Moving & Packing Tips in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana

Moving Tips

  • Ask your friends, family, co-workers and check the Better Business Bureau for information on local moving companies
  • Arrange the cut off date for your utilities
  • Boxes - try to locate original boxes for your electronics, china and valuables or call to order boxes
  • Call us if you need any assistance on making moving stress free
  • Change your address and have mail forwarded to new address
  • Choose a mover with reputation your belongings are valuable
  • Clothing - give some away to charity
  • Eliminate all unwanted items that should be thrown away or charitable
  • Food - try to finish your cold items for limited waste and to save money by not having to eat out too often before your move
  • Garage Sale - a great way to get rid of unwanted items and to make some extra cash
  • Get rid of flammable or hazardous material - gas, paint, oil, propane
  • If you have to wait a little bit for your new home set up storage arrangements
  • Inancial - set up or transfer banks and update your checking account for new address and phone number
  • Medical - let your doctor know you are moving and arrange for a transfer of your medical files
  • New town or area - get to know your new area request a phone book, call the chamber of commerce and get a map of the area
  • Packing - go to our packing tips page or call us for professional packing services
  • Personal Identification - keep a file box for all of your important documents and keep them on you
  • Pets - make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations and find another veterinarian for your new location
  • Stuffed animals make sure your little one has their favorite buddy for the ride to your new home
  • Toiletries and Medicine Cabinet items - keep everyday medicines, vitamins and toiletries with you for the move
  • Toys this can be half your move give older toys away to charity
  • Valuables - keep jewelry, fur coats, money and other easy to transport items

Packing Tips

Jeff's Movers and Portable Storage offers professional packing services in the case you are doing it yourself; here are some tips on packing.
  • Clean out unwanted items
  • Do not tape directly onto wood or painted surfaces the tape could cause damage when removing tape.
  • Do not try to wax furniture
  • Fragile items - label these boxes to assure nothing goes on top of these boxes
  • Get rid of gas in lawnmowers and other equipment that may hold gasoline
  • Have a garage sale
  • If you are packing yourself do not put heavy items mixed with fragile or light items for this causes damage
  • Label your boxes - the better you label your boxes the easier for you to unpack them
  • Label your boxes such as Dining Room, Bedroom 1,2,3, etc. to direct the movers where to put these boxes in your new home
  • Pack one room at a time
  • Try to keep your boxes 40lbs - 50lbs max
  • Unplug electronics and allow them to sit overnight before packing into boxes
  • Valuable items should be kept together and stay with you during the move jewlery, IDs, money, etc.

Here are some packing tips for items in your home

Appliances - Small

Try to locate original boxes if not find boxes that are close in size. Make sure all loose items (Microwave Trays, etc.) are removed before packing to avoid damage. Use paper, clothing or bubble wrap to protect these items. Make sure you unplug these items and let them sit overnight before packing.

Appliance - Large

Refrigerators and Freezers - Try to use up your food as you get closer to your move. Allow your fridge and freezer to defrost 1-2 days. Take all drawers, trays, shelves and wrap these separately place them in a box and label the box. Wipe dry and leave doors open for several hours. If you have an automatic ice maker disconnect the hose and allow it to drain.

Stoves and Ovens - The gas line must be disconnected and then capped off before the move. Take out racks, griddles and other loose items pack these by wrapping each item in paper and label the box.

Washers and Dryers - For liability reasons we can not unhook your appliances. Make sure you or a service technician unhook your appliances before the movers arrive. We have the equipment to safely move your large appliances.

Blanket, Sheets and Pillows

These items can be placed in dresser drawers and in furniture. You can also use these items to protect fragile items while packing

Beds / Bunk Beds / Futons

Our moving services include taking down these beds and then reassembling them at your new home. For local moves we plastic the mattresses and box springs. For long distance moves we use mattress boxes with a slight packing material charge.

Books and Magazines

Go through and give unwanted books and magazines to your local library or charity. Use a box that is 1 - 2 cubic ft. for best results. If packing hard covers or fragile books try individually wrapping these books. Also try alternating book bindings to protect from crushing the pages.

Canned Food Items

Pack in a small strong box that holds approx. 20 cans this should keep the weight below 40lbs.

