If you’ve opted to use a moving company, you don’t have to panic; we’ve got some great packing tips that will help you pack your items just the right way to ensure their safety through the entire moving experience. That is from removal and packing into the van, the travel down the road (or across South Africa) as well as packing out of the van and into your new dwelling.
By now, most people are sort of familiar with the general idea of keeping items from one room packed into the same box. For example, you’d put your kitchenware together while you’d put your bathroom essentials together. More importantly than this is to group types of things in boxes. It doesn’t make sense to pack sharp knives with glassware. It’s generally a good idea to keep these items packed separately. With that said, organizing your items, while not much of a time saver, it can definitely help to ensure that your goods arrive in pristine condition.
1. Smart packaging does not include black bags
We’ve dealt with our fair share of black bags while moving and let’s be honest…this is an idea bound for disaster. Ignore the packing tips from friends and family that suggest you save effort by using black bags. Not only do black bags offer zero cushioning, they’re super easy to get into and simply close up again. That means that your items are far from theft-safe. Saving effort by packing in black bags is asking for damaged goods, no matter how reputable a company you choose. In fact, the more reputable companies will insist on well-packed boxes to cover their end as well as yours.
Rather use corrugated boxes specifically designed for and used exclusively by moving companies. Boxes obtained from your local grocery or liquor stores may not withstand the weight of the items. Also, their odd sizes tend to make loading (and packing/nesting) more difficult.
- Use a box large enough for contents weight, size and to accommodate cushioning material on all sides.
- Never exceed the manufacturer’s maximum gross weight of the box.
- Wrap each item of glassware and crystal piece individually and do not put one piece inside of another, and pack with the rims down.
- Wrap dishware, ornaments, figurines and curios generously in bubble wrap or newspaper.
- Re-enforce the box by putting packaging tape over the folds. If your box feels a bit flimsy, it may be a good idea to discard it, or even re-enforce it with cardboard and packaging tape.
Quick tip: If you have a lot of clothing that you need to transport in the moving van, make use of your lockable travelling luggage.
2. Use cushioning materials wherever possible
Use these practical packing tips and suggested materials to protect your boxed items from transportation shock and transit vibration.
- Cushion the contents of each box and do not bulk-pack, but wrap each item separately, especially fragile articles.
- Other than proper separation, ensure they are cushioned from each other and from the corners and sides of the box.
Suggested cushioning and outer materials are:
- Bubble wrap; pliable transparent material used for the packaging of fragile items.
- Polystyrene chips; ideal for filling voids once items have been packed into their cartons, not recommended for heavier products.
- Aerothene foam wrap; ideal for surface protection and is versatile, cost-effective and reusable.
- Jiffy bags; various tear and puncture-resistant size bags lined with bubble for protection and a self-seal flap with tamper evident seal.
- Newspaper: suitable for smaller lighter products.
Even clothing, towels and old blankets will do if you’re really working on a tight budget.
3. Organize your items well
You’ll notice that the title of this article is not “top packing tips to help you pack faster”. These tips are to ensure the safety of your goods, and often a little extra care and time will do just that.
Start by arranging the items INSIDE the boxes well. Keep your items sorted by type. Once you’ve seen to that, ensure that your boxes are then stacked together by type – all your glassware is stacked together, your crockery is stacked together and so on. You’ll want glassware, crockery and other fragile items to be placed in a secure area on the van. (Not underneath heavy items, but also not at the very top where they stand to fall if the truck hits a bump in the road.) Ideally, you want larger furniture items to “cover” the more fragile boxes. You can do this by requesting to have these boxes packed under a table, or between two bigger and more secure furniture pieces.
4. Proper sealing of your boxes is as important as sufficient cushioning
Be sure to tape all boxes closed on the top and bottom — don’t just fold the end flaps over. Masking tape is NOT strong enough to support the weight of a fully packed box. Use brown or clear professional packing tape, which is wide, sticky and heavy-duty.
Sealing your boxes, luggage and other packed items is not only about protecting the packed goods from damage. It’s also about protecting your individual items from being lost due to the box opening in transit, or worst case scenario – theft.
Lock your bags by using padlocks. Leave nothing to chance.
5. A good labelling system can be a lifesaver
Granted, your movers should be careful no matter what box they’re handling, but the fact of the matter is that when they are working against the clock it will help to know exactly which boxes are fragile, and which boxes are full of stuffed toys. An effective labelling system also helps with creating an inventory.
Most people DO label their boxes, but a good labelling system should be clear and easy to understand for both you and your chosen moving company. That means that if you have a box that belongs in the kitchen and is filled with glassware you should label it: Kitchen – Glassware – FRAGILE.
Here are the labelling suggestions that we’d like to add to the packing tips:
- Avoid marking or labelling over a seam or on top of sealing tape.
- If you use stickers, be sure to use a brand that sticks well and is large enough to be seen at a quick glance.
- Create a checklist and mark each box with a number and the name of the room it is going to go into.
Mark boxes with confidential, private and valuable contents with a description ONLY YOU know. Writing “Jewellery, Bank Statements or Priceless Antiques on the box will definitely win you the “Moegoe Award” in the “Dofkop” category
Be sure to go through our Awareness List.
For more information on how to get your move on the right way, follow our links below.