How to Pack Heavy Items for Moving

Full article 14 min read
How to Start Packing to Move

If you want your move to be seamless, smooth, and efficient, one of the best ways to ensure that is proper packing. If you are well packed in the initial stages of the move, the rest will go smoothly without any confusion, conflicts, or accidents. Speaking of accidents, it is very easy to get injured with irresponsible handling, improper packing, or ill-informed planning. So, if you try to move heavy items without proper preparation, you may get hurt, injure your co-workers or damage the item itself. So it would help if you adopted appropriate packing techniques exclusive to heavy items when moving them from your old house to your new one.

Make a packing list

There’s a lot of planning and preparation left to do before you start packing all your heavy items for the move. The first and most important thing you will need to do is decide what you must take with you and what you can either leave behind or ship separately. And this is why:

  • Moving heavy items over long distances is more expensive than regular items because the fee is calculated based on distance and weight.
  • If you are moving locally, your moving charges are calculated per hour. Moving heavy items will certainly take more time, which means a higher fee.
  • Moving companies tend to charge an extra lifting and moving fee for bulky and heavier items.
  • Specialty items like grandfather clocks, pianos, or hot tubs will need to be handled differently than your other heavy items, which will require more workers, time, equipment, and higher fees.


Procure Packing material

Once you are sure about the heavy items that you want to take with you, without a doubt, then you can start planning how to move them and what materials or equipment you may need to purchase or hire to facilitate the move. The first thing you ended to do is procure all the necessary packing materials.

Strongboxes: Ensure that you get strong, durable, and unbreakable boxes that can withstand considerable weight. If you want to use cardboard boxes, consider buying double the amount you would go for your things so that you can double-box and create an extra security layer of protection for your things. This is not the time to skimp on money and use old worn-out boxes. They will most certainly crumble under the weight and damage your things, not to mention they can also cause serious injury.

Wrapping materials: You will need to buy thick wrapping materials like bubble wrap, furniture blankets, and foam sheets. Using packing paper for securing heavy items is not recommended because packing paper is not only thin but easily tearable, so it will not offer any cushioning, protection, or security for your items.

Solid cushioning: Heavier items need a lot more cushioning over and above the sturdy packing materials to survive being moved around, loaded onto the truck, and unloaded without breakages or damage.

Heavy-duty packing tape: You need some high-quality super-strong packing tape to keep everything in place and prevent anything from falling out or being damaged while being transported. The best packing tape for heavy items is fiberglass reinforced water-activated tape, also known as filament or gummed tape. Regular packing tape may not be strong enough to carry the weight of the heavy items that you are packing, so ask your hardware store for the strongest packing tape they have. If you tell them you need packing tape to pack very heavy items, they’ll know what to recommend.

How to pack heavy items in general

The key to effectively packing and moving heavy items is to pack them in smaller, sturdy boxes rather than giant containers. They will be easier to transport, carry, and move around than big containers that will be heavy and require more staffing to maneuver.

• Prep the boxes

o Choose small boxes that are solid and sturdy:

o Secure the boxes with high-quality strong packing tape

o Cushion the bottom with an extra layer of padding

o Ready for packing

• Pack the items in the boxes

o Wrap your items in thick furniture blankets

o Place the item in the center of the padded moving box

o Fill the remaining space and gaps with bubble wrap, furniture blankets, or foam

o Reinforce the top and bottom of the box with extra packing tape so that neither open while being carried or moved

o If you’ve still got some extra space on top, you can add some lightweight items to fill it up

o Seal the box well and label it with a marker on top

See Also: How to Move a Gazebo


How to pack heavy furniture

Now that you have the basic process covered, here is a closer look at packing heavy furniture. While you will need the same packing materials for heavy items, the furniture comes in different shapes, sizes, and forms of utility. So based on these factors, you will be using packing materials differently and may require more help.

Empty the furniture items

• Make sure contents that are not part of the furniture have been removed and stored safely elsewhere. This could mean you need to empty your drawers, desks, closets, and beds.

• Once the furniture has been emptied of surplus items, clean and dry it thoroughly. Make sure it is fully dry before you start packing.

• If any minor repair work needs to be done, you can either do it before packing or make a mental note of it later when you unpack and settle into your new home.

Disassemble where required:

• If your furniture items can be taken apart and reassembled easily later on, then it is highly recommended that you disassemble or dismantle your furniture and pack and move it in parts. This will reduce the amount of space your furniture will take up in the moving truck and make it easier to lift and move.

