Short and not-so-helpful answer: sometimes! In more detail, many moving companies offer packing as an optional service to include in your moving package. Other companies don’t, and limit their services to carrying your boxes and furniture to the moving truck for transport. So to explain in more detail what packing services can (and can’t) do for you, here is the inside scoop on whether moving companies pack your stuff for you.
If you don’t opt for packing services…
Your movers will arrive and expect you to have everything boxed and ready to carry out the door. They may be able to do light disassembly of furniture, but anything significant may incur extra charges or be beyond the scope of what they can do. So if you are skilled at packing and have a fairly small home, this option could work for you.
Keep in mind: if the moving company does not pack your boxes, they are not liable for any breakage to the items inside. Consider purchasing third-party moving insurance if you decide to do your own packing. Then your items are covered in case of mishap.
The levels of packing services
Your packing options will depend on the moving company you choose. Using a platform like Unpakt, you can make specific requests based on your packing needs. These might include:
- Basic packing. This varies by company, but could include: putting your household items in boxes, wrapping your furniture in blankets or plastic wrap, and minor disassembly (like taking the legs off your table).
- Furniture disassembly. If your home entertainment center needs to be taken apart for transport, your movers will need to come prepared. Be sure to specify what you expect them to tackle when it comes to disassembling your furniture.
- Electronics disassembly. Not all packing teams are ready to take apart your sound system! Wiring electronics requires a certain skill set, so be sure your movers are up to the job.
- Packing fragile antiques or art. This type of packing likely requires building a custom crate. If you plan to send any large, fragile items on the truck, ask your moving company to give you a quote that includes custom crating. Sometimes it makes more sense to bring art to a local gallery or art dealer to be packed for transportation. But sometimes a moving company has the trained staff who can build a crate that will keep your prized artwork safe!
What your moving company will not pack
Moving regulations vary by state and govern what moving companies are and aren’t allowed to transport. Just because you can pack it in a box doesn’t mean your movers are permitted to transport it! So if you have specific questions, it’s best to check your state laws or ask your moving company. But at the very least, moving companies cannot move:
- Hazardous Materials. This category includes fire extinguishers, paint, and paint thinner, pesticides and insecticides, motor oil, charcoal, kerosene, matches, and bleach. If it shouldn’t be thrown into the garbage, your movers shouldn’t transport it.
- Explosives and Corrosives. Think fireworks, propellants, or ammunition. For corrosives, any type of acid, including acid-based batteries, are a no-go.
- Some heavy equipment. Anything that has used gas or other flammable fuel in the past is questionable, as it still likely has residue.
- Perishables. If you still have food left in your refrigerator, your movers will not transport it in – even in a cooler. You’ll need to do that yourself, as they can’t be responsible for food that may go bad.
- Pets. You’d think we wouldn’t have to include this one, right? But you need to make arrangements to transport your pets to your new home. They cannot ride with your moving boxes!
- Weapons. It makes sense that your moving company would not transport your guns, but transport of swords, knives, and archery equipment also needs to be discussed with your movers. They may be willing to move it, but not necessarily.
You also need to think about what you want and don’t want them to move. Keep your important documents and precious personal effects with you and transport them yourself. Although you hope that nothing goes awry during your move, it’s best not to risk it.
Ready to find a company that will pack your stuff for you? Fill in your details on Unpakt and request packing services. We’ll take it from there.