Packing Anything

Moving your place of residence from here to there will mean packing many boxes—maybe a hundred or more. The instructions in this section will help you do it efficiently and safely.

In addition, you will need to pack some things around your house differently. So the balance of this section offers specific instructions on packing everything from antiques to tools.


No, don't pack your mother-in-law in a box marked "Antique"! If you really own valuable antiques (and not just old stuff), before you move, have your antiques appraised by a qualified professional appraiser so that you can adequately insure the items. Your insurance agency may be able to recommend an appraiser.

If your antiques are truly valuable, consider having a professional packer make specially designed cartons to hold your pieces. In most cases, following the rules for safe packing and loading will probably be sufficient. Make sure you adequately mark the boxes so that they get special treatment throughout your move.

Small Appliances

What about moving your cabinets full of small appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, and dehydrators? The carton or box the appliance came in is the best packing material. If the box does not include molded packing material or if you do not have the original carton, cushion the appliance with packing peanuts or wadded newspaper as described earlier in this section in the section, "The Inside Story: How to Pack a Box."

Audio Equipment

Packing your stereo, tape player, CD player, or other audio equipment is relatively easy. Because most electronic equipment serves as a dust magnet, clean the equipment before packing it. You can clean the inside of audio cases by using a can of compressed air blown through the ventilation slots in the back of the appliance.

If you are moving an entire stereo system, first draw a diagram of the wiring (or take a digital photo) before disconnecting the components. This drawing will save you hours of time at the other end when you're ready to set up the equipment.

If you are moving a turntable, first secure the arm with a rubber band or twist-tie. The changer can typically be cinched down by turning two screws on the top of the unit. Then wrap the dust cover in a large towel, small blanket, or soft tissue.

To move a CD player, first remove all CDs from the unit. Remove stacker or multi-play cartridges. If the unit includes a transport screw, tighten the screw before packing.

If you have the original box and packing material, repack the player in it. If not, use a box slightly larger than the unit, so that it can be surrounded by packing material. Pack tightly so that the unit will not shift within the box.

Finally, place the units in one or more boxes marked "Audio" and "Fragile."


Clean bedding can be packed or used as packing. Soiled bedding from your last night in the old house should be packed separately if you've already packed the washer and dryer.

Lighter bedding items such as pillows and blankets can be placed in furniture drawers. Heavier items, such as comforters, should be placed in clean cartons.

Bedding can also be used as packing material to cushion breakable items. Use older bedding as furniture wraps.

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