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Packing Tips – General Advice

Before you move to your new home it is essential that all of your loose items are properly boxed up and safely packed. Packing is an important skill to learn when moving; it will keep your items from being damaged, it keeps your items organized during transit, and it is much easier to move a packed box than it is to move numerous loose objects. To help you master the art of packing, we here at Corrigan have put together some packing tips and tricks to make you feel comfortable with the process. By following these general advice tips for packing, you will be off to an excellent start.

Use Good Packing Material:  Good materials can be purchased from most hardware stores, or purchased direct from moving companies like Corrigan.

  • Moving Boxes: Good moving boxes should come in standard moving sizes and be made up of sturdy corrugated cardboard. Stay away from using any boxes where the walls are too thin.
  • Tape: Purchase rolls of packaging tape to seal your cartons. Stay away from duct tape or masking tape.
  • Packing paper: This paper is simply large sheets of unprinted newsprint. Packing paper can be used to protect most any type of object, as well as fill empty space in boxes. Using unprinted newsprint is important because the ink will rub off newspapers if you were to pack with them.
  • Bubble wrap: Bubble wrap is not essential, but can be used to easily protect your most delicate and breakable items. Packing paper can also protect these objects if used correctly.
  • Paper pads:  Paper pads are large soft sheets of paper that are used to wrap delicate items that are too big for the standard packing paper.  These are often a 6 ply cellulose wadding, and they often measure 36” x 72”.

Properly Assembly Your Moving Boxes:

  • There is a trick to keep the box flaps out of your way while packing. When the box is laying flat you will notice there is a small cardboard tab connecting the top flaps on the box. When you are ready to assemble your boxes, while the box is still flat, fold the top flaps down to the sides, and then open the box up. The tabs will keep the flaps of the box held neatly to the side while you are filling the box.
 3.0box openflapsbox
  • Next turn the box over and seal the bottom. If the flaps are different sizes, fold the smaller flaps in first and then the larger flaps. Run three strips of tape across the bottom of the box.
  • Turn the box back over, and it is now ready to be filled. When the box is full, give a firm tug on the top flaps to break through the cardboard tab holding the flaps to the side. You do not need any scissors or box cutters. Fold the flaps shut and run three more strips of tape across the top of the box.

Properly Label Your Boxes:
Using a permanent marker, carefully label each box. List the general contents inside, the room the items came from, as well as your name. This will help you place the boxes in the correct room of your new home, and also help you find the items you are looking for inside.


Do Not Pack any Flammable or Hazardous Materials:
There are items that no moving company is allowed to transport. Check our prohibited items list and be sure you do not pack these items. Dispose of these items before your move, and repurchase them at your new home.

Following these tips will make sure your packing is headed in the right direction. Check back soon for additional packing tips and tricks, as we will be detailing how to pack different box sizes and helping you decide what items to pack into what box. Until then, happy packing!

We are here to help with your packing or moving services if you need it. Feel free to reach out to our team at Corrigan Moving Systems at any time and we would happy to assist you.  We have moving companies located in Rochester NY, Chicago IL, Cleveland OH, Toledo OH, and across Michigan. Our long distance movers can also handle moves anywhere in the country.

77 Responses to “Packing Tips – General Advice”

KentClark1November 13th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

I think that it is also wise to look into self storage units. When we moved, we had to live in an apartment for a few months. We couldn’t fit everything we owned in our apartment. That is why it is important to have a place to store your stuff. You don’t have to throw it away. Just be patient in your search of a home.

kennethgwestonDecember 9th, 2014 at 8:25 am

The advice’s are very helpful and useful for moving but its very stressful to pack all house item at the time of moving. So hiring a professional moving company like Metro moving ( ) is a better option for stress less and save moving.

Mstar58January 14th, 2015 at 9:44 am

Labeling your boxes is really important. We had to help my parents clean out their storage unit and move the contents. Half the battle was just figuring out what things were and where they were going. Being at least a little bit organized will make moving and getting things into a storage unit so much easier.

