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Packing your goods for long-distance moving is an art requiring expertise and knowledge. Great Canadian Van Lines has well trained and qualified packers to complete all or a portion of your packing requirements.

One of the secrets to successful packing is having the right packing materials. Great Canadian Van Lines has all the proper equipment and materials to pack your goods safely for moving. If you need assistance with packing, unpacking, and remove packing materials, Great Canadian Van Lines can provide this service for you.

This information is intended to give you helpful tips on how to pack your small articles so they can be safely moved. Articles such as dishes, table lamps, pictures, and other fragile items must be carefully packed in boxes if they are to arrive at your destination in the same condition they were prior to being moved. The tips contained here should help you safely pack your goods for moving. Please note that if you decide to do your own packing and damage occurs, we cannot be responsible unless there is visible exterior damage to the carton.

Materials You Will Need

Wrapping Paper: You are going to need plenty of wrapping paper. Many people save and use their old newspapers without realizing that the ink on newsprint never thoroughly dries. Consequently, the goods you wrap in newspaper are likely going to be stained and will require cleaning before you put them away. For items you prefer to keep clean, it would be best to purchase bleached packaging paper from Great Canadian Van Lines or from a packing supplies store.

Cartons: You will need many cartons in assorted sizes. All cartons should be in good condition, and have covers on them so they can be closed and sealed. Cartons can be purchased from Great Canadian Van Lines. However, all paper products are expensive these days, and specially designed moving cartons are no exception. Due to the high cost of packing materials, we cannot afford to give them away. You can start collecting cartons from your work or liquor stores. Liquor store cartons are excellent packing cartons. They are sturdy, and contain dividers, which make them ideal for packing glasses, goblets, vases, etc.

Sealing Tape: The best tape for this purpose is plastic tape. Your rolls of tape should be at least one and a half to two inches wide.

Black Felt Marker: Markers are used for marking your packed boxes with information such as “the contents of the box,” “Room the box is going to,” “FRAGILE,” “THIS SIDE UP,” and “Your name and order/registration number.”

General Information

Start collecting boxes early. An easy way to store cartons so they will not require a great deal of space is to open both ends of the cartons and flatten them out. You can open them up again and re-seal the bottoms with your tape when you are ready to use them.

Pack on a room-by-room basis. Do not pack articles from the living room in boxes with articles from the kitchen. This will save much confusion and time when it is time to unpack.

Start packing early. Consider that if you were to pack only a couple of boxes a day, in thirty days you would have sixty boxes packed. You should start in areas where your belongings are not in frequent use – such as the crawl space, attic, garage, closets, etc.

It might be necessary to have Great Canadian Van Lines to do some of your packing for you. At the very least, it may be necessary to purchase some specialized cartons that will be difficult for you to find elsewhere. This category would include such cartons as mattress bags, wardrobe cartons, picture/mirror cartons, and china barrels.

Clothing—such as suits, dresses and coats—should be hung in wardrobe cartons. This will save you the trouble and expense of having your garments cleaned and pressed later. Hanging clothing cannot be left in the garment bags. Garment bags should not be used as wardrobe cartons because they will not withstand the stress of moving. Hanging clothing is usually taken out of the garment bags, hung in the wardrobe cartons, and the garment bags folded and placed in the bottom of the wardrobe carton.

Dresser drawers do not need to be empty. Movers usually move dressers with the contents of the drawers left inside. However, look through all drawers and remove any breakable articles to pack in boxes. Be sure that the contents of a drawer are not too heavy. Too much weight in the drawer could cause damage to the drawer while your furniture is on route.

The size of the boxes used depends on what you are packing. Small and heavy articles, such as books, records, canned goods, etc., Should go in smaller boxes. Bulkier but not-so-heavy articles, such as pots and pans, linens, small kitchen appliances, etc., should go in larger boxes. Very bulky, lightweight articles, such as blankets, pillows, toys, large lampshades, shoes, etc., would go in the largest boxes.

Do not pack any flammables, combustibles, or explosives. Movers are not allowed to transport aerosol spray cans, paint thinner, gasoline, or anything else of a flammable or explosive nature.

