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Packing Hints

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Packing Hints


The following supplies will come in handy when moving:

  • Labels and markers for identifying contents of cartons
  • Notebook and pencil for completing your carton identification log
  • Scissors and/or box knife
  • Screwdrivers and Allen keys
  • Gummed tape and tape dispenser
  • Plastic bags
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or “popcorn”
  • Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs
  • Newspaper for general use cushioning
  • Corrugated paper rolls
  • Variety of packing boxes to fit anything from books to wardrobes
  • furniture protection covers (plastic covers, old cloths, sheets, blankets)

It is advisable to pack on a room-by-room basis and do one area of the room at a time.

It is best not to mix items from different rooms in one box.

The last area of the house to be packed should usually be the kitchen as many kitchen items are used on a daily basis and sometimes right up to the moving day.

Start packing several cartons each day a few weeks before you move, ensuring the items you pack will not be deeded before your move. By pacing yourself and starting early, you will be more organised and the job will not be so overwhelming.

Take an inventory of what you pack. Make notes of where packed boxes are to go – especially those that need to go to storage.


Wherever possible, use corrugated boxes and/or clean cartons designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and they may not withstand the weight of the items that you’ll be putting in them. Also, their odd sizes tend to make loading and stacking more difficult.

Use a box large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents to avoid damage.

Choose a box strength which is suitable for its contents and never exceed the maximum gross weight of the box which is usually defined in the Box Maker’s Certificate printed on the bottom of the box.

Wrap each item separately. Fragile articles need both proper separations from each other as well as clearance from the corners and sides of the box. This will prevent against damage and protect the contents from shock and vibration caused during handling or transport.


A variety of materials can be used for cushioning and protection. These include:

  • Expanded polystyrene (foam peanuts)
  • Air encapsulated plastic (bubble wrap)
  • Corrugated dividers
  • Polystyrene dish sleeves
  • Paper

Note! Peanuts are not suitable for heavier products that tend to shift toward the bottom of the package during transportation. Paper is only suitable for lighter products as it tends to flatten when used as cushioning for heavy products.

Use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents cannot move easily when you shake the box. Extremely fragile objects may require special care.


Proper closure of your package is as important as adequate cushioning. Close boxes securely using strong tape. Tape all cartons closed on the top and bottom, don’t just fold the end flaps.

Thomas Storage recommends the use of professional packing tape which is wide, strong, clear or brown tape. Neither masking tape nor cellophane tape is strong enough to support the weight of a fully packed carton or provide secure closure.


Use proper labelling to minimise confusion and to make retrieving items from storage easier.

Following points are useful to remember:

  • Mark each box with the name of the room it was taken from and include a description of contents – you’ll appreciate this when you’re looking for that important something
  • Avoid marking or labelling over a seam of closure or on top of sealing tape
  • Mark fragile boxes accordingly to alert everybody of the sensitive nature of its contents. Identify the “top” of fragile boxes to avoid storing the box on the sides. The “top” should be the most stable orientation of a fragile package as it rests on a flat surface.
  • Consider buying a pack of coloured stickers and colour-coding the boxes by room or by type (such as clothing, toys etc.).


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