JamesClarksonJanuary 14th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

KentClark1 Self storage units can be a great way to reduce the stress and hassle of a big move. It can help tremendously if you have too many items to move in a single day. You can store items in the storage unit and make several trips. It may be difficult to find the space for all of your possessions in your new home, which makes extra storage space a huge blessing.

JordanJohnson2January 26th, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Your tips here are top notch. Labeling your boxes can save you from tons of frustration after the move occurs. Just imagine needing a dish or utensil for cooking a dinner, but not having a clue in which box you should look. Save yourself from weeks of frustration by labeling your boxes as you pack them.

James LisbonJanuary 27th, 2015 at 10:57 pm

I liked when you said that labeling your packages can help.   I also liked when you said to use packing tape because other tape has the possibility of not working the best for the situation.  My friend recently moved and packed his things, and I helped him.  It seemed like he was able to pack things in an orderly manner, but it seems good that there are options out there for people who may not know how to pack efficiently.

AngelaKillpackJanuary 30th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Can you buy a lot of the boxes and packing materials from moving companies? I think I know some places to get boxes, but getting packing material is trickier. I have a lot of fragile and breakable things that need to packed properly and it sounds like unprinted newsprint is a good option for that. I might start packing things up now and moving them into a storage unit, since my husband and I will be moving this year. It would be nice to have some things packed and ready to go before we move.

MarcioWilgesFebruary 4th, 2015 at 11:43 pm

I’m surprised that nobody has said this before! It is SO important to have good packing material when you are contemplating moving or relocations! At the end of the day, you could be the most organized person in the world, but if your boxes fall apart or your bubble wrap comes looking like wilted spinach, you’re not going to be happy when you offload everything into your new home!

JamesClarksonFebruary 5th, 2015 at 10:00 pm

MarcioWilges Too many individuals overlook the importance of choosing the right material when moving. I always look for high quality boxes and good packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Having your possessions properly packed will ensure that they don’t break during the move. Things will be shuffled and moved around tremendously during a big move, which warrants reason to invest in caring for the packing.

JamesClarksonFebruary 9th, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Simon Kier Having your boxes labeled will make it much simpler to prevent mixing up your possessions after you are moved in. Sorting through everything can take a great deal of time; it will be much more efficient to keep everything properly sorted. Keep everything organized so you can spend more time enjoying your new residence.

LaceyRockwell1February 10th, 2015 at 12:01 pm

I thought packing would be the easiest part of moving! My kids have been packing up their own rooms, and that was not my greatest idea. They are putting random things in boxes, and they haven’t labelled a thing. I have tried to keep my stuff somewhat organized.

MarcusFillionFebruary 13th, 2015 at 3:51 pm

It’s absolutely amazing how few people take the time to label their boxes. I’ve moved quite a few times, so I have a system down at this point. But I couldn’t do it if I didn’t know exactly what was in each box. That also makes it easier to unpack, and you don’t have to worry about crushing a valuable box. |

kelseyhigginsFebruary 13th, 2015 at 8:13 pm

When I was helping my sister move a few weeks ago, we were constantly fighting the box flaps! I had no idea there was an easier way to deal with that! When my husband and I start packing up some of our excess things to move into our storage unit, I will have to remember that!

esther oakleyFebruary 17th, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I am getting ready to move across the country for my job and I am pretty nervous. Moving can be a big hassle if you have a lot of stuff and not many people to move it. I think I am going to hire a moving company to take away that stress. Thanks for the tips about using boxes to pack! I am going to try that to aid the moving company a bit.

janefairfax18February 17th, 2015 at 4:38 pm

This is some fantastic advice, thank you. My sister is packing up a lot of stuff and putting it into storage until her family gets settled in their new town. She hasn’t really done anything like this before, so these packing tips should be a big help for her. I know she can do this.

