Thursday, July 19, 2018

Packing Tips

by Marie-Louise (writer), Ottawa, Ontario, February 08, 2012

Tips and trix I have learned through various moves, including my recent one into my new home.

Since I have been on my own, I have moved quite a few times. I have also helped other people pack a few times so I have learned a thing or two about packing. Am I a pro yet? Nope but I thought I would share some of the things I have learned and a few tricks.

Wrapping breakables

First, the myth about newspaper to wrap fragile stuff. I avoid newspaper like the plague. I found out after only one move that wrapping things in newspaper makes them dirty and sometimes stains them. I have since never used newspaper to wrap my things, not when there are so many more options.

Other options to wrap fragile items are:

  • - bubble wrap (either bought for the purpose, saved up or given)
  • - felt (if you are the type to do crafts)
  • - towels (very fluffy)
  • - linens (great for packing dishes)
  • - curtains (great for picture frames)
  • - pillows (for items requiring cushioning)
  • - cushions
  • - t-shirts
  • - scarves and winter wear
  • - grocery bags (which I find amazing for glasses and cups as wrapping creates air pockets for extra protection)
  • - etc…

You can use a combination of all and it has the triple bonus of reducing the number of boxes, keeping the breakables clean and having less stuff to dispose at the end.

When moving long distances, you don’t necessarily want to rent a bigger truck than absolutely necessary. Most of my moves were done when I did not have the funds so I had to make the move as little expensive as I could.


It’s important to try and find as many boxes in the same size as possible in order to help the stacking process.

If you can get those boxes in which they sell reams of papers to offices, those are amazing. They have handles, a full bottom that will not pop open, they can handle heavy things (like books) and they stack very well. They also used to sell tomatoes in some pretty good and study boxes, but I have not found any of those in years.

Make sure to clearly identify the contents of each box. I would not do this in the beginning, and since I used similar boxes for all my things (Banana boxes) I’d have to open almost all my boxes to find what I needed.

Color coordinate.

Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home. Put a matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination. It's also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, ("Boxes here please") to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.

Other tips

Tape any stray items together into a bundle. Ski poles, brooms, mops, lamp stands, etc... can be taped into one package for easy carrying and storing.

When moving furniture, make sure you keep all parts together with the item itself. Screws, bolts and other small pieces can be put into a self-locking plastic bag (sandwich bag/freezer bag) then taped to the furniture itself. If you're moving a table, unscrew the legs, tape the legs together then tape the parts bag to the underside of the table top. You can even tape the legs to the underside of the table top just to ensure that the legs don't get scratched or dented in the move.

Last whenever using bags to pack items like linens, pillows, stuffed toys or clothes, make sure you use clear bags. This will save loads of time as you will be able to see through to bag to the items inside. To help the movers, identify each bag with the room where things will need to be delivered.

Moving fish

When moving fish it is best to give the fish a chance to slowly adjust to the coming change.

  • Try to save some of the water from the original tank water. Use large bottles (10L or 25L) in which you will transfer the tank water. Fish will be less stressed if it's their usual water or a mix of their usual water.
  • Slowly reduce the water in the tank to get them used to a lesser amount of space for a little while.
  • Remove the fish from the tank when moving. I have large ice cream containers, foam ice chest or extra large jars to keep the fish during transport to keep them safe. The containers need lids.
  • If possible obtain a spare tank which will cycle for a week or so before you move the fish. This can be done if you have a place where the fish can be stored for a period of time before and after the move (a friend, family).
  • It's best to let the new set-up cycle for at least a week (if not more) before putting the new fish in.

About the Writer

Marie-Louise is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Packing Tips

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By Leahb on October 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

Great tips! It is crucial to pack right, and protect fragile items. A helpful resource I have found is Smoothmove supplies. This company has different specialty boxes designed for transporting fragile items, and offers great packaging protection like bubble wrap roll and foam. Check out, it is a great resource that can meet the needs of any mover!

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