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Trade Secrets from the Professionals at North American

Packing can be a tedious, time consuming chore that takes skill and the right materials to prepare household articles for your move. North American Van Lines recommends that you have our professionals pack for you. We’re trained in proper procedures, have the right materials, and can do it in a quarter of the time. We strongly recommend the we pack: 

  • Marble, glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40”x60” or larger
  • Pool table slates
  • Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statuary, chandeliers and other items that require crating
  • Antiques
  • Major appliances
  • Personal computers

If you decide to pack yourself, we want to help all we can. Here are some trade secrets we’d like to share with you:

Trade Secret #1:
You can buy the cartons and packing materials you’ll need from us. We can help you choose the sizes and the kinds you’ll need. You’ll save valuable time compared to trying to track down suitable cartons at supermarkets. More importantly, our cartons are specifically designed for packing household goods. Packing materials include unprinted newsprint, bubble wrap , and tape.

Trade Secret #2:
Wrap fragile articles the way professionals do – use two layers of unprinted newsprint per glass, dish, figurine, etc. Wrap firmly, but loosely enough to provide a cushioning effect.

Trade Secret #3:
Don’t overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles cushion each other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure. Don’t mix incompatible items (like books with glasses). Pack clothing in our special wardrobe containers. Without overcrowding, clothes will hang straight, and stay clean and virtually wrinkle-free.

Trade Secret #4
Pack glasses standing on end, upside down, and not on their sides. Stack dishes on edge, and fill empty spaces with wadded unprinted newsprint. Before packing the dishpack, layer the bottom of the carton with crumpled unprinted newsprint.

Trade Secret #5
Pack lampshades, mirrors, pictures, etc. in special cartons designed for them. Ask your North American representative for guidance.

Trade Secret #6
Tape boxes across tops and edges. Seal every opening tightly.

Trade Secret #7
Pack your belongings room by room to make unpacking easier. Label each box with your name, North American contract number, the room the box goes to and a brief description of the contents. Mark items you’ll need right away once you move with “unpack First” and only mark truly fragile items with “fragile.” Adhesive labels denoting “Fragile,” “On last -  Off First,” and “Do Not Load” are available from your North American representative.

Trade Secret #8
Don’t pack paints, turpentine, pressurized cans, corrosive items like bleach or any flammable liquid. The law forbids movers to carry flammables. Properly dispose of or give away anything that could cause a fire or damage.

Trade Secret #9
When packing a personal computer, these steps will help you prepare it for safe transport. For more advice, your local computer dealer can answer other questions. To pack your computer, we strongly recommend that you use the computers original carton and packing materials. If they’re not available, use a box that is both strong and big enough to hold the computer, and pack it with unwritten newspaper.

  • Back up your software and data files. These should be moved with you or sent to your destination via insured mail.
  • Park the hard drive. See your computer’s manual for special steps to take. With newer computers simply turning the power off initiates this safety feature.
  • Insert a cardboard or old disk into disk drives.
  • Unhook all cables and power cords, indicating their positions for ease in set-up. Pack cords separately with manuals and software.
  • Use only static free packing materials, like clean wadded unprinted newsprint.
  • Create a base layer of wadded unprinted newsprint and place computer on top of layer. Then surround sides and top with more wadded unprinted newsprint until firmly packed, and seal carton with packing tape.
  • Be sure to remove the waste toner hopper from your printer, and have the unit vacuumed before packing.
  • Remove all ink cartridges from the printer. 

When preparing large appliances for moving, it is important that they be clean and dry to avoid the build up of mildew and mold. Grease left on a stovetop will catch dust and dirt in your shipment, and leave spots on anything it touches. Dry out refrigerators and freezers before moving, especially those with an icemaker.Remember to turn off or unplug any appliance before preparing, cleaning, or servicing.

Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses. Leave the door open for a few days prior to moving. Wrap dry hoses in towels and packing paper and place inside the dishwasher.

Washing Machine
Clean and dry thoroughly. Disconnect and drain hoses.

  • Wrap metal connector ends of hoses in a towel and place inside washer before moving.
  • Secure the tub following the manufacturer's guidelines to prevent swaying. Note: If you don't have the manufacturer's guidelines, you can purchase a washer kit with a manual that provides instructions on how to secure the tub by tightening down the tub using screws. If you prefer not to do it yourself, there are many third party service providers.
  • Upon arrival to your new home, have the washer installed by a qualified installer.

Clothes Dryer
Before cleaning, unplug or turn off the dryer from electrical power.

  • Clean the lint screen.
  • Prior to plugging in your electric dryer at your new residence, have your power supply checked for the correct electrical requirements.
  • If you are moving a gas dryer, the appliance should be disconnected and the gas line capped off prior to moving by a qualified technician. The driver and the movers are not qualified to perform this service. You will need to make third party arrangements.

Stove Top / Range / Oven
Clean thoroughly. Detach all removable parts and pack safely in a box, clearly marked with the contents.

  • If you are moving a gas range, it must be disconnected prior to moving by a qualified service technician. The gas line must be properly secured also.
  • If you have an electric range, generally no servicing at your present residence is required.
  • When arriving at your new residence with your gas range, you will need a qualified gas installer to check your gas supply, connect the gas line, seal any openings, light the pilot, and handle any other hook-up requirements.

Dispose of all perishables. At the destination, allow 24 hours before operating. This will allow time for the oil to settle, preventing damage to the compressor.

  • Unplug the power cord, wash all removable parts, and dry thoroughly.
  • Allow the parts and the including the interior of the refrigerator and freezer, to dry thoroughly prior to moving to allow all moisture to evaporate.
  • Pack all loose parts including bins and shelves in a secured, approved container for moving.
  • Vacuum the condenser or compressor.
  • Empty and clean the evaporator pan; allow time for it to dry.
  • Before moving, turn off the water and disconnect the water line if you have a cold water dispenser or automatic icemaker.Once your icemaker is in service, dispose of the first few batches of ice to clear out any impurities from the water line.
  • The water reservoir should also be emptied.
  • If your refrigerator or freezer is an older model, you may have to have the compressor or motor bolted down while moving.
  • Have icemaker and water dispenser connected to water line by a professional.
  • Copper tubing, a shut off valve and fittings may be required.

Microwave Oven
Glass trays should be removed, wrapped, and securely packed in a moving carton.The microwave can be placed in its original box, if available and still in good shape, or in a well-cushioned moving carton.

  • If your microwave is large, ask your moving company if it can be pad-wrapped on moving day.
  • Do not place cardboard in the door opening because it can spring the door during transit.
  • Take care not to block the exhaust vent when installing it at your new home.

American Van Services | 94 Big Boom Road | Glens Falls, New York 12804 | (518) 793-6622
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