Don't save all your packing for moving for the last day!
Be packing non-essential items well in advance.
How-to Pack Household Goods
Basically, just take the time to think about what you're boxing up and then use a lot of common sense packing it. When packing for a move, heavier things like books and canned goods should be packed in smaller boxes, and lighter things in progressively larger boxes. This way smaller and larger boxes will all weigh about the same and none will be too heavy for one person to handle. Small boxes can be fully packed with books and end up only weighing 50 lbs. Larger boxes should be packed with lighter things and should not be packed to exceed 50 lbs.
Don't pack your toolbox too soon. You will probably need some of your tools on move day.
Disassemble furniture or any items that need to be taken apart and carefully save any hardware involved. Sometimes lost hardware is virtually impossible to replace. Put hardware in a baggie, if it goes with a desk or dresser, tape it well to the inside of a drawer where it can be easily found later. If hardware goes with a bed, tape it in a baggie to the bed rails.
Put all of your remote controls to every electronic device that you own in one box on moving day and label it well. This way you won't lose any of them and they are easily found at the new residence.
Don't pack your checkbook or your credit cards. Things may come up unexpectedly that require check or credit card payment. If you're putting your goods in storage, don't pack up important papers like passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates, family correspondence or love letters, etc. Use a bank lockbox for these items or keep them with you. Only store these things if the box is waterproof and well labeled and if it's placed somewhere in your storage where only you can find it and where there is no chance of flooding or high humidity. You can waterproof any box by completely wrapping it in plastic wrap or by thoroughly wrapping it with movers tape. Be sure to cover the top, bottom and all 4 sides and remember; just as plastic wrap keeps water out, it also holds moisture in!
Loosely wrap fragile items individually with bunched up paper, bubblewrap and / or foam wrap. Don't use newspapers because print residue must be hand washed off of all things it touches, dishwasher washing will not take it off. Also, print residue can ruin porous items like clay pots or lampshades or things with rough finishes like computer equipment. Gently put the loosely wrapped bundles in a box labeled fragile and when it's full seal it and put it somewhere safe until move day. Then try to carry that box yourself in your car trunk.
Special care must be taken with very small items (such as a tea pot lid), so as not to lose them in the packing materials. Taping over (use brightly colored tape if available) their paper wrapping and marking it is a good packing technique to highlight a very small item as not being merely a bunched up piece of paper . Also, one could tape several of those small packets together into one bigger, heavier package that won't get lost in the wrappings.
Glassware and china should be wrapped with enough paper so as not to clatter within the box.
You can also wrap glassware in bubble wrap.
Wrap small things such as silverware in bundles. Don't leave them loose in the box and don't put them in a box with fragile items.
Use plenty of paper to line the top, bottom and side of each box. Never be afraid to use plenty of paper when you are packing expensive items. Even if you feel like you're wasting paper - you're not because paper is a whole lot cheaper than fixing or replacing a broken expensive fragile item. Add cut up pieces of cardboard in various strategic places to further cushion fragiles.
To waterproof any box just wrap the whole box in a couple of layers of plastic wrap.
How to Pack Household Goods like Plates
Plates should be individually wrapped and then stood on their side in the box with a cloud of soft stuff underneith -
A good idea is to pack 6 - 8 plates with paper plates or styrofoam plates seperating each of them as shown in the 3 picture sequence below.
Then wrap them all up into one papered bundle and label it as shown in the 2 picture sequence below.
Pack these plate bundles in a box being careful not to let the box exceed 50 lbs.
Glasses should be individually wrapped and packed standing up;
Do not interlock box flaps together - always tape bottoms and tops of boxes without interlocking them as shown below.
Use at least three strips of tape and run the strips halfway up or down the sides of the box for strength. For extra strength - tape the box both ways. Remember that taping reinforces the strength and waterproofness of the box all through the moving process, yet tape can be easily cut with a blade later to open the box when unpacking.
Mark the top and sides of all cartons with good pertinent information.
Mark each packed carton with with its contents and its destination room location (such as bedroom, kitchen, or basement). be careful to not stack any boxes on top of other boxes marked fragile.
Have the writing on the box facing up so that you know which side of the box is up and which is down. Draw arrows if it is imperative that the box always stays upright all through the move such as a box containing liquids. Mark your boxes well to make identifying their contents easy when they are stacked on top of one another or when they're in your new location. If the box is being reused, then put fresh tape over any existing markings to hide them.
Some packers like to color-code using colored markers or colored tape wrapped once around the box or colored stickers pasted on the top and sides of the box to identify in what room it is to be placed. Use fragile tape or fragile markings to alert your movers of fragile items being within the box.
Utilize tupperware or plastic containers to hold and protect some of your fragiles.
Each of your suitcases is easily identifiable (as opposed to boxes which all look the same) so they should be used for special things.
Oil pictures should be covered over with a nonacidic clear wrap and then bubble wrapped or wrapped in a paper pad, or foam wrap or in a light mover's blanket. Then they should be placed in picture boxes or into flattened out boxes. Finish packing pictures by taping up all the ends of their boxes.
Pictures in glass frames or mirrors should be wrapped in blankets, bubble wrap or foam wrap
Lamps and lamp shades should each be placed in separate boxes.
Only one lamp shade to a box. For extra care and cleanliness be sure the inside of the box is clean
Electronic equipment should be blanket wrapped and boxed so that knobs can not be broken off
Very light, loose things can be put into plastic bags but tape them up well
Utilize cushions and pillows to line the bottom or to top of boxes containing fragiles.
How-to-Pack Household Goods that may be a Problem
Dispose of all open bottles of liquids.
One good idea is to put one heavy duty plastic trash bag into a second one and line the box with these to hold in any spilled liquids. Bottles and cans of liquids should be stood upright in the box using packing paper bunched up between some to hold them upright. Place any boxes of liquids on the floor of the truck, not up in the load where spillage could damage your household goods.
Stack all cartons neatly against a wall in the residence and create clear, unobstructed paths to prevent the possibility of tripping. When necessary, disassemble beds, remove mirrors from dressers or walls, and remove air conditioners from windows. If you do these things ahead of time you will save valuable time on move day. Remember that saving time usually also saves you money.
Stack all cartons neatly against a wall in the residence and create clear, unobstructed paths to prevent the possibility of tripping.
Do not lean mirrors, glass or marble items against anything because they can be easily knocked over and irreparably broken. If you temporarily lean them against a wall they are liable to get kicked in so always put them right on the truck as soon as they are packed. Lash them to the truck's wall or place them between up-standing mattresses for protection. Put padding underneath them to absorb truck bounce.
When necessary disassemble beds and remove air conditioners from windows. Also undo all appliance connections such as water hoses, ice makers on refrigerators, gas connections on stoves and dryers, If you do these things ahead of time you will be able to fix problems with these things ahead of time and save valuable time on moving day.
Squat directly in front of the load, pull it in tight to you and lift with your legs, not your back. Set it back down the same way. If you must turn while carrying the load, then turn your whole body with your legs, don't swivel yourself at the waist as this can easily cause a back injury.
For many, many more packing and moving tips you may wish to....