carton. Leave rugs on the floor for the mover to handle unless they have just returned from the cleaners. Carpets will be rolled and stretch wrapped prior to placing them on the truck.
Packing and Moving Photographs and Valuables
If possible, carry all valuables and photos with you to your new destination.
Photos are best protected in albums; any framed photographs should be wrapped and bundled similar to plates. Loose photos should be secured and protected from damage. Stevens suggests packing photographs in separate boxes for shipping.
Packing and Moving Small Appliances
Small clocks, radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton, or with the linens. Wrap items individually using several pieces of paper, and place in the packed box with plenty of crushed paper.
Packing and Moving Large Appliances
Large appliances must be serviced and dry before shipping. Be sure to discuss this with your Stevens’ representative.
Packing and Moving Tools
Hand tools may be left in tool boxes, fill spaces with crushed paper, or the tools may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small boxes because tools are generally heavy.
Packing or Moving Food
We suggest you use or give away food. Stevens does not ship anything that is perishable.