5 common packing mistakes to avoid
by Chuck Resnick
More than four million people moved residences in Canada last year, many of whom did the packing themselves. For some, it works out fine; others have problems resulting from a lack of foresight, poorly packed boxes and inexperience in loading moving trucks.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid finding damaged items at your destination:
1. Consider purchasing boxes from your mover. The most common packing mistake we see are people getting free boxes at the grocery or liquor store and then putting too much weight in them. For example, using a large box to pack books and magazines may make it too heavy to lift, and the box might break during the move due to the weight. Use this rule of thumb: The heavier the item, the smaller the box. Be choosy about your boxes; free boxes from a grocery store that have been used to ship produce could contain insect larvae that may transfer to your belongings
2. Be realistic about the number of boxes you need. Depending on how long you have lived in your current location, you will most likely underestimate your boxes requirement. Often, we hear of renters who think 40 or 50 boxes will be enough, and then realize they need upwards of 80, two days before moving day.
3. Start packing early and be completely packed when the movers arrive. Sometimes we arrive at a customer’s home and they’re not packed. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to move customers’ belongings while they are attempting to shove items into boxes and we get in each others’ way. This also interferes with the optimal loading of the moving truck. We have a loading system where the first things we place in the truck are light items such as chairs, lamp shades, cushions, etc; we place these items in the ‘attic’ (the area over the cab) of the truck. We can get lots of light items up there and they stay secure. Next, we create a ‘box wall’ stacked to the ceiling to hold the items in the attic in place. We then stand plastic wrapped mattresses against the box wall and secure everything with tie-off straps to keep belongings from getting jostled during the move. If you’re not completely packed and ready on moving day, we can’t create that box wall early on, and this decreases the capacity of the items that can be moved at one time. It also eats up precious time, and therefore, money!
4. Think ahead. Begin packing items you don’t use daily. As you pack your boxes move them to the front of your home and stack them along a wall near the front door. Having them by the door, organized and ready to go, instead of having movers go back and forth to each room can shave 10 to 20 seconds off the time for each box. Saving 20 seconds per box can save lots of time and money.
5. Consider having your moving company pack for you. We are skilled, have more experience and have standard-size small, medium and large boxes that are designed to fit into our trucks to create a perfect box wall for optimum efficiency and safety.
When it comes to moving, a little forethought goes a long way. Because your belongings mean a lot to you, take extra care when packing so that they arrive at your destination safely.
Chuck Resnick is vice-president of marketing and operations, Two Men and a Truck Canada. twomenandatruck.ca