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Outside The Box

A Moving And Shipping Blog

How to Safely Pack Your Furniture

Posted in Moving on May 08, 2015

When it’s time to pack your furniture, don’t over think it. With simple household items like tube socks and laundry baskets, you can help avoid damage to your furniture. Use the guide below to help you safely pack your furniture for moving and shipping.

Bedroom Furniture

Mattress and Box Spring
Mattresses and box springs tend to get damaged if not packed appropriately. There are two ways to pack a mattress and a box spring: 

  1. The best way to protect your mattress and box spring is to purchase a mattress bag and shipping box. Once the mattress and box spring are put into the bag, seal with packing tape.You can then put both mattress and box spring into the box and seal with packing tape.
  2. Option 1 is the safest way to assure your mattress and box spring do not get damaged. If you rather not purchase a box for your mattress and box spring, you can use a common house blanket or moving blankets to cover the top of the mattress and box spring. Once both items are wrapped, use plastic stretch wrap to wrap your mattress and box spring separately. The stretch wrap may help protect your items from dirt and moisture, but does not guarantee safe arrival. Secure stretch wrap with packing tape.

Headboard/ Footboard
First, unscrew the headboard and foot board. Store screws and bolts in a sealable bag labeled ‘Headboard and Footboard’ to avoid misplacing them. Wrap both head and footboards with a layer of moving blankets. After wrapping the headboard and footboard with moving blankets, secure blankets in place with plastic stretch wrap. Use packing tape on all ends to keep items from coming unwrapped.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that plastic constricts; using plastic wrap or bubble wrap directly on a wooden headboard/footboard could damage the wood.

There are two options for packing your dresser:

  1. You can pack your dresser without removing the drawers. If you chose this option, empty out all of the drawers to help lighten the weight of the dresser. This option will assure that your drawers stay with the dresser and are not misplaced during shipment.
  2. The other option is to pack your dresser by removing the drawers. You can use the drawers to transfer your belongings to your next destination. Follow Bonus Tip 3 to secure your items in the drawers. After securing items, individually wrap drawers with moving blankets (or household blankets) to prevent damage to the drawers. Secure with plastic stretch wrap and packing tape.

Whatever your preferred method, once it is complete, wrap your dresser with moving blankets. Hold the moving blankets in place by wrapping the entire dresser in plastic cling wrap. Apply packing tape to secure the plastic wrap.

Pro Tips: 

  • Use boxes to pack all of your belongings from the drawers; this is the best way to assure your belongings are kept secure. You can also save on boxes by having all baskets, laundry bins and suitcases work for you. This is not the most reliable way to safely pack your items, but it is an option.
  • Save on space by vacuum sealing your clothing prior to packing into baskets or boxes etc.
  • If you keep your items in the drawers, secure the items in place by using Press’n seal wrap (can be purchased at your local grocery store).

Cedar Chest 
There are many factors to take into consideration when packing your cedar chest, including product fragility, size, and value; pickup conditions; mode of transport; environmental factors such as climate; and final destination requirements. To assure the safety of your cedar chest, first remove any items from inside the chest. Wrap the entire chest in moving blankets. Secure with stretch wrap and packing tape. Crating your cedar chest is also an option for additional security during shipment.

Pro Tip: Cedar is resistant to fungus, bacteria, many insects, and moths. Cedar is also more resistant to humidity (which is why it is used in saunas). This may decrease the likelihood of damage due to humid weather conditions.

Decorative Bench
Make it easier on yourself and your pocketbook—box your bench. For added protection, place clean tube socks on the legs of the bench. Wrap the entire bench with a moving blanket (securing blankets in place with stretch wrap and packing tape). Place bench inside the box and seal with packing tape. Keep in mind not to allow stretch wrap or packing tape to have direct contact with a wooden bench; it could damage the surface.

