Helpful Packing Tips

Here's a checklist to help you avoid trying to do everything at once. Post this checklist on your refrigerator so that you can use it as a moving action plan.

About Two Weeks Before Moving

  • Stop by Emerald Moving & Storage in advance of your move and purchase moving and packing materials.
  • Get your car inspected and serviced.
  • Contact utilities - water, gas oil, electricity, phone - about when to disconnect service and when and where to reconnect. (Many people request shutting off service for the day after a move, so they have use of the utilities the full day of their move.)
  • Collect deposits from utilities.
  • Contact your services to discontinue trash collection, newspaper delivery, cable television, insurance, ect.
  • Get copies of important papers : medical, dental, eyeglass or contact lens records, prescriptions, pet immunization records, ...passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, social security papers, ect. Keep copies separate from household goods or forward to your new address for security.
  • Pick up change of address cards from the post office and notify magazines, charge accounts, etc. Arrange the date to have your mail forwarded.

One Week Before Moving

  • Reserve a baby-sitter for moving day.
  • Pick up traveler's checks.
  • Close out bank accounts and safe deposit boxes.
  • Begin packing of cartons giving priority to nonessential items.
  • Follow the packing tips in the next section to help ensure your belongings are properly packed.

Small Appliances

  • Pack small appliances in original container or a Emerald Moving & Storage carton cushioned with packing paper. (Do not use shredded paper it can clog the appliance.)

Major Appliances

  • Check with the appliance dealer for any special moving instructions.
  • For all large appliances, remove loose fittings and accessories and pack separately.
  • Tie down, tape or wedge all movable parts and doors.

Gas Dryer

  • Have gas company disconnect.
  • Bicycles, Tricycles, Baby Carriages
  • Loosen, lower, and turn handlebars at right angles to save space. Clean and cover chains and pedals to protect other items from being snagged or soiled.

Washing Machines/Dishwashers

  • Stuff towels between machine sides and tub to keep from rotating. Pad exterior well. Disconnect hoses, put in plastic bag, and place in tub.


  • Dresses, coats, suits anything hanging in the closet travel best in a special, reusable wardrobe cartons, which can be used seasonally as "extra closets" for wardrobe storage. Other clothes can remain folded in their regular dresser drawers.

Refrigerator / Freezer

  • Defrost and dry interiors well. If you want to lay your refrigerator down for moving, check first with the local dealer to determine if your brand can be moved like this. If so, make sure refrigerator stands upright for at least 24 hours before plugging in.


  • If you are moving yourself disassemble the bed frame. Tie rails and crosspieces together with rope or tape. Be sure to mark on tape to show where pieces fit together for reassembly. Use Emerald Movers mattress protection bags to keep mattress clean. Emerald Moving & Storage is happy to disassemble and reassemble the bed for you. On a local or long distance move.


  • They're heavy, so use small, sturdy Emerald Moving & Storage cartons. Pack books flat, alternating binding, and fill empty spaces with Emerald Moving & Storage packing paper.

Curtain Rod Hardware

  • Put them in a plastic bag and tape to rod or pack in dresser drawers.


  • Small mirrors can be well wrapped in Emerald Moving & Storage paper pads and packed in cartons. For a large mirror, make a cardboard case by cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard. Mark GLASS on the outside to prevent mishandling.
  • Stereos, Compact Discs and Cassettes
  • Separately pack components and pack in a well padded Emerald Moving & Storage carton marked FRAGILE. Pack CDs upright in their cases in a sturdy carton with a tape reinforced bottom. Tie CDs in small bundles before packing, then fill air space with Emerald Moving & Storage packing paper. Mark FRAGILE. Cassettes can be packed in a similar manner although you can group them in larger bundles.

Radios, TVs

  • Box small tvs and radios upright in carton and pad well on all sides. For console-size equipment, if moving yourself, surround with Penske furniture pads, and then move and load upright. Otherwise Emerald Moving & Storage will properly pad your tv.

Dressers / Bureaus

  • Fill drawers with clothes or unbreakable items. Do not overload drawers with heavy items.


