How to Pack, Part 1

Even though a professional packing crew is inbound, you may want to pack some things yourself, perhaps things of special value, or things you just are uncomfortable having others' hands all over.

Moving Boxes & Supplies

Ask that the pre-pack survey person bring along some empty cartons and tape for you to use. Because the moving company is planning on crated up boxes of a known and regular size (their standard box types), an odd-sized box from the supermarket can throw the estimate off. Also, host country customs agents, who will inspect your shipment at the other end, may think a box from the liquor store labeled “whiskey” may actually have whiskey in it, and open it only to find the valuable or personal thing you didn't want others handing in the first place.


One more thing about self-packed items: the moving company will likely include them on the inventory list marked “PBO”, packed by owner. The company will usually have fine print somewhere in their contract with you saying they have no insurance liability for things damaged in transit that were packed by people other than their employees. Sometimes you can get around this by packing personal things into smaller boxes, and then asking the professional packing crew to pack those smaller ones inside a larger box. You might avoid a “PBO” label this way.

We recommend more books like this for parents and kids about moving here and here.

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