Living Room Furniture

Always remove books from shelves prior to preparing a bookcase for shipment. If your book shelves are not secure, remove them. Wrap each shelve individually in a towel. Stack the shelves on top of each other. Use stretch wrap to hold shelves together. Secure plastic wrap with packing tape. Place in a box and seal box with packing tape. Wrap your bookcase in moving blankets and secure blankets with plastic stretch wrap. Use packing tape to secure the stretch wrap.

Pro Tip: Bottle boxes are perfect for packing books because they have handles on each side. Shopping trips to Cosco may provide you the perfect boxes.

Use 3 inch PVC piping to keep the rug from bending in the middle. Once PVC piping is in place, roll the rug around the piping, but against the direction of the pile (the density of fibers—flat [short pile] or shaggy [long pile]). This results in a tighter roll, allowing for a smaller final size. Once rug is rolled, use stretch wrap to secure the entire rug from unrolling. You can then place the rug in a plastic bag and telescope box around it. Use packing tape to secure box closed. Now, it’s ready to ship!

Prior to packing your sofa, it is best to dissemble any removable parts and place them in sealable plastic bags that are labeled. Protect your seat cushions and throw pillows from dirt by placing them in large outdoor trash bags. Attach the removable parts bag to the cushions with packing tape so they stay with the sofa.

Place bagged seat cushions on the sofa and throw pillows atop the seat cushions. Wrap your sofa completely with moving blankets and the legs with bubble wrap. Secure blankets and pillows by wrapping the sofa fully with stretch wrap. Use packing tape to hold down plastic wrap.

Regardless of the type of hutch you have, all contents should be removed to lighten the weight of the piece. Remove shelves that are not fixed into position. This will help avoid breaking or scratching. Wrap shelves identically to book shelves mentioned above. Wrap the hutch in moving blankets and secure with plastic stretch wrap. Secure plastic wrap with packing tape from top to bottom.

Pro Tip: Add more protection by overlaying the moving blankets with cardboard.

Dining Room Furniture

China Cabinet
Remove all fine china from your cabinet. You can also wrap your china plates with bubble wrap (1/16 inch bubble thickness with 1/8 diameter) prior to placing them vertically into a box. Similar to your hutch, the china cabinet should be wrapped with moving blankets from top to bottom, stretch wrapped and secured by packing tape assuring doors do not open during shipping.

Pro Tip: Need an easy way to pack your china glasses? For extra padding, put your glasses and stem ware in clean socks!

Grandfather Clock
Taking extra precaution to securely pack your grandfather clock for shipping is a good idea.

How do you securely pack the inner workings of your grandfather clock?

  1. You must first remove the access panel.
  2. If the clock has a cable holding the weights, insert 3 – 2″ square Styrofoam blocks above each pulley between the cables.
  3. If your clock has chains, use simple twist ties to string the chains together, wrapping them with newspaper and then using rubber bands to secure them in place so they do not move around and damage the finish.
  4. The pendulum can be removed by holding it from the middle and slightly moving it up causing it to un-hook from the pendulum leader.

Pro Tip: You can substitute newspaper for Styrofoam.

Dining Room Set
It is best to remove the table legs from your dining room set first. Put clean tube socks over the legs (to protect the wood). Wrap them with bubble wrap (3/16 inch bubble thickness with 3/8 diameter is perfect for cushioning). Secure with packing tape. Follow these same steps for the legs of the dining chairs.

Use furniture blankets to protect the remaining areas of each chair. Secure with stretch wrap and moving tape. Wooden table tops and leaves can easily be wrapped with moving blankets and secured with stretch wrap and packing tape. If you have a glass tabletop, wrap with moving blankets, cushion with moving pads, wrap in bubble wrap and secure with moving tape.

Buffet & Armoire
While movers will provide moving pads and blankets to protect your buffet during shipment, adding padding is always a good idea. Wrap your buffet & armoire in moving blankets. Secure with stretch wrap from top to bottom. Secure stretch wrap with packing tape. You can also use cardboard for additional protection around both pieces.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Rather leave it to the professionals? Fill out a moving quote or give us a call at 1-800-626-1257; we'll handle the rest.