• Refer to any manual for dismantling and reassembly tools you may need. If you are unsure of yourself, hire professionals to do the disassembly and reassembly.

• Make sure you keep track of how many parts each furniture item is being dismantled into so that every piece, screw, and rod is accounted for and can be easily located later on.


Wrap, wrap, wrap, and tape

Wrap all the furniture items and pieces generously with furniture blankets. There are no bare parts visible, and then thoroughly tape them from all angles to ensure that the wrapping doesn’t unravel halfway through the moving process. Remember to stock up on as much packing material as you can. If you think it’s enough, it’s not, so buy more.

See Also: What is the best packing material for moving?

Heavy, fragile items

While some items are very heavy, they can also be very fragile at the same time. They could be heavy glass vases or sculptures, antiques, expensive old paintings, and grandfather clocks. Whatever the item, if it is fragile, it will always require extra care and padding so that there is no risk of damage when it is being moved from one place to another, either by hand or by the moving truck.

Heavy kitchen items

Your kitchen is full of heavy items that need to be packed and handled separately from the regular kitchen items you will be packing. These could include large appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, stoves and ovens, big coffee or vending machines, any portable machines that you store in the kitchen, and vacuuming equipment. These are just some heavy items you would find in a typical kitchen.

Heavy books

Some books like encyclopedias and coffee table books are exceptionally heavy and need to be packed separately and carefully so that they do not get damaged or fall out of their packaging. This also applies to old antique books, writings, and scripts that are very delicate and easily damaged if exposed to the elements and not properly sealed and packed.

See Also: How to Pack Books for Moving


Heavy tools

Your power tools, gardening equipment, home improvement kit, and cleaning tools will also require special packing since they may be too big to fit into a moving box and are not likely to fit with other items from your house. Also, they can be very heavy, despite being small, in some cases, and shouldn’t be underestimated based on size only. Make sure you get professional help in separating and putting together any equipment you are unfamiliar with and are better off letting the experts take over.


Moving heavy equipment requires as much care as small, fragile lightweight items that you think need a lot of attention. While the weight is something you will be charged extra for, there are ways to work around it: the well-proportioned distribution of weight, organized boxing, and thorough packing. Spare no expense on ensuring your items are protected, clean, and easily moveable, no matter the size, weight, or purpose.


How do you pack large items for moving?

The thing to bear in mind is that the odd-shaped items require the most protection. Suppose you can disassemble large items as much as possible because this will help pack and lighten the load. If there are gaps or hollow spaces between items, or empty spots in boxes that you are loading, then use blankets, thick cloth, foam, or bubble wrap to fill those spaces to create extra cushioning and secure all items in place. With the help of packing tape, everything can be fastened

How do you pack heavy, fragile items?

If you have fragile items to pack that are also very heavy, use smaller boxes to pack them in. The boxes should be solid, durable, and strong, not flimsy or soft. The bottom of the box should be doubly taped up to ensure it doesn’t open up under all the weight. Then layer the bottom of the box from the inside with soft blankets or foam mats for extra padding. As you place items in the box, please start with the heaviest item at the bottom and add items as they go lighter in weight. If you have glasses and stemware, use dividers to keep them safe and in place. Fill the gaps with bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper.


What is the best packing material for fragile items?

When packing fragile items, you need to ensure that the packing material is good enough to support, secure, and cushion the items so that they do not break or get damaged while being moved or placed in a box for storage. The best packing material offers a good cushioned layer of protection for fragile items in bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is ideal for antiques, glassware, china, crystals, or any other item that is easily breakable.

Is bubble wrap a good shock absorber?

Thanks to its incredible cushioning ability, bubble wrap is the top pick for packing fragile items, irrespective of their size and weight. It not only fills in the gaps in boxes but also is highly shock-absorbent, so your items will remain safe and intact even if the box they are in is jostled about in the moving truck.


How do you reinforce heavy boxes?

The best ways to reinforce heavy items when you are moving are filling the gaps, making sure there is padding even in the corners of the boxes, add a layer of cardboard, foam sheet, or furniture blanket at the bottom of the box. Thoroughly tape over all the pointy edges of the items. You could double-box it if you are not confident that one cardboard can withstand the weight of your items or invest in tougher boxes, like plastic moving bins or metal moving containers (which are reusable and durable).

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.