Able Piano Movers
home | products | about us | contact | faq | piano tuning
  • Get rid of unwanted items and maybe make a little money by holding a garage sale.
  • Get rid of all flammables i.e., paint, petrol, gas cylinders.
  • Empty fuel from the tanks on mowers, clippers, trimmers and so on.
  • Charity shops and organizations may want the clothing you don't need.
  • Separate your books into disposable, family reading, valuable.
  • Check to see if all electrical items will work in the new home?
  • Begin making your change of address list.
  • Make arrangements to have mail forwarded to you new location.
  • Arrange a termination date for electricity, gas, oil, telephone and other main suppliers.
  • Use the original boxes for electrical goods such as a stereo, see if you have them.
  • Get your rugs cleaned.
  • If you have kids, separate cherished toys and take them with you.
  • Locate personal documentation such as marriage/birth certificates, driving licenses and so on.
  • Keep passports out so they are not packed.
  • If you want to take the car? Check on import regulations and duty you may need to pay.
  • As for family pets make sure their vaccinations and documentation are up to date.
  • If your new home will not be ready, arrange temporary storage.
  • Begin using up freezer stocks.
  • Close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts and the like, if necessary.
  • Look at schools, theaters, life styles. It's never too early to find out about these things at your new home.

What about packing materials

Use strong, corrugated cartons with covers only. The additional protection of mover-provided cartons might avoid damage that results from the use of poor-quality materials. The alternative is to get boxes discarded by a grocery or liquor store. Old newspapers are good to use in packing, however, keep in mind that ink can rub off and stain clothing or other items. *BE AWARE: Insect eggs and insects like roaches can travel in food boxes. Remember this when getting boxes from a food store. Below is a list of packing supplies that might come in handy:

  • Plastic bags and labels for ease of identification.
  • Styrofoam pellets, foam peanuts,  and/or "popcorn."
  • Tissue or crafting paper for packing of delicate items.
  • Corrugated paper rolls for things like figurines and fragile items.
  • Adhesive tape (1 1/2 to 2 inches wide) plus strong twine for sealing cartons.
  • Permanent markers and labels to identify the contents of cartons.
  • Notebook and pen or pencil to be used for your carton identification log.
  • sharp knife and scissors  .

Packing Details:

Before actually packing-up, do a little planning. Some example:

  • Pack one room at a time. This will help a great deal when it is time to unpack.
  • Pack 2 or 3 cartons a day, beginning well in advance of the move.
  • Mark all of your boxes, designate room and box number. Make a carton identification log, show the number of boxes packed per room, along with the total number of cartons you packed. It may be a good idea to leave space in the carton log for special comments to note the carton condition or location of higher value goods. Notify the mover as to any higher value items.
  • Make sure you have plenty of "filling" material available.
  • It is important to make sure that the bottoms of the cartons are well secured and that they will hold the weight of the contents.
  • Packing tape or gummed tape is a much better idea than masking tape.
  • Pack the heavier items at the bottom of the box and the lighter items more near the top. Keep boxes at a weight of 50 pounds or less; it will make moving them a lot easier. As a general rule remember this, "the heavier the item is, the smaller the carton should be".

Packing of the Dish-ware:

  • Use a medium-sized carton (or a mover provided dish-pack) and line the entire bottom of the each carton with some crumpled packing paper.
  • Using packing paper stacked up neatly on a work table, center one plate on a piece of paper.
  • Grab the corner on several sheets of the packing paper and pull the paper up over the plate until the sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on top and, moving clockwise, grip a second corner and pull the paper sheets over the second plate.
  • Then, stack a third plate. Grab the remaining two corners. Then fold 2 sheets over the plate.
  • Turn the wrapped stack of plates upside down on the packing paper.
  • Re-wrap the entire bunch of plates. Start with one corner of the packing paper and pull two sheets over the bunch, cover them with the next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth corner.
  • Seal the bunch of plates with tape.
  • Place the bundle of plates into a medium-size carton so that the dishes are standing on edge

Use this same procedure on all of your saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware items. When you are packing smaller dishes, you may want to stack these items in greater quantity per bundle.

Lets look at packing cups:

  • With the packing paper placed on the work table as with the dishes, place 1 cup 6 to 8 inches from one of the corners.
  • Pull the nearest corner of the paper up and over the entire cup.
  • Place a second cup squarely on top of the first. With the handle to the left (the second cup should rest itself in the packing paper folded over the bottom).
  • Pull 2 corners up and over, one corner at a time, then tuck the corners inside the top cup.
  • Holding the bottom and top cup in position, roll the cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls can be packed and rolled in this same way.
  • Very delicate cups, such as china, should be paper wrapped 1 at a time. All of your antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled up tissue and then wrapped 1 at a time.

