Professional Packing Tips
Packing Trade Secrets from the Professionals
at North American Van Lines
To help organize your packing, print this page and keep it handy.
Packing can be a tedious, time-consuming chore that takes skill and the
right materials to prepare household articles for your move.
North American Van Lines recommends that you have our professionals pack
for you. We're trained in proper procedures, have the right materials, and
can do it in about a quarter of the time.
We strongly recommend that we crate or pack and prepare these items
- Marble, glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40"
x 60" or larger
- Pool table slates
- Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statuary, chandeliers and
that require crating
Some things should stay with you as you move, such as:
Cash, securities, jewelry and furs, firearms (consult local
laws), personal papers and documents (like birth certificates, insurance
policies and deeds), coin and stamp collections, special family photographs,
If you decide to do the packing yourself, we want to help all we can.
Here are some trade secrets we'd like to share with you:
Trade Secret #1
Purchase the cartons and packing materials (unprinted newspaper, bubble
wrap and tape) you'll need from your local North American agent. We can
help you choose the sizes and kinds you'll need. You'll save valuable time,
compared to trying to track down suitable cartons at supermarkets. More
importantly, our cartons are specifically designed for packing household
Trade Secret #2
Wrap fragile articles the way professionals do; use two layers of
unprinted newspaper per glass, dish, figurine, etc. Wrap firmly, but loosely
enough, to provide a cushioning effect.
Trade Secret #3
Don't overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles cushion each
other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure. Don't mix incompatible
items (like books with glasses). Pack clothing in our special wardrobe containers.
That way your clothes will hang straight and stay clean and virtually wrinkle-free.
Trade Secret #4
Pack glasses standing on end, upside down, and not on their sides. Stack
dishes on edge, and fill empty spaces with wadded unprinted newspaper. Before
packing the dishpack, layer the bottom of the carton with crumpled unprinted
Trade Secret #5
Pack lampshades, mirrors, pictures, etc., in special cartons designed for
them. Ask your North American representative for guidance.
Trade Secret #6
Tape boxes across tops and edges. Seal every opening tightly. (See Types
of Boxes, Tools & Materials You'll Need below.)
Trade Secret #7
Pack your belongings room by room to make unpacking easier. Label each box
with your name, North American contract number, the room the box goes to,
and a brief description of the contents. Mark items you'll need right away
once you move with "Unpack First," and mark only truly fragile
items with "Fragile."
Trade Secret #8
Don't pack paints, turpentine, pressurized cans, corrosive items like bleach
or any flammable liquid. The law forbids movers to carry flammables. Properly
dispose of or give away anything that could cause a fire or damage.
Trade Secret #9
When packing a personal computer, these steps will help you prepare it for
safe transport. To pack your computer, we strongly recommend that you use
the computer's original carton and packing materials. If they're not available,
use a box that is both strong and big enough to hold the computer, and pack
it with unprinted newspaper. For more advice, your local computer dealer
can answer other questions.
1. Back up your software and data files. Take these with you
or send to your destination via insured mail.
2. Park the hard drive (if applicable). See your computer's instruction
manual for special steps to take. With newer computers, simply turning the
power off initiates this safety feature.
3. Insert cardboard or an old disk into the disk drive(s).
4. Unhook all cables and power cords, indicating their positions for easy
set-up. Pack cords separately with manuals and software.
5. Use only static-free packing materials like clean, wadded unprinted newspaper
(not standard bubble wrap or packing peanuts).
6. Create a base layer of wadded unprinted newspaper and place your computer
on top of that layer. Then surround sides and top with more wadded unprinted
newspaper until firmly packed. Then seal carton with packing tape.
7. Remove all ink cartridges from the printer.
Other Important Information:
Typically, a move requires the loading and unloading of appliances such
as washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers and gas or electric dryers.
Important: These items can only be moved if they're prepared for shipment
by an appropriately qualified or specialized service provider, like a plumber,
electrician, gas company or carpenter. The same is true for reinstallation at
your new home. Your local North American agent can arrange to have these
services provided. Our drivers are not qualified to perform these
Tools & Materials You'll Need:
- unprinted newspaper and tissue paper
(newspaper ink can soil and even damage some items)
- 2" plastic tape (to assemble and close cartons)
- utility knife
- permanent markers
Types of Boxes:
1.5 cu. ft. in U.S., and 2.0 cu. ft. in Canada (book box)
Use for heavy or dense items including books, records, shoes, canned goods,
kitchen canisters, small appliances and hand or power tools.
3 cu. ft. in U.S., and 4.0 cu. ft. in Canada
General-purpose size. Good for toys, lampshades, pots and pans, kitchen
4.5 and 6 cu. ft. in U.S., and 5.0 cu. ft. in Canada
For large, lightweight items such as pillows, bedding and toys. Do not overload.
Equipped with a bar for hanging clothes, curtains and draperies. The bottom
is not designed to support weight; do not pack other items in the bottom
of these cartons.
Specially designed with available cell dividers for transporting dishes,
glasses, bowls and other kitchenware. Also good for lamps, small pictures,
knick-knacks and light appliances.
Telescoping, large and small sizes. Provide extra protection for mirrors,
large pictures, and glass tabletops.
Available in crib, twin, standard, double and queen/king sizes.
For more information, email us anytime!