Whether its home movers, Seattle home movers, Miami home movers, Dallas home movers, or property movers, or anywhere in between, one of the decisions to make is whether you want to self pack or have your items carrier packed.  Expense is the real question.  If you get a moving quote, also get a packing quote.  If it is within your budget, you’re done!  If not here are some general tips to follow when doing a self pack or (PBO) packed by owner.

PACK ONE ROOM AT A TIME: If you pack a little here and there, it doesn’t look like you are making any progress.  Once you finish a room, you can move on.

MARKING YOUR BOXES: Mark you boxes on 2 sides, near the top right corner.  Put down the room:  MBR: master bedroom, K: kitchen, DR:  dining room, BEDROOM 2:  or name of person in bedroom, FR-family room, B: Basement, G:  Garage, AT:  Attic, CR: Crawlspace.  It also helps to put a brief description of the items inside the box (t-shirts, cd’s, kitchen utensils, etc).  Mark the box if it is fragile.

PURGE BEFORE YOU PACK: There is no reason to move something and then to get rid of it.  Discard or donate anything that you don’t want before you start to pack.


The denser the contents=the smaller the box.

Looser the contents=larger the box.

Books, files, dvds, etc should be packed in a book box (1.5 cubic ft).

Accessories, knick knacks, food can be packed in medium cartons (3.0 cubic ft).

Clothing and Lamps are good in large cartons (4.5 cubic ft).

Pillows, comforters, lampshades are good in extra large cartons (6.0 cubic feet)

Dish packs are special double walled boxes for breakables, dishes, glasses, and other breakables, and will be covered in a special kitchen packing section.

Mirrors, pictures, wall hangings, are good in a mirror carton.


 Pack one or two boxes with critical and valuable items and take them with you.  Pack and take your own valuables, your mover cannot be liable for them.  Pack medicine or anything critical items, like a checkbook, passport, ID’s, birth certificates, in their own box.  Also a box containing items like remotes, TV’s, or Av’s, phones, laptops, garage openers, keys etc, and other electronics in their own box and put them in your car.  Finally movers don’t generally have authority to haul hazardous material, charcoal lighter, flammables, caustics (like battery acid), ammunitions, etc, these are some of the items to move yourself.  Try to use up all of your refrigerated items before moving day, if not right before the move put refrigerated items in a cooler, do not try to move them in a cardboard box.


Pack your boxes to the top, not bulging over or way under.  Humpback or overstuffed boxes don’t stack well or seal well, under packed boxes when stacked can crush.  Pack items so they reach the top.  If necessary, use newsprint or towels as filler so the boxes don’t have any “rattle” to them.  Seal both the bottom (before you fill) and the top once done with carton sealing tape.


 Use mover boxes if possible.  All movers, most self storage locations, and special box stores or websites are good sources to use for uniform correct moving boxes.  Some movers have specials on used cartons.  Check with your friends who have moved if they may have boxes left over containers.  Wardrobe cartons are generally loaned and rented by the movers and don’t need to be purchased.

With everything use common sense.  Don’t pack items you need daily, a week before the move, don’t pack heavy items with fragile items.  Leave yourself enough time to do a proper pack job.  Packing on the day of the move slows the process down, is inefficient and ultimately costly.

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