Packing Tips | Tips for Packing from Professional Movers

Packing Tips For Moving

couple packing glassware into moving boxesEnsuring your belongings are properly packed can help make your move go a lot more smoothly. If you are planning on packing yourself, Cousins USA Moving & Storage offers the following information and packing tips to ensure an efficient and stress-free move.

Preparing For Your Move

If there is room available, consider setting up a “packing headquarters” to use as a workspace.

Make use of large tables and heavy blankets or padding to create a good work surface. Be sure to keep all items organized in your workspace.

You will need boxes and packing materials such as: bubble wrap, tissue paper, packing tape, a marker, a pair of scissors and newspapers. Note: due to the ink on newspapers, they should be used for outer wrapping or cushioning only, so as to avoid the rubbing of ink.

Box Sizes

The boxes you use to pack are paramount. To minimize potential damage, make sure that your boxes are not packed too heavy or too light, as they can either break open or get crushed when stacked.

Note: As the size of the box increases, the weight of each item should decrease.


This is the smallest general-purpose box. Used for items such as: books, CDs, DVDs, tools and canned goods.


Smaller, heavier items are packed into this box. Small kitchen appliances, pots and pans and small outdoor tools are good examples of what to pack in this box.


This box is used for clothes, linens, large lamp bases, lamp shades, durable kitchen goods and toys.


The largest general-purpose box, this is used for lightweight, bulky items such as: stuffed toys, pillows, light blankets and winter coats.

Specialty Boxes

Multi-layer construction makes this the safest and strongest of all moving boxes. Dishpacks are recommended for breakable kitchenware, china and crystal.


All mattresses must be transported in boxes. King size box springs will require either twin or king boxes, please consult your Cousins USA representative for more information.


Mirror cartons are expandable boxes used for mirrors, pictures and small glass table tops.


Use this box so that hanging clothes can remain hanging during the move.


Specialty containers are available for the moving and transport of items such as high-end TVs, golf clubs and grandfather clocks. Made-to-order crates are recommended for extremely fragile pieces. Your Cousins USA representative can assist with information about these special boxes and crates.

“Best Practices” For Packing For Your Move


Cousins USA recommends using dishpacks for china and glassware. Be sure to use plenty of cushioning. Each item should be wrapped in several sheets of clean paper. Begin wrapping items from the corner of the paper, and tuck the edges as you roll. Place items in the box with rims down. Place heavier items on the bottom.

Plates should be wrapped individually using several sheets of paper. Start from the corner, wrap diagonally, continuously tucking in overlapping edges. Use a double layer of newspaper and group four to six plates together. Place bundles in a row, standing them on edge. Surround each bundle with plenty of cushioning and be sure to leave no unfilled space.

Shallow bowls should be stood on edge. Deeper bowls should be grouped two or three together, on their rims. Place sugar bowls, pitchers and similar pieces upright in the carton.

Cups and glassware should be wrapped in a double layer of paper and placed upside down, toward the top of the box, with all the handles facing upward and in the same direction.


Wrap loose silverware either individually or in sets, in clear plastic or tissue. Fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or other cushioning.


All silver pieces should be completely enclosed in fresh, clean tissue paper or plastic wrap. Silver bowls and serving dishes should be wrapped and packed the same as china.


Use small cartons for books. Pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Books of the same size should be packed together.


First remove the light bulb. Then wrap the base, harp and bulb separately, in newsprint, and place together in a box, filing spaces with crushed paper. Carefully wrap each shade in multiple sheets of tissue paper, a pillow case or large lightweight towel. Large lamp shades and chandeliers should be packed in a crate.

Contact your Cousins USA representative about obtaining custom-made cartons or crates for these specialty items. Note: paper should never touch the surface of oil paintings.

Leave footwear in shoe boxes and placed in large-size boxes. Shoes may be wrapped individually, then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage occurring to high heels. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.

Leave clothes on hangers and transport in wardrobe cartons. If you desire, you may remove garments from the hanger, fold and place in a suitcase or lined box. Lightweight clothing such as hosiery and lingerie may be left in dresser drawers.

Cousins USA recommends bringing high-value clothing items, such as fur coats, with you instead of packing.

Linens are lightweight, therefore they can be used for padding delicate items or placed in larger boxes.

Draperies and curtains may be packed in larger boxes. Leave rugs on the floor for Cousins USA to handle, unless they have just returned from the cleaners. Carpets will be rolled and wrapped prior to being placed on the truck.

Whenever possible, carry all valuables and photos with you during the move.

Photos are best protected in albums; any framed photographs should be wrapped similar to plates. Loose photos should be secured and protected from damage. Cousins USA recommends packing photos separately for shipping.

Small clocks, radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton, or with the linens. Wrap items individually using several pieces of paper, and place in the packed box with plenty of crushed paper to fill in any empty space.

Large appliances must be serviced and dry before shipping. Ask your Cousins USA representative if you have any questions.

Hand tools may be left in tool boxes, but be sure to fill spaces with crushed paper. Alternatively, the tools may be packed according to general packing rules. Since tools are usually heavy, be sure to use small boxes when packing them.

We suggest you use or give away food. Cousins USA does not ship any perishable food items.

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