Planning the Load

To load safely, empathize. That is, to pack and load an antique dresser, first think of yourself as an old but beautiful object of aged wood and fragile surfaces.

Now you think I’m crazy, too. True story! In fact, this is similar to what the moving companies teach new packers: empathize with what you’re packing. Think of yourself as the object being packed and you will be more sensitive to its needs. This viewpoint, in turn, ensures that objects are packed for safe travel and arrival.

After all, you wouldn’t stand up in the back of a pickup truck for a thousand-mile move, would you? And, as a dish, you wouldn’t want to be exposed to the friction of rubbing against some dumb old coffee cup for a thousand miles, would you? A coffee table will need padding so that other moving objects don’t mar the table’s thin finish.

Let’s carry this odd but effective concept a little further and show you how an object would prefer to be moved.

If you were a valuable vase that had to move, whether cross-town or cross-country, you would want to be kept away from hard objects that could push or rub on your surface. You would probably also want to be packed snugly into a container that would not easily flex when lifted.

Thinking like a fragile vase can help you plan your packing of similar items: glassware, knick knacks, fragile jewelry, lamp bases, valuable dishware.

Okay, now you’re a stereo! How does it feel, getting plugged in, your buttons pushed and your dials twisted? You will welcome the restful sleep within a dark box, won’t you?

Actually, as a stereo system you will want to be packed with padding to protect your electronics and your finish. You don’t want to spend a month or two in the repair shop! It’s no vacation, being poked and probed. But you do want to be packed with related components, speaker wires removed and carefully wrapped, exterior dusted and amply padded.

You will also want the box you’re in to be accurately marked so that you can quickly get back to work in your new home.

And now you’re an overstuffed chair! Nothing personal! But considering how specific furniture would want to be packed if it could speak can help you plan on a safe move. Cloth-covered furniture will want light protection so that objects of lower social order (tables, garden tools) don’t rub against it in transit. A plastic sheet will do the job.

As a sleeper sofa, you will want to make sure you don’t open up and smack one of the movers in the head as you’re placed on end in the moving truck. You will want them to tie your innards together so that they don’t move around. Hey, you get the picture. To safely pack and load your stuff, commiserate!

 Planning Efficiency