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Packing Mistakes to Avoid

Packing Mistakes


Packing is probably the least exciting or glamorous part of the moving process, but it is definitely one of the most important. Proper packing leads to a smooth moving process and a stress-free unpacking. After getting settled into your new home, the last thing you want is added issues. Read on for some common mistakes people make when packing, and how to avoid them:

Leaving empty spaces inside moving boxes

A major common packing mistake has to do with leaving empty spaces inside packed boxes, especially when there are breakable items inside. When there are empty spaces inside packing boxes, fragile items inside come in contact with one another, which can cause breakage when boxes are jostled around. Each item should be packed with padding and appropriate filling should be added to empty spaces so boxes are totally filled and firmly packed. This will avoid having delicate items being chipped or broken.

Our advice is don’t try to save money on padding paper, bubble wrap and filling supplies. Fill the empty spaces with crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap or clean bath towels and old ones work just fine. This way everything in the box will be immobilized to avoid any breakage during the move. Once you’ve packed the box, lift it and gently shake so that if you hear things moving around, you can open it up again and stuff in more paper or padding.

Packing forbidden items

One very common mistake that people make when they’re moving is to pack up certain items for the moving truck, only to find out later that the movers are prohibited from loading and moving them because they’re considered hazardous. It goes without saying that when you pack up items that are not allowed, you’re just wasting time and energy.

You can avoid all of this by getting a list of forbidden goods from your moving company in advance. Once you have the list, you can decide how to move these items before moving day.

We cannot move unboxed table lamps, computers, printers, stereos, or other small electronics.

You may leave clothes/soft items in drawers, but we will not be able to move items with hard or damaging items inside. Common examples are refrigerators, desks, nightstands, shelves, and storage cabinets – these MUST BE emptied in order to be moved.

We cannot transport guns, ammunition, or hazardous items, even if they are boxed.  Following is a list of some common items TXDOT considers hazardous; you may have items that are not included in this list that the crew will point out to you.

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Car batteries
  • Charcoal/lighter fluid
  • Charged scuba tanks
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Darkroom chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Flares
  • Fuels/Oils
  • Household batteries
  • Kerosene

Other items we cannot move include full-sized copiers, hot tubs, live animals (including pets.. it is your responsibility to transport any and all pets to the new house), taxidermy items, or structures such as garden sheds.

Household plants have a difficult time surviving on a moving truck. If you want to transport your household plants you may need to find a way to fit them in your car. Otherwise, it may be best to leave them with a good friend.

Perishables: this mostly consists of foods that could easily go bad during transit or somehow ruin other items on the truck.

Hazardous items: explosive, flammable or corrosive substances or chemicals that might hurt someone or cause damage to the moving truck or the items being transported.

Believing your memory is so good that there is no need to label each box

Once you arrive at the new house do you think you’ll be in any mood to search through tons of moving boxes just to find your sheets and blankets? We didn’t think so.

Interestingly, one of the most common mistakes people make when moving has to do with being overconfident. People often think they’ll recognize each box and immediately know what’s inside once they’re at the new house. They’re in such a hurry that they don’t bother labeling the containers. No matter how good your memory is there is no way you can recognize and remember what’s in every box.

This is one mistake that is easy to avoid. All you need is a black marker to use in detailing the contents of each box on the outside, along with the room the box should be placed in and any special handling it might need along the way. If you have colored markers or labels, that makes the job even easier. You can use a separate color for each individual room at the new house.

Deciding to pack everything yourself with no help

Of all the mistakes to avoid when moving, this is probably the most important. The idea that you could pack up everything in your entire house by yourself is probably the most self-defeating. It is almost impossible to accurately determine in advance how much time it will take to successfully pack everything. This is far more time-consuming than most people imagine.

No matter what, you’ve got to line up a few friends or family members to help you with this. This is easier said than done! Don’t make the mistake of assuming that it is too expensive to hire professional packers. Just get a few quotes from some trustworthy moving companies in your area, do your homework to find out who would be the best and get the help you need to make this a stress-free move.