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Moving Supplies & Tips

Packing can be a tedious, time consuming undertaking that takes skill and the right materials so that your belongings are protected during the move and also when they are unpacked at your final destination.

Tucson Moving & Storage, Inc recommends that you consider having our team of trained professionals pack for you. We will provide all of the correct materials needed for the job and can pack you in about a quarter of the time, freeing you up to take care of the numerous other tasks on your checklist.

If your budget does not allow for this service, we have included a list of Moving Tips below to help insure your move flows smoothly. You will also find a “count-down” time line that includes all of the major things that need to be done starting two months prior to your move and finishing once you’ve arrived at your final destination.

Moving Supplies:
Contact Tucson Moving & Storage, Inc for all of your packing material needs. We offer discounted rates on all of our boxes and packing materials. We also provide use of our Wardrobe Boxes on the day of your move at no cost to you (Local moves only). Please review the list below to better determine what types of boxes will be required to meet your individual needs:

  • Book Boxes (1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet): Book boxes are medium size tough boxes and are recommended for books, tools, papers, tapes, CDs, DVDs, and small fragile items. These boxes can carry the heavy weight of paper items when sealed properly.
  • Dish Packs: Also known as china boxes, these boxes have built in padding to protect fragile items while loaded, transported, and unloaded by your moving company. These boxes are perfect for breakable kitchenware, china and fragile decorative items, small lamps, glasses, and any other small breakables. For maximum protection, be sure to add additional padding using packing peanuts, packing paper, or bubble wrap.
  • Electronic Equipment Boxes: Electronic equipment boxes are strong and durable, heavy duty boxes. Mainly used for VCRs, CD / DVD Players, computers, receivers, and other electronic and stereo equipment.
  • Linen Boxes (4.5 and 6.0 cubic feet): Linen boxes are light-weight boxes, recommended for linens, clothes, and pillows. Moving companies tend to use these also for pots and pans, toys, and other small to medium sized items.
    • Linen boxes are also available in a smaller (3.0 cubic feet) size for packing kitchen utensils, lamp shades, shoes, toys, etc. These boxes are all-around boxes that can be used for almost everything in the house that is not too heavy. Do not pack books or heavy hand tools as these boxes are not strong enough for a heavy load.
  • Mirror/Picture Boxes: Available in telescoping, large and small sizes, these boxes are shaped and designed to fit and provide extra protection for mirrors, large pictures and glass top tabletops. Moving companies also use these boxes to pack breakable glass shelves and doors as these boxes are tough and provide great protection to these types of breakables.
  • Mattress Boxes: Mattress boxes are available in crib, twin, standard, double and queen/king sizes.
  • Wardrobe Boxes (15 cubic feet): Wardrobe boxes are especially designed to fit hung clothes. They are equipped with a hanging metal bar to allow hanging clothes with their hanger. The large size wardrobe boxes are tall enough to hang dresses, coats, and other long clothes. Using a wardrobe box keeps your items clean and wrinkle- free during your move.
    • Wardrobe boxes are also available in a smaller size (10 cubic feet) and are recommended for jackets, shirts, folded pants, etc. Due to their size they are easier to maneuver. In many cases, movers use these boxes (without the metal bar) to pack tall items such as lamps and hanging racks and to pack light bulk loads, such as toys, cushions, tall plants, and garden tools.
Moving Tips:
Before actually packing-up, you need to have a game plan. For example:
  • Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
  • Begin at the top of the house and move downwards. If you have an attic, it's a good idea to sort it out first. You will probably discover several things you didn't realize you owned.
  • Pack according to season. So if you are moving in Spring or Summer you should have all your winter items packed together so you don't have to unpack until next season.
  • Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
  • Mark all boxes in bold lettering, designating room and box number. (See our Moving Materials page for printable labels.)
  • Create a master list of all boxes, their contents organized by room and the total number of cartons packed.
  • It's a good idea to leave space in your log for a special comments section to note carton conditions or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high value items.
  • Be sure to have plenty of "filling" material available.
  • Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
  • Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
  • Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top.
  • Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier.
  • Tie up electrical cords to prevent them from getting tangled. Use rubber bands or bag ties to secure the cords.
  • Wrap electric items individually before packing and cushion them well. Don't use bubble wrap on these items because often the static electricity can cause problems.
  • Plan ahead for what you'll need the first day after your move. Packing a separate bag with your toiletries, a change of clothes, etc. will prevent unnecessary scrambling or a run to the local store.
  • Make sure to keep important documents such as; birth & marriage certificates, medical records, school records, passports, pet records, credit card & banking records, tax returns in a safe place and not in a moving truck.
  • Ask a friend to help by watching your children and pets when packing and on moving day.
  • Make sure the items you'll need first are loaded in last when packing the truck. You'll make access easier for the things you need (i.e. kids toys, kitchen items, telephone and radio).
  • Protect your flooring on moving day, tape old sheets or a vinyl runner to the ground to protect surfaces.
  • Load your plants in the moving truck last, and unload them first.
Packing Dishware
  • Select a medium-sized carton (or mover provided dish pack) and line the bottom of t he carton with crumpled packing paper.
  • With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper.
  • Grasp a corner on several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until sheets completely cover the plate.
  • Stack a second plate on and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate.
  • Stack a third plate. Grasp remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate.
  • Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
  • Re-wrap the entire bundle: start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth.
  • Seal the bundle with packing tape.
  • Place the bundle of dishware in a medium-size box so that the plates are standing on edge.
Packing Cups
  • With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners.
  • Now pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  • Nest a second cup directly on top, with handle to left (second cup should "nest" itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups).
  • Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck corners inside the top cup.
  • Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.
  • Delicate cups, like china, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.
Packing Glasses and Stemware
  • Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
  • Lie on the corner of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner.
  • Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
  • Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box. Heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom of the box.
Specialized Packing Tips
The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our packing pointers. Here are some additional packing tips for major items. If you want a more comprehensive list of how to pack special items, drop us a line.

