pack a box

With any removal it’s important that everything you pack gets there intact. If you’re moving overseas then you need to be particularly careful in your packing to prevent the risk of damage. International removal experts Advance Moves have written a guide to help you pack a box for an international removal. The same techniques should be used for local or national removals as well. Most of it is about common sense and a few helpful tips to help you pack the contents of your house up.


Choose your box carefully

Firstly choose a strong, robust box. It’s best to order these online from a removal box specialist or get them from your actual moving company. The box must have dual ply walls to prevent it from collapsing when stacked upon or handled.

The size of the box is important as well. Most removal companies, or online box shops will give a description of uses for the box, but the most important thing is that you don’t order too large a box and overfill it, so it becomes too heavy to handle safely.

Therefore if you’re packing heavy items like books select small boxes (or book boxes). Just use your common sense. It’s probably best to get a selection of box sizes to start off your packing and then order more once you get a feel for what you’re packing.

Once you have your boxes the next job is to tape the base. The best way is to run two strips along the join and up around the sides. Then another two strips. One at each end of the box. Run these along the actual edge so half is on the bottom and the other half on the side. This just seals the edge of the box, as well as providing strength to the bottom edge of the box. If you don’t tape the bottom of the box correctly then it’s all going to fall apart later on when handled.


How to actually pack the contents into the box

How you pack a box for a removal depends on what you are packing. Always bear in mind the weight of the box. Max weight should be 15 to 25 KGs. Any heavier and the box will fall apart in transit under its own weight and be too heavy to lift and handle safely. An easy test, is to make sure you can lift the box yourself.

If you are packing robust solid items such as books then just fill the box to a level where the weight is maxed out and then put something light on top like a cushion, or just cut the box down and seal it. It’s important to always have a full box. empty space will mean the box will crush when stacked, usually collapsing the stack and damaging the contents of the box.

How to pack fragile items for a removal

When packing fragile items for a removal you need to pad the bottom of the box first. you can use towels, clothes, linen or scrunched up paper or bubble wrap (any old scrap paper/padding can be used). Anything that acts as padding. If you are then packing small items it’s best to wrap them in a sheet of paper or bubble wrap and then place them in the box. Place items tightly together in the box and use more padding to fill any gaps and pad items out.

Fragile items should be placed in their strongest and most protective position to prevent weight from above crushing them. Items should go ‘on end’ to absorb weight and shock from above where possible, so glasses etc should be packed upright, plates on their edges etc………

Once you have filled a layer in the box then pad out the top to fill the box and cushion the items below. Make sure the box is full or cut it down. Bigger fragile items should go in a box on their own with more padding all around, again just use common sense. some larger or more delicate items will need a box to themselves and just be padded out.

Sometimes you can tape two boxes together to make a larger box for bigger items.

Mark the box

Once you have packed a box and taped down the top you will need to write your name (to identify the box) the place it’s to be unpacked in upon reaching its destination (so the mover can place it in the correct area of your new house for unpacking, such as kitchen, or lounge…) and then, what’s in the box. Just a brief summary is needed both for an inventory (if your mover is making one for an international or long-distance move) and for your own reference for unpacking and maybe insurance purposes.

Only write fragile on boxes that are fragile. Write top box on any box that needs loading at the top of any stack due to potential crush damage.  Write these warnings on all four sides of the box in big print.

Make your move an easy one

By packing your boxes in the correct fashion you will be making the removals process easier for the crew that load and unload your consignment as well as lessening the chances of loss or damage. Most movers can undertake the packing of boxes for you but if you can do it yourself you will save some money and be able to have a good sort out before you move and throw out anything you don’t need to take.

For more International removals help and advice visit the advance moves website and look for your destination country in the popular removals tab on the menu.


Advance moves international removals is a company dedicated to providing information and competitive quotes for International removals. Formed in 2002 Advance Moves has helped thousands of people save time and money on their international removals with the advance moves quick quote system. Enter some basic details about your move and get an instant online quote plus removal quotations from up to 6 independent professional removal companies that best match your removal requirements.