  • After disassembling lamps, pack lamps in Emerald Moving & Storage lamp cartons surrounded by packing paper. Box shades individually in cartons with plenty of paper for stuffing. Don't use newspaper because it smudges.

Lawn Mowers

  • Drain fuel and oil before loading. Remove handle from hand mower and mark properly.

Paint and Flammables

  • Don't move it. The same goes for other flammables such as alcohol, solvents, lighter fluid, and greasy mops or rags. These can be dangerous items and must be properly disposed of before moving.

Tools and Gardening Equipment

  • Drain hoses, coil and pack in carton. Fill remaining space with lawn sprinklers, small garden hand tools, etc. Tie rakes, shovels, and other long handled tools together with rope or tape.


  • Individually wrap each piece in Emerald Moving & Storage packing paper and place in a dish pack. Place saucers, plates and platters on edge DO NOT STACK FLAT. Cups and bowls may be placed inside of each other and wrap three or four to a bundle.


  • Wrap each glass separately in Emerald Moving & Storage packing paper or bubble wrap. Pack in sturdy Emerald Moving & Storage carton ( dish packs are perfect for glassware as well as dishes.)


  • Pots, pans, etc., can be stacked in a carton with a sheet of Emerald Moving & Storage packing paper between them.


  • For large tables, if moving yourself, remove and pad the legs and tie together. Put hardware in small sealed envelope taped to the underside of the tabletop. Pad tops. Pad and tie spare leaves. For small tables, pad top and wrap legs to prevent scratching. Emerald Moving & Storage will disassemble tables if necessary.

Rugs and Pads

  • After vacuuming rugs and pads, sprinkle with moth flakes. Roll up and tie with Emerald Moving & Storage rope.

Paintings, Prints

  • Place in Emerald Moving & Storage mirror cartons, wrap each picture individually in a paper pad. Stand on sides.

Explanation of the Tariff Charges

Here's a checklist to help you avoid trying to do everything at once. Post this checklist on your refrigerator so that you can use it as a moving action plan.

Q: What is a tariff?

A: A tariff is a publication that works essentially like a catalog but reads like a legal document. The tariff satisfies the Federal requirement of the US Department of Transportation that requires interstate movers make their rates and charges public. The tariff details the services that are provided by the mover and the conditions under which the services are provided, along with the prices that the mover charges for the services.
The current tariff that most interstate movers use is designated as Tariff 400-N. It specifies the charges applicable for the two components of your move:

  1. Transportation (the handling and transportation of your shipment from origin to destination).
  2. Additional Services (added services such as packing, storage, and unpacking that you may request or require to complete your shipment).

Your mover will provide you with copies of specific pages from the rules section of the tariff if you request them. The rules explain, in detail, the application of the tariff, including, valuation, storage-in-transit, shuttle service, claims, and payments. Because the rates and charges are generated from computer software, there are, however, no printed tables or charts of rates contained in the tariff. Instead, they are computed on a customized basis based on your specific shipment.

Q: What are the tariff charges based on?

A: The charges in the tariff are based on the mover's cost of doing business (expense of operating) throughout the various areas of the country. There are lower cost areas (such as Dothan, AL, Evansville, IN and Green Bay, WI), medium cost areas (such as Tucson, AZ, Atlanta, GA, and Scranton, PA) and higher cost areas (such as Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL and New York, NY), plus charges that apply for shipments in Alaska.

The mover's costs for operating in these areas are determined in conjunction with the Consumer Price Index, along with the prevailing labor rates, determined from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rates for the various services that are provided in the tariff are adjusted by the software for each zip code (low, medium or high cost) where the service is provided to determine the applicable charges.

Q: What are the charges applicable to my shipment?

A: The charges applicable for your shipment will be the combined total of
The Transportation Charge (the handling of your shipment and the truck transportation from origin to destination).
Any Additional Services (added services such as packing, storage, and unpacking that you may request or require to complete your shipment).

