Packing Tips for Moving in Richmond, VA

Packing plays a critical role in the moving process, requiring careful attention and care. Otherwise, incorrect or careless packing can lead to damage or broken items, which cost you money and stress. However, with good research and tips from the experts, mastering the art of packing becomes more doable. By taking the advice in this in-depth guide, you can learn the steps required to pack efficiently and securely, ensuring a smooth and worry-free move into your new Richmond home.

When You Should Begin Packing for Your Move

When you should handle each aspect of your move may vary depending on your situation, but this timeline should serve as a baseline for you to properly plan your move:

6-8 Weeks Out: To start, you will need to begin planning, starting with whether you will use professional movers to pack and what you will need to put in storage if you’re storing anything. This is also a good point to plan on what you will pack separately from the rest when moving day comes around.

4-6 Weeks Out: The first step for this period is decluttering. This is a great step when moving to cut down on the packing process by getting rid of what you don’t need; this includes selling, donating, and throwing away items you can live without. The second step in this period is ordering the packing supplies. We discuss packing supplies below.

2-3 Weeks Out: This is when the actual packing process will begin. You will start with items that you don’t use on a daily basis.

1 Week Out: During this week, you will finalize the packing process by packing the more essential items.

By following this packing guideline, you can get ahead of the packing process and avoid the stress of falling behind.

Tips on Moving Box

Moving boxes may appear straightforward, but the wide range of choices available can often create confusion. To assist you in making the right decisions, we put together a list of common moving box options:

Standard Moving Boxes Sizes:

  • Small Box, 16” x 12” x 12”
  • Medium Box, 18” x 16” x 18”
  • Large Box, 18” x 18” 24”
  • Extra Large Box, 24” x 20” x 24”

Specialty Moving Boxes:

  • Dish Pack
  • Mirror Carton
  • TV Box
  • Wardrobe Carton
  • Made-to-Order Crates

Choose the right boxes that fit your belongings. Keep in mind that bigger boxes can’t necessarily hold more weight, but they’re perfect for large but light items, such as blankets and winter coats. The right boxes make for a more secure fit.

Tips on Packing China for Moving

While glassware and china are fragile, packing them right can still minimize potential damage.

This starts with dish packs. Place large, flat dishes on the bottom, with enough cushioning on both sides. Be sure to wrap all of these dishes individually.

Once those dishes are securely placed, you can put the rest of the dishware on top. Here are tips on packing your individual pieces of glassware and china:

  • Wrap plates in bundles of four while wrapping each bowl individually. Then, wrap the entire stack as a bundle.
  • Bowls can be packed in the same way, but we suggest using smaller groups of two or three instead of four.
  • Drinkware should be wrapped individually.
  • Wine glasses are a bit more delicate than other dishware, so they should be wrapped as such. This includes tightly wrapping the stems with folded paper before wrapping up the entire glass.

Wrap any other glasses or china in clean paper individually. Avoid newspaper, and pad generously. Once everything is wrapped in clean paper, then you can wrap everything in newspaper and place it in the dish pack or in its own box. Having their own box is good for more expensive or delicate pieces.

For more info, watch our video on How to Pack Dishes.

How to Pack a Painting

How to pack a painting will depend on a few different factors, such as if it is framed or not, if it has a glass panel, or if it is an oil painting. For all paintings, a mirror carton is the best option. We suggest getting one that is a few inches bigger on each side so that you have room to get the right padding.

Framed Painting with No Glass Cover: You will want to pad the corners with cardboard corner protectors. Completely wrap the painting before putting it in the box to prevent friction prints. Put the cardboard corner protectors on after wrapping the box.

Framed Painting with a Glass Cover: Keep the glass secure, in the case of shattering, by making an “X” shape using packing tape on the cover. You should also use cardboard corner protectors.

Oil Painting with No Glass Cover: When wrapping oil paintings, avoid newspaper. While this is a common type of padding for packing, oil and paper do not mix, which can cause damage to your painting. This will also go in a mirror carton.

When packing paintings, be sure to include plenty of padding to prevent friction on your piece.

Tips on Packing Clothes for a Move

It’s common during the packing process to realize that your wardrobe is bigger than you thought. While clothes individually aren’t very heavy, the weight adds up. In addition, larger pieces like winter jackets take up a lot of space. To make this process easier, here are our expert tips on packing clothes for your move:

  • Start out by planning which clothes you’ll need for the days leading up to your move. Keep these packed separately.
  • Decluttering is key for packing clothes. Look to sell or donate any clothes in good condition that you can part with, and throw away any with stains or rips.
  • Use wardrobe boxes to pack clothes efficiently.
  • If possible, keep clothes folded in your dresser, then remove the drawers and wrap the entire drawer. If you’re moving with a moving company, ask them if they are okay moving these or if they want your clothes packed in boxes.
  • While it can be tempting to put all your clothes in one big cardboard box to save time and money, keep in mind that the weight can add up to a point that the box, or the person moving the box, can’t handle.

Our biggest advice for moving boxes is to avoid procrastination. It takes time, so plan ahead and pack away the clothes you don’t use often first and slowly chip away at the pile. This will make the entire process feel less intimidating.

Frequently Asked Packing Questions

In our time moving around Richmond, we have heard a number of questions repeated by people who want to ensure that they are packing right. Here are some of the more common ones that we hear:

  1. How Can I Be More Eco-Friendly when Packing for My Move?
  2. Remember: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. First, you’ll want to reduce the amount of packing supplies you’ll need by decluttering before you move. Next, try to find slightly-used moving boxes or opt for reusable moving totes. Lastly, be sure to properly recycle any applicable packing supplies during your move. Keep in mind that every city handles recycling differently, so if you’re moving to a new city, brush up on their recycling rules.
  3. Is Packing for an Apartment Move Different?
  4. The main difference is going to be the size. When moving from an apartment to a house or a similarly sized apartment, there isn’t going to be much of a problem. For moves from a house to an apartment, you will want to consider size, as most houses have basements, or even garages, that you can store things in, while only some apartments have storage, which tends to be pretty limited in space.
  5. How Can Professional Movers Help with the Packing Process?
  6. The right movers will offer packing that allows you to have a hands-free move. These are called “full-service movers”. While they can handle everything, you can also direct them to only pack certain items.

What to Look For When Hiring Professional Packers

If packing for a move seems too big for you to handle or too time-consuming for your schedule, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional movers that handle packing. If you’re already using movers, ask if they offer packing services.

When deciding on these professional packers, do research into their licenses and certifications and their years of experience to determine if they are the right movers to handle your needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them directly. The right moving company will be happy to help with whatever questions you may have.