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Tips & Advice


Make your move as easy and efficient as possible by planning it carefully. The information in this section, plus the other reference material on this site, is designed to help you execute an easy, stress-free move.

General Packing Tips

  • Packing can be a very time-consuming process, so start packing as soon as possible, taking it one room at a time. Begin by packing things you don't use very often, such as books and knick-knacks. Leave frequently used items until the end.
  • Designate at least one room in your home as the packing area. Pack this room first, and as you pack other rooms, put the filled boxes into the packing room. This will help keep things organized and cut down on the clutter.
  • Discard items you no longer need. Avoid moving any items that won't fit into your new home (custom-built shelves, carpets, drapes, etc.) and dispose of anything that's worn out, badly damaged, or soon to be replaced. The attic, garage, or storage rooms may contain items you haven't used in years (old clothes, children's toys, etc.). Go through each room and be prepared to make some tough decisions. When trying to decide whether to keep or discard something, ask yourself the following questions:
    • Are we likely to ever use this again?
    • Does this have sentimental or monetary value?
    • Is there room for it in our new home?
  • If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then dispose of the item. Plan a garage sale, sell items online, give them away to family or friends, or donate unwanted items to a local charity. If you have a lot of rubbish that you can't sell or give away, contact your Moving Up representative, as we offer a full rubbish removal service.
  • Once you've decided what you're going to take to your new home, it's a good idea to make a detailed list of everything and to assign replacement values for insurance purposes. For added safety and security, irreplaceable items like those listed below should be carried with you, rather than being sent with the movers:
    • Jewellery, rare coins, collectibles, etc.
    • Family photographs, videos, etc.
    • Legal documents such as birth certificates, passports, wills, stock certificates, insurance policies, financial records, etc.
    • Backup disks from your computer containing important files
    • Cash, traveller's cheques, etc.

"New Home" Box

  • When you first arrive at your new home, you'll need a few essential items to see you through the first few days until you can unpack some of your boxes. Pack these essential items and take them with you in the car. If you must send them with the movers, clearly mark the boxes "PACK LAST" or "UNPACK FIRST". Items to be packed in your "New Home" boxes should include the following:
    • Change of clothes for each family member
    • Basic food stuffs, such as beverages, snacks, and condiments
    • Plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, kettle
    • Can/bottle opener, scissors, utility knife
    • Cleaning supplies, paper towels, garbage bags
    • Toiletries, soap, toilet paper, towels
    • Prescriptions, medications, first aid kit
    • Flashlight, spare light bulbs, small tool kit
    • Pet food and supplies
    • Pencils/pens, paper, phone books, address books
    • Telephone, cell phone, radio, spare batteries
    • Bedding, sheets, pillows, shower curtains

Packing Supplies

  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of packing materials including the items listed below. Don't skimp on packing supplies; they're much cheaper than replacing broken or damaged items!
    • Boxes
    • Packing tape
    • Marker pens
    • Bubble wrap/wrapping paper/newspaper
    • Furniture pads/blankets
    • Scissors/utility knife
    • Small tool kit
    • Sandwich bags
    • Garbage bags
  • Buy a couple of pairs of inexpensive, sturdy scissors or utility knives to use while packing. You won't damage your expensive kitchen or sewing shears, and you'll always have an extra pair on hand.
  • Wide packing tape is the best option for sealing boxes. Moving Up will supply your first roll free, and loan you a tape gun. Additional rolls can be purchased for a small fee.
  • Keep a small tool kit handy (screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, tape measure, etc.) to disassemble large or irregular-shaped items prior to packing or moving.
  • Re-sealable plastic bags (sandwich, Ziploc, etc.) are invaluable for packing small, easily lost items such as screws, bolts, picture hooks, etc. Seal the bags and tape them securely to the inside of drawers so you can find them easily once you are in your new home.
  • To help protect delicate, valuable, or breakable items, ensure they are well wrapped and padded. A good supply of packing materials, such as bubble wrap, wrapping paper, tissue paper, foam pellets, etc., is essential for any move. If you're planning to use newspaper as a wrapping material, exercise caution, as the ink may rub off and stain or damage your belongings.
  • Keep an adequate supply of garbage bags on hand as you'll inevitably discover many items that can be thrown away. Keeping a garbage bag in every room will encourage you to discard items you no longer need, rather than being tempted to pack them.


