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Packaging Techniques

Basic Packing Techniques (LTL, Partial Service, HHG Moves)

Good packaging is essential to protect your goods while they are in transit. Remember that your packages may be on a truck with other items, and may be loaded or unloaded more than once. Certain basic guidelines are provided here to help you ensure that all of your possessions are packed to travel safely.

  • Use only sturdy cartons that can be completely closed.
  • Make sure that all cartons are firmly packed, but not overloaded. Cartons should not rattle or bulge when correctly packed. There should be space between your object and the carton walls to ensure a safe environment.
  • Wrap individual items carefully in paper or cloth and be sure to provide sufficient cushioning to absorb shock.
  • Pack item in layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom and the lightest on the top.
  • Do not mix hard or heavy items with fragile items in the same container.
  • Seal all cartons tightly with plastic gummed tape (duct tape can peel off easily under the rigors of transit).
  • Label each carton in the event pieces get separated. You may also want to write the number of cartons that compose the shipment (e.g., Box 1 of 4).

Special Techniques for Packing Specific Items

This section provides specific tips on packing the various different types of items included in a normal move.

Artwork: Artwork of all types requires special containers and packing materials to provide adequate protection. Bubble wrap and cushioning material should be used liberally to protect these items within cartons designed specifically for artwork. If your shipment contains items that are highly valuable, either monetarily or sentimentally, or are particularly awkward in shape, they should be packed or crated professionally. Van Lines also offer packaging services.

China and Glassware: Wrap all pieces individually in clean paper or tissue before placing them in the container. Always provide a two to three inch layer (approx 5 to 8 cm.) of crumpled paper or other cushioning between the items and the inner wall of the carton. Cups, dishes, saucers, and shallow bowls should be placed in the carton on edge. Deep bowls, glasses and serving vessels should be placed in the carton with their rims toward the bottom of the carton.

Electronics: Televisions, computers, stereo systems and other electronic devices need special attention during packing in order to ensure their safe arrival at the destination. It is best to use the original cartons and packing that the item came in when purchased. If you do not have this material, anti-static bubble wrap and a lot of extra cushioning should be used when packaging these items. Contact your representative for assistance in locating the appropriate materials, or consider having these items professionally packed.

Fragile Items: Small figurines should be wrapped individually in tissue or clean paper before being placed in the carton. Be sure to use plenty of crumpled paper or other cushioning between these articles and the inner wall of the carton to provide ample protection against shock.

Lamps: Lamps should be dismantled by removing the shade, harp and bulb before packaging. The base should be wrapped in bubble or foam wrap and then placed in a carton with two or three inches (5 to 8 cm.) of crumpled paper between it and the inner wall of the box. More than one lamp base can be packed in the same container as long as cushioning material is placed between them. Lampshades should never be wrapped in newspaper. Use clean tissue or a clean bed sheet to wrap the shade and place it in a container lined with crumpled paper on the bottom. Do not place crumpled paper around the side of the shade as this can stretch the fabric. Small lampshades can be nested inside larger ones as long as they do not put pressure on the fabric of the outer shade. It is a good idea to mark the outside of the carton 'Lampshades--Fragile' to alert anyone handling the carton to its contents.

Small Appliances: Articles such as clocks, radios, and kitchen appliances should be wrapped individually and packed in cartons lined with crumpled paper for cushioning. Several of these items can be packed in the same carton as long as there is ample cushioning between them and the overall weight does not exceed the weight limits of the container.

Tools: Small tools should be packed together in small cartons using the general guidelines outlined in the Basic Packing Techniques section. Remember to use small cartons for tools, as they are generally heavier than most other items. Tools with long handles should be bundled together and packed in sturdy cartons of the appropriate size.

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