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10 Must-Read Packing Tips for An Interstate Move

If you’re moving interstate, your items will be in transit for a longer time, making the items more prone to damage. Will your items arrive in one piece? 

We’ve prepared 10 essential tips for packing your items so you can be sure they are safe when traveling across the country. 

  • Give yourself enough time to pack so you get everything done right.

Most people underestimate the time it takes to get their packing done. But not you. You’re going to schedule time in your calendar so you don’t get overwhelmed and leave everything at the last minute. 

Start by gathering the materials you need for packing. You’ll need basic packing materials like sturdy cardboard boxes of varying sizes, durable packing tapes, packing peanuts, and bubble wraps. 

Then, take your calendar and block out some dates for packing. Start by packing items that are not essential to your day-to-day activities. Then work your way from the attic or storage, before you tackle the living room, bedrooms and kitchen.

  • Stay organized so you’ll have an easier time unpacking.

Create a checklist and packing schedule.  This will help you keep track of what’s been packed and where everything is. You can use a notebook, an app, or even create a spreadsheet on your computer.

Designate a place in the room for your packing materials and have all your materials ready. This way, when it’s time to start packing, you can just go to that spot and get started right away.

Have a labeling system. Use different colors of labels or markers to indicate what goes in each room. This will make it easier for you and your movers to know where everything goes when you arrive at your new home. You can also label the boxes according to their content. For example, you can put “Fragile” on boxes that have items that can break easily.

  • Use quality packing materials so the boxes don’t tear. 

During an interstate move, your boxes will be in transit longer. No matter how careful your movers may be, there is a small chance your boxes will rip.  But that’s not going to happen when you use high-quality boxes. So no matter how long the boxes stay in transit, you are confident they’ll stay intact. 

Corrugated boxes are a good choice because they are strong and lightweight. But if you want an extra level of protection, opt for double-walled corrugated. These boxes have an extra layer of cardboard, making them even more resistant to tearing and crushing.

Use purpose-built boxes like wardrobe moving boxes and china storage containers.  Wardrobe boxes are great for hanging clothes and keeping them wrinkle-free. China storage containers, on the other hand, protect your dishes and other fragile items. These boxes have foam inserts that keep your things from breaking during the move.

  • Pack heavy items the proper way.

Pack the heaviest items in the box first.  This will keep the box from collapsing when your movers are carrying it. It’s also a good idea to put heavier items at the bottom of the box. Use packing peanuts or bubble wrap for extra protection.

Whenever possible, you should disassemble your furniture. This will make them easier to carry and will prevent them from getting damaged. Just be sure to keep all the screws and other small hardware in a Ziploc bag. Label the bag and tape it to the furniture so you don’t lose them.

For heavy items like a pool table, grand piano, and large glass tables, we recommend letting the professionals handle them. They have the right equipment and knowledge to ensure that your things will arrive in one piece.

  • Secure the items in the box so they don’t move around during transport. 

Make every inch of the box nice and snug. You don’t want your items moving around during transport as this increases the chances of them breaking. To keep things secure, use packing peanuts or crumpled paper.

Use old towels and clothes to keep your things from moving around. Just make sure they are clean so they don’t transfer any dirt or stains to your things.

Use bubble wrap to cushion your items. Wrap each item individually, paying special attention to fragile items. Then, place the wrapped items in the box. You can also use packing peanuts for extra cushioning.

  • Pack breakables and valuables the right way so they stay in one piece. 

If you have antiques, you might want to get them appraised first. This way, you’ll know how much they are worth and you can get insurance to cover them during the move.

When packing these items, use a lot of bubble wrap. We also recommend packing peanuts or crumpled paper for extra cushioning. For additional protection, you can put these items in a wooden crate. Just make sure the crate is big enough so the items don’t move around during transport.

Collectibles like old magazines and books should be wrapped in glassine paper. This paper is acid-free and will protect your things from moisture. Place them in mylar bags for extra protection.

  • Flammable items should not be in the truck

Moving trucks are prohibited from transporting hazardous and flammable items, as they could catch fire, and cause damage and fatalities.

Common household items that are flammable include paint, cleaners, aerosol cans, propane tanks, lighter fluid, matches and batteries. Cosmetic and beauty products that are flammable include hair spray, perfume, and nail polish.

Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can cause all sorts of items to pop. Take extra care when packing flammables especially if you’re taking them with you in your car.

  • Some items should not go in the moving truck.

Keep your valuables with you. Jewelry, important documents, and other small valuables should not go in the moving truck. They are better off in your purse, carry-on bag, or in the glove compartment of your car.

Take essential items with you in the car, or your airplane luggage. You will want to keep items like your toothbrush, toiletries, a change of clothes, medications, and other essential items with you. This way you won’t have to dig through boxes to find what you need. 

Movers are also prohibited from taking living plants. Local movers might help you move them, but this is prohibited for cross-country moves. Besides, the lack of sunlight, water, and nutrients will kill the plant during transport.

  • Packed cartons should weigh no more than 50 lbs. 

Boxes that are too heavy can be difficult to lift and can cause items to shift and break during transport. For this reason, it’s best to keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds.

Safety should be a priority when moving boxes. Overloaded cartons can be more likely to tip over or break open, which can create a mess and potentially injure someone. It will also be difficult for the movers to load and unload.

If you have large or heavy items, consider using multiple smaller boxes instead of one large box. This will make the box easier to lift and will help to protect your belongings.

  • Pack a box with essentials for your new home.

Pack an “open me first” box. This box should have all the essentials you will need for your first few days in the new place. Toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, snacks, and other necessary items should be in this box. This way you won’t have to rummage through all your boxes to find what you need.

Prepare a box with kitchen and dining essentials. You will want to have some plates, cups, and utensils on hand for your first meal in the new place. Pack a few days’ worth of non-perishable food items as well.

You’ll also want to pack a first-night box. This box should have everything you need for your first night in the new place. This includes items like pajamas, toiletries, towels, and beddings. 

Pack Items Safely for Your Cross-Country Move

It’s important to pack your belongings properly when you’re moving cross-country. You don’t want anything to get damaged in transit. By following these tips, you can rest assured that your belongings will arrive safe and sound at your new home.

Hire The Padded Wagon for your next cross-country or international move. We are a full-service moving company that can take care of all your packing, shipping, and storage needs.

Get in touch today.