How to Pack

Wondering how to pack your belongings?

Admiral Moving & Storage can provide special packing cartons, and even handle any packing you require, allowing you to avoid the risk of damage during transportation. But should you choose to take charge of it yourself, here are some tips on how to pack like a professional.

Pack It Yourself

If you decide to do the packing yourself, you automatically assume a major portion of the responsibility for the success of the move - including that of having everything properly packed and ready for loading when the moving van arrives. All packing must be completed by the evening before moving day. Only the things you will need that night and the next morning should be left for last minute packing.

In addition, your packing will be expected to meet specific standards. This means complying with the principles of good packing as outlined here, as well as following the suggestions relative to items that should not be included in the shipment.

Good packing means:
  • Wrapping items carefully. 
  • Using sturdy cartons that close. 
  • Making sure of a firm pack that will not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward.

Moving Your Pets

Because pets have an instinctive fear of new surroundings, pet owners want to help them adjust quickly.

Pre-planning is the key to an easier transfer, regardless of the mode of transportation chosen. Travel arrangements should be completed as far in advance of moving day as practical, keeping departure day tasks to a minimum. One person in the family should assume responsibility for the pet.

Pets can not be moved on the moving van. Nor, except for Seeing-Eye dogs accompanying blind persons, are they permitted on trains or buses. So, pet transportation methods are limited to two - by air, with the pet either accompanying you or in an appropriate container traveling as air freight, or travel by your personal motor vehicle.

Prior to making any travel arrangements, you should do the following:
  1. Take pet to veterinarian for check-up and health documents - apply for entry permit if one is needed; inquire about sedation for pet; obtain pet’s health record; schedule second visit to vet if necessary; ask vet to recommend a colleague in the new city. 
  2. Obtain travel identification tag. 
  3. Check destination state’s pet entry regulations. Nearly every state has laws applicable to the entry of dogs, cats, horses, exotic birds and other pets. Tropical fish are the only exception. It is important that you comply with the laws of the state to which you are moving; otherwise, you may be subject to prosecution. We suggest contacting the State Veterinarian in the capital city of your new home state well in advance of your move, for specific laws concerning entry of your pet.


A personal computer represents an investment - whether you use it to plan your family’s budget, as a word processor, to monitor your investments, or simply to enjoy video games. Naturally, you wish to safeguard it from damage at the time of a move.
A professional mover is best qualified to properly pack your home computer. If you choose to pack yourself, your computer should be packed in its original cartons and packing material when possible. If you have discarded them, choose a sturdy box large enough to permit you to surround the computer with packing material (crumpled blank newsprint and plastic bubble pack are best).

The hard disks which contain your programming and stored data should preferably be moved with you. These pieces are sensitive to heat and cold, and warping could occur with the extreme heat or cold that can build up in a moving van. As a precaution, you may wish to duplicate all of your stored material onto backup disks and send these to your destination via insured mail or other secure means.

The disk drive must be handled with care. This unit, which consists of several mechanized parts, is especially sensitive to jarring. Use a large enough box to accommodate the disk drive and plenty of packing material on all four sides.

The remainder of your computer (the keyboard and display screen) consists of solid state circuitry, much like that of a television set. Place crumpled newsprint in the bottom of the box and pack as you would the other components.


Your antiques are prized and valuable possessions. Naturally you want to protect them from any possible damage.

Any item you own that is of extraordinary value should be appraised by a qualified individual; you may even wish to obtain more than one appraisal. Obtaining an appraisal may also be necessary for the transfer of your homeowners insurance policy to verify the value of your personal property. The best way to locate an appraiser is through a recommendation by an attorney, insurance agent, or look in the Yellow Pages under “appraisers.” You can request the “Directory of Certified Professional Property Appraisers,” which is a state-by-state referral list. To receive the most current issue, contact the American Society of Appraisers, P.O. Box 17265, Washington D.C. 20041, or call 1-800-ASA-VALU. Most appraisers either charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services.

In addition to obtaining an appraisal, make certain you have clear photographs or videos of your antiques. Additionally, you should make a note of any signatures, serial numbers or manufacturer marks on all objects and carry this note with you.
Before your belongings are packed, you may wish to check antique items for any special cleaning that may be required. Check your local hardware, furniture store or antique dealer for cleaning products for fine pieces.
Avoid the use of any type of oil or wax product on wood pieces immediately before you move, especially if these items will be going into storage. Some products may soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprinting from the furniture pads. If you are uncertain about the care of a particular piece, the local historical society or library may have books on the subject. An antique dealer may have helpful hints as well.

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. After wrapping each piece individually, then wrap four to six in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

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

Cups and glassware should be wrapped in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer within the box with all the handles facing in the same direction.


Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, in clear plastic or tissue. If the silverware is in a chest, you still may want to wrap the pieces individually and replace in the chest, or fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper toweling.


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.


After removing the light bulb, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately, in newsprint, and place together in a carton, filling spaces with crushed paper. Never wrap the lamp shade in newspaper. Carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of fresh tissue paper, a pillow case or large lightweight towel.


Footwear may be left in shoe boxes and placed into large cartons. Or, wrap each shoe individually, then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage occurring to high heals or ornaments. Do not pack heavy items on top of shoes.

Clothing may be left on hangers and transported in Wardrobe cartons, which can be purchased from Admiral Moving & Storage, or a local packing company. If wardrobes are not used, each garment should be removed from the hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a carton lined with clean paper. Some lightweight clothing such as hose, lingerie and sweaters may be left in dresser drawers.

Linen and Bedding

Because they are lightweight, these items can be folded and packed in larger cartons. Place in cartons, lined with clean paper, and label appropriately.

Draperies, Curtains and Rugs

Draperies and curtains may also be folded and packed in larger cartons, lined with clean paper. Leave rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle. Carpets will 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.


Open boxes of dried or powdered foods such as rice, macaroni and cereals should be sealed with tape. Small containers of herbs and spices, condiments, gelatin, flavorings, etc. should be placed together in a small box before packing into a larger container. 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.