The Art of Packing for Long Distance

Packing your goods for long distance moving is an art requiring expertise and knowledge. Frank’s Worldwide Moving has well-trained and qualified packers to complete all or a portion of your packing requirements.

One of the secrets to successful packing is having the right packing materials. We have all the proper equipment and materials to pack your goods safely for moving. If you need assistance with packing, Frank’s Worldwide Moving can provide this service for you.

Frank’s Worldwide Moving can help you settle in by unpacking your cartons, and removing the packing materials. If you decide to use our unpacking service, we will gladly unwrap your packed items and remove all packing materials from your new home. If you decide to do your own packing please be aware that if damage occurs, we cannot be responsible unless there is visible exterior damage to the carton.

Materials You Will Need

Wrapping Paper

You are going to need plenty of wrapping paper. Many people save and use their old newspapers without realizing that the ink on newsprint never thoroughly dries. Consequently, the goods you wrap in newspaper are likely going to be stained and will require cleaning before you put them away. For items you prefer to keep clean it would be best to purchase bleached packaging paper from Great Canadian Van Lines or from a packing supplies store.

Cartons / Boxes

You will need many cartons in assorted sizes. All cartons should be in good condition and have covers on them so they can be closed and sealed. Cartons can be purchased from Frank’s Worldwide Moving. Due to the high cost of packing materials we cannot afford to give them away. You can start collecting cartons from your work or liquor stores. Liquor store cartons are excellent packing cartons. They are sturdy, and contain dividers, which make them ideal for packing glasses, goblets, vases, etc.

Black Felt Marker

Markers are used for marking your packed boxes with information such as “the contents of the box”, “Room the box is going to”, “FRAGILE”, “THIS SIDE UP”, and “Your name and order/registration number”.


The best tape for this purpose is plastic tape. Your rolls of tape should be at least one and a half to two inches wide.

General Information

Start collecting boxes early. An easy way to store cartons so they will not require a great deal of space is to open both ends of the cartons and flatten them out. You can open them up again and re-seal the bottoms with your tape, when you are ready to use them.

Pack on a room-by-room basis. Do not pack articles from the living room in boxes with articles from the kitchen. This will save much confusion and time when it is time to unpack.

Start packing early. Consider that if you were to pack only a couple of boxes a day, in thirty days you would have sixty boxes packed. You should start in areas where your belongings are not in frequent use – such as the cellar, attic, garage, closet shelves, etc.

Hanging clothing, such as suits, dresses and coats, should be hung in wardrobe cartons. This will save you the trouble and expense of having your garments cleaned and pressed later.

Hanging clothing cannot be left in the garment bags. Garment bags should not be used as wardrobe cartons because they will not withstand the stress of moving. Hanging clothing is usually taken out of the garment bags, hung in the wardrobe cartons, and the garment bags folded and placed in the bottom of the wardrobe carton.

Dresser drawers do not need to be empty. Movers usually move dressers with the contents of the drawers left inside. However, look through all drawers and remove any breakable articles to pack in boxes. Be sure that the contents of a drawer are not too heavy. Too much weight in the drawer could cause damage to the drawer while your furniture is on route.

Do not pack any flammables, combustibles, or explosives. Movers are not allowed to transport aerosol spray cans, paint thinner, gasoline, or anything else of a flammable or explosive nature.

Packing Flatware

  • Place one plate in the centre of your packing paper and take two sheets of paper at one corner and pull over the plate so as to completely cover the plate.
  • Stack the second plate on the first plate then grasp the second corner of your paper and pull it over and cover the stacked plates.
  • Stack the third plate and take the remaining two corners (one at a time) and fold each corner over your stack of plates.
  • Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper and re-wrap the entire bundle. Follow same wrapping procedure as before. Start with one corner of packing paper, and pull two sheets over the bundle: cover bundle with next corner, then third corner, and finally, the fourth.
  • Seal the bundle with plastic tape and place the bundle of flatware in the carton so the plates are standing vertically on edge.
  • All flatware, saucers, bread and butter dishes, etc. should follow the same procedure.
  • Small dishes (saucers, bread and butter dishes) can be stacked in greater quantity in a bundle.

Packing Pots and Pans

  • Pots and pans should be packed in a medium sized carton. Approximately three pots or pans can be nested, one inside the other. Tear or cut some pieces of your packing paper (large enough so that they will line the entire interior of the largest pan).
  • Place two or three sheets of your lining paper in the larger pan.
  • Place the next small pan inside the first pan. Again line this pan with two or three protective pieces of lining paper and insert a smaller pan.
  • Place these pans upside down in the middle of your stack of packing paper. Use at least three sheets of packing paper to wrap the pans. Start by grasping one corner of the three sheets of packing paper then pulling it over and covering the pans. Then pull the next corner of paper over the pans; then the third corner, and finally the fourth corner. Seal with your plastic tape so the bundle will not come apart.
  • This same procedure can be followed in packing large bowls, too.

Packing in the Kitchen

Packing is easier and less tiring when you have a good work area. It is suggested that you clear your kitchen table and do your packing on the table.

When you are packing fragile articles you should plan to pack the heaviest objects toward the bottom of the carton and the more delicate articles towards the top of the carton. The first thing to do is to lay flat out on the table a sizeable stack of packing paper. Select a sturdy, medium-sized carton. Line the bottom of the carton with crushed packing paper for additional cushioning.

Packing Tall Lamps

Half the difficulty in packing a tall lamp may be acquiring a carton large enough to accommodate it. If you cannot find such a carton you can purchase a china barrel from Frank’s Worldwide Moving. China barrels are tall, extra sturdy cartons originally intended for packing fragile articles, such as dishes.

  1. Line the bottom of your carton with a considerable amount of crushed packing paper. This will insure extra cushioning and protection for the lamp.
  2. Remove the lampshade and bulb then wrap the cord around the base of the lamp.
  3. Spread out several sheets of packing paper so that your packing paper is extended longer and wider than the lamp. Place lamp in the centre of your packing paper.
  4. Roll packing paper around your lamp. Tuck in the end of the paper at the base of the lamp. Use your tape to prevent the end from coming apart.
  5. Seal the seams where packing paper overlaps around your bundle with your tape then fold up the other end (at the top of lamp) of packing paper and seal it with tape. Next, gently place the bundle in the previously lined carton.
  6. If you have several tall table lamps, place each one in the carton so the base of one lamp is next to the top of the next lamp. This will make them fit better in the carton.

Packing Lamp Shades

Lampshades, where possible, should be nested so that you can get two or three in a box. Make sure to use clean packing paper (do not use newspaper), to avoid staining, as protective linings between each shade.

Do Not Pack Anything with Lampshades

Do not pack anything with the lampshades and be sure and mark on all sides of the carton “FRAGILE” and “LAMPSHADES” with your black marker. Do not hesitate to view this video about packing lampshades.

Packing Pictures

Small pictures can be wrapped and stood up in normal packing boxes with other goods. Extremely large pictures, like the ones found hanging over a sofa or mantle (usually measuring 24″ x 36″) should be packed in a specially designed picture or mirror carton.

If you do not have a picture or mirror carton, many pictures can be packed in a self-devised picture carton. Feel free to view this video about packing pictures to find out more.