WalterKowalskiFebruary 18th, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Thank you for these tips. I just accepted a job with a company in another city and I don’t have a lot of time to pack up my things and move. I appreciate the tip on properly labeling the boxes. I’ll be sure to remember it.
Walter Kowalski |

Michael2327February 19th, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Thank you for these tips! I’ve been trying to pack up my house, but I’ve found that a lot of it I can’t take with me. However, I would like to find a place to store it until I find a better place for it. Maybe a storage facility in my local area could help me out I’ll have to do some research and see what’s available.

rbenson1February 23rd, 2015 at 9:09 pm

My brother is building a new house and we have been helping him pack up his existing house.  They were trying to save money and just using various boxes they found through their house.  We found it really hard to stack the boxes in storage.  It seems like investing in some packing materials could help to make moving a little easier.

rodgersstephanie6February 26th, 2015 at 1:57 pm

I hate moving because I never know how what to use to protect everything. The packing materials list you provided is perfect. My wife and I will be using the packing paper exclusively when we move in a few weeks. Thank you for all the helpful tips and advice on packing.  <a href=””> Packing Boxes</a>

MarcusFillionMarch 2nd, 2015 at 4:43 pm

I’m glad you mentioned the difference between packing paper and newspaper. If you’re going to move, or if you’re packing boxes to put them into storage, newspaper isn’t the best idea. The ink rubs off onto anything you put next to it. It’s better to invest in packing paper before you start putting things into boxes.

James LisbonMarch 6th, 2015 at 11:16 pm

These tips seem interesting and that they may be helpful in packing up a home.   Sometimes it seems like when the time comes to move, people may find that they have a lot of stuff that is not completely necessary.   It could possibly be a good idea to invest in a storage unit to avoid not having a place to put your things.

bryanflake1984March 9th, 2015 at 4:39 pm

I am moving soon and I don’t have the luxury of a company moving me.  Therefore, I have been struggling to figure out all the supplies that I will need.  Since I cannot actually use a moving company for practical reasons; could I still use one to get packing supplies from?  That would sure help me a whole lot.
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robbhardy3March 10th, 2015 at 12:13 am

When I help someone move I always wonder where things are going to go. I like the tip of always labeling things. It seems that if you label things then others are more able help more in the moving process. Imagine how much it would help if you decided to use a storage unit and then got your stuff 6 months later. I would assume that it would be very hard to remember what was in what box by that time even if you were the one who packed the boxes if you didn’t label things properly.

hedleyfulton83March 12th, 2015 at 6:17 pm

I think that investing in packing paper before you move is a really good idea. By using packing paper in your boxes you can prevent a lot of things from breaking. Moving is already really stressful. You shouldn’t have to worry about packing boxes and keeping everything organized as well as things breaking. These tips can definitely help make packing easier.

AshleyReedMarch 16th, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Bubble wrap will be good to use for my decorations, I don’t want them getting broken in the move. We have a lot of little trinkets everywhere, and some of them are quite delicate. The kids can play with it all after the move too, which will give them lots of entertainment.

WalterKowalskiMarch 17th, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Thank you for these packing tips. The entire office is moving to a new building and there is so much that needs to get done. Right now, we’re just packing up files, but soon we are going to have to start packing up all the computers and copy machines.
Walter Kowalski |

tedsmith575March 18th, 2015 at 5:36 pm

It is true that a storage unit can be a great place to store your things until you permanently move. I remember when I tried to move without using a storage unit. It was very stressful because I had to keep track of everything. By using a storage unit you get rid of that stress.

JordanJohnson2March 23rd, 2015 at 8:17 pm

I found when I last moved that I really didn’t know what how to do it properly. As a college student I always had parents there to do most of it for me. Evidently when you don’t pack your heaviest boxes on bottom, you just end up destroying most fragile things in the lower boxes. You should add this tip to your article on prop storage and moving tips.

Michael2327March 30th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

I’ve been packing up a few of my things to store away. I had forgotten how badly was was at folding boxes in order to store things. It made me so happy to see that you put the tips on how to do it on your article. Thank you, it’s going to be a lot easier to store things away now that I can use my boxes. Now, all I need to do is find a storage unit.

FelicitySandyApril 7th, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I love what you suggested in the packaging section when you said you should also label the room the box goes to to easily drop the box off in a move. That would also be a good strategy with storing your extra boxes of stuff until you can get most of your main stuff moved in. It would be so much easier to come back to the storage unit and easily reference which packaged box goes where when you have enough room in your house later. This was a marvelous article for moving, packaging, and storage! Thanks!

