Packing techniques


I've had the dubious privilege of packing and moving quite frequently...
Anyone have good tips
For packing especially for items being shipped unaccompanied via a "pod"?

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Staff member
We moved last year... packed everything ourselves. It was a lot of work but it was also an opportunity to go through all of our stuff and get rid of a lot of things. We did 1 room at a time and sorted things into pack, donate and trash.

I've never packed anything into a pod but my husband used to work for UPS so he's all about efficiently packing and stacking stuff so no space is wasted. He reorganized some of the boxes that I had packed because the weight wasn't distributed evenly or I over filled the boxes, so there's that. ;)

And there were a few dishes that broke because I didn't use enough newspaper when packing the kitchen.

The following are tips from the pods website.
  1. As you are packing, take a few extra minutes to write an inventory list.
  2. Pack as much as possible in boxes, and use packing paper or fillers to eliminate empty spaces and provide protection for your belongings. This will make loading your PODS® container easier.
  3. Don’t over pack. Be sure box tops and sides don’t bulge or cave in.
  4. Use moving pads to protect furniture.
  5. Label boxes to make unpacking easier.
  6. Take care to evenly distribute the weight of your contents throughout the container and use all available space.
    1. This includes wall to wall and floor to ceiling.
    2. To optimize space, you can fill the refrigerator, washer, dryer and other hollow items that take up space.
    3. Pack pictures, mirrors and other similarly shaped items in the spaces between beams. This will help protect them by creating a tighter fit.
    4. Mix small items with larger items to fill spaces, and don’t save all your boxes for the end.
    5. Use the handy tie downs to secure your belongings one section at a time.
    6. Place soft, light items such as pillows in a plastic bag and place them in small spaces where boxes can’t fit.


No the army isn't helping at all. I didn't turn him in for spousal abuse. Because he will
Get other than honorable
Discharge and be barely employable, if that happened.
If I had reported him they would of helped. My ex is helping me move. But he works about 70 hours a week and if I don't pack it's not going to get done.

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Roll With It
Packing stinks, doesnt it? I am packing right now also. Community and University pressure forced the people who own our building, and who are demolishing it in a few weeks, to give everyone until the semester is over, which is another 2 weeks. We have a lot of grad students and they were having to totally change the end of the year due to this. Anyway, here are some of MY packing tips.

Use your clothing to help pack items. It is softer than paper, has to be moved anyway, and often weighs far less than packing paper. Towels, sheets, etc... are also great for packing. My mother thought I had lost my mind (not just my marbles) the first time I did this. Then she realized exactly how much less room my items took and how much less stuff weighed (we were being charged by the pound for the move). Of course make sure you have enough clothes to last until you can unpack, esp for the kids. I didn't supervise husband well enough on one move and that got interesting, lol.

You can often pick up bags of old clothes that are considered 'unusable' by thrift stores for a few bucks to use for packing if you don't have access to old linens, enough clothes, or other free packing supplies.

Just in case you have guys helping you move who are hooked on duct tape, do NOT use it on boxes. It will NOT hold on them. By the time you pick them up to take them off the truck, the tape will come off.

Sorry if this is too late to help. I thought it was posted two days ago, but somehow it didn't.

Consider raiding the plastic bag recycling bin outside a store for plastic bags. Or snag some when you are shopping if the store is okay with that. Used plastic grocery/walmart types bags or opened up new ones make great packing and filling material. Especially for things that might get gooey or yucky.

Pack liquids in ziploc bags. Hit aldi's or another store with cheap house brands and buy some large sizes. I recently found 2 gallon ziploc style bags at dollar tree (six for $1) and they are handy for moving. It keeps things from being damaged if something breaks or spills.

Ask at local liquor stores for boxes. Usually they will let you know when they have the most boxes and they may even set some aside just for you. Liquor stores often do not sell open food containers (often depends on the state laws, of course) so they have less of a bug problem than grocery or walmart type store. Liquor is very heavy and still is often packed in glass, so the boxes are both super sturdy and not terribly huge.

Reward any and every person who helps you pack and/or load things. Feed them and provide drinks. Provide NO ZIP ZERO alcohol until AFTER everything has been completed, at least for the day. One of my aunts had a move where her husband's buddies brought out beer early in the afternoon. She had more broken and damaged stuff and found the most bizarre things packed together (or at all - who packs the dust bunnies very very carefully, with labels and names for each one, in mason jars? Drunk men who think all the cleaning is nonsense, that's who.) than anyone ever saw. Breaking out the beer is fine, but only AFTER you are done working.

Think of packing the pod like three dimensional tetris. It will help you make everything fit and stay in place better. If you have an older child with a gift for this, allow them to help you figure out where things fit in the pod. It will be a learning experience for them, and at least MY kids actually found it fun. boggled my mind at first, but we all have our talents.

Go to the thrift or dollar store and pick up a new toy or two for each child, or pull one out of your stash if you have a stash put back. Use these are rewards and bribes for helping and or staying out of things.Choose items that will keep them occupied foor a long time if possible.


I have about half of the house packed but we decided mid packing that the pod has to stay at their storage facility until more money can be found (instead of having all our stuff in ten days) So some has to be opened and taken out because it needs to go in the car with us...

My moms finances are so FUBAR'd that we wouldn't have been able to turn utilities back on once we got there if we hadn't done this.... I'm trying at this point just to have faith that it will all work itself out.

But thanks for the tips, some of those I've done before, it makes sense to pack with towels and clothes in my opinion. It's been a couple of moves since I personally has to pack anything though. Having thought about this for a week or so it's pretty much the same as packing up trichina while deployed I think the key is getting everything right and thinking about what items need to be protected from shifting items.

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