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Packing for a Move

Martha Stewart Living Television

With all the packing, sorting, and countless small jobs, moving to a new place generates enough stress without having to worry whether fragile possessions will survive the trip intact. Through years of experience, professional movers like Don McGee of Advance Relocation Services have discovered some of the best ways to pack up your things. First, you'll need three weights of paper: light tissue paper (similar to what clothing comes in), a heavier unprinted newsprint, and brown wrapping paper. The amount of paper you'll need will depend on how many things are to be packed. You will also need packing tape, a roll of flexible corrugated cardboard, and a suitable number of boxes. The following are some of the ways professionals would pack your movables.

Place one plate at a time on your pile of newsprint, laying it close to one corner. Pull the corners of two sheets of paper over the top of the plate, covering the whole plate, and put another plate on top. Repeat the previous step until you've nested four to five pieces. Roll the plates up together in the remainder of the newsprint, tucking in the sides as you roll. Crumple a few sheets of newsprint, and put them into a box. Place plates on their side in the box, laying the heavier plates in first.

Lay the bowls one at a time close to one corner of the pile of newsprint, and pull the corners of two sheets over. Nest only two or three bowls per bundle, and leave them looser than the plates -- don't pack them tightly. Roll the bowls up in the newsprint.

Crumple some tissue paper, and place it into the bowl of the stemware. Roll the stemware in another sheet of tissue paper, then in a sheet of newsprint. Finally, measure a length of flexible corrugated cardboard, making sure the height of the stemware and the cardboard are equal, and roll the package up in the cardboard. Tape closed.

Lay the knife close to a corner of the newsprint, and roll up one or two turns. Lay another knife down in the opposite direction of the previous knife. Continue rolling. Mark this package clearly to prevent any mishaps.

If you are packing a mirror, you can purchase a special cardboard mirror box from stores that sell moving supplies. A cardboard mirror box is wide, flat, and comes in two pieces. Use masking tape to make a crisscross pattern across the glass; if the glass does break, this will keep the pieces together rather than allowing them to scatter. Crumple up a few sheets of newsprint, and lay them on the glass. Lay the mirror onto a couple sheets of brown wrapping paper, and fold the paper over the mirror, taping it down as you go; make the bundle as flat as you can. Place it into the mirror box, fit the two pieces of the box together, and tape securely.

Remove the shade, the bulb, and the harp. Wrap the harp in a piece of newsprint, and label it; gather the cord together neatly, and secure it with a piece of tape. Lay the lamp on its side, and fill any space under the base with tissue paper. Roll the lamp in newsprint, and place it base-down in a box with crumpled paper. Wrap the lampshade in two sheets of newsprint, and pack it separately.

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