Packing for a Move FAQ’s

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions when packing for a move. Click on each question to see the answer.

Packing for a Move

Can I ask my mover to also pack my stuff?
Yes, movers generally offer packing services. You can discuss if the moving cost includes packing or whether they charge extra for it. They may do full or part packing for the customer, in which case they usually compensate for any damage to the items.
Can I move live plants?
Most movers going interstate do not move live plants. You will need to arrange plant transport on your own. However, shorter moves within the town usually allow for plant boxes.
Can I place household goods or boxes of personal effects inside of my car when it is transported?
To assure safe delivery and also for insurance purposes, cars can not be loaded with other items when transported by North American Van Lines. Your Customer Service Representative can offer solutions for safe transport of your boxes.
Do I need specialized movers for moving my piano?
It is highly recommended that you ask for trained movers for this purpose. Although the regular staff is usually experienced, specialized movers can minimize damage to the instrument.
Do movers provide clean and sanitized trucks?
Some professional movers routinely clean and sanitize their trucks. You should ask your moving company about the maintenance and upkeep of their trucks.
How can I pack my stuff easily?
Packing small items take longer. Hence experts suggest you pack them first. List out the things and organize your boxes. Another way to pack quickly is to box thing up by rooms. How would you like to unpack? Think along this line and get your stuff ready.
How can I safely pack fragile items like dishes?
According to experts, dishes should stand on their sides, not lie flat. You may put bubble wrap between two dishes to reduce breakage chances. Try to pack them tightly against other items so they don’t have room to move, bump or roll.
How do I move my appliances?
Clean your appliances before packing. Give away stored food items. Check if any appliance needs special safety wrapping. Your mover will assist you with additional services against a fee.
How do movers transport big furniture items like beds?
You can ask if your mover will dismantle bulky furniture part and later reassemble. Most movers will charge an additional fee. Entertainment consoles, bed frames as well as cabinets can be taken apart and put back together in your new home. Most movers will not, however, assemble stuff they did not dismantle.
How long does it realistically take to pack everything?
It is a good first step to start packing four to six weeks prior to the move date. Non essential items are the first to go inside boxes. It is strenuous job and sorting stuff takes a long time. Clear out space and use it to store packed boxes until the movers arrive.
How long will it take from the time my items are picked up until they are delivered?
Different factors such as weight, distance and time of the year will determine scheduling. North American has guidelines to assist you in this process.
How much weight can a small box hold?
These boxes are designed to hold heavy items. Experts say don’t worry about the weight of these boxes they will fill up before you are over weight
How to best pack and move liquids?
Boxes carrying liquids must be marked as such. Additionally they may carry tags like ‘this side up’ to keep them standing in transit. Mention it to your mover so they don’t accidentally lay it or pack it upside down. Make sure the liquid items do not fall in the prohibited category.
How to safely pack my cooking pots and pans?
Pots and pans don’t need to be packed individually unless they are glass or ceramic items. Cushion them between layers of packing material at the top and bottom to hold them in place.
I need to use a few items right until I move. How do I pack them?
You have to pack it last. However, to make it easier, stick a label on it that says what goes in. It is likely to be the first box to be opened in your new location and will contain essential items like home clothes, sheets, hygiene products and possibly ready-to-cook food packets.
Is there anything movers will not move?
It is illegal for movers to deliver a few items like inflammable material (gasoline) and toxic substances. Clean out these items before you move and dispose of them following safe disposal methods. Gardening tools like rakes, shovels and small tool boxes must be safely packed before moving.
Should I ask for professional assistance to move appliances?
If you mover does not offer appliance moving services, you may need professional help. Check our guide on how to prepare appliances for a move. Your gas stove, refrigerator or air conditioners need to be capped, corded and hooked safely. Movers may also charge extra if they provide these services.
Should I number the boxes that will move?
Making an inventory of all moving items saves you trouble later. You can use a simple numbering system and use a marker to write it on the boxes, e.g.: 1/25, 2/25, 3/25 etc. You can quickly see if anything is missing.
Should I photograph my items before packing them?
It’s a good idea. Not only will it help you check items as they are delivered, but also help you arrange things faster. Take photos of your rooms, your walls, the patio or the backyard, the kitchen and even how electronic items should look when installed.
Should I transport my appliances at all?
Expert opinion in divided. Some say that prospective buyers appreciate fully functioning appliances and this may make your property more coveted. Others state that appliances may suffer damages rendering them useless in your new home. Besides, they may not even fit your new kitchen or storage spaces.
What do I do with the stuff I don’t want to move?
Take out your inventory list and begin crossing out stuff you no longer need. Give away stuff and return borrowed items. If you still have piles of useless trash, consider recycling. Visit for a list of recycling points in your locality.
What is the best tape for securing move boxes?
Packing tapes are different from regular tapes. They are made to hold move boxes and seal them against spillage. Large dispensers make it easy for you to wrap them around large boxes. Some packing tapes come with color codes and labels to make it quicker for you to sort boxes.
What is the best way to get ready for the move?
Discard, clean out, take stock and reject. Moving is the ideal excuse to lose those extra stuff- excess clothing, paper, broken china, rusty tools, stuff you no longer need and stuff that lies forgotten.
What is the best way to pack clothes for moving?
Clothes go best in suitcases. Wardrobe drawers too can serve as perfect clothes carrier when they are shrink-wrapped. This way clothes stay neatly packed and ready to wear.
What is the best way to pack lampshades?
Lampshades go in their own boxes and sit at the head of the pile. According to professional movers, labeling the boxes usually tell movers not to put anything on top of them.
What is the best way to tag boxes?
The two oldest and easiest ways to tag your boxes are by color and number. Prepare your own color code and assign them to your items. For instance, the bedroom could be mint, the living room yellow, or the bedroom blue. Display the code in each room so movers can place the items correctly. Labeling by numbers is another way to keep track of your things. Tally the codes once the goods have been delivered to find out if anything is missing.
What is the best way to tape my boxes?
Box openings should be taped tightly. Consider wounding up the tape around the box to secure it. Mark glass items, mirrors or photo frame boxes with a unique symbol.
What is the ideal way to pack my things?
Prioritize your needs. According to move experts, put in things you will immediately use upon arriving at the destination. Items of personal use such as toothbrushes, sheets, towels, soaps, and slippers are best packed in a single, uniquely tagged box so you can open it without making a mess.
What items should I not pack with movers?
Pets and live plants, ornaments, medicines, firearms- it is best to handle the packing and moving of these items by yourself. This minimizes damage to such personal and intimate things. Experts state that many movers do not transport them.
What types of boxes do I need for the packing?
You will need boxes of various sizes. Experts say it is better to put heavier stuff in smaller boxes so that it is compact and easily stored in trucks. Bigger boxes are more suitable for lighter stuff like clothes or sheets. Sometimes these are used as shockproof layers around bulky or expensive stuff.
Where do I get moving boxes for free?
Craigslist, bookshops, departmental stores, and liquor shops may provide you with sturdy and free moving boxes. Consider checking out with U-Haul centers for free carton swap.
Will movers also transfer my light motor vehicle (car or motorcycle)?
Ask your mover if they move vehicles themselves or get a subcontractor to help them. Alternatively, you can directly hire a vehicle mover specifically for this.
Will movers help move my car?
Yes, movers do ship cars. However, if you have a very large vehicle or if it is no longer in operation, you may need to shell out more. Cars will usually be delivered on trailers. For covered trailers customers pay extra.
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