Packing In The Kitchen


Packing is easier and less tiring when you have a good work area. It is suggested that you clear your kitchen table and do your packing on the table.

When you are packing fragile articles, you should plan to pack the heaviest objects toward the bottom of the carton and the more delicate articles towards the top of the carton. The first thing to do is to lay flat out on the table a sizeable stack of packing paper. Select a sturdy, medium-sized carton. Line the bottom of the carton with crushed packing paper for additional cushioning.

Packing Glass and China

Packing Flatware

Please follow these steps to ensure that your stemware is appropriately packed:

  1. Place one plate in the center of your packing paper and take two sheets of paper at one corner and pull over the plate so as to completely cover the plate
  2. Stack the second plate on the first plate then grasp the second corner of your paper and pull it over and cover the stacked plates
  3. Stack the third plate and take the remaining two corners (one at a time) and fold each corner over your stack of plates
  4. Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper and re-wrap the entire bundle. Follow same wrapping procedure as before. Start with one corner of packing paper, and pull two sheets over the bundle: cover bundle with next corner, then third corner, and finally, the fourth
  5. Seal the bundle with plastic tape and place the bundle of flatware in the carton so the plates are standing vertically on edge


  • All flatware, saucers, bread and butter dishes, etc. should follow the same procedure
  • Small dishes (saucers, bread and butter dishes) can be stacked in greater quantity in a bundle

Packing Cups And Glasses

Cups and glasses may be “nested” (one placed inside another) and three or four wrapped in a bundle. Tear or cut some small sheets of paper. Use at least a couple of small sheets between each glass or cup as protective lining.

  1. Take first glass and line with a couple of sheets of your cut-up paper
  2. Place second glass (or cup) inside the first one and line with two more sheets of paper. Repeat this step until you have 3 or 4 glasses or cups nested together
  3. Next, lay the nested glasses or cups on a stack of wrapping paper, in a diagonal manner, towards the edge of the paper. Grasp the corner closest to you with two sheets of wrapping paper and wrap it around your glasses or cups
  4. Grasp the next two corners of wrapping paper and wrap them around your glasses. Then roll the glasses into a bundle


  • If you have cartons with dividers, pack glasses, cups and stemware in these boxes. If your bundle does not fill to the top of each compartment fill it up by stuffing additional crushed packing paper in the compartment
  • If you do not have cartons with dividers pack your glasses, cups and stemware in boxes with your other dishes. Fit them in where there is space. Be sure these articles are toward the top of your carton.

Packing Pottery And Wine Glasses

Goblets and Stemware

Goblets and stemware should be packed one at a time. Do not attempt to nest them as you did with the glasses. Follow the same wrapping procedure as you did with glasses and cups.

Packing small kitchen appliances:

Wrap each appliance individually with two or three sheets of your packing paper. Place each one in the carton that you have selected for appliances.

When all the appliances have been packed in a box, or boxes, if there are small spaces that are empty, crush some packing paper and fill in the spaces. However, if you should have a great amount of space left over then you should pack some other things in the box in order to fill it up and not waste the space. For example, you might use some pots and pans to fill the space in the carton.

Packing pots and pans

Pots and pans should be packed in a medium-sized carton. Approximately three pots or pans can be nested, one inside the other. Tear or cut some pieces of your packing paper (large enough so that they will line the entire interior of the largest pan).

  • Place two or three sheets of your lining paper in the larger pan
  • Place the next small pan inside the first pan. Again line this pan with two or three protective pieces of lining paper and insert a smaller pan
  • Place these pans upside down in the middle of your stack of packing paper. Use at least three sheets of packing paper to wrap the pans. Start by grasping one corner of the three sheets of packing paper then pulling it over and covering the pans. Then pull the next corner of the paper over the pans; then the third corner, and finally the fourth corner. Seal with your plastic tape so the bundle will not come apart


  • This same procedure can be followed in packing large bowls, too.

 How to Pack Canned Goods

Miscellaneous Kitchen Packing Tips

Boxed Foods (cereal, etc.): Seal any opened boxes with your plastic tape. If your shipment is going into storage then you should dispose of boxed foods. These items can attract rodents and insects.

