"A box is a terrible
thing to waste"

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Boston:  781-646-8734

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As a service to our customers and visitors, Benezra Boxes has compiled a listing of moving tips, in the hopes that everyone may have a safe, smooth, and worry-free move.
There are several ways to save money prior to your movers arriving. Buying used boxes is the first and best way to save money...and trees.  Make sure you get plenty because any materials sold to you on move day costs quite a bit more!!  But enough about pitching Benezra Boxes.  How else can you save money, time, and reduce moving day hassles?
Organize and throw out all you can...
Give larger pieces to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, your cousin who's out of work, or other charities.  Besides a tax write off...except for your cousin...you also save the labor cost of having the movers transport the pieces out of the house.  If you are dumping items, dump them prior to the move.  This creates better accessibility for the movers, allowing them to work quicker and safer.  It also saves time deciphering what goes and what does not, during the move.  Anything that speeds up move day  saves you money in labor charges.
Many things need to be disassembled in order to get them out of your old residence or into your new one.  Large dining room or kitchen tables, dresser mirrors, bed frames, cribs (cribs are the worst in terms of time consumption), and things of this nature that need to be taken apart to be moved.  If you have areas with limited access through narrow doorways, or doors needing to be popped off to get a fridge or couch out, or a predetermined window that needs to be removed for hoisting access, well, why not do it beforehand?  As easy as this is, it uses up quite a bit of time depending on the job, and this time costs you money.  Often, the least experienced mover on the crew may be cast off to take apart or put together your crib or bed.  Well, this can throw a huge dent into your wallet without you even realizing it.   You could probably do a quicker job...for free!
If you live in the city, this one's especially for you.  Get your parking permits!! Access is the key to a faster move.  If the movers have twice the walk, well then you get twice the bill!  If you live in the suburbs, keep your cars out of the driveway and far enough down the street to let the trucks maneuver their way around.  It can take quite a while getting a 30 foot truck where you want it to be, so don't make it tougher on them then it already is.
Pets and kids...
You love them, but movers don't.  They get in the way, no matter how adorable, and they slow things down dramatically.  If you have pets, keep them in the bathroom or somewhere where they won't be in the way and keep their trauma to a minimum as well.  With kids, hey, it's time to go visit grandpa and grandma or a trusted sitter for the day.  Does your neighbor owe you one? Now is a good time.
We've been saving the best for last.  If you don't want to pack your fragiles, that's okay.  If the mover does it they're liable, but if you do it, you're liable for any damage that occurs during the move.  This is simply because the moving company doesn't know how you packed these items.  However, they are generally liable for negligence...such as fire, theft, or dropping a box.  This would be quite noticeable in any event.  So, if you can pack fragiles safely, or hire Benezra Boxes to do it for you, you shouldn't have any problems unless there's a case of negligence.
China and fragiles

Place paper between each dish Step 1 to create a buffer cushion Step 2 to create a buffer cushion Step 3 to create a buffer cushion Step 4 to create a buffer cushion Place buffer in box, repeat to cover box bottom

When packing a china box, set newsprint buffers on the bottom.  Create an even layer of cushioning with the paper.  Usually a china box holds two tiers.  The first tier is made up of your more durable breakables, such as dishes.  Dishes should be packed on their edges, not flat!  Picture an egg. A lot of weight on an egg sideways will crush it.  However, vertically an egg can withstand much more pressure.   This is what I call "the egg theory" with dishes.  Keep them vertical, four wrapped together, with white newsprint between each plate to separate them.  
White newsprint is preferable to regular newspaper for two major reasons when packing fragiles.  Normal newspaper allows it's ink to rub off on your dishes causing you to have to rewash, at least once, everything you pack.  Also, the regular newspaper is tougher to work with than non-alkali white paper, which is already set in flat sheets that are larger and more easy to deal with.  Your hands and everything else just stay cleaner with non-alkali white newsprint....available through Benezra Boxes!  How great is that? 

Pack plates vertically on buffers

Okay, so when your starting to pack your china box, keep your dishes vertical, on top of your initial layer of buffering, and keep them tightly together!  The basic premise in packing fragiles is...if they can't move, they can't shift and break.  Tight is right!  After creating your first tier of dishes...or mugs, or corningware, or other durables once dishes become scarce, create an even layer of padding with your crunched up paper filling any gaps for your second tier.  This is where you want to put glasses, stemware, and delicate breakables like figurines, tea cups, and such.   Wrap glasses like submarine sandwiches, and put them vertically upside down in rows.  You don't have to stuff the insides with paper - that's overkill. 