LaceyRockwell1April 8th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

My husband just got a new job, but it’s on the other side of the country. I am excited to live there, but I am a little weary about the initial move. I haven’t moved very many times in my life, so this is very unknown to me. I like this list you gave of everything you will need to pack! That is a lot of help, considering I have no idea what I’m doing!

emilysmith47876April 15th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Thank you so much for the packing tips. I am moving for the first time and I have no idea how to move efficiently. The tip to properly assemble your moving boxes is extremely important. If you don’t assemble them properly, then your stuff could fall out of the bottom of the box. I have had that happen before and some of my stuff broke. That could have been avoided if I assembled the box correctly.

correysmith321April 15th, 2015 at 10:49 pm

When it comes to helping my grandmother pack I often inform her about self storage units that she can rent.  Convincing her to get rid of her old gnome collections has been pretty hard for me to do because she has bunch of those and not mention her big old rocking chair. I guess it would be better to get her a self storage unit so that she can use.

Christophe CarlierApril 24th, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Thank you for sharing these helpful packing tips. I live in the Sydney are and I am currently in the process of moving to the suburbs. My family and I are excited for this because the house will be bigger and newer. Like you said, good moving boxes should come in standard moving sizes and be made up of sturdy corrugated cardboard. It just takes so much time to pack our boxes! I will need to call professional movers to help me out. Thanks!
-Chris |

HollieTruesdaleMay 5th, 2015 at 9:05 pm

That’s good to know that moving companies can’t legally tranport flammable or hazardous things. We just completed a move to a new place not far from our old place and I didn’t even think about what would happen with all those propane bottles in one place. I doubt you could put those into a storage unit either to avoid getting rid of them entirely. I think renting a small storage unit while moving could give you some flexibility if you have a lot of things and not a lot of space.

JeffybridgeMay 5th, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Great tips for packing. I recently moved to a new home and one thing that was very useful was labeling boxes just as you said. That way you can take them into the proper rooms without needed to open them while unloading. Looking back, it seems I could have saved a lot of time and space by storing certain items in a storage unit.

LaurenAdamsMay 13th, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I really like your advice to label all of your boxes. That seems to be biggest thing that I struggle with whenever I am unpacking. I don’t know where anything is! This kind of thing will definitely help the moving process go much smoother.

JaxWillis23May 13th, 2015 at 11:57 pm

It’s always great to be able to get tips like these when you’re preparing for a big move. I liked your tip about labeling things well. I have had so many moves in the past that were difficult to unpack because nothing was properly labeled when I went through the move. I hope that I’ll be able to work on that next time I move somewhere.

Gary PuntmanMay 19th, 2015 at 7:38 pm

These are some great packing tips! I’ve never been the best at packing and it usually stresses me out.  I’m going to remember these when I move out of my house at the end of the summer.  I will have to stock up on moving boxes.  It’s important to get ones that will be sturdy enough.

LevyRedfoxMay 27th, 2015 at 9:39 pm

These are some really great tips for a first time mover. I liked your tip about labeling your boxes properly. It seems like that would make moving things so much easier. Also do you think getting a storage unit is a good idea if you are still looking for a place to live after you sell your house?

sfreddson2156June 3rd, 2015 at 10:43 am

You’re right: it’s important to make sure that you have good packing material when you get started. It’s not easy to get everything packed away and it’s tempting to rush the process. Taking the time to pack everything in good quality packing material is worth the time though! Thanks for sharing.

PyrrhoJune 8th, 2015 at 9:36 pm

I know exactly how important it is to label all of your boxes. I ended up losing about $1200 of sports memorabilia, because it was put into an old box that was previously labeled ‘trash’. Make sure everything is absolutely labeled properly, so that you don’t lose anything to the notorious trash can.

MikeReynolds13June 8th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

I agree that it is important to look into self storage when moving. It can really help take some of the stress out of moving. You can keep unessential belongings in the storage unit until you you desire to take any out.

