Make your moving day a smooth ride by packing smart. A few key tips can help you protect your valuable possessions and your sanity during the exciting but demanding activities of moving and unpacking.

So before you slip on the moving gloves, take a moment to review the following tips:

Pack and Pad

  • Pack breakables loosely with plenty of cushion material. (Bubble pack is good for such items as lamps and small statues.)
  • Pack non-breakables tightly in smaller boxes that won't be too heavy. Save old newspapers for padding not only inside your boxes and around glass, but around table and chair legs.
  • Use pillows, cushions, towels, older linens, and even T-shirts, socks and other cotton clothing for padding.

Pack Smart

  • Use the smallest boxes for up to 14 kgs of books. Pack them flat, and alternate the bindings so they'll pack evenly.
  • Pack record albums upright and cushion them with newspaper. Keep album boxes below 14 kgs too.
  • Whenever possible, pack small appliances and electronic equipment (computers, camcorders, VCRs) in the boxes they came in, and tape them securely closed. 
    Mark your boxes clearly by room, so you'll know immediately where to put them in your new home.
  • Write "FRAGILE" on all boxes containing glassware, china or other breakables. Draw arrows pointing up the sides to the top. And be sure to stack these boxes on top 

Big Things

  • Beds: Mark pieces for easy reassembly. Tie together bed frames with tape or rope.
  • Bureaus: Fill drawers with clothes or wrapped items such as picture frames, small clocks, calculators, etc. Cover the entire bureau with a blanket or pad and rope it securely. Don't tape the drawers shut -- tape can damage the finish.
  • Tables: Cover with pads to protect the finish. If possible, remove the legs and wrap the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag tied to a leg.
  • Washing Machines: Fill interiors with stuffed animals, towels or other linens to keep the tub from rotating during travel.
  • Refrigerators: Secure all drawers, ice containers and other parts which might come loose or break during transport. Pad any exposed coils to protect them during the move 

Awkward Things

  • Bicycles: Loosen the handlebars and turn them sideways. Cover chains and pedals to keep oil and grease off other items.
  • Mirrors: Wrap small mirrors in newspaper and pack them in boxes. Cover wall mirrors, large paintings and other artwork with cardboard. Tape them securely and stand them along the sides of the truck -- or, if possible, inside wardrobe boxes.
  • Lawn Furniture: If too heavy or bulky to move intact, disassemble, putting the nuts and bolts in a plastic bag. Tape the bag to one of the pieces, and tie the pieces together.
  • Rugs: Roll up carpets and rugs with rope or tape.
  • Valuables: Keep your valuables with you throughout your move.
  • Power Tools/Tool Chests: Make sure all sharp edges or attachments are taped together and wrapped to prevent injury. Power tools should be packed with plenty of cushioning, and tool chests should be taped or tied securely.
  • Garden Tools: Pack small tools in boxes along with hoses. Tape long-handled tools together. Empty gasoline from all tanks and check for oil leaks in lawn mowers and yard edgers.
  • Garage/Attic: Use medium-sized boxes for such items as spray paints, paint brushes, car waxes, unopened motor oil cans, fertilisers, insecticides, etc.
  • Do not take oil rags: Dispose of them to avoid spontaneous combustion. Empty all gasoline cans, air them out, then recap tightly. Be sure nothing you move can release dangerous fumes which can taint your other belongings - or cause a fire. 

Loading the Truck

Always load your heaviest household items first. Line sofas, bureaus, cabinets, refrigerators and other appliances against the front wall of the truck bed, then work backwards to the chairs, tables, bookcases, etc. Always put heavier items on the truck floor or bottom of the stack.

Load your truck a quarter at a time. Pack it tight and solid from floor to ceiling, and tie off each quarter with rope to the side rails of your truck.

Other loading suggestions:

  • Fill in open spaces with small boxes.
  • Lightweight items go on top of the load.
  • Place large, flat items (mattresses, box springs, table tops and padded heavy mirrors) upright against truck walls and tie them down.
  • Slide rolled-up rugs lengthwise into the centre of the truck.
  • Put your odd-shaped items along the sides or stack them on top of boxes. Then fill in around them with other boxes to secure them for the trip.