China / Dishes / Glasses / Silverware / Utensils

Wrap your fragile items separately with paper. Place the larger items at the bottom of the box then place crinkled paper on top put your lighter fragile items on top of that layer of paper. Make sure your bottom of this box are filled edge to edge with your heavier items try using smaller plates to fill this space. Larger plates should be placed vertical with paper or bubble wrap between each plate. Below these larger plates put a few inches of paper to better insulate your box. For silverware and utensils wrap them in paper or use some old t-shirts and roll them up in the clothing.


We recommend wardrobe boxes $13 to buy these boxes or if using our services we provide them free to use during your move can hold 20-25 hangers Use your suitcases, duffle bags and backpacks to pack your clothing or use 2 - 3 cubic ft. boxes In most cases clothing can be left in sturdy dressers for the move.

Drapes and Curtains

Wardrobe boxes work great for these items to keep them wrinkle free as possible. You can also fold neatly and place in a paper lined box.

Dresser Drawers / Cabinet Drawers

Many people like to place small items in drawers this is fine but be aware making drawers too heavy can cause damage, instead try placing or leaving clothing blankets, sheets, pillows or other light weight items in the drawers. Our movers work quick by placing heavy items in drawers can cause them to have to empty and then repack these items causing extra time and packing material.

Electronics / TV's / Computers / Stereos / Etc.

Try to locate the original boxes and unplug electronics overnight before packing.
Pack individually and protect units with towels, linens or bubble wrap. Make sure to include remotes and wires for the unit in the box for easy access later. Remove CDs, DVDs, etc. from units for this can cause damage.

Food and Beverages

Perishable food is not allowed on our moving trucks due to damage that spilling can cause. If items are going to be stored this can also cause rodent problems and ultimately putting your belongings in danger of being damaged. Non-perishable food items can be moved if your move will be within 48 hours from pick up to delivery. The movers are not liable for spilling or damage that food may cause.

When packing we recommend leaving the boxes open for as long as possible to cut down on moisture build up and odors. Pack in 1-2 cubic ft. boxes with a 3 inch paper lining at the bottom of the box to help with spillage.

Glass and Mirrors

These items must be professionally crated for storage or long distance moves. For local moves our highly trained movers most likely will be able to pad these items safely in the moving truck to ensure a damage free move.

For smaller easier to handle items we recommend placing only one item per box or use a special box for these items which we can supply for your move. Use towels, linens, bubble wrap etc for proper insulation of these items.

Grandfather Clocks / Large Clocks

Try removing easy to remove parts such as chimes, batteries etc and tie down with strong string items that may move. For long distance or storage you can also call a clock company for assistance.

Jewelry / Small Valuables

Try keeping these items on you at all times. For packing if you have jewelry boxes keep your jewelry in these and then place in a small box that will keep drawers closed. You can also wrap these in plastic tightly to ensure these boxes stay closed.

Lamps and Lampshades

Remove bulbs, shades and harp assembly. Place shades in as small of a box as possible and do not use newspaper for insulation try using bubble wrap instead and keep the shade separate from other items and shades. Wrap heavily bulbs and harp assembly and place in a separate box.

Lawnmowers / Yard Tools

Gas tanks and oil should be drained. For liability purposes flammable mixtures can not be placed on our moving trucks to ensure the protection of your valuables.


Wall mirrors will be removed carefully by our movers as long as they are not fastened to the wall. When arriving at your new home we will place them on your wall for you. For packing of mirrors we recommend allowing our highly trained movers to pack these items in moving crates. For local moves we can pad the mirrors on our trucks in most cases. Smaller mirrors you are packing should be placed one per box and heavily wrap in towels, linens, clothing or bubble wrap.

Pictures / Paintings / Wall Art

We recommend for large valuable paintings and pictures to be padded and then crated for your move. For smaller pictures or paintings you can place in a box individually wrapped with 3" of paper at the bottom of the box.

Plants / Flowers etc

For local moves that occur within a few days we can pick up the plants and drop them off at your new home. For long distance moves we recommend our clients to keep plants with them for the move.

Toiletries / Medicine Cabinet Items

We recommend keeping your everyday toiletries and medicine on you at all times during the move. For items you are going to pack make sure to use masking tape to seal on all caps and pack upright in a small box with 3" of paper lining.


For tools that hold gas or oil empty since flammable mixtures are not allowed on the moving truck to protect your valuables. Most tools can be placed in boxes without wrapping items separately. For valuable tools wrap separately and place in smaller boxes. Place sharp screws and nails in their own smaller boxes before packing. Be aware that tools are heavy keep the weight below 50lbs per box so our movers can move quickly and efficiently for your move. Long handled items can be tied together and carried that way.