How To Pack A Moving Container
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How to Pack a Portable Moving Container

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Asked by Bartel

March 24, 2022 under Others

How to pack a portable moving container

Answered by Katherine Broome

March 24, 2022

Moving containers are a great way to move. They not only save you money by not using professional movers, but you can also pack and unpack the container on your own time. Moving container companies that you can choose from include PODS, U-Pack (our personal recommendation), 1-800-Pack-Rat, and Smart Box.

To learn more about moving containers, and how to pack them, read more.

Packing a moving container

Moving Containers

Moving containers sometimes referred to as "portable moving containers", are an amazing tool for your DIY move. You can have, however, many containers you need to be delivered to your home, and the company will come to pick up your full containers after you've packed them. To learn how to pack a moving container, follow these tips:

How To Load a Moving Container

When you load your moving container keep in mind that your items will be shifting and moving around during transport.


  • Make a wall of items - The best way to pack is to pack vertically. Instead of filling the bottom of the container from covering the floor, then stacking up, we recommend you start packing from one of the walls up.
    • Start from the back wall, stack it high with boxes and furniture, then pack towards the front, keeping in mind to fill every space
  • Distribute the weight – You don’t want to place all your heavy items on one side and have the container break or tip over. So, spread your weight evenly across the container by stacking heavy items on the bottom with lighter items on top.
    • One idea you can implement is to place the heaviest item in the center of the container if you aren't able to spread the weight
  • Always maximize the space inside –Keep in mind if you have any holes in your container that your items will shift around (possibly breaking) during transport. Because of this, it is important to fill any spaces with your belongings.
    • We recommend using clothes or blankets to fill smaller holes in the container
    • Another recommendation is to take the legs off your furniture items before you load them in. This will save space and cut down on the weight of that furniture piece
  • Remember not to put everything in your moving container – There will be some items that cannot go in a container, such as flammable items, ammunition, and even cleaning supplies. You should also not pack your important documents or heirlooms in the container as they can get broken.

How To Pack Your Fragile Items

Since moving can be deadly to fragile and important items, knowing how to pack them is crucial.

Here are some tips for making sure your items stay safe:

  • Use cushioning – When placing items in boxes, make sure you use some sort of cushioning, be it a newspaper, bubble wrap, blankets, clothes, or even furniture pads.
    • Another thing you can do is wrap up your items before putting them in the box. We recommend using a newspaper or bubble wrap to wrap it
  • Stop your items from shifting during transport – As we said before, items shifting can not only cause your belongings to break, but enough of a shift can affect the transit truck. Most moving containers have points of the wall where straps can be attached. When it is possible, secure your items with straps or rope to hold them in place.
    • Be careful when tightening the straps so your items don’t break.
  • Lock your container up – One of the biggest things to keep your items safe is making sure they are secure and locked up. Since you can padlock your container up, either using your own lock or one provided, make sure you lock it uptight. While, of course, thieves can break the lock, it is an added layer of protection.
  • Put the important items towards the front of the moving container – These items include toiletries, cooking supplies, clothing, and towels. By placing them towards the front you will have immediate access when your moving container arrives (if you don’t pack these with you, that is)

Preparing For The Move

Here are a few tips for the preparation of your move using moving containers:

  • Make sure you are using medium boxes primarily
    • Not only are medium-sized moving boxes the most popular size, but it also ensures that your boxes are around the same size, making loading and unloading much easier
  • Reinforce your boxes
    • Using tape, enforce the bottom of the box so that nothing breaks through and falls out
  • Do not overpack your boxes
    • This creates extremely heavy boxes that are difficult to move
  • Make sure you pack enough that your items won’t shift
    • A good way to do this is by using packing paper and padding of some sort (blankets, clothes, pillows, etc.)

Overall, loading your moving container does not have to be difficult. By following the steps above you will have the greatest success with your move.

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