Moving Tips & Questions

Packing Tips For A Successful Move

More than 43 million Americans will be "packing it up and taking it on the road" as they move to new homes this year. With fragile keepsakes and valuable household goods to keep in mind, proper packing techniques become essential.

If you decide to pack your shipment yourself, plan on at least six weeks to pack and get ready for your move. Mayflower offers the following packing suggestions:

  • Before you start packing, determine the items you want to throw away, give away or sell. Moving is a good time to get rid of items you no longer need. You will save money and have less to pack and unpack. Give yourself enough time to make these decisions.

  • Don't just start packing - plan how you will pack. Pack items you seldom use first. Pack items of similar size and weight together. Don't make any carton too heavy to easily lift.

  • Always use proper packing cartons and wrapping materials. Use professional packing tape, which is a wide, strong, clear or brown tape. Masking tape is not strong enough to support the weight of a fully packed carton. Tape all cartons closed on the top and bottom - don't just fold the end flaps closed. Use crumpled, unprinted newspaper to pack items in boxes.

  • Label the contents on the outside of all boxes, along with the rooms to which they should be delivered in your new home. When packing fragile items, clearly mark "fragile" on the outside of the box, with arrows on the sides to indicate the correct upright position.

  • Indicate boxes holding essential items such as cooking utensils, bedding, linens and toiletries that need to be opened first by writing "open first" on the box and making sure these are the last boxes to be loaded onto the moving van.
Certain possessions require specific care when packing. The following are some of the basic packing techniques used by Mayflower's packing professionals:
    Wrap each item separately in unprinted newspaper, and use a specially partitioned box such as the "dishpak" (available from Mayflower).

    First, wrap the stems for extra protection; then wrap each glass individually and place upside down in a partitioned box.

    Mirrors and glass-covered photos and artwork
    Cross the glass with a series of masking tape "Xs" to help strengthen the glass, then wrap in a generous cushion of clean paper, and place in a flattened packing or telescoping carton.

    Nest utensils in groups of three or four, wrap securely and place in silver chest or cushioned box.

    Lamp shades
    Handle shades only by the wire frames; place in large boxes. Shades can be nested together in one box if separated by clean paper.

    Clothes can be folded and boxed. For faster unpacking, you can obtain special wardrobe boxes from your mover, allowing you to neatly pack by leaving clothes on hangers.

    Small appliances, computers, stereo equipment
    If possible, pack small appliances, computers, stereo equipment and VCRs in their original boxes. Otherwise, cushion appliances with crumpled packing paper. Tape down moving parts, such as stereo turntable tone arms.

    Glass jars and bottles
    Pack with bubble wrap or several layers of paper. Secure stoppers or lids with masking tape to the top of the jar or bottle. Don't move flammable items.

    Statuary, figurines, curios
    Wrap generously in bubble pack, wrap in a layer of clean paper and pack in boxes with plenty of crumpled paper or foam packing "peanuts" in between items. Objects with delicate appendages, such as candelabras or figurines with extended arms, should be wrapped with extra bubble pack and surrounded by extra packing material.

    Record albums, tapes, CDs
    Stack these items on end so they can absorb shock with less chance of damage. Pack tightly so they're secure and can't shift.

    Antiques, delicate furniture

    Movers can supply specially made crates to secure and ship fragile items and antiques.

Moving Questions

When will the moving crew arrive on loading day?

Unless prior arrangements have been made, expect the moving crew between 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Are there any items that Mayflower cannot ship?

Yes. Before your possessions are loaded, it is important to understand which items cannot be shipped because they represent a hazard or are perishable. Utilize this link to see a complete list of these non-allowable items.

Do I have to be present for all phases of the move process?

Yes, because you are the most important participant in the move!

If our new home is not ready to move into, can we store our household goods?

Yes, but please let your move coordinator know as soon as possible so arrangements for storage can be made.

When should I contact you if we need to change our move schedule?
Call us as soon as possible, even if you are not sure of the new dates.

What information do you need to schedule my move?
Your name, present address including ZIP code, work and home phone numbers, your destination address including ZIP code, and new work and home phone numbers as soon as you get them. We also need to know any unusual items to be shipped - e.g., boats, tractors, autos, farm implements, etc. Other important information: preferred move dates, your Move Coordinator's name, and the best time to call and make an appointment to survey your household goods.

Will Mayflower also move high-value items from my home?
Yes; however, Mayflower must be advised in writing that they are included in your shipment. For a better understanding of the type of items considered to be high-value, please use this link to see a list of items of extraordinary value.

What should I do in the event of a claim on a damaged item?
You should first contact the move manager at the Mayflower agency handling your move, and inform them of the claim. If you need a claim form, utilize this link for a printable form now: Claim Form.

When will the Household Goods inventory take place?

At the time the mover's driver loads your shipment, he or she usually inventories your shipment listing any damage or unusual wear. The purpose is to make a record of the condition of each item. If the driver does not make an inventory, you should make one yourself.

After completing the inventory, the driver will usually sign each page and ask you to sign each page. It is important before signing that you make sure the inventory lists every item in your shipment and the entries regarding the condition of each item are correct. You have the right to note any disagreement. When your shipment is delivered, if an item is missing or damaged, your ability to recover from the mover for any loss or damage may depend on the notations made.

The driver will give you a copy of each page of the inventory. Attach the complete inventory to your copy of the Bill of Lading. It is your receipt for the goods.

At the time your shipment is delivered, it is your responsibility to check the items delivered against the items listed on your inventory. If new damage is discovered, make a record of it on the inventory form. Call the damage to the attention of the driver and request that a record of the damage be made on the driver's copy of the inventory.

After the complete shipment is unloaded, the driver will request that you sign the driver's copy of the inventory to show that you received the items listed. Do not sign until you have assured yourself that it is accurate and that proper notations have been entered regarding any missing or damaged items. When you sign the inventory, you are giving the driver a receipt for your goods.

What is included in the carrier's unpacking service?
Unpacking includes the carrier removing your belongings from the container and placing them on a flat surface for the transferee to put away. The carrier will also remove any cartons or packing materials you do not wish to keep.