  • Pack as much as you can into boxes. This will provide greater protection for your belongings and will make loading, unloading, and storage much easier. Moving Up can supply boxes (subject to availability) or they can be purchased from most self-storage facilities.
  • Use strong boxes and containers that can be secured tightly and avoid using old, worn-out boxes that may tear or rip when loaded. Make sure you have enough boxes (in a variety of shapes and sizes) to comfortably pack all of your belongings. Specialty boxes are available for dishes, clothes, picture frames, and other items.
  • Always fill boxes to capacity. Under-filled boxes can get crushed and over-filled boxes may fall apart or split at the seams. Choose the right size box for the items you're packing and try to limit the weight of each box to between 25–35 lbs each. The heavier the items, the smaller the box should be. Avoid packing more than 50 lbs into one box.
  • Correctly packed boxes shouldn't rattle when moved, the sides shouldn't bulge, and the top should close without caving in. Use paper to fill empty spots, and, for added security, reinforce the bottom of your boxes with packing tape.
  • For added protection, place a layer of crumpled paper on the bottom of each box and add extra cushioning layers in the middle and on top. Fragile items can be given extra protection by boxing them individually before packing them into larger boxes. Make sure your boxes are labelled appropriately: "FRAGILE", "THIS END UP", etc.
  • Whenever possible, pack items (audio-video equipment, computers, etc.) in their original boxes. Label and secure all cables. If you're removing screws, nuts, bolts, or other small parts, place them in a small plastic bag and tape them securely to the item inside the box.
  • When sealing boxes with tape, make sure the tape extends at least halfway down each side so it doesn't come loose during the move.
  • Trying to find items in unlabelled boxes is a nightmare. As you pack your boxes, take some extra time to label them. Write the room name and description of the contents on the box. With this information, you can easily find items without opening every box, leaving contents secure and protected until you need to unpack them. For more labelling tips, please click here.


  • Larger pieces of furniture require additional padding and protection. Furniture pads, old blankets, or bubble wrap can be used to protect these larger items. Secure padding to your furniture but avoid sticking tape directly to wood or painted surfaces.
  • Whenever possible, remove legs and any other easily damaged items (handles, hardware, etc.) from furniture. This will make packing easier and reduce the risk of damage. Place wingnuts or screws in plastic bags and tape to the underside of furniture.
  • Leave clothes and lightweight linens in dresser drawers. Make sure all drawers are secured so they do not open during transit. Pillows and sofa cushions can be placed in bags and used as extra padding.


  • Whenever possible use original shipping boxes for computers, printers, TVs, stereos, DVD players, and other electronic items. For additional protection, you may want to consider double-boxing some of these items. Check your product manuals and follow the manufacturer's instructions for moving.
  • Remove all detachable cables, wires, and cords, and immobilize any moving parts. Colour-code or label wires and cables for easier reinstallation. Tape electrical cords to the back of appliances to prevent plug damage and wrap each piece with bubble wrap.
  • Moving Up provides a full disconnection and reconnection service for electronic items such as computers, audio-visual equipment, etc. Please see your customer service representative for full details and be sure to advise us in advance if you require this service.

Major Appliances

  • Disconnect, defrost, clean, and dry all appliances at least 24 hours before your move date. If you have gas appliances, contact the gas company to arrange for disconnection.
  • Tape burners or coil elements to the top of your stove and tape down all knobs. Remove racks and broiler pans from your oven.
  • Disconnect and empty all washing machine hoses and store them inside the machine. Immobilize the tub by placing towels between the tub and side wall.
  • Tape electrical cords to each appliance and tape all doors and lids closed.
  • Consider using the empty space in your appliances to move lightweight or crushable items.

