Packing & Moving Checklist

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Packing and Moving Tips

Move-Ottawa Movers recommends that you pack as many of your items as possible before the move, this may help you save money on the total cost of your move.

Following moving and packing tips prepared by Move-Ottawa Movers will help you learn how to properly pack your items for a safe move.

Selecting the right Packing Material:

Selecting the right packing material for each item is one of the most important parts of packing. When you select packing material for your moving items, please remember these guidelines:

  1. Always use strong, double-corrugated moving cartons with tops or flaps that fold shut. Please do not pack your items in used boxes from local grocery stores etc. These boxes are often flimsy and many times carry insects because food stuff surrounds them. Always use double corrugated moving boxes, not single. The stronger your moving boxes, the better chance your goods have of surviving any mishaps, should they occur.
  2. You can use old newspapers for packing material, just be careful the ink may rub off or stain certain items. Move-Ottawa Movers recommend that you use plain blank packing newspaper that can be purchased from any packing and moving supplies store.
  3. Use original packing materials for all your electronic items such as TV, Computers, Printers, etc. Move-Ottawa Movers does not provide any coverage for damage to electronic items if these items are not packed in their original packaging.
  4. Move-Ottawa Movers recommends that you use plastic covers for mattresses, couches, chairs, etc. This will prevent them from being marked or scratched during the move.
  5. Get specialty moving boxes for mirrors, artwork, and clothing.
  6. You may need other packing materials before your move. Ziplock Plastic bags and labels for parts storage and identification. Packing peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or “popcorn” for added protection, tissue and Kraft paper, corrugated paper rolls for fragile items, furniture wrap, and heavy-duty packaging tape (1-1/2 to 2 inches wide) for sealing moving boxes. Move-Ottawa Movers recommends that you do not use duct tape.

Before You Start Packing:

After you have collected all packing and moving materials as outlined in our guide above, you should select a room in your house that has a work area large enough to handle different sizes of moving boxes. Make sure you have enough space for all your packing materials, moving boxes and items to be packed for moving. We recommend that you choose a strong work surface.
Move-Ottawa Movers suggest that you pack one room at a time and mark each moving box with the room and box number to facilitate unloading and unpacking at your new home. Make sure you have plenty of “filling/stuffing” material available; whenever in doubt, using more is always better than less. Ensure that the bottoms of all moving boxes are firmly secured and will hold the weight of the items inside. Always pack heavier items at the bottom of the moving box and lighter items at the top. Each moving box should not weigh more than 50 Lbs/ 20Kgs, keep in mind heavy items should be packed in the smallest moving box possible.

How to Pack Different Items:

This section will provide you with guidelines on how individual household items should be prepared for moving. Some items, such as grandfather clocks, hot tubs, etc., must be packed by a certified professional. There are certain items that Move-Ottawa Movers will not move, including jewelry, antique coins, mortgage papers, bank documents, stamps, and other similar items of high value. If you include these items in your shipment, Move-Ottawa Movers has the right to deny any claims for loss or damage. These items must be moved personally.

