Streamlining the packing process can help create a convenient, simple move. Consider the following advice for packing individual household items:
Bureau drawers: Don’t overload—loads that are too heavy can cause damage. Remove firearms and any items that might break or leak. Firearms, along with serial numbers, must be registered with your van line representative before the move.
Canned goods and other non-frozen food: Pack upright with no more than 24 to 30 cans per carton. Don’t attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack them in small cartons.
Clocks: Remove or secure the pendulums in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be moved by expert service people.
Drapes and curtains: Hang drapes over the crossbars in wardrobe cartons or fold them in clean cartons. Remove curtains from their rods and fold and pack them in cartons or bureau drawers.
Lamps and lampshades: Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cords. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap them separately and place them upright in clean, tissue-lined cartons. Wrap lampshades in tissue, not newspaper, and place them upright in large, tissue-lined cartons.
Mirrors, paintings and pictures: Tell your mover about valuable paintings that require special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings and frames, and place them on their edges in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on their edges in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors should be taken down by movers and placed in special cartons. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirrors to protect them from damage. Don’t place newspaper directly against paintings.
Silverware: Wrap each piece of silverware in cloth or low sulfur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.
Tools: Drain fuel from power tools (don’t ship flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap them separately if they’re valuable.
Tim Johnson, owner of Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage in San Rafael, says people should purchase sufficient moving insurance to cover the costs of their belongings. “The Public Utility Commission, which regulates movers, only requires $0.60 per pound,” explains Mr. Johnson. “That means if you have a valuable painting that weighs two pounds, you’ll get a maximum of $1.20 if it’s damaged. You really need more than that.”
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