Moving: Essential Packing Tips

By Matt Currie

Let’s be honest: nobody looks forward to moving, which means packing everything he or she owns into boxes. Start early to ensure it goes smoothly, packing up lesser-used items (like books and pictures) until you’re closer to the move date. As you go, number each box and keep a written inventory of the items that go into it. Clearly note, on all four sides, which room it should be delivered to.

For fragile items, fill any hollow spots (the inside of a teacup, for instance) with a wad of packing paper. Then wrap it in several layers of bubble wrap. Label the box you place it in “fragile,” and make sure any gaps between items are filled in with packing paper.

Try to fill every box to capacity, but don’t overload with heavy items (you’ll need to pick them up at some point). Mixing in some blankets, towels and other soft stuff can offer extra cushion for the rest of the contents. You can save some money on boxes by using your own luggage to pack up clothes and toiletries.

Of course, you can also leave all of this to the movers – many offer packing services in addition to transport. In that case, you’ll just need to comb through the house before they arrive, putting any valued items into boxes you’ve labelled “do not move.” That includes things like jewellery, medication, photo albums, personal documents and delicate electronics, all of which you’re better off transporting yourself to prevent loss or damage.

Also remember to set aside one box of items that you’ll need right away and will move yourself. That could include Band-Aids, toiletries, toothbrushes, floss, toilet paper, your shower curtain, your kettle and coffee pot, a hammer, a screwdriver, landline phones, a few plates, mugs and utensils, pet food, sheets and towels. And perhaps a bottle of wine, to toast your new digs.

Published in Westworld Alberta, Spring 2014
Illustration by Lucy Vigrass


Westworld is the award-winning magazine of the Alberta Motor Association. It offers a mix of travel features, auto trends and special member savings.

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