7 Tips for Packing Your Moving Container Like a Pro
Apr 2020

7 Tips for Packing Your Moving Container Like a Pro

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Packing is only half the move — you need to decide what furniture, appliances, and personal items are going to make the cut and suit the new space you’re moving to. Unlike packing for a short trip, transporting your entire life or work requires extensive planning and scheduling to organize your essentials and book a moving service.

How do you prepare for the move? Renting out a shipping container for all your belongings gives you enough room to stock everything that needs to be transported, but do you know what goes in it? Check out this guide to help you pack like a pro, and get settled at a new location in no time:

1. Make a list

A moving checklist is the best way to stay organized throughout the moving process and keep track of items in a shipping container for transport by movers. This list should include everything that needs to move, with additional details like colour, make, and model to help identify them for packing.

You can refer to this list before, during, and after the move to keep track of where items are stored, if they’ve been loaded for pick-up by movers, and whether they were safely transported.

2. Stock up on packing supplies

You can never have too much tape, cardboard boxes, ropes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and other moving essentials. These supplies help you pack up items for either transport or storage in shipping containers, and keep them safe from the common damages like chips, scratches, and breakage. Packing items properly keeps them secure during transport, and guarantees future use.

3. Organize packing boxes

A checklist keeps track of what you’ve packed and loaded in shipping containers for movers to pick up and drop off, but it’s one part of a two-way system. Organizing boxes — and their contents — ensures that you’re transporting the right items as written on your checklist.

To start, make sure that similar items are stored together. This means packing appliances with their respective cords and spare parts and disassembled furniture with their respective parts, like cushions, drawers, and shelving units.

Once these items are packed together, make sure to mark their respective boxes — group them according to the room they go into, or the type of item so that you can unpack and furnish the new space in an organized manner.

4. Distribute weight

For safe transport, movers recommend distributing the weight of items inside the shipping container. A balanced weight keeps the items from shifting during transport and crushing small parts, or damaging fragile ones.

When loading items inside, think of heavy items you won’t need right away to the farthest corner and work your way forward with essentials that you need to unpack to get settled in.

5. Protect furniture and appliances

Unlike clothes and sheets that can easily go into boxes, furniture and appliances are far more delicate. Without the proper protection, they can easily shift during transport, resulting in cracks, chips, or breakage.

To keep your things in good condition inside shipping containers, and ensure future use, make sure that furniture is covered under moving blankets. Use moving bands or shrink-wrap to keep the blanket in place. Similarly, use mattress covers or plastic mattress bags and stretch wrap for mattresses, cushions, and other fabric-based items.

Keeping appliances protected during transport by movers in shipping containers guarantees long-term use. Make sure to bubble wrap electronics and add cardboard protection to avoid scratching TV screens and damaging kitchen appliances, like the fridge and microwave.

6. Know what you can’t pack

Shipping containers are popular among movers because of their large storage capacity and tough metal exterior that shields items from the elements. It’s easy to think that there’s room for everything inside, but just because they can fit doesn’t mean they all belong there.

Certain items shouldn’t be stored in shipping containers for safety reasons:

Valuables and Documents

High-value items like art and jewelry collections, as well as personal documents like birth certificates, passports, and bank records, and personal electronics should travel with you to avoid the risk of damaging losses. Shipping container movers are typically not liable for valuables lost during transport.

Hazardous Items

Weapons, flammable items like paint and cleaning solvent, propane tanks, gasoline, motor oil, lighter fluid, aerosols, and other chemicals are considered hazardous for transport. These items contain chemicals that are highly combustible or explosive, which can damage your entire load, and even hold you liable for damages sustained by the movers.


Indoor or outdoor plants are not suited for transport via shipping containers, especially on long-distance trips where they may not get enough sunlight and air for survival. Depending on where your shipping container is travelling to, plants may not also be allowed at the destination. This is to prevent the spread of pests, harmful insects, disease, and plant varieties considered invasive to the local ecosystem.


Food items like milk, eggs, raw meat, and other short-term food supply should not be stored in shipping containers because they can spoil or attract pests. If you absolutely need to move with unopened pantry items, limit these to canned goods and other food manufactured with preservatives.

7. Secure your shipping container

Prevent losses to theft and natural damage during transport. Make sure that your shipping container is tightly sealed and properly insulated to prevent damage caused by moisture build-up, such as mould or mildew, as well as prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight.

Make sure that items are properly secured using ropes or straps. Protect them from theft or vandalism outside using lockboxes and smartphone-integrated alarm systems.

To learn more about how to pack a shipping container like a pro, call Sigma Container at 855-340-3342 or contact us here.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at