Cushion stemware with a band of folded paper, wrapped with an additional sheet

Stemware is a bit tougher.  Create a two inch or so wide band of paper by folding over a sheet over and over again on itself.  Once you have a paper band made, set the piece of stemware, right side up, on the middle of the band.  Wrap the band around the stemware and fit the ends of the band inside the cup.  This protects the stem.   Then wrap the entire glass in another sheet of paper like a sub and put it vertically, upside down, in rows on the top tier of your china box.  With pitchers, make sure you coil up a piece of paper and stick it through the handle to fill the void and prevent it from snapping under pressure...much like giving valium to your high-strung aunt lulu.


Wrap pictures front to front with paper pad in between Secure the paper pad around the pictures Place wrapped pictures in a buffered picture box Buffer the picture tops and sides before sealing the picture box

This is actually pretty easy.  Paper pads are available for this cause.  Paper pads are large, five ply, sheets that you wrap your pictures in like a blanket.  You can even get two smaller pictures in one paper pad, as long as you put glass front to glass front, separating the pictures with the pad.  Then buffer a picture box, of appropriate size, with a few rolled up pieces of paper in the bottom.  Typically, dependent on the frame thickness, two pictures will fit in each picture box.  Set the paper padded pictures in the picture box, with bottom buffer in place.  Then buffer the sides and top so the picture won't be able to move.  Remember, if they can't move, they can't shift and break.
Books and linens
Books and foldable linens and clothes are just common sense.  The only mistake not to make is not to put books in boxes larger than a book box (1.5 cubic feet).  Larger boxes can collapse with the weight of records, CD's, books, papers, and video cassettes.   Keep these small, heavy items in the smaller book boxes.  You'll also save your movers from getting a hernia and cursing you out behind your back.  Plus, books in anything larger than a book box may crush other boxes that they are set on.   Remember, movers stack boxes based on standard sizes for standard uses.  If you put a linen box full of books on top of another linen box full of clothes...well, say hello to permanent press and a headache for the packer on the truck.  His headache translates into more packing time, and thus more labor cost to you. Keep your boxes to standard sizes and standard uses to keep the truck packing fast and safe.  This will save you money in the long run. 
Anything like lampshades or dried flowers or baskets should be put in boxes marked "top load only".  "Top load only" lets the movers and packer know to keep that box on the top of all the others.  That way it won't be susceptible to crushing weight of other boxes stacked upon it.  After labeling all your other boxes with contents and info that you want, make sure you label the boxes with the needed information the movers need, such as, where the box is going during the offload.   Telling them what room the box came from doesn't always help them identify its resting place at the new location.  Label each box on two sides at the corners, not the box top, with the initials of the room it is to be placed in.  (By labeling on the sides, the movers can take the stacked boxes and see the room destination right away when the arrive in the truck.  If the boxes are stacked, there's no way to easily see things marked on their tops.  This is another factor that can slow the process down, especially when the movers are  carrying two boxes at a time and one label is hidden.) 
On the box sides, abbreviate room designations such as:  MBR (for master bedroom), DR (dining room), GBR (guest bedroom), K (kitchen), and so on. These abbreviated labels are understood by the movers.  When using boxes supplied by Benezra Boxes, you might want to use a colored marker or labels so that any previous markings don't confuse your movers.  If you use a red marker on a box that previously had black markings, just tell the movers to simply go by the red labels.  That's easy enough.  Benezra Boxes offers markers in red, blue, and green.   Just remember to keep the color coding consistent. 
Last tip
Keep your movers happy!  Like most people, they will respond kindly and in terms of giving you their maximum effort if you give them the common courtesy of offering them drinks, and treating them respectfully.  You are paying by the hour, so you want their best effort possible.  If you are pleased with the crew's effort, it is not uncommon to tip them, as you would any service provider. Of course, tipping is at your discretion and you should ask your moving company what they feel is appropriate.   Every moving company has a different theory on this, but usually, $20 per man for a half day, $40 per man for a full day is average.  Keep in mind the difficulty of your particular move and your expectations and go from there.

This is me, Adam Benezra, in my home with a few of my available products to help make your move smoother and cheaper!

We at Benezra Boxes hope these tips have been helpful.  Please feel free to email me with further questions or suggestions for upgrading the web site.   Benezra Boxes will be happy to offer you additional tips, suggestions and demonstrations with the delivery of your boxes and supplies.