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Packing Pointers:
how to do it right

As stated on our Process and Policies page, it’s never too soon to begin packing, because it always seems to require far more purging, prioritizing, and preparation time than you expect. The following packing tips will help keep your possessions safe, and save your movers time on move day, which translates into saving you money! Don’t forget to read our Moving Tips page too.


General Packing Tips

If it fits in a box, it belongs in one—with a lid, taped shut, and labeled.

Liquor stores are often a great source of small, sturdy used boxes; you can also try searching NextDoor for moving boxes, or putting up a request there, or or Facebook.


Your local U-Haul office can sell you brand new packing boxes, or we can too.

Small Boxes versus Large Boxes

Larger boxes aren’t necessarily better: a large, overpacked or heavy box is more cumbersome to move than two or three smaller boxes. Use the following as a guideline for what items to put into what size boxes:

  • Small (1.5 cube) Box:  perfect for books, canned goods, photo albums, CDs / DVDs, magazines, paper files, well-cushioned knick knacks, and jars.

  • Medium (3.0 cube) Box:  use for pots and pans, lamp shades, boxed foods, and well-cushioned dishes.

  • Large (4.5 cube) Box:  pack linens, blankets, pillows, toys, shoes, and bulky but light-weight items in these larger boxes.

  • Wardrobe Box:  these are made specifically to hang clothes inside and tend to cost a little more; see our "Specific Packing Tips" below on clothing before you purchase one of these boxes.

What to Pack

Your job is to get EVERYTHING into a box with a lid. If it fits in a box, it belongs in one. If necessary, you can make an exception for clothing, towels, bedding, pillows, and a few other unique items (see Specific Packing Tips below).

How to Pack

It’s best to pack one room at a time, so as to keep items organized together, make it easier for labeling the boxes, and to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed.


Purchase clear plastic moving tape and use it to tape every box—both the bottom and the top must be taped shut.


Using a thick black magic marker, label each box with the name of the room it will be delivered to in the new location (and remember to put corresponding signs up on the doors of the rooms in the new location too!). Examples include Bedroom#1, Bedroom #2, Family Room, Dining Room, etc.


Place boxes together in a central location (either one group in each room, or all boxes combined in one room if you don’t have much to move) to save our movers from having to hunt for them.

Specific Packing Tips


You are welcome to leave your hanging clothing on their hangers, tie them together at the top of the hangers (in manageable / multiple bundles), and place them in large plastic drawstring bags with the hangers sticking out of the top.

Towels, Bedding and Pillows

These items do not need to be boxed... in fact it’s often better if you can simply place them in large plastic drawstring bags—these are easy to transport and much less expensive than using boxes.

Garage, Garden and Tool Shed Items

Garage and gardening tools that do not fit into a box need to be taped together in a bundle at top and bottom. Please combine them in groups of no more than 4-5 items, depending on their size and bulk.

Electronic Components

Electronic components such as stereos, DVD players, gaming boxes, computers, and other delicate equipment must be packed in its original shipping box, or in a box that provides the same level of protection.


Because standard moving insurance does not cover electronic components, many customers elect to move these items on their own.


Both indoor and outdoor plants can be moved—up to the driver’s discretion— depending on the size and whether they can be safely transported.


Please note: it is not uncommon for old clay or ceramic pots to crack during a move; we are not liable should this happen. If you need to move very large plants or trees, we recommend you contact a nursery company.

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