  • Furniture
    All clothes and items must be removed from inside the furniture. This includes all desks, dressers, armoires…etc. It also limits wear and tears to your furniture during the move. Be careful NOT to leave fragile items and anything that might spill or leak. If clothes or other items have not been removed prior to the move, movers may ask you to remove them on the day of the move and an extra charge may apply. All drawers and any removable attachments should be removed and packed separately.
    Move-Ottawa Movers will wrap all your large furniture items in moving blankets. We suggest that you add another layer of protection by wrapping your furniture in protective furniture wrap.
  • Packing China, Glass & Crystal
    Most people prefer to have their household possessions, especially fragile items, professionally packed by a moving company. However, if you decide to pack these items yourself, remember that the basic principles of good packing include wrapping the items individually, providing plenty of cushioning and making sure items are firmly packed. Be sure to select a sturdy container with a lid. Place a 2 or 3-inch layer of crushed paper on the bottom of the carton as a cushion. Wrap each item individually with a soft material to provide a safe, protective “padded nest.” Pack the heaviest items on the bottom, empty items next, filling in empty spaces with crushed paper. Place dishes on edge and glassware on rims for maximum protection. Mark the moving box as “Fragile” and list the contents on the outside. Move-Ottawa Movers does not take responsibility for poorly packed items in case of any damage.
  • Appliances and Utensils
    Wrap and place small appliances and utensils in sturdy moving boxes with heavier items on the bottom. Have an authorized serviceman prepare all large appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, freezer, washer, dryer, etc. for moving. Please be sure to defrost, clean and dry as needed all major appliances before the arrival of the moving crew. Please allow 24 hours before plugging-in major appliances at your new home.
  • Bedding
    Fold and pack all pillowcases, sheets, and towels in clean, moving boxes. Pack blankets, quilts, and comforters in large moving boxes. Dismantle all your beds before the moving day, Move-Ottawa Movers can re-assemble items at an extra charge at your new home. Protect your mattresses by covering them with mattress covers.
  • Books
    Pack books in small moving boxes. Make sure that each individual box does not weigh more than 50 lbs/ 20Kgs.
  • Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Foods
    Pack upright in small moving boxes with a weight not exceeding 50lbs/ 20Kgs. Please do not try to move perishables. Wrap boxes food and glass containers individually and packs them in small moving boxes.
  • Clocks
    Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by an expert serviceman.
  • Clothing
    Wardrobe moving boxes are available for moving clothes. Hang clothing inside wardrobe moving boxes and tape them closed. All other clothing should be folded and packed in clean moving boxes.
  • DVD and CD Players
    All electronic items such as DVD and CD Players should be packed in their original packing material whenever available. If for some reason original packing materials are not available, refer to the owner’s manuals for further information.
  • Artwork and Photographs
    All photographs or artwork with frames should be individually packed in specialty moving boxes. If specialty moving boxes are not available, use blankets and shrink-wrap each piece individually. Label boxes “Fragile” and “This Side Up.”
  • Curtains and Drapes
    Hang drapes in wardrobe moving boxes or fold and pack in clean moving boxes. Remove curtains from rods; fold and pack in clean moving boxes.
  • DVDs, CDs, Software Discs, Records, Audio Cassettes, and Video Tapes
    Start by placing crushed paper at the bottom of a small moving box. If sleeves or cases are not available, Move-Ottawa Movers recommends purchasing empty protective sleeves or cases for these items. If you choose not to purchase empty sleeves or cases wrap these items in tissue paper or plastic wrap. Stand CDs, software discs and records on edge in cartons, DO NOT LAY THEM FLAT. Provide support on either side by using pieces of cardboard, this will also help fill in any gaps. Audio cassettes and video tapes may be packed vertically or horizontally on layers of crushed paper. Fill in with crushed paper as needed. Be sure to mark “Fragile” on the moving box.
  • Firearms
    Move-Ottawa Movers do not move firearms.
  • Home Theater Systems, Plasma, and LCD TVs & Entertainment Systems
    It is best to use the original packaging when available. Consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions on your equipment. Move-Ottawa Movers recommends using a third-party professional to properly prepare plasma and big-screen TVs and entertainment systems for moving.
  • Lamps and Lampshades
    Secure the cord, and remove bulbs and shades. Wrap Lamps with bedding and place them upright in a clean moving box. Wrap shades in tissue, and place them upright in large, tissue-lined moving boxes.
  • Linens
    Fold neatly and place in clean moving boxes.
  • Personal Computers
    Pack computer equipment in original packaging when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated moving boxes and place protective padding on the bottom and top of the moving box. Wrap cords separately, label them to identify their usage, and place them in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer and the moving box.
  • Rugs
    Roll large rugs before the arrival of the Move-Ottawa Movers moving crew.
  • Silverware, Knives, and Sharp Items
    Wrap each piece in the plastic, newspaper, or packing tissue paper and securely packed in a double corrugated moving box. Please make sure all sharp items are individually double-wrapped in cardboard and properly secured in a double-corrugated moving box.
  • Tools and Lawn Equipment
    All power tools including lawnmowers, brush cutters, snow plows, etc must have all flammables completely drained. Pack hand tools in small, double-corrugated cartons.

Moving Plants

Move-Ottawa Movers cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants because they may suffer from a lack of water and light as well as probable temperature changes while in the van. You may prefer to transport your house plants in the family car.

Moving Pets

Move-Ottawa Movers do not move Pets.

Moving Jewelry And Other Valuables

Move-Ottawa Movers does not move any items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques, mortgage documents, bank documents, etc. We strongly recommend that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you, or make other arrangements for their transport.

Items Not Allowed To Move

Before your possessions are packed and loaded for moving, it is important that you understand which items cannot be moved because they represent a hazard or are perishable. Listed below are some common non-allowable items that you will need to address prior to your pack and move dates: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS – items that are flammable, corrosive, or explosive. Examples include Aerosols, Fireworks, Nail Polish, Ammonia, Gasoline, Batteries, Paint, Kerosene, Lamp Oil, Pesticides, Lighter Fluid, Loaded Guns, and Motor Oil.

