How to pack items for shipping

Although packing items for shipping may seem like a rather daunting and perplexing process, it’s actually rather easy. However, before we dive into the necessary steps that will ensure your success, a fair bit of warning is appropriate at this point. In order to pack items for shipping in a proper manner, you must be familiarized with both the dos and the don’ts of the matter at hand. Only by doing so will you become a true master of this craft.

A man in a kimono, holding a katana, looking fearsome
Only by reading the following text will you obtain the necessary knowledge and come closer to being a packing master.

Acquire appropriate materials

If you want to pack items for shipping so that they keep their original condition during and after the transit, it’s essential that you acquire quality materials. What kind of materials do we have in mind? The ones that follow.

The right kind of boxes

Hiring cross country moving companies Arizona for the job of shipping will spare you the quest of finding boxes. However, if you are opting for a DIY project, know that your shoebox won’t suffice for this undertaking. See, six sides of cardboard are not what a proper box makes. It needs to provide support as well as cushioning. You are going to need sturdy, odorless and dry boxes. Additionally, see that you don’t end up with boxes that are too large in size. This can increase the risk of damage, as well as the shipping cost.

Suitable cushioning material

A lightweight paper material, packing peanuts, newspaper, air cushions, cardboard pieces, Styrofoam pellets, and bubble wrap will all do the trick, depending on the shipment. Unlike regular packing, when you pack items for shipping, you want to keep the boxes as light as possible, so as to reduce the price of service. So, if keeping money is on your agenda, avoid using clothing materials as cushioning.

Additional essentials

You are going to need a thick and wide tape. If you are not keen on seeing your dentist, skip the teeth ripping, and get some scissors as well. Also, if you want something written on the box, say ‘fragile’, or ‘this side up’, a maker would be most helpful. So, make sure to get one, or even two, if you feel like splurging.

Yellow ducktape on a blue surface, both on a yellow surface
When you pack items for shipping, no amount of ducktape is too much

The packing itself

We have finally arrived to the most important step in your education regarding packing items for shipping – the packing itself. The procedure ought to go as follows:

  1. Call interstate movers Arkansas, since they’ll know what do to.
  2. Just kidding. You won’t get out of this that easily. Namely, select the box that best suits your shipment. Heavy, large or brittle items should go in a box that fits them to perfection. Having said that, don’t forget to take into account the extra space that you need for cushioning.
  3. Make sure that the items you are packing are facing the right way. When you pack items for shipping, you need to think of the road that awaits your goods. Thus, not every way is the proper way. Glasses ought to be placed upright, while dinner plates should be laid down.
  4. In case you are shipping items that are made out of multiple pieces, it would be wise to tape them together. Any unnecessary movement or shifting during transport can cause damage or breakage. And we certainly wouldn’t want that now, would we?
  5. Now comes the most fun part – cushioning! Why fun? Well, what activity that includes bubble wrap is not fun? Take that acquired material and use it wisely. The nature of the cushioning material ought to match the object’s size, fragility, and weight. You should apply the material to each side of the item in question. This is Especially important if you are packing fragile objects.
  6. After you’re done safe-wrapping your items, it’s time to fill all the empty space left. Anything that you have from that list of materials that we so generously provided will suffice. The goal here is to deny each and every probability of item’s movement. So, smother the inside of that box with softness as best as you can.
  7. It’s tape time. To ensure your shipment won’t open until the time for that is right, use the tape the way it was meant to. Wrap that box all over, perhaps even two times. If you find this act a bit too much, make sure to at least go over the opening and sides more than once. This will strengthen the box’s structure and keep it from opening in any undesirable way.
  8. The time has finally arrived where you get to show off your neat handwriting. Whatever the shipper needs to know, make sure to put on the box is readable letters. The desired address, contact phone and, if necessary, the fragility of the shipment, should all find their place on the box. A neat trick is to cover the surface of the address label with transparent tape. This will prevent the ink from smudging.

Things to avoid when you pack items for shipping

  • Do not overfill your boxes. Sure, the cushioning material is fine, but heavy and crammed items can cause damage to adjacent objects, as well as themselves.
  • If you plan on using flat rate mailer, do not ship breakable items. The overfilling is a rule for this instance as well. We know, if it fits, it ships, but cramming items into the padded mailers is not a good idea. Such mailers can burst open when overstuffed.
  • Wrapping packages in brown paper is a no-no. This archaic method is no longer suitable for the shipping process. The paper can get ripped off and mangled in machines, thus ruining the shipping and return address.
  • Alcohol or beer boxes are not a good idea when you pack items for shipping. In the words of the respected USPS ‘Packages containing alcoholic beverages or with alcoholic beverage markings are prohibited in the mail.’
Learn how to pack items for shipping, like this box of glass bottles
This kind of shipment is strongly unadvisable via the regular mail

Things not to avoid when you pack items for shipping

  • Pool noodles turn out to be great cushioning material. Simply slice them longwise and slip them over the outer edges of framed items. If you lack packing peanuts, chop the noodles and fill your box with the end result.
  • One of the best inexpensive cushioning material, believe it or not, are the egg cartons. When you pack items for shipping, first line the bottom of the box with egg cartons. Place your item in the middle. Finish with lining the sides and the top of the box with more egg cartons. This technique will both prevent the item from moving, as well as protect it from any damage.
  • Black trash bags are great for shipping large and soft goods, such as rugs, bedding, or non-breakable home decor. Tape securely and smooth out the edges.