Tips For A Successful Move

Good packing is essential for a successful move. If you choose to pack your personal belongings, it’s especially important that you be familiar with the equipment and techniques that will best protect your possessions. Use the links below to learn more.

Follow the simple guidelines below to ensure that your possessions are safely and securely packed for moving or storage.


Pack Firmly
Limit Weight
Pair Items
Pad & Wrap


  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
Ready, Set, Pack!

Good packing means...

  • Wrapping items carefully.
  • Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock.
  • Using sturdy cartons that close.
  • Making sure cartons are firmly packed and do not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward.
  • Not mixing items from different rooms in the same carton, when possible.
  • Limiting cartons, when possible, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds to make handling easier.

Basic Checklist

Working with the Packers

Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until last the things you’ll need until moving day until moving day.
Empty drawers of breakable, spillable items and anything that would puncture or damage other items and pack these separately in boxes. However, blankets, sweaters, lingerie, bath towels and similar soft, lightweight goods may be left in drawers.
Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic bags, and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping draws attention to very small things. Use a double layer of newspaper for a good outer wrapping.
Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a carton for cushioning.
Build up items inside of the box in layers, with heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top. As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets or cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
Cushion well with crushed paper. Towels and lightweight blankets may also be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.
Pack small, fragile, individually wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper.
Place several smaller boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
Seal cartons tightly with tape.
As you finish packing each carton, list the contents on the side of the carton along with the name of the room it was packed from. This provides easy viewing of contents while cartons are stacked. You may want to keep a notebook containing an inventory of your packed cartons, and/or develop a numbering or coding system for your cartons.

Packing Cartons & Boxes

1.5 Cubic Foot Carton

Small carton is ideal for heavier items such as books and compact discs.

3.0 Cubic Foot Carton

Medium-sized carton that can be used for pots and pans,
toys and small appliances.

4.5 Cubic Foot Carton

Ideal for items such as lampshades, board games and linens.

6.0 Cubic Foot Carton

Large carton that should be used for lightweight, bulky items such as large pillows, down comforters and blankets.


Extra sturdy carton for fragile items including dishes, china, crystal and glassware. Carton dividers are available to provide additional protection.

Wardrobe Carton

With its included hanger bar, this large box is a convenient way to transport clothing from your closet. Could also be used to hang your draperies.

Mirror / Picture Carton

Telescoping cartons that are designed to fit almost any mirror or picture.

Mattress Carton

Available in all sizes, use this carton to protect any mattress and box spring.

*ADSI Moving Systems sells packing cartons and materials. Contact us for pricing.

You can also read our “Packing 101: Organizing and Labeling Your Boxes” blog post.


How to Pack

Lifting Safety

Stretch Out

When lifting, stand close to the item with your feet shoulder width apart, elbows tucked in, and chin down. Always lift with your legs and not your back, keeping your back as straight and as vertical as possible. Don’t twist your back while carrying items. Have an available helper to assist in lifting of heavy items. Keep a firm grip on the object using the entire hand.

Couple moving into new house
Clean white dishes in paper packed in cardboard box. Concept relocation.
Preparing Your Belongings

A Few Tips

Properly preparing your belongings before your move will help increase your chances of success and improve efficiency in the loading of the moving van. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Defrost refrigerators 24-48 hours prior to loading. Hang a bag or nylon sock full of charcoal or coffee beans/grounds inside to prevent “musty” odors. Disconnect water/ice-maker lines and tape the cord to the back of the unit.
  • Drain all water out of washing machines 24 hours prior to loading. Tip the washing machine backwards to drain as much water out as possible.
  • Pack all trays from microwaves and glass shelves from refrigerators inside of a carton.
  • Disassemble furniture such as kitchen tables, entertainment centers, bed frames/headboards/footboards, and dresser mirrors. For many, this will take more time than expected so it’s best to do prior to load day. Because of its lack of durability, furniture made of particle board material is only meant to be put together one-time, therefore, we recommend that you do not take it apart.
  • Remove any shelves from furniture and place any hardware in a separate bag for reassembly at destination. Label the bag(s) for the item. Place all bag(s) in one carton for easy retrieval at destination.
  • Stack or “stage” cartons based on size, in their respective rooms. Be sure that all cartons are labeled for their destination room location. Do not block doorways or walkways, as it will then be difficult to remove items during the loading process.


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“After many military and personal moves this was by far thee best experience my family ever had! Not ONE item was broken or lost! ”