Transportation Charge

The transportation charge applies for the truck transportation of your shipment based on the Zip Codes of each location. This charge includes the handling of your shipment (loading and unloading it into and out of the truck) and any elevator service, stair carries, excessive distance carries, and piano and organ carries that may be needed to service your shipment.

For example, if you are moving from Portland, OR to San Francisco, CA, your transportation charge will be based on the weight of your shipment and the distance between Portland and San Francisco.

The transportation charge may be subject to a Fuel Surcharge (as shown on your shipping documents) that provides for a percentage adjustment to compensate your mover for the higher cost of diesel fuel. The Fuel Surcharge applies to the transportation charge and the pickup and delivery charge, if your shipment is delivered into or out of a storage-in-transit facility, and is based on the cost of diesel fuel as reported by the US Department of Energy (DOE). If the DOE cost of diesel fuel increases above the base price of $1.136 per gallon, a percentage adjustment applies on the transportation charge, as follows:

When the DOE Fuel Price Per Gallon reported on the first Monday of the month is:

Less than $1.137
From $1.137 to $1.235
From $1.236 to $1.334
From $1.335 to $1.434
From $1.435 to $1.533
From $1.534 to $1.632
From $1.633 to $1.732
From $1.733 to $1.831
From $1.832 to $1.930
From $1.931 to $2.029
From $2.030 to $2.130

The Fuel Cost Adjustment Factor that becomes effective on the 15th day of the same month is:


If your mover elects to discount the tariff charges, the discounted amount will be shown on the Order For Service Form provided to you by your mover, along with the total amount that you will be expected to pay at delivery to receive your shipment. Any amounts for additional services that you ordered after the shipment was loaded, or that were required to accomplish delivery, will be billed to you by your mover when your shipment is delivered.

Additional Services

Additional Services are services that are you request or require to complete your shipment. Additional Service charges are not included in the transportation and are in addition to the transportation charges.


Valuation is the degree of worth of your shipment. All movers are required to assume liability for the value of the goods that they transport. However, there are two different levels of liability that apply and you should be aware of their differences.

Full (Replacement) Value Protection (FVP)

Full (Replacement) Value Protection (FVP) is the most comprehensive plan available for the protection of your goods. This level of protection applies automatically for your shipment unless you elect to waive this coverage. Under this plan, often referred to as "full value protection" or "full replacement value", articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will be (at the mover's option) either repaired, replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the cost of the repair, or for the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged item. Depreciation of the lost or damaged item is not a factor in determining replacement value when the shipment is moved under full value protection.
An additional charge applies for Full (Replacement) Value Protection, which is further subject to various deductible amounts. If you do not wish to pay this additional valuation charge or if you feel that you do not need this level of coverage, you must select the Alternative Level of Liability described in the next paragraph.

Alternative Level of Liability Protection

The Alternative Level of Liability Protection is included at no additional cost in the transportation charge. This is the most economical protection plan available, however, this no-additional-cost option provides only minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents. For example, if a 10pound stereo component, valued at $1000 were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds x 60ยข). Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. There is no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific statement in the shipment documentation (usually the bill of lading) agreeing to it.

Packing and Unpacking Service

After valuation, the most frequently requested service is either Full or Custom Packing and Unpacking Service. The Full Service Packing and/ or Unpacking charge applies based on the weight of the shipment and includes all cartons and containers furnished and packed by your mover, with the exception of specially constructed crates that are used for fragile items such as mirrors, paintings, and marble tabletops.

Full Service Packing

Full Service Packing applies when you want your mover to pack all or almost all of your shipment. For example, if you plan on packing your important papers, heirloom silverware and some of your children's toys and letting your mover pack the rest of your shipment - choose Full Packing Service.

Custom Service Packing and Unpacking

Custom Service Packing and Unpacking rates apply on a per carton or per container basis and include the cartons or containers furnished and the packing of these cartons when the mover is requested to pack a portion but not all of the shipment (you elect to perform part of your own packing.)
Custom Packing Service applies when you want to pack most of your shipment yourself, with your mover packing only selected items (breakable, valuable or fragile items). For example, if you plan on packing all of your folded clothing, shoes, linens, quilts, pillows, books, pots and pans, flatware and all of your other non-breakable household items, with your mover packing the remainder - choose Custom Packing Service.

