How to Pack for Long-Distance Moves

Adequate Planning Can Protect Your Belongings, from Books to Heirlooms

Prepping for a long-distance move isn’t just about organizing and packing up your belongings. It’s also about making sure things are packed in a way that ensures they arrive safely and in one piece. These moving industry packing tips are just what you need to reduce damage and breakage during transit.

Do-It-Yourself Packing

While Georgetown Moving and Storage Company provides professional packing services for our Maryland, Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia customers, some people prefer to do all or most of the packing themselves. If you’re one of them, here’s how to pack things up in a way that makes it easy for your movers to do their job.

  • Gather different size boxes, including wardrobe cartons, packing tape, scissors, and markers. A great idea is to use different color packing tapes and markers for different rooms or categories of items: green for kitchen stuff, blue for bathrooms, red for things you’ll need right away, and so on.
  • Pack room-by-room and start well ahead of moving day. Set aside one box in each room to hold things you’ll be transporting yourself to your new location.
  • Items you’re putting in storage should be marked and set aside in a separate location like the garage. If you’re using a portable storage unit or pod, be sure to distribute the weight of your contents evenly throughout the container.
  • Secure box bottoms so they don’t open under the weight of the contents.
  • Heavier items go on the bottom of the box, with lighter items on top. Keep box weight to 50 pounds or less. And remember, the heavier the item, the smaller the box it should go in. Books, for instance, are quite heavy and should be packed in smaller boxes.
  • Things the pros typically cannot or don’t pack for you include flammable and hazardous materials and perishables like food and plants. You’ll need to make other arrangements for these items. Also, many movers recommend transporting personal and sentimental items yourself, particularly family heirlooms that would be impossible to replace.

Don’t forget to pack a small suitcase for each family member with essentials like clean clothes and toiletries.

Use Quality Boxes, Packing Materials, and Tape

Everyone loves scoring boxes for free, and some of them are pretty sturdy. However, quality moving boxes are relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider how much protection they provide for your valuable belongings.

Don’t leave empty spaces in any of your boxes. Filling in gaps with foam peanuts, clothing, or packing paper prevents items from shifting and getting damaged during the long haul to your new home. Use professional-strength packing tape (not duct tape) to seal top and bottom box seams firmly. When packing up fragile items, use plenty of paper and padding, so they arrive securely and in one piece.

Make Your Movers’ Job Easier

When you hire a reliable and trustworthy long-distance moving company, you can count on your movers knowing how to perform their job safely and efficiently. You can help the day go more smoothly by giving them a brief introduction to your home and letting them know where they can park the truck or trucks. Point out which boxes contain fragile items so they can make a note on how to load them. And you can never go wrong by having some bottled water handy so everyone stays hydrated.

Georgetown Moving and Storage wants your long-distance move to go as smoothly as possible, and we hope these tips help remove the stress that often accompanies a big move. To learn more about preparing for moving day, contact us online today or give us a call at 703-889-8899.