Stemware and Glasses packing:

  • Stuff all of the glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before you wrap.
  • Lay the glass on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size), then pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the glass or stemware and continue rolling it to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes can be used for additional protection.
  • Be sure to place all glasses and stemware at the top of your box. The heavier items such as dish-ware or pitchers should be placed near the bottom of the carton.

    Your delicate glassware and/or stemware need to be placed in an upright position, not on thier side.

Whatever you are packing, use crumpled packing paper between each layer to assure a good snug fit wherever there is a gap in the carton. Cartons with "fragile" pieces need to be marked as "fragile".

Some other useful packing tips

Most of your items can be packed using the following pointers.

Don't overload Bureau & Dresser Drawers. Too much weight can result in damage. Remove all firearms and any pieces that could break or leak.

It is required that all Firearms be registered with your van line representative before moving.

Canned food & other Non-Frozen food should be packed in an upright position, with no more than 24-30 cans in each box. Never attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass food containers and boxed foods individually and place them in a small carton.

If your move will be more than 150 miles or will take longer than 24 hours, the mover will not except Frozen Foods and Plants due to their delicate and perishable nature. If you do move frozen food within these guidelines, they must be packed in a freezer with the temperature set to the normal deep-freeze at the time of loading.

When moving clocks, remove or secure the pendulum in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should always be preped for moving by an expert clock service tech.

Hang your curtains or drapes over the crossbar in a wardrobe cartons, or pack them folded in a clean carton. Remove curtains from their rods, then fold and pack them in cartons or bureau/dresser drawers.

Don't pack flammable liquids or aerosol cans. The changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak, or they might even explode. You should understand that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or people,
you, not the moving company, may be held legally liable.

Remove the bulbs, harps and shades from lamps. Roll up the cord. Pack lamps with your bedding or wrap them separately and place them upright in a clean, tissue lined box. Wrap the harp and knob with packing paper and tape to the inside wall of box that contains shade. Wrap the shades in tissue, do not use newspaper. Place them upright in a large, tissue lined box.

Seal the caps of all medications with masking tape. Wrap them and pack them upright in small box. If you need them during travel, then carry them with you.

Be sure to tell your agent about valuable paintings with need of special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place them on edge inside a box. . Place your large pictures and paintings on edge in a heavy cardboard container. Let the movers take down the large wall or dresser mirrors and placed them in specially designed cartons. Added safety can be achieved by placing tape diagonally across mirror surface to protect against breakage. Don't put newspaper directly against any paintings.

As mentioned before, pack al of your valuable electronic equipment in the original cartons when possible or use strong, corrugated boxes & place protective padding on the bottom of the box. Wrap a blanket or protective furniture pad around the item and place it in the box. Put additional padding between the carton and the electronic item. Wrap the cords separately, label them to identify what item they belong to and place them in a plastic bag away from any delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped similarly. Place the cord between the padded item and the box. Make certain that your personal computer's hard drive is "parked" and ready for transport.

Wrap each piece of silverware in a cloth or low sulfur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use a blanket or moving pad to wrap the silverware chest to prevent scratching.

Drain the fuel from all power tools (don't ship flammables under any circumstances). Pack your tools in small, strong boxes. Wrap them separately if they are valuable.

Drain all the water from the waterbed if you have one, then fold the mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust the folds to avoid making any creases across the individual baffles. Consult your owner's manual for special any special instructions concerning the care and transportation of the mattress. Never place the mattress in a box or carton with any sharp or pointed objects. 

Cars and motorcycles to be shipped on the moving van should be drained almost empty of gas or fuel. Motorcycle batteries need to be disconnected. The antifreeze in the car should be enough to protect the cooling system in severe cold in winter.

Wrap barbeque grill grates and briquettes separately in newspaper (or put all of the  briquettes inside a doubled grocery bag) and place the parts in a box. Pad the box with paper to minimize movement of the contents. Propane tanks should be drained before moving. Consult your local gas grill distributor about the safest transportation method.

Never try to move the piano yourself if you have one. Get a specialist in this field for moving. The average piano weights between 600 and 1500 pounds and requires special handling.

I hope this helps and have a happy move.