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How to pack like a pro

Before you pack for a move consider whether you can do it yourself. It does take time and it can be stressful, but packing for a move on your own, with the help of your family and friends is a real money-saver. Even if you are hiring a moving van you can easily plan your packing and unpacking and do it yourself. The first thing you need to do is make sure all your packing is complete before the van arrives, which sometimes means you have to pack the whole day before and during the night. Last minute packing is not reasonable, except for the things you need for the night before. Be prepared that the representatives from the moving company will inspect your boxes to see if they are properly packed and sealed. Usually things from basements, attics and decorations need to be repacked. No ripped or crashed boxes are allowed. Also, if you can hear the things inside a box rattle while you move it, then you need to put more bubble wrap or soft material inside. When you start packing not everything will fit - furniture and major appliances, as well as items which need disassembling should be wrapped by the moving professionals and loaded into the van. Pack all your linen, clothes, books, dishes and small belongings in small, medium or large boxes, ensuring that the box is as full as possible. The less space you leave between items, the more unlikely it is for them to crash. What you need for the packing itself is: a pack of special moving boxes (they should be certified, and even if they have been used - clean and in good condition), packing paper or newspaper, bubble wrap or paper towels for fragile items, markers for labeling boxes, scissors, labels or stickers and PVC tape. Wrap glasses and cups in bubble wrap or old sheets, place a few inches of paper or clothing for padding on the bottom of each box. Place larger and heavier items on the bottoms and lightweight ones on top of them. Do not overload the boxes - they need to be reasonably heavy, try keeping them less than 50 pounds. Place books and plates vertically to save space, putting some kind of padding between plates or wrapping each one separately. Books go in smaller boxes which hold their weight better. Fill in any space between items with wadded paper. When labeling the boxes use a broad black marker - indicate "fragile" on delicate items and "this end up" where it's necessary; write your name clearly and the room each box goes in. A few tips on packing from moving professionals which you can follow are: pack similar items together; dissembled parts of items should be kept together; fasten electrical cords to avoid dangling; use newspaper for cushioning and with items which cannot be stained by the ink; throw or give away anything you don't wear, use or doesn't work anymore to save space and move only valuable things to your new place; keep in mind that the more fragile an item is, the more cushioning it needs - with crushed paper, blankets, bubble wrap and others; seal cartons tightly and write on a list what is there in each box; number boxes you want to unpack first at your new place; involve your children in the process of packing but organize them and don't let them change your arrangements. If you follow these simple instructions you will have packed professionally before you know it and be ready to move out.