Dishes & Glassware

  • China, crystal, glasses, and other fragile items require additional protection. Consider boxing some of these items individually before packing them into larger containers. Specialized boxes for dishes are available from most self-storage facilities.
  • Wrap breakables in tissue paper and use newspaper to fill extra space. Consider using dish towels, pot holders, or napkins to cushion items and fill in any extra spaces in your boxes.
  • Fine silver should be cleaned before packing and then wrapped in a soft cloth or special silver paper to protect it from scratches and tarnishing. Avoid using rubber bands to wrap your silver as these can cause discolouration.

Pictures, Lamps & Mirrors

  • Lamps should be taken apart, bulbs removed, and the shade wrapped carefully and boxed. Use the right size box and as little paper as possible to avoid denting.
  • Framed pictures and mirrors need to be packed in special boxes or securely packed with bubble wrap and heavy-duty cardboard.
  • Wrap hangings individually with bubble wrap, blankets, or towels. Pack flat items on their edges.

Lawn & Garage Items

  • Drain all gasoline and oil from lawn mowers, motorcycles, weed eaters, chain saws, and other equipment and ensure all batteries are disconnected.
  • Empty BBQ propane tanks, purge all hoses, secure lids, and immobilize any moving parts.
  • Strap long garden tools together into a bundle. Pack heavy power tools into small sturdy boxes and fill spaces with newspaper.
  • Drain garden hoses and empty and wash any plant containers or garden equipment.


  • Clothing should be either folded and placed in boxes or hung in wardrobe "closets" or cartons, available from your local self-storage facility.
  • Keep out-of-season or special occasion clothing together. When unpacking, you'll be able to leave those for last.
  • Lightweight clothing may be left in drawers.


  • Moving your house plants can be tricky. The vast majority of plants are too delicate and fragile to survive the moving process. Changes in temperature and lack of water can often prove fatal. You may want to consider giving your plants away to friends and neighbours prior to your move.


  • Pets can become nervous and upset weeks before your actual move. Changes in their schedule or environment can adversely affect their eating and sleeping habits.
  • Try to maintain their normal routine as much as possible and ensure your pets' dishes, favourite toys, and other essential items are packed in your "New Home" boxes.

Restricted Items

  • Your shipment should not include anything that is poisonous, flammable, explosive, corrosive, or perishable. One of the most important reasons not to pack these items is insurance. Virtually all insurance policies have clauses that absolve the insurer of liability if damage is caused by dangerous goods. For example, if a bleach or paint container leaks all over your new $10,000 designer sofa, chances are your insurance won't cover it. Items that should not be shipped include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Gasoline/fuels/oils
    • Paint/thinners/varnishes
    • Insecticides
    • Liquid bleach
    • Matches/candles
    • Perishable items
    • Live plants
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Fireworks/flares
    • Propane/kerosene
    • Lighters/starter fluid
    • Aerosol cans
    • Cleaning chemicals
    • Fire arms/ammunition
    • Solvents/nail polish remover

Settling Into Your New Home

  • The first day in your new home is bound to be somewhat hectic. The Moving Up team will do everything they can to make your move as easy and stress-free as possible. However, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that things run smoothly:
  • Take the Moving Up crew on a tour of your new home and explain clearly where you want specific boxes or large furniture items to be placed.
  • It's helpful to tape a note to each door (John's bedroom, home office, etc.) so the boxes you marked so carefully will end up where they belong. Learn more about this here.
  • Keep small children occupied and out of the way so they don't interfere with you or the movers. If possible, arrange for a family member or friend to baby-sit during the move-in process.
  • Place your pet in an isolated room with food, water, and bedding. Post a note reminding everybody to keep the door closed; otherwise, your pet could get lost or injured. Don't take your pet out without a leash until they've had time to get used to their new surroundings.
  • Once the movers have left, open your "New Home" boxes, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, take a little break, and start to plan the unpacking process.
  • Remember, it takes a while to settle into a new home, so don't try to do everything all at once. Take your time and enjoy the experience of transforming your new house into your new home!
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