Tips for Packing and Loading a Moving Container

Everything you need to know to pack your moving container like a pro.

Packing up all your belongings and moving to a new home is no easy task. While the process is time consuming, and can be frustrating at times, it's important to be mindful and take the time to protect your items from damage during a move.

If you've made the choice to move your belongings on your own, then these packing tips will help you to make sure they all arrive to your new home in one piece!

Before you start packing and boxing up all of your belongings give some thought to how the items will need to be loaded into the moving container so they do not shift with the breaking and turning that is an inevitable part of transport.

There are a few fundamentals to consider when you're planning how to load your moving container.

1) Keep the load level horizontal. If you're not stacking items all the way to the ceiling of the Box, you'll want to maintain a consistent gap between your content and the ceiling throughout the container.

2) Stack heavier items on the bottom. This sounds logical but it's an easy thing to forget if you don't have a loading plan. Sort or organize your packing boxes according to weight and size as best you can before loading them into the container.

3) Fill all spaces with smaller items. This is the chance to fit in those odd-shaped items that might not fit with other items in a box. Fewer gaps equals less shifting.

If you've chosen to move with a BigSteelBox, you'll find D-Rings every 4 feet along the inside of a 20' Box to hold tie-down straps. These will allow you to secure items to the walls and also cross brace sections of your load.

Tips For Packing Household Items

Packing tips for moving your home - BigSteelBoxIf you follow our packing tips and this Moving Checklist, you're going to start by packing all your seldom used or seasonal items about six weeks prior to your move date. You'll want to label your boxes carefully so you know the contents, but you may also want to consider using codes for weight. It could be as simple as using H for heavy, M for medium and L for light. You're obviously going to be able to tell what's heavy when you pick it up, but why risk your back if you don't need to!

Avoid having large boxes that are full of light items. If you have a large box of pillows, it's going to be difficult to find a place to stack that in the container. Remember, you want heavier and larger items on the bottom and smaller lighter items on the top.

Stackable Plastic Boxes Are Handy

Most people have some supply of plastic storage bins that are more durable than cardboard boxes. These are great for moving because they won't compress like cardboard boxes. If you have a supply, use these for your valuable fragile items. Not only are your belongings going to be safer, these boxes are great for stacking and can save you lots of space when it comes time to load your moving container.

Pre-Loading Your Moving Container

Most people use a portable container for a move because they like having the extra time to pack. Not only does it give you more time, but it also means you don't need to be surrounded by packing boxes in your current home for the weeks leading up to moving day. 

As you finish packing up boxes load them into your container. Unless it's a large, heavy item that belongs at the back of the Box, start stacking boxes down the length of the container. Make sure you leave enough space so you can still move larger items to the back. Organize the items by weight and size, which will make it easier to fill spaces on moving day.

Load as much as you can into your container the day before moving day. This will give you more time for the last minute items like dishes and bedding.

How to Load a Portable Storage Container

  • Pack items you won't need in your new home for the first couple of weeks first. Load boxes filled with seasonal items, or things you had stored in your garage or basement first. Pack things you'll need immediately after moving in, like dishes, clothing and bedding last so it's the first to come out of the container at your new home.
  • All your heavy and bulky items should be packed first into the very back of your BigSteelBox (appliances, furniture, artwork, etc.).
  • Fill spaces between large items with smaller boxes or flexible goods. The more you wedge and secure your heavy items into your storage container, the less they will move around during the move and reduce the risk of damaging other belongings.
  • Pack from floor to ceiling; make sure you have optimized all the space before you start expanding outwards towards the door of your container. If you start to realize you're not going to fill the Box to the very top, you'll either want to adjust the load so it is level, or make sure you have secured a section with cross bracing. Using a mattress on end along with tie-down straps can help keep a whole section in place.
  • Manage the weight of your items. Do not place all your heavy belongings on one side of the container, match the weight distribution from front to back and from side to side.
  • Use ratchet straps or tie-downs to secure sections and large items that could tip. A BigSteelBox includes D-rings on the side walls every 4 ft, to make it easy to tie rope or secure straps. You don’t have to set up your beds on the first day you move in, but you will need your mattress, so don’t bury them at the back of the Box.

If you are unsure about something’s safety in the Box, take it with you. If you're not sure that you want to risk your grandmother’s favourite painting or a family heirloom being broken in the move, put it aside and take it with you in your vehicle to your new home.

Now all you have to do is enjoy the trip to your new home, and be thankful you don't have to drive a loaded moving truck!

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