Are you moving?Get FREE Quotes

Home > Moving Guides > During Your Move > Wrapping Up and Packing Away > What Not to Pack Yourself When You Move

What Not to Pack Yourself When You Move

4.5  4.5/5 based on 11 visitor(s)

Moving. The word alone can fill anyone with a myriad of emotions--excitement, nervousness, anticipation, fear. While moving is a major step, it doesn't have to overshadow your every waking thought with worry.

We've all heard about nightmare moves. People forgot things, couldn't get anyone to help them move, or didn't know the right way to pack. The key to a successful move is to plan ahead and stay organized so everything goes smoothly.

The first thing to do is decide who is going to pack what. This will come down to a few different scenarios, each with their own pros and cons.

First scenario - You pack everything, and the movers just, well..move your stuff.
Second scenario - You pack some of your things, and the movers pack some of your things also.
Third scenario - The movers pack everything.

Scenario #1 - You do it all

In the first scenario, you are the packing god.

You might be thinking "Oh, I want to save money. I'm definitely going with the first scenario." And while you certainly can do that, keep in mind the time it will take you. (It always takes longer than imagined). Plus, a moving company isn't liable for damage to items that were incorrectly packed. And do you really want the stress of having to deal with all of it by yourself?

Scenario #2 - You do some, the movers do some

In the second scenario, you and the movers both pack some things.

You might say, "OK, this sounds reasonable, but how do I know what to pack and what to leave for the movers to take care of?"

We're here to offer some practical suggestions to help you if this is the route you choose to go.

What to Leave for the Movers

Glass and dishes - First, stop and think which things you simply don't have the time and energy to pack correctly. For many people, this is the kitchen. You could let the trained, professional movers deal with the task of safely boxing your dishes, cookware, utensils, and small kitchen appliances. Plus, it makes much more sense for you (as well as less strain on your back) to let them deal with correctly dismantling any heavy furniture in the room. They are trained to know the quickest, safest way to pack and load your things so that they arrive in perfect condition in your new home.

Gym Equipment -  You don't want to risk damaging the items by either dismantling them incorrectly, or by not boxing them in the correct manner for the move. Allow your movers movers to handle equipment that has to come apart and be stored in a specific way.

Tech items - If you are not especially tech-savvy (or even if you are!) you may want to leave this to the movers as well. Taking apart your computer and any peripherals, a home theater system, even TV's and cable or DTV boxes, could become a massive jumble of cords and wires to the tech novice.

It is crucial to pack these items correctly to offset the chance of any damage. Also, there are certain items that cannot safely be stored near the other or they could cause damage. (For instance, your stereo speakers next to your computer.) By choosing to have the movers take care of this task for you, you can relax in the confidence that your valuable entertainment items are in the competent hands of professionals who have been doing this for years.

Heavy items that must come apart - If you have any furniture that simply is time-consuming for you to take apart and re-assemble, and you aren't completely sure how you even got it together in the first place-leave it for the movers. They have years of experience doing just this. You have enough on your mind right now. Allow yourself to step away from some of the unnecessary stress.

Scenario #3 - Movers do it all

You could simply step back from the plate, and leave it all to the masters. Only you know which situation is best for you, for your time and your budget.

Items that CANNOT go on the Moving Truck
It is important to keep in mind that there are some items that movers cannot transport due to safety concerns. Many items normally found in a home are considered hazardous materials and may not go on the moving truck. If you aren't sure, check with your moving company ahead of time.

Some Common Examples of Such Materials Are:
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Paint
  • Paint Thinners
  • Propane Tanks or Cylinders
  • Fireworks
  • Any types of chemicals or poisons
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Lighters/Matches
  • Firearms
It is also not recommended to transport valuables or personal keepsakes on the van.

Some Common Examples of Such Materials Are:
  • Jewelry
  • Important Documents
  • Insurance Policies
  • Bank Papers
  • Photographs
  • Cash
  • Prescription Medication
  • Food in Glass Jars and Perishable Items

Tips on Packing for Peak Organization

Make sure that you label your boxes clearly; marking what room each goes in. Mark a star or write "Open First!" on those boxes that contain items you know you will need right away. Even if a mover is doing the packing for you, you can certainly still label the box so it makes your life easier when you arrive in your new home.

Also keep in mind, if you are having movers "do it all", they will pack everything. If you have trash in your kitchen trash can, it will be packed for your new house. Take time to clear out any junk you don't want in advance. Use this as a chance to weed through the stuff you've been keeping for no good reason--after all, there is no sense paying to move items you don't even have use for anymore.

Don't bother packing the clothing in your dressers, just leave it there.

You DO want to unplug your TV and computer and other electronic equipment the day before so it can settle to room temperature before the move to eliminate risk of damage.

You also DO want to empty your refrigerator before the move, and leave the door open for at least a day. If you have small children, possibly set up some type of safety parameter around it so they don't try to crawl inside.

If you follow the tips, stay organized, and take your time, it will make this transition in your life one less thing to worry about. Remember this is an exciting time! Don't allow worries and stress to cause you to lose focus of that fact. Professional movers can work with you to make the move seem practically effortless, so you can concentrate on what is really important, enjoying your new home.

Photo by: Ambro (

  Posted by Jodie Andrefski on January 14, 2013

Rate this guide What Not to Pack Yourself When You Move