Moving Soon? Don’t Make These 3 Common Packing Mistakes

When it comes to moving house, packing up your household is one of the most difficult chores you have to do. It's tough to get organized, it can be difficult to pack up a house when you're still living there and using the things that you're trying to pack, and you're on a deadline – you need to be ready to go by moving day. Unpacking is a little easier, because at least you get to take your time with it. Rushing through a packing job is a good way to make unfortunate mistakes. Take a look at some of the most common packing mistakes so that you can find a way to avoid them.

Packing Too Much in One Box

It can be tempting to just try to stuff as much as you can into the box in front of you, especially if you're rushing. If you've gotten into a rhythm, stopping to seal and label the box and get out a new one can throw you off. But it's still worth taking the time to stop before the box you're working on gets too heavy and too full. Your boxes can only hold so much – if you try to put too much weight into a cardboard box, you risk something inside breaking through the bottom of the box as you're carrying it. You don't want to break or damage something important.

Your back has a limit too. You can only lift so much at once. You don't want boxes so heavy that you can't lift them, or that you hurt yourself trying. A good rule of thumb is to pack the heaviest items in small boxes, and fill large boxes with lightweight items. That helps ensure that you won't wind up with a box that's too heavy to lift. You should also check out the weight limits on your boxes – you can usually find the gross weight limit stamped on the bottom of the box.

Leaving Too Much Empty Space

While you're concentrating on not overfilling your boxes, it can be easy to make the opposite mistake – leaving too much empty space. This is not a question of fully utilizing your space, it's a question of making sure that your fragile items don't get broken. If you leave empty space in the box that's holding your antique teacup collection, those cups are going to move around during transport, and chances are good that one or more of them will end up broken.

You can avoid this by using proper padding. Crumpled packing paper or newspaper, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts can all be used to take up the additional space. These packing materials are lightweight and won't make the box any more difficult to carry, but they will provide much-needed padding to protect your fragile items. If you really want to be economical with your space, you can use towels and linens, comforters and blankets, and t-shirts and sweatshirts as makeshift padding. You have to move those things anyway, so why not put them to good use?

Packing Dangerous Items

If you're using a professional moving service, there are certain things that they won't put on the truck, or that they will only take with special handling precautions. Anything that might be flammable, like fertilizer, kerosene, paint thinner, motor oil, or pool chemicals, is usually forbidden on moving trucks or requires special handling. If you're using a moving service, do not pack these items in boxes without telling the movers – doing so jeopardizes the safety of the movers, as well as the safety of the rest of your items in the truck.

Other items, like plants, perishable food, candles or scented wax items that could melt, and heat-sensitive electronics should also not be put on the moving truck. These items don't pose any danger to the movers, but the moving truck may be dangerous to your items. Moving trucks usually are not climate controlled, and they can get hot fast. Even a short ride could be enough to spoil food or damage your computer hardware. Pack heat-sensitive and perishable items in your own car, or make arrangements to have them transported in a climate-controlled vehicle.

One easy way to avoid packing mistakes is to hire a moving service that will do the packing for you too. A full service relocation service can provide professionals that will pack up your items safely and ensure that they get to their destination intact. For more information, contact a company like Bekins Van Lines Inc.