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Packing Tips

Whether it’s your Great-grandmothers dresser, your baby’s teddy bear, precious artwork or your kitchenware and clothes, we do it all.

Regardless of whether it’s a preplanned pack or a last minute emergency - from partial packing of a few items to complete packing of your home or office - we have the experience, equipment and supplies to ensure safe packaging and transit of your belongings.


  • Begin packing well in advance. Start with items least used in your household.
  • Pack one room at a time, labeling each carton with the general contents and the destination room in the new home.
  • Cartons containing fragile items should be clearly marked.
  • Use the right size box, as a general guideline the heavier the contents, the smaller the carton.
  • Ensure the bottoms of the cartons are well taped to hold the contents.
  • When packing individual cartons, place the heavier items on the bottom, graduating to the lightest items on top.

It is best to take the following paperwork and valuables with you, rather than have them packed and transported by your mover.

  • Cash
  • Coin/stamp collections
  • Deeds/wills
  • Mortgage or rental paperwork
  • Stock/bond certificates
  • Jewelry
  • Family photos or videos
  • Contents of safety deposit box

The following items are classified as dangerous or hazardous goods and cannot be transported by your mover.

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ammunition
  • Firearms
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning fluids
  • Paints and paint thinner
  • Matches
  • Lighter fluid
  • Batteries
  • BBQ tanks
  • Pressurized tanks
  • Flammable or corrosive chemicals
  • Loaded firearms
  • Firecrackers
  • Flares
  • Explosives
  • Perishable goods
  • Food in glass jars
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Fertilizers containing Ammonium Nitrate

China & Glassware - Place cushioning material in bottom of carton. Then wrap each piece individually using several sheets of paper. Start from the corner, wrapping diagonally, continuously tucking in overlapping edges. Place the packed items in a china carton, and use bundled paper for cushioning.

The larger china and glass plates, platters, and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in the box. Smaller plates, saucers, shallow bowls and glasses could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items, making sure to pack them using sufficient cushioning.

Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundles to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Always remember, the heavier pieces go on the bottom!

Make sure that once the box is packed, nothing inside the carton shifts or moves when picked up or shaken.

Silverware - Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, in tissue or packing paper. Avoid plastic or bubble wrap, as this may sweat during shipment and cause your silverware to rust or tarnish.

Books- Because books are heavy, be sure to use small cartons. Pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. Pack books of same general size together.

Lamps - After removing the light bulb, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately, in packing paper, and place together in a carton, filling spaces with crushed paper. Never wrap the lampshade in newspaper as this will leave black marks.

Clothing - Clothing may be left on hangers and transported in Wardrobe cartons. If you have short jackets, shirts or blouses in the wardrobes, you can place shoes or small throw pillows in the bottom of the carton. If wardrobes are not used, each garment should be removed from the hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton.

Linen and Bedding - Because they are lightweight, these items can be folded and packed in larger cartons.

Draperies, Curtains and Rugs - Draperies and curtains may also be folded and packed in larger cartons. Carpets should be rolled and secured, prior to placing them on the moving van.

Small Appliances - Small clocks, radios and similar items can be packed in the same carton, or in with the linens. These items should be wrapped individually, using several pieces of paper, and should be placed in the packed carton with plenty of crushed paper. You may pack them with the china in the china cartons.

Food - Do not take bottles or jars containing liquids or oils. If these leak during transit, they can cause serious harm to the rest of your shipment. Open boxes of dried or powdered foods such as rice, macaroni and cereals should be sealed with tape. Cover holes of shaker type containers and seal with tape. Since canned goods are heavy, the amount placed in one carton should be limited. It is good practice to place these canned items on the bottom of a box containing several other light items.

Take only those items you are sure will travel well. Do not take anything perishable. In the winter months, do not take anything subject to freezing, i.e. spaghetti sauce in glass jars.


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Moving Tips

1. Don't pack away your keys
2. Don't pack away your plane tickets
3. Label any box you need immediately "Open First" 
4.  Notify the utility companies about when to connect and disconnect power, cable, telephone etc.
5.  Notify the post office to route your mail to your new location
6.  Send change of address cards to friends and family 
7. Keep out some pet food handy for your pets 
8. Don't forget about your garden furniture or items in the yard 
9. Take a last look around when the movers have completed loading the truck at the pickup site
10.  Familiariaze yourself with local hospitals, urgent care facilities and pizza delivery restaurants!

All American Van Lines, Inc.  303 Smith Street Farmingdale, NY 11735  Phone: (888) 777-MOVE  Fax: (631) 759-2944

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