Storage-In-Transit Service (SIT)

Storage-In-Transit Service (SIT) is the holding of a shipment in or at the mover's storage facility awaiting further transportation and/ or delivery. This service is normally provided at your request but it can also apply if the driver cannot accomplish the delivery for reasons other than the fault of the mover or due to impractical conditions.
The charges normally apply based on the location of the storage facility (except when provided for mover convenience) and the weight of the shipment, or portion of the shipment, that is being stored. Rates apply based on the length of the storage period and the weight of the goods being stored, subject to a 1,000-pound minimum.

SIT Pickup and Delivery Service

SIT Pickup and Delivery Service provides for the transportation of the shipment between the SIT storage warehouse and your residence. This charge is subject to a 1,000-pound minimum and applies based on the weight of the shipment, or portion thereof, that is being picked up or delivered into storage and the distance between the storage facility and the residence.

Extra Labor and Waiting Time

Extra Labor and Waiting Time rates apply when you request the mover to provide extra workers on the job (often to meet specific move date requirements or to handle unusual articles in the shipment), to rearrange furniture, enter attic or crawlspaces, provide "maid" service or to hold the vehicle and workers at a location due to a delay caused by the customer (i.e. you are not available to meet the vehicle at the pre-arranged time). These charges apply as hourly rates based on the number of workers or vehicles provided and the length of service performed.

Pickup or Delivery Stopoff

A Pickup or Delivery Stopoff occurs when you request that the shipment be picked up or delivered at more than one place. When an extra stopoff is performed, the transportation charges are determined based on the total weight of the entire shipment rated from the point of origin to the point of destination via the stopoff point(s).

Weight Additive Charge

A Weight Additive Charge applies when an item like a boat or a trailer is included in your shipment. These types of items are subject to an extra charge because of their unusual handling or transportation characteristics or because of their bulky size compared to their weight. The charge includes loading and unloading the article into the truck. Examples of articles that are subject to a weight additive charge include sailboats, horse trailers, large hot tubs and camper shells.

Third Party Services

Third Party Services provide for the advancement (pass through) of charges for services provided by others (services provided by other than the mover) that you request or are required by a governmental authority. Examples of such charges are maid service or professional craftsmen provided at the request of the customer, or agricultural quarantine inspections, local sales tax, recycling fees or bridge and ferry fees that are imposed upon the mover. Third party charges are identified on your invoice by a description of the service and the amount that was advanced by the mover.

Overtime Loading and Unloading

Overtime loading and unloading rates apply when service is performed any time on Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays, or between the hours of 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. Monday through Friday, when this service is made necessary by: 1) landlord requirements; 2) prevailing laws or ordinances; or is 3) specifically requested by the customer or his agent.
These rates apply based on the weight of the shipment, or portion of the shipment, that is accorded the overtime service; they apply in addition to the transportation charge, subject to a 1000-pound minimum.

Pickup or Delivery Self / Mini Warehouse

If you request your mover to go inside a self-storage (mini-warehouse) that you are renting or other warehouse space that does not belong to your mover to either remove items stored there or to place items into the warehouse space (such as stacking and un-stacking boxes), Pickup or Delivery Self/Mini Warehouse charges will apply based on the weight of the portion being placed into or removed from storage and the location of the facility, subject to a minimum weight of 1000 pounds.

Shuttle Service

Shuttle Service applies when your mover must use a smaller vehicle to pickup your shipment at a location that is inaccessible to the mover's normal over-the-road equipment. When it is not possible for your mover to pickup your shipment at a location where his road haul vehicle (tractor-trailer) may be safely operated, he will use a smaller vehicle, or "shuttle", to transfer the goods between the residence and road haul vehicle. When shuttle service is performed, an additional charge applies based on the weight of the shipment or the portion of the shipment that is transferred between the vehicles and the location where the service is performed.