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Packing Specific and Unique Items

How to pack large, odd-shaped and special items.

Some items are large, odd-shaped or simply require special attention to ensure their safe transit. Use these tips on packing TVs, appliances and more to help you protect them during your move.

Packing boxes using packing tips from Atlas

Packing Appliances

  • Small appliances and utensils. Wrap and place these in sturdy boxes, with heavier items on the bottom.
  • Major appliances (refrigerator, stove, freezer, washer, dryer, etc.). Have an authorized serviceman disconnect and prepare these for transport. Defrost, clean and dry your refrigerator and freezer before Atlas arrives.

Packing Specific Items

  • Barbeque grills. Wrap grates and briquettes separately in newspaper (or place briquettes in a grocery bag). Place in a box and pad with paper to minimize movement of the contents.
  • Bedding. Fold and pack pillowcases, sheets, linens, and towels in clean, medium-sized boxes (3 cube). Pack blankets, quilts and comforters in large boxes (4.5 cube). Atlas furniture movers will disassemble and set up most beds in your new home.
  • Books. Pack on edge in small boxes (1.5 cube) and alternate the direction of the bindings with each layer of books. Keep the box weight under 50 pounds.
  • Canned and non-perishable foods. Pack upright in small boxes, no more than 24 to 30 cans per box. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small boxes.
    • If you don’t want to take any food to your new house, Atlas can help you donate your food to Move for Hunger.
  • Cars and motorcycles. Drain fuel to near empty. Disconnect the motorcycle's battery. See that the automobile has sufficient antifreeze.
  • Clocks. Remove or secure the pendulum.
  • Clothing. Place dress clothes on hangers inside wardrobe boxes. Fold and pack other clothing in clean boxes.
  • DVD and Blu-Ray players, Gaming Systems, and CD players and turntables. Pack these items in the original boxes if you have them. If you don't, refer to the owner's manual for proper packing.
    • Wrap DVD players, CD players and turntables with an old blanket and place them upright in the box.
    • To stabilize the laser on your CD player, replace the transport screws (usually located on the bottom of the unit).
    • For your turntable, stabilize the platter to secure the changer and tone arm by tightening screws located on the top of the turntable.
    • Label the packing boxes “Fragile” and “This Side Up”.
Pack high-value items in the presence of your Atlas Professional Van Operator or packing crew so we can identify them and write them on the inventory.
  • Drapes and curtains. Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe boxes or fold and pack them in clean boxes. Remove curtains from rods, fold them, and pack in boxes.
  • Electronic media (DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, software discs, records, audio cassette tapes and video tapes). Layer the bottom of a small box with shredded or crushed paper. Pack media in their protective sleeves or cases if available.
    • Or wrap in tissue paper or plastic wrap to prevent scratching.
    • Stand CDs, software discs and records on edge in boxes (do not lay flat). Brace at both ends using a hardback book, or layer pieces of cardboard to provide a snug fit. Fill in with paper as needed. Mark the box Fragile.
We recommend you use a qualified third party to properly prepare home theaters and large electronics. Your Atlas Agent can connect you with a specialist.
  • Firearms. Notify Atlas before you move if your shipment contains long guns or other firearms.
    • Firearms must be unloaded, have legible serial numbers, and be packed in the presence of the Atlas Van Operator.
  • Home theater systems, TVs, surround sound and entertainment system components. It is best to use the original packaging when available. Consult your owner's manuals for specific instructions.
  • Lamps and lampshades. Remove bulbs, harps, and shades, and roll up the cord.
    • Pack lamps with bedding, or wrap them separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined boxes.
    • Wrap the harp and finial (top ornament) with packing paper and tape inside the box containing the shade.
    • Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper, and place upright in large, tissue-lined boxes.
  • Mattresses. Typically, your Atlas Professional Van Operator and crew will prepare these items, making sure they are fully wrapped, transported and stored flat.
    • We take care not to stand them on end, because the layers can separate.
    • Atlas offers affordable boxes for your thick or memory foam mattress if you want extra protection.
    • You can also help protect mattresses by covering them with old sheets or mattress covers and wrapping them in plastic wrap.
    • Mark the box: Lay Flat – Memory Foam.
  • Microwave ovens. Remove loose articles from the oven, such as cookware, glass or wire shelves and carousels.
    • Wrap these and place them in a separate container.
    • Tape the door shut in an X-pattern to protect the glass.
    • Use the original manufacturer's box if available; otherwise, follow instructions below for packing personal computers.
  • Mirrors, paintings and pictures. Tell your Atlas Agent if you have valuable paintings that require special care.
    • Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings and frames in unprinted newspaper or paper pads and place on edge in boxes or mirror boxes.
Never place printed newspaper in contact with paintings; newspaper ink can smudge or damage your art.
  • Personal computers (PCs, scanners, printers, etc.). Pack these in the original boxes if you have them.
    • Otherwise, use strong, corrugated boxes and place protective padding inside the bottom of the box.
    • Wrap the item with a blanket or protective pad and place it in the box.
    • Place additional padding between the box and the computer.
    • Wrap detachable cords separately, label them, and put them in a plastic bag. Place cords between the padded computer and the box.
  • Rugs. Leave large rugs to be rolled up by your Atlas Professional Van Operator and crew.
  • Silverware. Wrap each piece in cloth or low-sulfur-content paper to prevent tarnishing. Wrap the silver chest in an old blanket or moving pad to prevent scratching.
  • Tools and lawn equipment. Pack hand tools in small, strong boxes. Wrap separately if they are valuable.
    • Drain oil and fuel from gas-powered tools such as leaf blowers, trimmers and chain saws. Atlas will not transport flammables under any circumstances.
  • Waterbeds. Drain the mattress completely.
    • Grasp the internal baffle with the external vinyl and fold the mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid creases across individual baffles.
    • Do not place your mattress in contact with sharp or pointed objects.
    • Consult your owner's manual or ask your Atlas Agent if you have questions.

You can always call your Atlas Agent for advice on packing specific items or have them do it for you.


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