Many people prefer to have their belongings packed professionally to avoid risk of damage. Your Secure Moving Move Coordinator will be happy to discuss costs, materials and packing services.

If you plan to pack yourself…..

If you decide to do the packing yourself, you automatically assume a major portion of the responsibility for the success of the move – including that of having everything properly packed and ready for loading when the moving van arrives. All packing must be completed by the evening before moving day…only the things you will need that night and the next morning should be left for last minute packing. Allow yourself several weeks to complete the packing.

Good packing means:

  • Wrapping items carefully
  • Using professional quality materials
  • Making sure boxes are packed full using adequate wrapping paper
  • Using the correct type of carton for the contents

Getting Ready

  • Prepare a convenient place to work and gather all packing materials in one location. If there is a spare room available, consider setting it up as your packing headquarters.
  • A large table covered with padding or cardboard makes a good waist high work station.  We typically use the kitchen table, utility table or counter tops to pack.
  • You will need packing cartons, unprinted newspaper for wrapping, bubble wrap, packing tape, a marker, and scissors.
  • Always label the packed cartons on the side using the placard on the carton.  List your name, the room and the appropriate contents.  Stack the boxes in each room with the placard facing out after packing for easy identification.

Professional moving cartons available from Secure Moving include:

1.5 cubic foot cartons (the book or small carton)

This is the smallest of the general-purpose containers. As a rule of thumb, the smallest and heaviest items are generally packed in the 1.5 cubic foot carton. Such items would include:

Books, papers, canned goods, tools, flatware photo albums, small pictures , last minute items, etc.
3.0 cubic foot carton (medium carton)

Small kitchen appliances, pots, pans, other non-breakable cookware, outdoor items, basic non-breakable items, games, lamp shades, smaller artificial arrangements, etc.
4.5 cubic foot carton

As the size of the container increases, the weight of the individual items going into the container should decrease.

Linens, non-breakable kitchen goods (Tupperware, baking sheets, plasticware, toys, games, larger garage items, misc. light weight items, stuffed animals’ folded clothing, towels, pillows, bedding.
Dishpack (Barrel or Dish Barrel)

This is the safest of all the cartons because of its extra-strength, multi-layer construction. All breakable kitchenware, china, crystal, lamp bases, small antiques brick-a-brac, electronics, statues, outdoor pots, vases, breakable display items and pretty much anything fragile should be packed in a dishpack carton. These cartons often weigh in excess of 50 pounds when professionally packed. They are virtually crush proof when packed properly, and moved on a box dolly.

Mirror Carton

Mirror cartons are adjustable in size and are designed to pack large pictures, mirrors and glass tops. Your Move Coordinator can show you how to pack them if you need help.
Wardrobe Cartons

These cartons are constructed in a manner that hanging clothes will remain hanging during the move. You may want to consider the wardrobe for shipping drapes and curtains (neatly folded and on hangers) and also bulky garage and basement items. Wardrobe cartons have double wall construction and will hold 100 pounds.


These cartons are designed to pack flat screen TVs up to 59 inches. Larger TVs require a custom crate for transport.

Pack similar items together. Don’t pack a delicate china figurine with a cast iron skillet.
Start with out-of-season items, and things you use infrequently.
Keep all parts or pairs together and use re-sealable plastic bags for hardware, taping the bag securely to the item.
Empty drawers of breakables, or anything that would damage other items.
Wrap items individually in clean newsprint.
Wind electric cords, fastening them so they will not dangle.
Put a two or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of the carton to serve as a cushion.
Build up in layers, with heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next, and lightest weight on top.
As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces with crushed paper, adding layers of crushed paper between items.
Avoid overloading the carton, but make sure it is filled to the top with crumbled wrapping paper.
The carton cover should close easily with no bulges, and no inward bends.
Blankets, towels and other soft items may be used for cushioning.
Seal cartons tightly with packing tape.
Mark each carton with your name and the room to which the carton should be delivered
Write “unpack first” on items you will need at destination.
When you arrive at your new home, tape a sign on the door of each room corresponding to your carton labeling.

China & Glassware
Professional packers use a dish pack carton for china and glassware. Place plenty of cushioning material in bottom of carton. Then wrap each piece individually using several sheets of paper. Start from the corner, wrapping diagonally, continuously tucking in overlapping edges. After wrapping each piece individually, then wrap four to six in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row, standing them on edge.

The larger china and glass plates, platters, and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in the box. Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items, making sure to rest them in the box upright, using sufficient cushioning. Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundles to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Always remember, the heavier pieces go on the bottom!

