Packing Tips

General packing guidelines can be followed for most items, but some things require special care in preparation for shipment. Do not hesitate to ask your relocation consultant for additional assistance.

Use the right box for the item

Bell provides only the finest packing materials, giving you added security in the knowledge that you’ve hired the best people with the best tools. In addition to typical small, medium and large boxes, we also offer a variety of materials for purchase should you choose to pack yourself. A little time, thought and investing in quality materials can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your belongings.


  • Dishpack—designed to accommodate fragile items such as dishware, crystal and glassware
  • Wardrobe—allows clothes to hang on a metal bar
  • Mattress—protects mattresses from damage and soiling
  • Mirror—designed to adjust to different sized mirrors, pictures and other fragile, flat items

Protective Wrap

  • Newsprint—provides a clean, protective surface for almost all your wrapping needs because it does not contain ink like newspaper, which can soil or damage your belongings
  • Bubble pack—offers greater cushioning and protection for extra fragile items


  • Choose a high-quality 1 ½” to 2″ wide tape
  • For added protection, plastic PVC-type tape or strapping tape will filament strands are the best options
  • Securely closes containers for shipping

Marking Pen

  • Select a heavy permanent marker
  • List the main items in each container
  • Indicate which rooms cartons are to be placed in upon arrival
  • Add notes, such as “FRAGILE” or “THIS END UP” for containers with liquids
  • Identify cartons with your last name to assist the driver unloading at destination

Tips for the do-it-yourself Packer

Plates and flat china

Individually wrap each piece in several pieces of clean newsprint. Stack three to five pieces together and wrap the bundle. Always stand each bundle on its side. Never lay them flat. Create a second level by placing 3-4 inches of crumbled paper over bundles. Always pack larger items on the bottom and smaller items toward the top of the carton.

Glassware and crystal

Individually wrap and pack rim down on the very top layer of your carton. Never place one piece inside of another. Pack especially fragile items in a smaller carton and place the entire carton in a larger, cushioned one.


Wrap individually, nesting 2-3 bowls together before re-wrapping the entire bundle. Place the bundle in a carton on its side or flat and creating layers as you go.

Glasses and cups

Individually wrap taking extra care to cushion handles with more newsprint. Pack with rims down creating layers within the carton.

Mirrors, glass/marble tabletops, pictures, paintings, etc.

We can provide you with special cartons that accommodate most items in this category. Place only one article in each container. Professional crating may be necessary for oversized or especially heavy items, such as table tops.


Pack similar sized books together in smaller boxes alternating open edges with the bindings. Wrap hardback books and ones with fragile covers in clean newsprint.


Leave foldable clothes in dresser drawers or pack in suitcases or medium-sized cartons. Leave hanging clothes on hangers and place in wardrobe cartons, or remove hangers and pack in lined cartons if you prefer. Leave hats in their boxes and place in a moving carton. If hats are not stored in a box, use a small box and surround them with clean newsprint.


Tape openings shut on all boxed dry foods before placing in medium-sized cartons. Jars should also be taped shut and wrapped. Use smaller cartons for jars and cans due to their weight. Never pack perishable items, aerosol kitchen products or frozen food.


Remove the shade, bulb and harp. Wrap bulb, harp and base and place the base in an appropriate sized carton. Fit one shade in similar sized carton without placing newsprint in or around it. Take extra care with glass shades and chandeliers by having them professionally packed in sturdy crates.


Empty of all food and secure or remove shelves. Disconnect and drain icemaker line, remove and containerize any auxiliary hoses. Tape electrical cord to the back of the refrigerator.

Washing machines

Remove and containerize hoses. If placing the hoses in the drum, wrap them in clean newsprint to prevent damage to the drum. Tape the electrical cord to the back of the washer. Secure the drum in place with materials available from your driver, upon advance request.


Remove and containerize vent. Tape electrical cord to the back of the dryer.

Small Appliances

Individually wrap and pack clocks, radios and other smaller appliances in cartons with linens, towels or clean newsprint.


Drain power tools of gasoline and oil. Bundle long handled tools together to save space. Wrap and pack hand tools in layers with larger, heavier items on the bottom.

Bedding and draperies

Cover mattresses to protect them from soil and damage in appropriate sized boxes, which are available from our company. Fold sheets, spreads and draperies and place in boxes or hand in wardrobe cartons.

Flowers and plants

Generally, potted flowers and plants are not moved because they likely will not survive a long distance move. Wrap artificial arrangements and box individually securing the arrangement to the bottom of the carton if possible.

Electronics and clocks

When possible, package electronics in the original cartons with Styrofoam inserts. If you no longer have the original package, wrap items and place them in medium or large boxes. Large home electronics, such as big screen televisions, will be moved as furniture and should not be packed. Computers and grandfather clocks require special pre-move preparation. Talk with your relocation consultant or a dealer prior to your move.

What NOT to Pack

We want your belongings to arrive at your new home safe and sound. Our professionals are trained to look for normal household items that are hazardous and often illegal to ship. For your protection, omit the following items when packing:

Any aerosol can including, but not limited to:

  • Hair spray
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorants
  • Insecticides
  • Cleaning products
  • Spray starch
  • Spray paint

Other flammable products:

  • Oil-based paints
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Tar remover
  • Matches
  • Ammunition
  • Paint thinners
  • Turpentine
  • Auto batteries
  • Lacquer remover
  • Bleach
  • Muriatic acid
  • Lighter fluid
  • Corrosives
  • Explosives
  • Nail polish remover
  • Lighters
  • Bottled gas