Get Packing Tips in Tennessee from the Experts at A.M. P.M. Movers

A.M. P.M. Movers includes packing services as a part of our full-service moves—but we also know everyone likes saving money. How? Consider doing your own packing.

Do-it-yourself packing is a big job, but it can be a worthwhile way to save money on your relocation costs. With the right materials and a little help from AM PM Movers you’ll achieve professional results and protect your possessions.

With this in mind, here are some general packing tips for Tennessee or longer-distance moves.


Start with professional materials:

  • Tissue paper
  • Packing paper (plain newsprint)
  • 2″ packing tape
  • Masking tape
  • A utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Professional quality boxes

When it comes to professional-standard boxes, A.M. P.M. has just what you need:

  • Dish pack: Heavy-duty carton for dishes/china, crystal and glassware
  • Double-wall: Extra-protective cartons for fine china, crystal, and other high-value, hard-to-replace items
  • 1.5 cu. ft. cartons: For heavy items such as books, files, music CDs and DVDs/video tapes
  • 3.0 cu. ft. cartons: Often used for pots and pans, toys, and small appliances
  • 4.5 cu. ft. cartons: For bulky items, such as linens, towels or toys
  • 6.0 cu. ft. cartons: For large, bulky, or lightweight articles, such as pillows or large lampshades
  • Wardrobe cartons: A portable closet that keeps clothes or draperies hanging on a built-in bar
  • Mirror cartons: Several sizes of telescoping cartons for framed pictures, mirrors or glass
  • Mattress cartons: Available in queen/king, double, single, twin, and crib sizes. Use a separate carton for box springs
  • Stretch wrap: A special plastic covering that safely adheres to furniture and protects it from snags, tears, and dirt

Contact your AM PM Movers about materials available for purchase. Use newspaper for cushioning only; never place printed paper against items, as the ink will rub off. It can get embedded in fine china, so be wary!

Basic Packing

If you decide to do the packing yourself, plan to have everything properly packed and ready for loading when the moving van arrives. Complete all packing the evening before moving day. Leave out only essential, personal items you’ll need that night, the next morning and immediately at your destination. Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Follow a timetable – people often underestimate how long it takes to pack!
  • Start with items you won’t need right away, such as belongings stored in the basement, garage or attic
  • Packing room-by-room will help you stay organized
  • Establish work areas in each room
  • As you complete a room, sort packed boxes by weight (light, medium, heavy) to make loading the moving van easier and quicker
  • Limit cartons to a maximum weight of 50 pounds
  • Provide plenty of cushioning by packing loosely crumpled, plain newsprint in the bottom of boxes. Leave room at the top for more crumpled paper
  • Wrap all fragile, breakable items in paper before packing them in boxes
  • Pack large and heavy items first, smaller items next, filling in all empty spaces with plain newsprint
  • Use only sturdy cartons that can be easily closed (don’t overstuff), then tape top seams securely. Do not use plastic containers to pack your belongings
  • Label boxes clearly with your name, location where the box should go in your new home, and a brief description of the contents

For best results, have A.M. P.M. Movers pack these items:

  • Marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments, and mirrors 40″ x 60″ or larger
  • Pool tables and pianos
  • Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statues, chandeliers, etc.
  • Major appliances

Our A.M. P.M. professionals will check your packed boxes to ensure safe transportation. If we believe that items are improperly packed or cartons are susceptible to damage, we may ask you to re-pack these items.

Detailed Packing, Room by Room


  • Drain power tools of oil and gas, as A.M. P.M. Movers cannot transport flammables.
  • Use old towels to wrap sharp-edged tools.
  • For grills, dispose of charcoal and, if applicable, disconnect propane tank. Propane tanks cannot be transported in the moving truck.
  • Keep hardware for disassembled items in small, plastic bags.


  • Dispose of all perishables.
  • Wrap china and glasses separately in clean paper. Use a large amount of paper padding between items in boxes.
  • Label box as glassware.
  • Pack heavier items such as pots and pans in the bottoms of boxes.
  • For large appliances such as refrigerators, clean thoroughly and disconnect all hoses. If necessary, have a licensed technician disconnect the appliance (especially in the case of gas ranges).


