Real Estate Tips: How to Pack for a Move

The well-equipped moving company will transport the contents of your house without the slightest bother or help from you. That’s fine if your employer is picking up the tab. However, you can save several hundred dollars on the average truckload if you do the packing yourself.

After donating the things to charity you can live without or holding a garage sale, you’re ready to begin.

Here are some handy hints:

· When gathering empty boxes from your local supermarket, look for smaller ones that you can lift easily, even when full of books. The sturdier the better.

· Make full use of drawers, suitcases, the space in your refrigerator or old purses as packing containers. However, do not overload drawers with heavy items because this can damage the furniture during transit.

· Compartmented cartons (such as the kind liquor comes in) are ideal for glassware and small knickknacks.

· Ask variety or dry goods store owners for cardboard tubes. Use these for wall hanging posters, curtain rods, etc.

· Wrap all breakable dishes separately (first in tissue, then newsprint; ink from papers may stain fine china) and use washcloths or aprons to fill up the empty spaces.

· When packing odd items (tools, heavy pans, sports equipment), put the things that weigh the most at the bottom for better balance.

· Throw rugs and towels make excellent padding for fragile items.

· Pack similar items together (i.e., shifting books could dent your lampshades).

· Pin or otherwise secure clothing on hangers to be moved in wardrobes so that vibration or bumps will not cause them to slip off.

· Empty refrigerator and freezer so that they can dry for at least 24 hours to prevent any mildew, mold, or unpleasant odor.

· Perfume, medicine, nail polish remover and anything else that could leak and ruin other items should be tightly sealed with tape and placed in separate plastic bags.

· Empty all gasoline engines, fuel-burning camping equipment, etc.

· Make a final tour of the house to be sure no items have been overlooked. Check all closets, cabinets, basement, attic, garage and don’t forget the patio furniture, the telephone if you own it, or the TV antenna.

Some things that shouldn’t be packed:

· Valuable jewelry, furs, silver, irreplaceable photos, auto ownership record, insurance policies, medical and dental records and other special documents. Coin or stamp collections are best transported by yourself.

· Do not pack anything that could possibly leak, explode or be a fire hazard. Discard all aerosol cans, old cans of paint, bleach, alcohol, cleaning fluid, etc.

· Do not transport ammunition, fireworks, matches or chemistry sets.

· Transport house plants in the family car or they may suffer from lack of water and light and probable temperature changes. Some states prohibit the entry of certain plants. Better yet, give them to friends or donate them to a hospital.

· Do not pack perishable foods. (What if the electricity is not on when you arrive?)

Remember: You must be ready to pay the movers as soon as you arrive.

Sandy Bakst is committed to exceeding your expectations if you’re looking for real estate in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Learn more by visiting For a print relocation guide, visit

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