Stand shallow bowls on edge in the carton and deep ones (such as mixing bowls) nested two or three together, upside down on their top rims.

Wrap sugar bowl lids in tissue, turning them upside down on the bowl before wrapping them together. Place sugar bowls, pitchers and similar pieces upright in the carton, being careful to cushion firmly. Complete the layer as for plates.

Cups and glassware should be wrapped in a double layer of paper and placed upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer within the box with all the handles facing upward in the same direction.

Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, in clear plastic or tissue. If the silverware is in a chest, you still may want to wrap the pieces individually and replace in the chest, or fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper toweling.

Silverplate or Sterling Silver
Since air causes silver to tarnish, all silver pieces should be c completely enclosed in fresh, clean tissue paper or plastic wrap. Chinaware, including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes, should be carefully wrapped as fragile items and packed the same as china.

Because books are heavy, be sure to use small cartons. Pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Pack books of same general size together.

After removing the light bulb, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately, in newsprint, (never use newspaper) and place together in a carton, filling spaces with crushed paper. Carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of fresh tissue paper, a pillowcase or large lightweight towel. More than one lamp or shade can be packed in a carton if properly protected. Large, Tiffany-style lamp shades and chandeliers should be crated by Stevens Worldwide Van Lines.

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Mirrors, Paintings, etc.
Leave it to the professionals. It is best to consult with your move coordinator about obtaining custom made cartons or crates for these types of items. All are easily damaged. Glass may shatter; marble slabs can crack at veins.

Footwear may be left in shoe boxes and placed into large cartons. Or, wrap each shoe individually, then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage occurring to high heels or ornaments. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.

Clothing may be left on hangers and transported in wardrobe cartons, If wardrobes are not used, each garment should be removed from the hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper.

It is recommended that you take any furs or high-value items with you, rather than packing them for transportation on the moving van.

Linen and Bedding
Because they are lightweight, these items can be used for padding delicate items or folded and packed in larger cartons. Line the box with clean paper, and place the linens in a large plastic bag for protection. Place in cartons and label appropriately.

Draperies, Curtains and Rugs
Draperies and curtains may also be folded and packed in larger cartons, lined with clean paper. Another alternative is to place on hangers, and pack curtains and drapes in a wardrobe carton. Leave rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle. If they have just returned from the cleaners, leave them rolled. Carpets will be rolled and secured prior to placing them on the moving van.

Photographs and Valuables
If possible, carry all valuables and photos with you to destination. If you must pack photographs, wrap framed photos with padding and cushioning, and like your dishes, stand them on edge in the box. Photographs are best protected in photo albums, which should be wrapped and packed in separate cartons. Loose photos should be packed in separate cartons and protected from moisture or possible water damage. Take the time to properly pack your irreplaceable items.

Small Appliances
Small clocks, radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton, or in with the linens. These items should be wrapped individually, using several pieces of paper, and should be placed in the packed carton with plenty of crushed paper.

Hand tools may be left in toolboxes, the spaces filled with crushed paper, or the tools may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small cartons because the tools are generally heavy. Long handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately.

Take only those things you are sure will travel well. Do not take anything perishable. In the winter months, do not take anything that may freeze and burst. For long distance relocations, we recommend giving away canned and perishable foods and replenishing your supply upon arrival at your new home.

If you decide to take pantry items, remember to seal the open boxes of dried or powdered foods such as rice, macaroni and cereals with tape. Small containers of herbs and spices, condiments, gelatin, flavorings, etc. should be placed together in a small box before packing into a larger container. Cover holes of shaker type containers and seal with tape.

If you are traveling by car to your new destination, be sure to pack a “Moving Day Box.” Place your last minute items in the box, along with things you’ll need right away at your new destination. Keep a folder with all of your moving paperwork with you at all items. You may want to take along:

First aid kit
Soap/paper towels
Paper plates and plastic utensils
Snack foods
Phone charger
Pet items
A few small tools like screwdriver, hammer, etc

Combustible Liquids, corrosives, rubbing alcohol, acids, chemicals, bleach, cleaning chemicals, flammables, firearm ammo, adhesives, aerosol cans, any type of fuel liquid, fertilizers, propane tanks, painting chemicals, matches, lighters, charcoal, stocks, deeds, important papers, stamp or other collections, perishables, jewelry, medications, live plants, any liquids.

Loss and Damage Protection

Keep in mind that Secure Moving cannot cover the contents of cartons that you pack. Pack carefully, use the proper size carton and packing technique, and plenty of wrapping paper. It is worth noting that packing materials are cheap compared to replacement of broken items.