  • Transport hanging clothing in large wardrobe cartons available from us. If wardrobe boxes are not used, fold and pack clothing in suitcases or boxes lined with clean paper.
  • Use a large, clean plastic bag for packing linens in boxes. Linens and bedding can be used as cushioning for boxes.
  • Mattresses should be packed in mattress cartons or mattress bags. Pillows make good padding for other items.
  • Mirrors should be packed in special cartons or wrapped with bubble wrap.
  • If you like, have your area rugs cleaned before moving. You’ll receive them rolled in a form easy for transport.

Living Room

  • Pack books of the same size together in a box. Do not overload boxes.
  • Lamp shades are particularly fragile. Pack with clean paper and place in a box at least two inches larger than shade diameter. Label the box “Lamp Shades – Fragile – Top Load Only.”
  • For stereo equipment, secure as appropriate for disc players and turntables. Consult your manual.
  • Furniture: Your moving professionals will shrink-wrap large items such as sofas. Talk to your moving professionals beforehand about leather items. Couch pillows can be packed in large boxes.
  • For large items such as pianos or pool tables, a qualified professional should assist you with moving preparations.

About Electronics

When packing a large screen TV and other electronics, pay attention to these tips:

  • If you no longer have the original carton and packing materials, carefully pack the item in a sturdy carton that has been lined with newsprint or Styrofoam ‘peanuts.’
  • Securely seal the carton and mark the outside “Extremely Fragile.”

When packing your personal computer, printer, scanner, or other equipment, do the following tasks:

  • Disconnect and mark all wires and cables for easy assembly.
  • Detach paper holders & feeders from printers; wrap monitors and additional hardware as you would other home electronics.
  • Remove toner and ink cartridges.
  • Back up all of your computer files on DVDs or other file storage disks/devices.
  • Consult your PC user manual for additional instructions and precautions.

What Not to Pack

Plan to transport valuable and irreplaceable items in the car with you rather than on the truck. In addition, there are several other dangerous items that cannot be put on the truck. These include hazardous materials such as explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials.

Here are several common examples:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles
  • Propane cylinders
  • Automotive repair and maintenance chemicals
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals
  • Matches

Other items not recommended for transport on the van include the following:

  • Firearms
  • Food in glass jars, and perishable foods
  • Prescription drugs needed for immediate use

Labeling and Other Tips from the Pros

Each and every carton must be labeled. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Use a broad, felt-tipped marker.
  • Clearly mark room and contents.
  • Indicate “FRAGILE” on delicates; “THIS END UP” where appropriate.
  • Put a special mark (the number 1, or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at destination.

Here’s a final list of professional tips we developed after many years in the moving business:

  1. Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave out last-minute things you’ll need on moving day.
  2. Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, non-transportable items, and anything that would puncture or damage other items.
  3. Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
  4. Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic bags and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
  5. Wind electrical cords, fastening them so they do not dangle.
  6. Wrap items individually in clean paper; use tissue paper, paper towels or even facial tissue for fine china, crystal and delicate items. Colored wrapping paper draws attention to very small things that might otherwise get lost in a carton. Use a double layer of newsprint for a good outer wrapping.
  7. Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of cartons for cushioning.
  8. Build up the layers, with the heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top.
  9. As each layer is completed, fill in empty spaces firmly with crushed paper and add more crushed paper to make a level base for the next layer, or use sheets of cardboard cut from cartons as dividers.
  10. Cushion well with crushed paper; towels and lightweight blankets may also be used for padding and cushioning. The more fragile the item, the more cushioning needed. Be sure no sharp points, edges or rims are left uncovered.
  11. Pack small, fragile, individually-wrapped items separately or a few together in small boxes, cushioning with crushed or shredded paper. Place small boxes in a single large box, filling in spaces with crushed paper.
  12. Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.
  13. Seal cartons tightly with tape except for those containing items that must be left open for the van operator’s inspection.

By utilizing the proper packing tips, your belongings will not be damaged during transport, and you will have a much easier time unpacking your possessions at your new residence.

Call A.M. P.M. Movers, home of the best packing tips in Tennessee or anywhere else. We’re ready to answer your questions today at 1 (800) 560-1215 or via our convenient contact form.

Get In Touch

A.M.P.M. Movers

Address: 2515 Frontier Way Morristown, TN 37814 Suite B

Phone: 800.560.1215
Morristown 423.318.9300
Knoxville 865.212.3328
Greeneville 423.638.4379
Kingsport 423.230.0003

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