5 Packing mistakes you can avoid

Packing Mistakes To Avoid

1. Packing WITHOUT a plan

There are so many moving parts in an average house or apartment move, that if you just start throwing things in boxes a week before the movers are set to arrive, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. It’s a good idea to have an overall plan *link* for your move that includes ample time for arranging logistics, coordinating locations and service people, and of course properly packing up your things for the move.

Plan your move: Make an inventory

2. Not purging before you pack.

Not purging before you pack. Start going through your things early and determine the items that you are NOT going to be taking with you to your new location. You can sell, donate or give away items and clear out your house before you start packing, making it much easier with less overall items. Bonus: you won’t have to sift through unwanted things when you get to your new place!

3. Don’t pack boxes TOO HEAVY.

It may seem easier and quicker just to try to fit as much in one box as possible, or packing a lot of heavy things (like books) in the same box because they go together, but this is a recipe for trouble. Over packed boxes are more prone to breaking open, harder to move and increase the risk of damaging the items inside or even causing an injury!

To make things simple, follow this rule of thumb:

HEAVY items go in SMALLER boxes. Things like books, metal objects, heavier wood etc.

LIGHT items go in LARGER Boxes. These would include things like blankets, pillows and linens.

4. Don’t pack dishes flat!


It can be tempting to just plop a stack of dishes or flatware in a box, since that is the the way that they usually sit in your cupboard, but it is not the best way by a long shot. The increased cumulative weight of each dish stacked horizontally amplifies the shock of each bump or rut in the road and can make them very vulnerable to cracking, even if wrapped.
To properly pack your dishes, use a medium sized box that will comfortably accommodate the dishes, without being too large so they can move around a lot. Pad the bottom of the box with a layer of paper or bubble wrap. Next, wrap each dish individually in bubble wrap or a generous amount of newspaper to create padding between the dishes and place them VERTICALLY in the box, making sure the fit is just tight enough from end to end. Cover the top with another layer of paper or bubble wrap and make sure to completely fill all the voids in the boxes with packing paper or bubble wrap to avoid crushed / caved in boxes.

Don't stack breakables horizontally

5. Don’t compartmentalize too much

Don’t feel you have to pack strictly by item type.

You will waste more time trying to organize items by specific categories, and when it comes time to unpack it will be more effort. A better way is to pack your boxes according to where the items came from. For example, packing all the things in your “Bedroom Closet” and labeling the box(es) that way. It makes the unpacking work so much easier because you or the movers will know exactly where the box should go and everything will be in the same place.


BONUS: Avoid the ubiquitous “MISC” box labeling.
At some point in the packing process, you will inevitably be left withs try items that don’t really have a dedicated box to assign them to. That’s ok, but instead of simply writing “MISC” on the box, try to add an additional descriptor that will help you remember what’s in there. For example, “MISC. Kitchen, towels, gloves, containers” A couple extra seconds of writing can save you minutes later when unpacking and trying to remember what box something was put in.

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.

Did you find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

Moving tools of the trade - All State Movers

Moving 101: Tools of the trade

Moving an entire house or building requires some general and some very specific tools. The most important tool is the movers themselves! Movers need to be strong, smart and able to work well as team. Still, even the best need a little help. In this article we take a look at some of the most common tools used by movers.

1. Boxes, Packing and Furniture Pads

There’s nothing more ubiquitous in a move than the cardboard box. They come in every shape and size to accommodate a variety items from clothes to books to kitchenware.  Bubble wrap and furniture pads are also essential to protect delicate surfaces and insure that no damage comes to the items we move. Can’t forget the yards and yards of packing tape we use either!

Packing Tips: Label evertyhing - All State Movers Inc.
The hand truck is an essential tool of moving companies

2. Hand trucks and Dollies

The two wheel hand trucks and four wheel dollies are indispensable tools in the moving business. It helps movers easily move items that would be too heavy to carry. They also allow movers to stack multiple items and roll them to and from the truck.

Hand truck, dolly and straps used in conjunction to move piano
Hand truck, dolly and straps used together in conjunction to move a piano!
Hand trucks lined up on the truck
Hand trucks lined up on the truck, with a four wheel dolly on the right

3. Straps

In addition to containers, and protective coverings, straps are essential to secure everything. Ratchet tie down straps can be used to secure boxes in the truck, lash a large item to a dolly or hand truck. They can even be used to hoist items through windows, when interior dimensions prohibit moving a large item up a narrow staircase. The burlap hump strap is a classic piece of professional moving equipment used for decades. They are designed for lifting heavy or awkward loads.

A mover uses a hump strap to carry multiple boxes
Mover uses hump strap to carry a large item that would have been too cumbersome without it
Mover uses hump strap to carry a large item that would have been too cumbersome without it
Straps hold the load in place
Straps hold the load in place. Critical to keep contents from moving in the truck during transport.

4. Additional Tools

Often overlooked are some obvious but essential items that movers use to keep the move going smoothly. Safety items such as signage, cones, and runners keep the move location safe for both customer and mover alike. Specialty tols like a piano board are designed to help stabilize and aid in moving a piano or similarly large item.

A piano sits on a piano board
A piano sits on a piano board, making it easy to perform a multi-person lift
Fabric runners are laid down to protect both the floor surface and provide traction for movers working in wet conditions
Fabric runners are laid down to protect both the floor surface and provide traction for movers working in wet conditions

We hope you found this article informative. If you are looking for tips on how you can make your move go as smoothly as possible, take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

Download All State Movers Inc. moving guide