The Top 7 Most Common Packing Errors
Some of you who have never had the experience before, might assume that packing is an easy task. The rest of you know for sure how endlessly wrong that assumption is. Packing is not about tossing things in boxes and taping them closed. Fortunately for everyone mentioned, packing can be learned, and not only from personal experience. Here are some of the most common packing errors and how to avoid them. Be clever enough to learn from other people's errors!
1: Too heavy
Moving boxes are supposed to be moved around easily by a single person. In numbers, that would be 15 kilograms tops, or 20, but only in extreme cases. When making boxes too heavy, people usually break the ground rule of packing boxes, that rule being "the heavier the contents, the smaller the box".
2: Unstable boxes
If people don't distribute the weight equally, the box tends to tilt one way or turn over. This happens mostly when people put heavier items on top of lighter ones inside the box. And that happens a lot! So never, ever lay a pile of, say towels, on the bottom of a box, and toss a few books on top of them. It's that simple.
How do you know when a box is overfilled? Easy - if it cannot be closed properly and there's a bulge on the top side of the box when you manage to close it. Consider how boxes like this are supposed to be stacked on top of one another - it will make loading the van difficult.
Things rarely break during the move when they are wrapped and then packed. If you have breakables, especially glassware, lamps and small electronics, and have put them in boxes without wrapping tissue between every single object, as well as between the objects and the sides of the box, you shouldn't wonder why they suffered some damage during transport.
5: Unlabelled and mislabelled
The second ground rule of packing says "Label, label and label!". I really don't understand why people tend to skip this part. Now, listen up and take notes: no matter how few boxes you have, no matter how little time you have and above all, no matter how sure you are, do label or tag every single box. It saves a lot of trouble later, so you'll be glad you did. And, judging on personal experience, it's worth spending 30 seconds per box labelling, compared with the time you'll spend swearing and searching for something later. As for mislabelling, don't let this happen; take your time to label properly.
Variety in sizes and materials of moving boxes has a purpose other than the way they look. Use book boxes for books, folder boxes for folders, dishboxes for dishes, wardrobe boxes for clothes, picture boxes for framed pictures, electronics boxes for electronics... They were all invented for a reason. Just use them, and you won't have to put something in an unsuitable box. As for sizes, i.e. when a box is too small - use two instead, and when it's too big - use a smaller one or find other similar items to fill it, because of the third ground rule of packing (that would be never have half-full boxes).
7: Different sizes
This one is a direct consequence of following the advice above. Boxes also come in standard sizes for a reason. This will make stacking, loading the van, and storing them much easier than if you have odd-shaped and irregular boxes. It is important to stack all the boxes neatly, so they fit within the moving van. This can be performed properly only if all, or nearly all the boxes are standard sizes.