Making the best of your moving day

  • Be ready when the Move-Ottawa Movers moving crew arrives. Have everything ready to go, as you will be charged an hourly rate for the time the movers wait.
  • Make sure both your origin and destination locations are ready. If you are moving to an apartment, book the elevator in the apartment building and notify your landlord or building manager of the arrival time of the Move-Ottawa Movers moving crew. Arrange for street parking if needed.
  • Take any personal, important documents with you. Back up your computer data and take the data and the computer with you.
  • Take all of your valuables (e.g. jewelry, prescriptions, artwork) with you, and make special arrangements for perishables (e.g. food, plants) that may be affected by heat or cold. Make appropriate arrangements for your pets.
  • The actual day you move can be hectic and busy, but with some pre-planning, everything should go smoothly. Move-Ottawa Movers will work with you to make the day a success.
  • Start packing well ahead of time. Using plenty of packing paper around each breakable and crushed paper to fill the entire moving box.
  • Use packing tape to seal every moving box completely.
  • Pack heavy items in small moving boxes and light items in large moving boxes.
  • Do not over-pack a moving box, too much weight or bulk can force a moving box open and spill the contents.
  • Pack the heavier item at the bottom and the delicate lighter items towards the top of the moving box.
  • It helps to mark each moving box by location to identify where it should be placed when moving into your new home.
  • Computers should be backed up and disabled for moving day, we recommend placing them in your car if possible.
  • Dresser drawers should be emptied and removed from the dresser.
  • Lampshades should be packed alone 1-2 in a box, separated by clean packing paper, and marked fragile.
  • Hat and shoe boxes should be consolidated into larger moving boxes.
  • Toys and shoes do not need to be wrapped but should be sealed in a moving box.
  • Make are sure all entryways, doorways, porches, and driveways are clear.
  • Remove potted plants, door mats, low-hanging items, and rugs.
  • If you live in a building with elevators, be sure to notify the management in advance that you will need to use the elevators. Book an elevator in advance for your move.
  • Be sure to set aside a box or travel bag of personal items that you will need immediately in your new home. Take this with you when you travel.
  • At least one person should be present during the loading process. Drivers and other personnel may have questions or need access that only you can provide.
  • The obvious packing containers are moving boxes and luggage. You will also need markers and big color labels. You will need moving boxes — lots of boxes. In case you’re wondering, Move-Ottawa Movers can provide you moving boxes if requested before the moving day.
  • You will rely on moving boxes to protect your belongings. Do not use moving boxes that are old or that have become structurally weak. Also, fill your boxes to their capacity. Weak boxes or half-empty ones that end up under other moving boxes are likely to get crushed – together with their contents! On the other hand, overfilled moving boxes can burst. The outside of moving boxes is all writing surfaces. Use them to your advantage by writing down critical information like FRAGILE, THIS SIDE UP, or even just the general contents inside the moving box.
  • Moving is stressful enough. Do yourself a favor by getting the services of a reliable, professional mover such as Move-Ottawa Movers. The moving company you choose will be your biggest helper in this demanding task. Make sure you choose wisely and employ a moving company who can ensure your belongings arrive smoothly in your new home.
  • Don’t over-pack. Keep moving boxes and cartons to 50 pounds or less.
  • Pack items you won’t need until after you are settled in your new location first.
  • Follow a schedule. Don’t underestimate how long it takes to pack!
  • Go room by room to stay organized.
  • As you complete each room, sort moving boxes and cartons by weight to make the loading process easier.
  • Label moving boxes clearly with your name, room, where the moving box should go in your new home, and a brief description of the contents
  • For printers, detach paper holders and remove toner and ink cartridges.
  • Treat monitors as you would television screens or mirrors.
  • Back up computer files onto external storage devices or discs.
  • Have a look at the calendar to make sure you won’t run out of time.
  • If you have kids, make sure to hire a babysitter or have some family member take care of them on the day of the move. It can sometimes be dangerous and cumbersome to have children or pets around on a moving day.
  • Prepare a plan of where you will want the Move-Ottawa Movers moving crew to put your belongings at the destination.
  • Try to eat the frozen food in your freezer ahead of time to reduce the risk of spoiling in transit.
  • When the loading has been completed, do a walk-through of your premises to ensure that everything has been loaded and nothing is left in closets, behind doors, attics, or garages.
  • When the unloading has been completed, do a walk-through of your premises and all hallways and pathways into your premises as well as the moving vehicle to ensure that everything has been unloaded.