8 Essential Unpacking Tips

Unpacking is often overlooked as part of the moving process, and rarely do people set aside enough time to complete it.  The result is that boxes remain unpacked months after you have moved into your new home.  Following are some basic tips for a successful unpack:

1)     Make sure that when you are packing, every box is carefully labeled with your name, the room that the box came out of, and the contents of the box.  This will make the process of unpacking MUCH easier.

Man Unpacking Boxes
Careful Unpacking is Just as Important as Packing

2)     If possible, allot one day after your move to unpack and settle into your new home.

3)     Put your friends and family to work and have them help by unpacking books and clothes.  Hopefully they will be appreciative of the fact that you did not ask them to help you move!

4)     Start by unpacking the absolute essentials and then work as a team and go room by room through your residence.  This makes the experience much more pleasant and ensures that all items get fully unpacked.

5)     When unpacking, try and stack the box that you are unpacking onto another box or a raised surface to avoid having to repeatedly bend at the waist and potentially injure your back.

6)     Designate an area within your new residence to put used packing materials in the interest of not cluttering your new home.

7)     Break down the boxes as you unpack them in order to avoid creating an unnecessary mess.

8)     Donate or sell your used boxes.


If the above seems too burdensome, consider contacting Olympia Moving to schedule an unpacking service or debris removal service.  This is an economical approach that takes a lot of the stress out of moving in.

Tips on Packing Pictures and Mirrors

Pictures and mirrors are typically easier to pack than other fragile items.  The key is having the right packing materials for the job.  Smaller pictures should be placed inside a Dishpack carton; while larger pictures should go inside a specialized mirror/picture box.

Packing A Picture Frame
Packing A Picture Frame to Arrive Undamaged

Once you setup the mirror carton, place a layer of crumpled up paper on the bottom-of the box to provide cushioning.  Size permitting, 2 pictures of like size should be packed into each box.  Each picture should be carefully and individually wrapped with paper or bubble wrap.  It is important that pictures are loaded either face-to-face or back-to-back in order to prevent any marring or damage to glass.

Once both pictures have been inserted into the container, fill in any excess space around the perimeter of the box with paper.  Try not to overfill the middle of the box with paper.  An overfilled box will be significantly bowed in the mid-section and has the potential to create damage (especially with canvas paintings).

Once you have finished the packing, pick up the box and gently shake it.  If you hear any movement inside the box, then additional paper is required to properly secure the contents.

Labeling is important.  Make sure that you label your mirror cartons on flat surfaces with your name, the room that the paintings came out of, and an arrow indicating the top of the box.  The word “fragile” should also be prominently displayed on the container.

There are more detailed packing tips and tricksContact Olympia Moving or call 800.222.4744 for a moving estimate.

6 Essential Tips for Fragile Packing

In the absence of budgetary constraints, having professionals pack your fragile items is both easier and preferable from a liability standpoint.  Having said this, if you are going to pack the fragile items yourself, following are some hints that should make this process easier.

1)     Whenever you are packing, make sure that you have a good workspace setup.  Place the box that you are packing on top of another box so that you avoid potential back issues associated with bending at the waist repeatedly.

Packing Fragile Items in Moving Boxes Effectively
Take Extra Time Packing Fragile Items

2)     The vast majority of fragile items can and should be wrapped in plain newsprint.  Do not use regular newspaper for packing, as the ink has a tendency to stain china.  Setup a flat surface and lay the packing paper on top of this space.

3)     Fragile items should be packed in a “Dishpack” or “5.2 cubic foot” box; which is double corrugated and specially designed for breakable items.

4)     Dishpacks should be packed in “tiers”.  Begin by creating a layer of crumpled up paper at the bottom of the box.  Proceed to wrap each piece individually with multiple pieces of paper.  Heavier (and less fragile) items should go on the bottom of the box; constituting the first tier.  Once the first tier is complete, fill in any remaining gaps with paper and create another layer of cushioning.  Continue with this process until the box is completely full.  Stemware and extremely fragile items should be placed on the top of the Dishpack.

5)     Remember that structure and support for a box are provided internally as well as externally.  Make sure that any extra space is filled with paper.  There should be no extra space inside the box.

6)     Make sure to label any fragile boxes with your name, the contents and a vertical arrow pointing upward to indicate that the box should not be loaded on its side.  In addition, the word “fragile” should be displayed prominently on at least two adjacent sides of the box.

There are more packing tips on this page or you can order moving supplies here. Contact Olympia Moving or call 800.222.4744 for a moving estimate.

Packing Preparation Essentials

Proper preparation is essential to a successful move and one of the biggest factors in determining final cost.  This is especially true if you are doing your own packing.  The following tips will help you to be fully prepared on moving day and, by extension, to keep your costs down.

Packing:  Basic moving boxes and supplies are key. The basic rule of thumb is that if it can fit inside a box, it should be in a box.  Loose items are difficult to load into a truck and create unnecessary delays.  If possible, use standard moving boxes as opposed to smaller boxes that may not be structurally sound.

Labeling:  All boxes should be labeled with your name, the room that the items came out of, and a word or two about the contents.  Boxes should be labeled on two adjacent sides plus the top.  This is especially helpful during the delivery process; as it allows you to direct the movers and make sure that boxes are placed in the appropriate place at your new residence.  The more detailed you are with your labeling; the easier it will be for you to locate items during the unpacking process.

preparing to pack to move

Organization:  As boxes are packed they should be stacked against the perimeter of the room.  Do not leave boxes in the middle of the floor; as this is hazardous to the movers.  Ideally you want to organize your space so that the movers have easy access to everything within a given room.  Trucks are loaded in tiers and it adds time if the movers have to re-organize in order to get access to specific pieces.

If you are planning on moving some of the items yourself in a car, focus on items that are not boxed; such as lamp shades.  The movers are very efficient in moving furniture and boxes, but loose items have the potential to cause delays.

For more preparation tips see the Olympia Moving moving resource page with downloadable PDF files to help you with your next move. Contact Olympia Moving or call 800.222.4744 for an moving estimate.