Houseplants should be loaded last and unloaded first. Remember to water these plants to keep the soil moist and to empty the collection bowl of excess water. This will help reduce water damage to other items.
Pack items you know you'll need (sheets, towels, toiletries, tissues and a change of clothes) in your clothes hamper on moving day and you'll know just where to find them at your new place!
Wrap small appliances in inkless newsprint or your kitchen towels or linens. Tape the bottom of a medium box securely and put down layers of inkless newsprint for padding. You can pack several small appliances in a box.
Wrap lampshades separately with clean, non-printed packing paper. Put two or three in a large box. They'll stay clean and won't get crushed.
For large appliances that don't convey, make sure you check your owner's manual for any special instructions before you start to pack. Make sure the inside and outside of all appliances are clean. You can stuff the inside of some appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, with towels or linens. Tape down any parts that could come loose -- electrical cords, etc. Wrap the appliance with furniture pads and tie securely. Take the owner's manual on items you are moving.
Put plastic bags with rubber bands around the hoses (this is a good time to replace old hoses with reinforced new ones) of your washing machine and secure them to prevent leakage in transit.
Art and collectibles
Put on Corrugated Corners and wrap each piece in bubble wrap. Pad the bottom of a large box with crumpled inkless newsprint. Give the items plenty of space, and make sure you add lots of packing material on the sides, between items and on top. Remember to label the box "fragile."
For short distance moves, you may consider moving some of these items independently of other items. Computer equipment many times contains critical information and should be carefully handled.
Use only small boxes for books -- they are very heavy. You can pack small paperbacks to fill the sides of the box if there is extra space.
You can move clothing on hangers straight from your closet to the wardrobe boxes. Wardrobe boxes let you move clothes directly from the closet without taking them off the hangers, saving you the cost and time of ironing and dry cleaning, but there's room on the bottom of the box for shoes, throw pillows and linens.
Clothing in drawers should be packed in suitcases or boxes for long distance moves. But if the move is a short distance you may consider leaving them in the drawers. Just make sure the contents aren't too heavy – too much weight can damage the drawers. Anything fragile should be wrapped in paper first.
Ideally, you should pack electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers in their original boxes with their original packing material. If this is unavailable, wrap the equipment in plastic bubble wrap and pack in heavy duty TV Boxes.
For short distance moves, you may consider moving some of these items independently of other items. Computer equipment many times contains critical information and should be carefully considered and backed up before disconnecting.
If you can take your furniture apart in any way to make it easier to move, make sure you put all nuts, bolts and screws in a small zip-lock bag and tape the bag to the furniture. Tape drawers shut where necessary. Wrap exposed legs (on tables and chairs) in bubble wrap or inkless newsprint. Wrap in furniture pads and tie securely.
Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap or inkless newsprint. Put layers of bubble wrap between each plate or bowl. Fill the top bowl with crumpled inkless newsprint. Make sure you put the heavier items on the bottom of the box.
Wrap non-breakable items in inkless newsprint before packing in a box. Use cell packs, cardboard or bubble wrap to separate delicate items. Make sure you pack all the kitchen items you'll need for your first few days in your new home in one box, and label it prominently. You can only eat take-out for so long!
Mirrors and framed art
When packing your small framed art or photos, choose a box that's larger when it's open on both ends than what you're packing. Open the bottom of the box, flatten it out and seal one of the open sides with tape. Slide the wrapped picture into the unsealed side, then seal it and label the package.
Larger pictures, framed art and mirrors should be packed individually in Mirror Boxes. Tape an X of masking tape across mirrors and paintings framed with glass. Wrap each item in bubble wrap. You can use shipping cartons for these pieces. Make sure you label everything fragile.
Use bubble pack around delicate wood frames. After you slide the item into the mirror box, stuff wadded up wrapping paper into any extra space around the item. Seal the box with tape and label it glass or fragile.