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pro packing tips

pro packing tips

by Chuck Resnick

Many people faced with moving between apartment rentals think packing is easy – a few boxes from the grocery or liquor store, some newspaper, a roll of tape and voila! On the contrary. If you value your personal belongings, and want them to arrive at your next home in good shape, packing involves much more consideration. This is especially true if you tend to be a bit disorganized, at the best of times. Even if you pride yourself on being a stickler for details, you may benefit from a few tips on efficient packing.

The number-one thing to remember is to start packing several weeks ahead of your move-out and more-in date. Done well, this process is amazingly time consuming, and packing in a hurry is usually counterproductive. Take your time to think everything through, and start with the items that are not critical to unpack right away. Avoid the overwhelming nature of leaving things to the last minute.

Get some decent packing materials. Make sure boxes are sturdy so they will not collapse under the strain. Consider buying boxes from your mover. Rather than using newsprint, which tends to smudge everything it touches, purchase proper all-white newsprint packing paper. At the other end, you can smooth it out for reuse, or save it for the kids for drawing and painting. This paper is substantial and will protect your items while keeping them clean. The last thing you need at your destination residence is to have to wash dishes before arranging them in your cupboards. And speaking of dishes, did you know that packing them on their edges rather than flat can help to prevent breakage? Professional movers usually sell packing materials including boxes that are sized to stack neatly. This saves a lot of headaches on moving day.

One of the biggest mistakes do-it-yourselfer movers make is to over-pack. If you have ever tried to lift a huge carton filled with books, you know exactly what I mean. At Two Men and A Truck Canada, we have a simple rule of thumb: the heavier the item, the smaller the box. Another great tip is to wrap small items like knickknacks in coloured tissue paper before surrounding them with packing paper so that you don’t accidentally throw them out when unpacking. Trust me, it’s easy to do with little things. Over-packing also applies to cramming too much into one box. Remember that as carefully as you pack them, items can shift in transit.

Make your kids feel important during the move by getting them to pack their own toys and games; the process will also assure them that their belongings are coming with them. You should also be sure to take legal documents, medical records, expensive jewelry and any other pertinent papers and possessions with you personally. Keep in mind, a professional moving company cannot transport hazardous materials such as flammables. Think carefully before you decide to move potentially dangerous items.

Be sure to label boxes on the top and on the sides to make it easier for whoever is distributing the cartons in your new home. Pack an essentials box of things you will need as soon as you move in and label it accordingly.

When it comes to moving a lot of items, a little common sense goes a long way. If packing is not your thing,  your mover will give you an estimate to do the packing for you. Leaving it up to the professionals takes a lot of the worry out of packing. Visit to find a location near you!

— Chuck Resnick is vice-president, marketing and operations at Two Men and A Truck – Canada.

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