The Smart Guide to Packing

Packing doesn’t have to be a pain. Here are a bunch of tips to help make sure your things (and your sanity) get to your new place in the same condition they left in.

Basic Items

Hanging Clothes

Wardrobe boxes are the obvious choice (and the best choice if going into storage long term). A cheaper option is to just have some contractor trash bags, poke a whole through the top and the hangers through the whole. Then you can tie the trash bag around the bottom to keep the group of clothes clean and orderly. Sometimes a zip tie around the hangers to keep them all together works well too.


Expensive paintings should be boxed with special picture/tv boxes which can be found at most moving supply stores and some home improvement stores. The movers will individually pad all other large ones the day of the move. Small photos should be padded with bubble wrap or packing paper and put into boxes.


Pack books tightly on end in small boxes.


All cables should be removed and taped to the objects they were removed from. Tighten transit screws. They should be placed in original boxes when available and packed carefully in strong boxes if not.

Rugs and Draperies

Have rugs and draperies cleaned before moving and leave them in wrappings for the move.


– Pack medicines and toiletries in a leak proof container (like a ziploc bag). Keep prescriptions and basics in your box or suitcase that you make sure to keep accessible.

Washer and Dryer

If you have a front loading washer try and find the shipping bolts (bolts that go into the back and keep the drum stable while in transit). Have them ready for the movers. Also, check to see if the plug you have currently matches the one at your new place. if not, new ones can be purchased at any home improvement store. Consider replacing old dryer hoses during the move as well (also can be purchased at a home improvement store).


There are really just eight steps involved:

  1. Set up a workstation at a large table, counter top, or kitchen island. Place you paper, bubble wrap, and dishes on the table with plenty of room to move around.
  2. Make sure to assemble the box correctly and stabilize the bottom really well. You don’t want to pick the box up just to have the bottom fall out on you! Some recommend using dish barrels that are just more heavy-duty cardboard boxes. They are a good option but more expensive and not really necessary if you use all the tips here
  3. Put down a layer of bubble wrap or crumpled paper
  4. Always start with your heavier items and make sure to wrap each one individually. Try and crumple the paper around the dish or glass rather than simply wrapping it.
  5. Make sure to place dishes side by side vertically in the box (on their own edge). Stacking on top of each other is a common mistake and will put too much pressure on the dishes increasing the chances they will break. The same is true for stemware. Stack them on the bottom or top rather than laying them horizontal.
  6. There are a lot of hills to deal with in Austin so make sure to fill each box to the top. If you have to, fill extra space with more paper or bubble wrap. Do not leave room for the dishes to move around.
  7. Try to place a divider of soft material between separate levels of stacked items.
    For especially delicate china or other items, it is a good idea to wrap them in bubble wrap first then an additional layer of wrapping paper.

TAKE NOTE – Using newspaper is usually fine except for glass items or porcelain dishes. The newspaper print can come off on the dishes and sometimes cause a permanent stain!

EXTRA TIP – When finished, lightly (very lightly) shake the finished box. If you can hear any clinking noises you did not provide enough padding!

Additional Tips


Particle Board Furniture
While we do our best to move particle board furniture without damage, the inherent weakness of its design causes problems. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for damages to any particle board furniture in excess of the TXDOT guidelines. Please see TXDOT’s “Your Rights and Responsibilities When Moving In Texas”.

All items packed by the owner are moved at the owners risk.
We cannot be responsible for damages to items packed in boxes by the owner in excess of the TXDOT guidelines. Please see TXDOT’s “Your Rights and Responsibilities When Moving In Texas”.

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