MarcusFillionJune 9th, 2015 at 11:13 am

Oh man, not enough can be said about labeling those boxes. I always think “Oh, I’ll remember what I put in this one,” so I don’t bother labeling it. And I have regretted that every single time. By the time you return to your storage space, you will have completely forgotten about the way you packed everything the firs time. Label your boxes!

bryanflake1984June 11th, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I am moving on my own in a few weeks.  In considering all the aspects of moving, I think that the thing I love most is the square label that is printed on the moving boxes.  This is going to help keep a uniformity of where and how to label my boxes.  Now I won’t forget where I put something.

LevyRedfoxJune 15th, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Moving can be so stressful that it makes sense to do what ever you can to make it easier. I really like the tip about not packing anything that is flammable, you use just get rid of it and then get new stuff later. It seems like that would be something your movers would also want you to do as well. <a href=’’ ></a&gt;

geraldvonbergerJune 15th, 2015 at 6:38 pm

These are some pretty good moving tips. Packing everything up is one of the hardest parts of moving I think. That’s especially true when you’re moving long distance. You really have to plan ahead to make sure that none of your stuff is damaged in the trip.

EmilyMerrellJune 17th, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I also wanted to add that you should remember the tip about properly assembling your boxes. We made that mistake this last week when we were going through our move. One of our biggest boxes ended up breaking out on the bottom and spilling everything everywhere. I really wish that we had hired a moving company to help us.

JenniferStevensJune 24th, 2015 at 1:29 pm

I wasn’t aware that there was a prohibited list of items that couldn’t be packed.   However, it would probably be a good thing to know about the specific items in order to be prepared.  The last thing someone might want is to have issues while moving and not know how to handle them.

EbonyKleinmanJune 25th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

These are tips I wish I had known when I was packing to move to my new place a few months ago! I was wrapping things in newspaper because that was all I had at the time. It would have been nice to have brown paper that didn’t leave newsprint on my dishes. I did at least use packaging tape, like you suggested, instead of duct tape or masking tape! Duct tape is hard to cut open and masking tape doesn’t hold your boxes closed very well.

FelicitySandyJuly 8th, 2015 at 4:40 pm

That’s actually genius with keeping the flaps of the box out of the way when you’re packing up your boxes in the paragraph next to the second picture! I had no idea that there was those little slits to put the flaps of the box to neatly stay on the sides like that. That idea of filling out your labels with what room they should go into towards the bottom of this article is going to help us so much when we unpack our boxes from the moving truck. We’re definitely going to keep those details in mind when we gear up for our move! Thanks!

AshleyReedJuly 22nd, 2015 at 8:29 am

We’re downing sizing to a smaller house, and we have a lot of packing to do. Hopefully we won’t need to get a storage unit, but I’m having trouble deciding what to keep and give away. The new place is about half the size, so we really do need to get rid of a lot. I like that you mention labeling the boxes properly, I would even go one step more and make a list of what’s in each box, so you don’t have to look through three kitchen boxes for a pan. Having boxes that are all a similar size can help a lot with storage units as well.

jstrong196August 20th, 2015 at 10:36 am

Moving and packing things can be a very stressful thing to deal with. One thing that I learned that helps make that process less stressful is having a quality storage unit. I learned this last week when some friends of mine were moving and they made several trips to put stuff away that they didn’t need. It made their moving load lighter and they got it done faster.

DanielaAdamsOctober 12th, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I had no idea that there are items that moving companies are not allowed to transport! Does it mean that it’s my responsibility to move them? Thanks for providing the list. I’m moving in two weeks, this article is definitely helpful for me!

Nauman AhmadOctober 17th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

The way you pack your good
has a major impact on your overall move. If the packing isn’t done right, some
delicate items might not get to the destination in one piece after a long ride
in the moving truck. So you should use proper and add cushioning
products to avoid any costly damage.

AndreBeluchiJanuary 14th, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Excellent advice that was given on bubble wrapping packages for moving. I believe my family would probably need to do that for our move. Our move is just moving about a couple of miles away and still, my guess is that we might need a storage unit. The main reason is because of how there are a few furniture that we’ll be unable to move into our new home.

AnnaPicketFebruary 8th, 2016 at 11:21 pm

That is brilliant to use those tabs to keep the flaps out of our way while we are packing. It never occurred to me to fold it like that. We will definitely be doing that next time we move. We generally pack the boxes ourselves, then get some help carrying things out.