Bureau Drawers, Chests and Dressers: Empty the contents chests and dressers before attempting to move. This will make these items lighter and will not put so much stress on the joints of the furniture.

Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Food: Pack upright with no more than 24-30 cans per carton. Don't attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small cartons.

Clocks: Remove or secure pendulum in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen.

Drapes and Curtains: Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons, or pack folded in clean cartons. Remove curtains from rods, fold and pack in cartons or bureau drawers.

Firearms: 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.

Flammables and Combustibles: Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak, or even explode. For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you, not your mover, may be held liable.

Frozen Foods and Plants: Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items, your mover is prohibited from accepting these packed items when your shipment is being transported more than 150 miles and/or delivery will not be accomplished within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of loading. Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which at time of loading is at normal deep-freeze temperature.

Lamps and Lampshades: Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined carton. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade. Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel. Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons.

Medicines: Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright in small cartons. If needed during travel, carry with you.

Mirrors, Paintings and Pictures: Tell your agent about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirror to protect better against damage. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings.

Personal Computers and Video Recorders: Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Wrap cords separately; label to identify usage and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton. Be sure your personal computer is "parked" and ready for transport.

Power & yard tools: Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship Flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap separately if valuable.

Silverware: Wrap each piece in cloth or low sulphur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest.

Vehicles and Motorcycles: Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel. Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected. Automobile antifreeze should be ample to protect against severe cold in winter.

Waterbed Mattresses: Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner's manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects.

Moving Timeline:

Two months before
  • Decide if you will use a moving company or move yourself. Get at least three estimates.
  • Create a file for your moving papers and receipts.
  • Make a home inventory list and start to remove clutter.
Make it easy by using the simple software available through the Insurance Information Institute - Home Inventory website.

Six weeks before
  • Have a moving sale or donate items to charities.
  • Select a mover then make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage.
  • Complete change of address cards at the post-office or use an online service.
  • Obtain copies of all medical and dental records. Find quality medical professionals and hospitals in your new location. Your current providers may be able to provide you with some referrals.
  • Obtain school records, pet records, legal and any other financial documents.
Four weeks before
  • If you are moving yourself, get moving boxes and supplies.
  • Begin packing anything you will not be using before moving day. Make sure to mark every box and carton, listing only general content information.
  • Contact your insurance agent to find out how much of your move is covered.
  • Make any necessary travel plans.
  • Contact your insurance company to arrange for coverage in your new home.
  • If you are moving to a new state, contact your insurance carrier to have your policies transferred to an agent near your new home.
  • Make a list of items you will need to buy for the new house. This may include shower curtains, draperies, etc…
  • Notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants.
  • Schedule maintenance check for your car.
One week before
  • Contact all utilities, cable, newspaper, and trash collection companies for disconnection at your old address and connection at your new address.
  • If you plan to use a moving company, contact them and review the arrangements for your move. Supply detailed instructions along with emergency numbers.
  • Cancel or transfer memberships.
  • Fill any prescriptions you may need over the next few weeks.
Two or three days before
  • Clean the refrigerator several days prior to your move. Leave the door slightly ajar for a time to decrease the humidity in the appliance. Place some baking soda inside to prevent mildew and musty smells.
  • Disconnect all major appliances.
  • Pack overnight kit – sheets, towels, toiletries, phone, alarm clock, change of clothes and a flashlight.
  • Pack a survival kit – scissors, utility knife, water, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencil and paper, tape, trash bags, aspirin, bandages, antiseptic and gauze.
  • Drain oil and/or gas from any mowers, heaters, etc.
Moving day
  • Be available to answer any questions your mover may have.
  • Do not leave until your movers are finished and take a final look to see if you forgot anything.
  • Complete the bill of lading carefully, reading all documents and inventory sheets before signing. Keep a copy in your file until the move is complete and bills are paid.
At final destination
  • Oversee the unloading of your items and account for each box. Check carefully for any damaged or missing items.
  • Instruct the mover where to put specific boxes.
  • Upon completion, pay what is owed to the mover.
  • Unpack the overnight essentials and survival kits.
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