Boxing up everything you own is a daunting task, and it might be one of the worst things about moving. It only gets more challenging — and annoying — when you run into items that don’t necessarily fit in a box or you know aren’t going to be protected with boxes and packing paper. Whether you’re moving down the street or to a new city, you need to know that all your belongings from the breakables to the odd shapes are going to be able to travel safely. For the items that can’t just be tucked in a box, use these tips to better understand how to pack for moving house.

7 Tips on How to Pack for Moving House

1. Plants

If you’re a plant person, the last thing you want is for your plants to arrive tipped over, broken, or squished. If your move is short, you can likely just set them in a box and hold them yourself on the drive to your new home, but if your move is longer, or you don’t have room to hold them, this might not work.
For longer moves, make sure your house plants aren’t in containers that can be easily broken during a move. Replace your containers with plastic pots before your move to avoid damage in the future. Pack your plants in a sturdy box, and wrap your containers in a layer of bubble wrap so the containers don’t bump into another and knock over during the move. If you’re worried about taking bugs with you, set a flea collar around the base of your plant before moving to draw out any pests. And make sure you water your plants a few days before your move! You’ll want the soil to be damp so that your plants will still have necessary nutrients during travel.

2. Dinnerware

Shattered plates and glasses can tarnish the excitement of moving into your new home. To make sure they stay in one piece during transit, you’re need to make sure your packing carton has plenty of cushion. Start by finding a tough, thick box. This way if anything gets set on top of it, your dinnerware won’t be crushed. Then create a layer of “cushion” with packing paper at the bottom of your box. In between your dinnerware, lay more packing paper, paper towels, or styrofoam to avoid scratches and chips. For glasses, pack the inside with paper towels or packing paper, and wrap the outside to avoid breaking. If you’re packing these with the rest of your dinnerware, make sure they get put on top. You’ll want to pack your box tightly, but not too heavy, and make sure you mark each side with an arrow so nothing gets set upside down. Before you seal the box, make sure it doesn’t rattle when you move it. If it does, you’ll want to add more packing paper either in between or around your dinnerware so things don’t get broken.

3. Lamps

Lamps come in all shapes and sizes, and can be a little more complicated to determine how they should be stored. If you don’t have a lot of space, or you have a lot of items to move, the best way is to take the lamp apart and pack each piece separately.

Fill lampshades with packing paper to keep it from getting dented. Avoid using newspaper because the ink could bleed onto the fabric. Remove the lightbulb and wrap it in bubble wrap to keep it from breaking. For your lamp base, you’ll want to wrap it in either packing paper or bubble wrap depending on the material. You’ll also want to cover the prongs on the electrical plug with a small piece of cardboard or bubble wrap to ensure they don’t get bent.

4. Containers with Liquids

If you don’t already have a container for hair products or cleaning supplies, you’ll want to pay a little extra attention to them so they don’t break or leak during your move. If you have flammable cleaning supplies, don’t pack them.

For each container that’s been opened, remove the lid and use plastic wrap to cover the opening. Then replace the cap and tape it to the bottle.

When you’re packing this box, make sure it’s not too heavy, and you may want to double tape the bottom so that in the event something does leak, the box won’t break or start seeping. You should also mark the outside of the box so that you and the movers know which side is up.

5. Mirrors

Want to avoid seven years of bad luck? Tape an “X” on your mirror for added protection, and before you put it in a box, put down a layer of bubble wrap in your box. You’ll want to wrap the mirror tightly with bubble wrap and tape it together so it doesn’t come loose. These methods also work for moving glass picture frames! Once you’ve packed up these items, shift the box to make sure nothing is moving inside, if there is, you’ll want to add more cushion.

6. Books

Boxes of books become heavy fast, and it’s easy for corners to get bent and book jackets to get torn during moving. You’ll want to pack books horizontally, and make sure they’re laid flat. Put the largest and heaviest books, like coffee table books or dictionaries, in first. If there are any gaps in the box, fill them with packing paper to keep things from moving around.

7. Odd Shapes

If you have an item that is an awkward or odd shape, here’s a good way to ensure they’re packed safely. Use some thinner cardboard so that it’s able to be bent around the item. Lay the item on the ground and use one piece for the bottom and one for the top. Essentially, you want to create your own box for this item. If it’s a fragile item, you can wrap it in bubble wrap first to add some additional cushion. Once it’s wrapped and boxed, make sure it’s taped together well so it doesn’t come apart. Then, place the item in a large box that’s filled with paper to avoid any shifting. This second box will make it easy to store in a moving truck, and easier to lift and carry.

Struggling to get started with packing for moving house? You don’t have to do it alone. The moving experts at Echo Moving and Storage can help you pack up your belongings and safely transport them to your new home. We can help take the stress out of your move, so all you have to worry about is getting the keys. Reach out to us today to learn more about the moving services we offer.