Packing Your Own Things Effectively To Lower Your Bill
This is a series of general rules to follow that in my experience is the difference between cheap and stress free, and well you can probably guess the alternative.
1. If it can be in a box... It SHOULD BE IN A BOX.
Boxes are the be-all and end-all of moving. The key is they can be stacked. Small 2 cubes for dishes (wrapped in packing paper, see video), and big boxes for everything else. 4 cube and wardrobe boxes. That's pretty much it. Big boxes = Less trips to the truck = Faster.
Tiny liquor boxes, or random sizes of random boxes you have accumulated are actually very time consuming because they don't stack as well. Either on dollies or on the truck in the load. Once again they also require more trips to the truck. You want larger boxes of relatively uniformed sizes.
2. No loose Items.
I like to tell people this. " It takes just as long for me to carry that floor lamp and this little bag of loose stuff to the truck as it would to wheel 200lbs of boxed items... but the boxes would be easier because they're on wheels." This is typically an hourly service, do not under estimate how much longer it takes if there are things still laying around.
Anything tall/ skinny like bed rails or shovels/rakes or brooms tape them up in bundles of 4 or 5. Not too many that it gets awkward, but enough that it's worth picking up.
Lamps are an issue, take the shade off and get it in a wardrobe with some clothes/ blankets, tie the cords, or at least have them set aside with the shade off. Tall floor lamps do not move well, collapse if possible, or at least pack the glass type shades.
Kitchen appliances go in the bottom of larger boxes while packing near the kitchen, they will take the weight.
Electronics can be.. can you guess? that's right in boxes too. Put one in, drop something soft, then something flat, then another one(eg. amplifier,tea towels,cutting board, dvd player) until at the top of the box then fill the sides in with towels or paper or anything you have.
3. boxes Must Be Tight.
The concept of using boxes gets kind of wrecked when they are not full. There are 2 things that determine where in the load the box goes:
1. how heavy it is.
2. How loose it is.
The heavier the lower in the load, the looser the higher in the load. A box that has 1 heavy item in it has to move up in the load because it will ruin the structure of the tier being stacked, thus creating more risk to the more fragile items in the middle because of it's weight. This concept directly applies to dollies as well. If we cant stack it, it may as well stay loose.
The items just mentioned can be in bins as well. Do not buy bins that either have lids that will not stay on, or are too big to fit though doorways sideways.
ALL garage items do well in bins. The garage typically gets loaded last and that section of the load is dirty, with sharp, loose objects.
ALL liquids should be in bins, If there is a leak the rest of the load doesn't get ruined.
All drawers stay in everything. Some clothes can stay in dressers but anything loose has to be removed. This is because many of these items are put on end to move or even upside down in the load.
6. Label, Label, Label.
The fastest unload is to put all of your boxes right back in the immediate room to entry way, however if distributing throughout the house if there are no labels it becomes a nightmare. Everything needs to be handled more than once this way because we cannot stack dolly loads that are all in 1 location, thus increasing your bill.
Preparation for the Movers Arrival
Other things you can do to speed things up
1. clear hallways in front entry area
2. no vehicles in driveway
3. Any items possible moved as close to the loading point as possible
Make the Process Even Faster...
1. While you are packing box by box stack them in the first immediate room to the entry way. This way we can draw from the boxes quickly and mix them with furniture as we go. This is the fastest way to move. (keep in mind sofas need to be accessible, they are the 1st thing on the truck)
2. Pull things slightly away from the wall.
3. Disassemble yourself if possible. When people ask me if I will take everything apart and put it back together again this is what I say: " I work for you today. I can do anything and everything you need me to do. Hell I will build you a new deck when we get there but at minimum of $100 per hour it may not be cost effective."
That being said, most bed frames are not a big deal. We do them daily so of course we are fast at it. You know if you have anything that is brutally time consuming (like ikea). Just keep in mind that moving quotes do not include extraordinary circumstances.
4. Take the mirrors off your dressers and disconnect the table top from its base. Not taking the table apart is sloppy work for a mover. The table comes apart for a reason, it's designed to move that way.That dresser is the first thing we want out of that bedroom. It creates space in the room to maneuver the bed and its the best base in the house to stack on.
This website is a constant work in progress, I sincerely hope this is helpful. I also appreciate any feedback, good or bad. Good luck with whoever you choose and I hope to hear from you!
Dan Edwards, Owner/operator
Pro Service Moving Inc.