07/25/2013 04:27 pm ET Updated Sep 24, 2013

When You've Got to Move It, Move It! Here's How to Pack It, Pack It!


Don't want your movers or pizza-loving friends to shake it, break it? Need some pointers on how to pack that antique mirror? What about your collection of cowboy boots? Oh, and there is always that mess of cords....

Well, I think about moving and packing all day every day. You probably don't, and I hope you don't. So let me get you movin' with some simple tips that will keep every teacup in one piece and transform packing from a mess to an efficient assembly line.

First, get the right stuff for your stuff: the right boxes and supplies paired with the right packing methods are crucial to the success of protecting all of your belongings and moving the packing process along. In addition to moving boxes, make sure you have plain moving wrapping paper (not newspaper -- it leaves newsprint on everything and you then have to run the dishwasher a million times getting the black smudge off), bubble wrap for padding, tape, scissors, and an X‑Acto knife. To make your move successful and eco-friendly look for recycled boxes and biodegradable bubble wrap. Some moving companies will even sell you their used moving boxes at a huge discount.

Second, you may be wondering, how do I know if I have enough boxes? Before you start, spend a little extra time in advance determining the amount of boxes you'll need. The last thing you want is discovering you have run out of boxes at midnight the night before moving day! Save yourself multiple errands and desperation and refer to this chart to get an idea of how many boxes you'll need.

Ok, boxes, check, tape, check, precise number of boxes, check. Start packing! Packing? Not yet. First, set aside the items that should not be packed. There are certain valuables that should always be kept close to you during a move and items that can be dangerous or should be left to the pros to prevent injury and breakage. So don't pack these items:

• Money, securities, valuable papers or jewelry. Keep them with you.
• Flammable items: aerosol cans, paints, gasoline, etc.
• Perishable times: frozen foods, produce, plants, etc.
• Soaps, polishes or medicines.
• Guns, firearms, fireworks, explosives, toxic substances -- really? You have those? Are you going to need a Hazmat team instead of movers?
• But do pack a suitcase for each family member so they have their PJs, a change of clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, meds and favorite teddy bear.

Great, now you are ready to start packing everything from your pictures to electronics. To avoid the headaches of packing things as if they were mysterious puzzle pieces or that creative 2 a.m. feeling that you need to make a box out of an old kids' playpen, follow these easy packing, packing tips (sorry, that song is stuck in my head -- like I said, I think about moving and packing every day all day) and all your belongings will transport happily!

Dishware and Glasses
• Use double corrugated boxes. Dish packs in moving lingo.
• Cushion the bottom with rolled up paper.
• Wrap each piece individually.
• Bundle flatware in groups of three and wrap the bundle.
• Don't place one layer of dishware directly on top of another; separate with a layer of stuffed paper.
• Pack plates vertically not horizontally. Yes, vertically!
• Cushion the top and sides with paper to prevent shifting. The steadier the contents, the less the chance of damages is.
• Don't pack kitchenware or other heavy items in boxes with dishware.
• For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing dishes.

• Put hanging clothes in wardrobe boxes.
• Place shoes in medium size boxes. Use paper to protect and keep pairs separated.
• Place non-hanging clothes in medium size/linen size boxes.
• For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing clothes.

• Use a picture box.
• Line bottom of box with paper.
• Place picture in box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper.
• It is sometime possible to pack more than one picture in a box.
• Packing of pictures is always required for long distance moves or moves into storage.
• On a local move there is no need to pack your large pictures. The movers will deal with them on the day of the move.
• For a video description of these tips, check out this video about packing pictures.

• If possible, pack in original cartons. If not, pack each item in ample amounts of bubble wrap and/or white paper.
Color code wiring with color stickers and colored cord wraps for easy re-installation.
• For tips on packing a desktop computer, check out this video about packing your computer.


• Label on all four sides of the box and the top of the box.
• What room should it go to? Kitchen
• What's generally in this box? Pots and Pans
• What's specifically in this box? Sauce pans
• Number the boxes: Kitchen Box 1
• Use your camera to take photos of items in each box. Number the photo to correspond to the number of the box.

Now you're ready to party with the Penguins. Yep, move it! Move it!