Pack Like a Pro

Deciding to do your own packing can be a real money-saver. But, it will take extra time and energy to get the job done right. The right materials and expert guidance from us can help make packing your home successful and efficient.

To get started, make sure you have ample supplies of:
  • Tissue paper
  • Packing paper
  • 2" packing tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Professional quality boxes (available from your agent)
  • Utility knife and scissors
It's All About the Boxes
Using new, quality packing materials designed just for moving will ensure that you property arrives safely. North American has a wide array of boxes and professional packing materials available.

  • 2.0 cu. ft. cartons Small carton for heavy items such as music CDs, books, files and DVDs/videotapes.
  • 4.0 cu. ft. cartons Medium utility carton that is used for pots and pans, small appliances and toys.
  • 5.0 cu. ft. cartons For bulky items, such as towels, linens or toys
  • 6.0 cu. ft. cartons For bulky, large or lightweight articles such as pillows or large lampshades
  • Wardrobe cartons A "portable closet" which keeps clothes and draperies hanging on a built-in bar
  • Mirror cartons Several sizes of telescoping cartons for framed pictures, mirrors or glass
  • Mattress Bags Available in queen/king, double, single (twin) and crib sizes. A separate bag is necessary for box springs
  • Dishpack (or China Barrel) Heavy duty carton used for dishes/china, crystal and glassware
  • Stretchwrap A plastic covering that safely adheres to furniture and protects it from snags, dirt and tears
You can ask your agent about materials available for purchase

Packing Preparation
When handling your packing, have everything properly packed and prepared for loading the evening before moving day. Leave out only the stuff you'll need that night, the next morning and immediately at your destination for last minute packing.

Basic guidelines to make packing a snap:
  • Come up with a schedule, allow enough time leading up to moving day
  • Pack items in the basement, garage or attic first - these items aren't needed right away
  • Stay organized by packing room by room
  • Designate work areas in each room
  • Upon the completion of a room, sort cartons by weight - limit your heaviest cartons to 50 pounds each
  • Clearly label cartons or items that you do not want to transport on the van
Pack for Success
You should have your packer handle the following:

  • Marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40" x 60" or larger
  • Pool table
  • Major appliances
  • Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statues, chandeliers, etc.
Here are a few more suggestions for a successful pack:

  • Empty drawers of breakables, items that can spill, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
  • Keep all parts or pairs of things together.
  • Pack small, fragile, individually wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box filling in spaces with crushed paper.
  • Put a special mark on cartons you want to unpack first at your destination.
Use newspaper only for cushioning; never place it against items as the ink will rub off.

What Not to Pack
You should transport valuable and irreplaceable items with you rather than on the truck. In addition, there are several items which cannot be put on the truck, such as explosives, compressed gasses, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives as well as radioactive and other hazardous materials.

Typical examples of items that cannot be moved include:
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Propane cylinders
  • Automotive repair and maintenance chemicals
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals
  • Matches
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles
Other items not recommended for transport on the van include:
  • Firearms
  • Family photos
  • Food in glass jars and perishable foods
  • Prescription drugs needed for immediate use
If you have any questions, just ask your Relocation Consultant.

Transport items of personal importance or sentimental value with you, such as:
  • Cash
  • Collections (i.e., coins)
  • Important personal papers (i.e., deeds, wills)
  • Negotiable papers (i.e., bonds, stocks, certificates)
  • Jewelry
  • Moving documents
Labeling Hints
Each and every moving carton must be labeled:

  • Use a broad, felt-tipped marker.
  • Clearly mark the contents and the room it will be placed in.
  • Indicate "FRAGILE" on delicates; "THIS END UP" where appropriate.
  • If available, include the bill of lading number from your moving company on every box.
  • As you finish with each moving carton, list the contents on the side of the carton (for easy viewing while stacked) and in a special notebook. You might want to number and/or code the moving cartons as well.
  • Indicate your name and the room to which each moving carton should be delivered at destination. Tape a sign on the door of each room at destination corresponding to the carton labels so movers can get the cartons into the proper rooms quickly.
  • Put a special mark (the number 1, or the letter A) on moving cartons you want to unpack first at destination.
Tips From the Pros
  • Begin with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until the last minute things you'll need until moving day.
  • Empty drawers of breakables, items that may spill, non-transportable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items while moving.
  • Pack similar items together.
  • Keep all parts or pairs of things together.
  • Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
  • Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items.
  • Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of cartons for cushioning.
  • Build up the layers, with the heaviest items on bottom and lightest on top.
  • Fill in empty spaces in the layers with more crushed paper.
  • Pack small, fragile, individually-wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper.
  • Avoid overloading moving cartons.
  • Seal moving cartons tightly with tape except those which must be left open for van line operator's inspection.