David Moving Company, a northAmerican Van Lines Agent

Packing Tips

Packing Tips from the Professionals at David Moving Company.

To help organize your packing, print this page and keep it handy.

Packing TipsPacking can be a tedious, time-consuming chore that takes skill and the right materials to prepare household articles for your move.

North American Van Lines recommends that you have our professionals pack for you. We're trained in proper procedures, have the right materials, and can do it in about a quarter of the time.

We strongly recommend that we crate or pack and prepare these items for shipment:

  • Marble, glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40" x 60" or larger
  • Pool table slates
  • Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statuary, chandeliers and other items
    that require crating
  • Antiques

Some things should stay with you as you move, such as:

Cash, securities, jewelry and furs, firearms (consult local laws), personal papers and documents (like birth certificates, insurance policies and deeds), prescriptions, coin and stamp collections, special family photographs and videos, moving-related documents.

If you decide to do the packing yourself, we want to help all we can. Here are some trade secrets we'd like to share with you:

Trade Secret #1

Purchase the cartons and packing materials (unprinted newspaper, bubble wrap and tape) you'll need from your local North American agent. We can help you choose the sizes and kinds you'll need. You'll save valuable time, compared to trying to track down suitable cartons at supermarkets. More importantly, our cartons are specifically designed for packing household goods.

Trade Secret #2

Wrap fragile articles the way professionals do; use two layers of unprinted newspaper per glass, dish, figurine, etc. Wrap firmly, but loosely enough, to provide a cushioning effect.

Trade Secret #3

Don't overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles cushion each other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure. Don't mix incompatible items (like books with glasses). Pack clothing in our special wardrobe containers. That way your clothes will hang straight and stay clean and virtually wrinkle-free.

Trade Secret #4

Pack glasses standing on end, upside down, and not on their sides. Stack dishes on edge, and fill empty spaces with wadded unprinted newspaper. Before packing the dishpack box, layer the bottom of the carton with crumpled unprinted newspaper.

Trade Secret #5

Pack lampshades, mirrors, pictures, etc., in special cartons designed for them. Ask your North American representative for guidance.

Trade Secret #6

Tape boxes across tops and edges. Seal every opening tightly. (See Types of Boxes, Tools & Materials You'll Need below.)

Trade Secret #7

Pack your belongings room by room to make unpacking easier. Label each box with your name, North American contract number, the room the box goes to, and a brief description of the contents. Mark items you'll need right away once you move with "Unpack First," and mark only truly fragile items with "Fragile."

Trade Secret #8

Don't pack paints, turpentine, pressurized cans, corrosive items like bleach or any flammable liquid. The law forbids movers to carry flammables. Properly dispose of or give away anything that could cause a fire or damage.

Trade Secret #9

When packing a personal computer, these steps will help you prepare it for safe transport. To pack your computer, we strongly recommend that you use the computer's original carton and packing materials. If they're not available, use a box that is both strong and big enough to hold the computer, and pack it with unprinted newspaper. For more advice, your local computer dealer can answer other questions.

1. Back up your software and data files. Take these with you or send to your destination via insured mail.

2. Park the hard drive (if applicable). See your computer's instruction manual for special steps to take. With newer computers, simply turning the power off initiates this safety feature.

3. Insert cardboard or an old disk into the disk drive(s).

4. Unhook all cables and power cords, indicating their positions for easy set-up. Pack cords separately with manuals and software.

5. Use only static-free packing materials like clean, wadded unprinted newspaper (not standard bubble wrap or packing peanuts).

6. Create a base layer of wadded unprinted newspaper and place your computer on top of that layer. Then surround sides and top with more wadded unprinted newspaper until firmly packed. Then seal carton with packing tape.

7. Remove all ink cartridges from the printer.

Other Important Information:

Typically, a move requires the loading and unloading of appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers and gas or electric dryers.

Important: These items can only be moved if they're prepared for shipment by an appropriately qualified or specialized service provider, like a plumber, electrician, gas company or carpenter. The same is true for reinstallation at your new home. Your local North American agent can arrange to have these services provided. Our drivers are not qualified to perform these services.

Tools & Materials You'll Need:

  • unprinted newspaper and tissue paper (newspaper ink can soil and even damage some items)
  • 2" plastic tape (to assemble and close cartons)
  • utility knife
  • scissors
  • permanent markers

Types of Boxes:

1.5 cu. ft. in U.S., and 2.0 cu. ft. in Canada (book box)

Use for heavy or dense items including books, records, shoes, canned goods, kitchen canisters, small appliances and hand or power tools.

3 cu. ft. in U.S., and 4.0 cu. ft. in Canada

General-purpose size. Good for toys, lampshades, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, etc.

4.5 and 6 cu. ft. in U.S., and 5.0 cu. ft. in Canada

For large, lightweight items such as pillows, bedding and toys. Do not overload.

Wardrobe boxes

Equipped with a bar for hanging clothes, curtains and draperies. The bottom is not designed to support weight; do not pack other items in the bottom of these cartons.


Specially designed with available cell dividers for transporting dishes, glasses, bowls and other kitchenware. Also good for lamps, small pictures, knick-knacks and light appliances.

Mirror boxes

Telescoping, large and small sizes. Provide extra protection for mirrors, large pictures, and glass tabletops.

Mattress boxes

Available in crib, twin, standard, double and queen/king sizes.

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To arrange for a free estimate on a household or corporate relocation call us at 888-505-NAVL (6285).

888-505-NAVL (6285) | 225-753-3240

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