Spices: It is okay to pack and ship spices as long as all containers are closed and will not leak. If you are in doubt, seal them with tape.

Canister sets: The contents may be left in the canister sets but you should seal them with tape. Each canister should be individually wrapped with packing paper.

Packing Tall Table Lamps

Half the difficulty in packing a tall lamp may be acquiring a carton large enough to accommodate it. If you cannot find such a carton you can purchase a china barrel from Great Canadian Van Lines. China barrels are tall, extra sturdy cartons originally intended for packing fragile articles, such as dishes.

  1. Line the bottom of your carton with a considerable amount of crushed packing paper. This will insure extra cushioning and protection for the lamp.
  2. Remove the lampshade and bulb then wrap the cord around the base of the lamp.
  3. Spread out several sheets of packing paper so that your packing paper is extended longer and wider than the lamp. Place lamp in the center of your packing paper.
  4. Roll packing paper around your lamp. Tuck in the end of the paper at the base of the lamp. Use your tape to prevent the end from coming apart.
  5. Seal the seams where packing paper overlaps around your bundle with your tape then fold up the other end (at the top of lamp) of packing paper and seal it with tape. Next, gently place the bundle in the previously lined carton.


  • If you have several tall table lamps, place each one in the carton so the base of one lamp is next to the top of the next lamp. This will make them fit better in the carton.
  • When all lamps are packed in the carton, generously fill out the carton with plenty of crushed packing paper. With your marker write, “FRAGILE” and “LAMPS”, in large, clear letters on all sides of the carton.


Lampshades, where possible, should be nested so that you can get two or three in a box. Make sure to use clean packing paper (do not use newspaper), to avoid staining, as protective linings between each shade.

Do not pack anything with the lampshades and be sure and mark on all sides of the carton “FRAGILE” and “LAMPSHADES” with your black marker.

Packing Pictures

Small pictures can be wrapped and stood up in normal packing boxes with other goods. Extremely large pictures, like the ones found hanging over a sofa or mantle (usually measuring 24″ x 36″) should be packed in a specially designed picture or mirror carton.

If you do not have a picture or mirror carton, many pictures can be packed in a self-devised picture carton.

  1. Select a carton that is larger than your picture when open at both ends.
  2. Open the bottom of the carton, and then flatten the carton. Seal one of the open sides with your tape.
  3. Lay your picture, face down, on several sheets of packing paper which has been spread out so as to be almost twice as wide as your picture.
  4. Wrap the picture in much the same manner as you might a gift box. Bring one side of the packing paper around the picture so that it will cover most of the back of the picture. Then bring the second side of the packing paper around to cover the back of the picture. Seal with tape. Turn picture over and seal the areas where the packing paper overlaps.
  5. Slide picture into unsealed side of your carton and seal the areas where the packing paper overlaps.


  • Computer Systems


  • Hat and Shoe Boxes: Small boxes of this type should be consolidated and packed into large boxes. Fill in small spaces with wadded-up packing paper.
  • Toys: Do not have to be wrapped in packing paper. Paper them in large cartons and seal them up.
  • Loose Shoes: Same as toys.
  • Books and Records: Stand on end. Use small cartons.

  • Linens and bedding

Prohibited Items

The following items cannot be packed because it is prohibited by law:

  • Corrosives: household cleaners, acids, liquid plumber, and car or boat batteries.
  • Explosives: ammunition, bullets, flares, fireworks and detonators.
  • Flammable Liquids: gas, lighter fluid, paint, paint thinner, glue, kerosene, acetone, alcohol and lamp oils.
  • Flammable Solids: matches and fuel tablets.
  • Gases: either pressured or liquefied, propane tanks, oxygen, helium, household fuel, aerosol cans, hair spray, paint cleaner and butane lighters.
  • Liquids: wine, beer and alcohol.
  • Oxidizers: bleach, disinfectants, organic peroxides, fertilizers, pool chemicals and chlorine in any form.
  • Poisons: pesticides, herbicides, fumigants and photographic chemicals.

Any other item that might be susceptible to combustion, like oily rags and charcoal, cannot be packed for shipping.