Packing & Moving Do’s and Don’ts

At Seamen’s, our professional New York movers have seen it all. Although we specialize in making all types of moves as easy and stress-free as possible with our wide range of moving and packing services, there are still things you can do to prepare. Feel free to take advantage of the following moving and packing tips to make your move even easier.

Packing Tips

Do pack heavier items first. Be sure to place heavier items on the bottoms of boxes, lighter items on top.

Don’t leave empty spaces in boxes. To avoid loosely packed or unbalanced boxes, fill in gaps with packing paper, towels or clothing.


Don’t pack different rooms’ contents together. Packing and unpacking will be faster and easier with this one room at a time packing method.

Do label boxes with the room name and description of contents. This will aid your movers and you to know where each box goes in your new location. Numbering each box and keeping track with an inventory list will help you know what’s been packed and if everything arrives at your new destination.

Do tape your boxes generously. Use several pieces of tape to shut the seams, then wrap the boxes all the way around with tape at all stress points.

Do ask about special crating for expensive art. For framed pictures use masking tape to make an X on the glass. This will strengthen it and keep it in place if it breaks. Then wrap them in bubble wrap or paper and insert them into a frame box. Please note that regular paper will stick on oil paintings.

Do bundle breakables. Dish-barrel boxes should be used. As you pack dishes, wrap packing paper around each of them, then wrap six together. Never pack dishes flat, always on their sides. Use bunched-up paper as padding in between, below and above. Place cups and bowls inside each other with paper in between. Then take around four of them and wrap in bundles.

Do think of items that need special attention. Wrap TVs in quilted furniture pads. Unless you have the original box, special wooden crates are needed for shipping plasma TVs. They should never be laid flat.

Do pack the essentials in a suitcase. There are certain things you’re going to need on-hand as soon as you arrive at your new place. Make a checklist of these things to pack ahead of time in a suitcase and an essentials box, which you’ll keep with you. Make sure you include extra clothing, any treasures, snacks, and toys.

Your essentials box will have all the things you’ll be scrambling for upon arrival. These items typically include:

  • Tape, scissors, can opener and knife
  • Kitchenware, cups and utensils
  • Towels, garbage bags, and soap
  • Instant coffee and other beverages
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Flashlight and tools
  • Paper and pen
  • Radio and batteries

Moving Tips

Do be informed. Begin by starting a “move file.” This will be the place you put all important moving-related information and receipts. Some moving expenses may be deducted on your next tax return, so this will come in handy in the future.

Do research your new community. One of the greatest tips for moving in New York City or any new city is to visit the community, city, and state’s websites and/or contact their chambers of commerce to request relocation packets. You may also want to order a phone book and city map, start researching new schools and service providers, and consider subscribing to a local newspaper.

Do cut the clutter. The beauty of moving is that it lets you re-evaluate every item you own and get rid of any extra stuff you’ve accumulated at your old place. Tackle one room at a time and be ready to make some tough decisions.

When you’re stumped, here are some questions to ask yourself:

• Does it have sentimental or monetary value?
• Does anyone really use it?
• Is it worth the hassle of moving?
• Will there be room for it in my new home?

If the item in question doesn’t pass the questioning phase, chuck it. Depending on what you’re getting rid of, you can plan a yard sale, auction items online, or donate them. These are all great ways to earn some extra cash or get a tax deduction.

Do take care of all perishables. Start using up or properly disposing of all the things you can’t or shouldn’t move with you. Properly dispose of potentially hazardous chemicals and anything flammable. Eat perishable foods, frozen foods, and any food stored in glass jars. Also, make sure to make special arrangements for any live plants you have. They aren’t moving and storage-friendly like other things, so you’ll have to take them with you or find them new homes.

Do take inventory. While you’re sorting out everything in your home, take the opportunity to take inventory. Make a list of everything you’re keeping and assign replacement values for insurance purposes. Make note of items that are difficult to replace. Either carry these items with you or ship them by insured or certified mail. These items could include:

  • Photos and home videos
  • Birth certificates, wills and other legal documentation
  • Jewelry, rare coins and special collections
  • Stock certificates, insurance policies and financial records
  • Computer drives with backups of important files

Remember, the point of this is to keep your essentials box handy ‑  preferably, in your car.

If you’re looking for New York movers, contact us or fill out our form for a free quote. Our experts will be happy to help you fully prepare for a successful, stress-free move.