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~ Citizens Action Team ~
 Packing Guidelines

Perfect Packing

  •    All items must be boxed, taped, and labeled unless you have made special arrangements with your “hub” to deliver in some other condition.
  •    Packing is fun!  Invite your friends and local volunteers to help!
  •    Generally speaking, glass is frowned upon unless packed really well and labeled accordingly.

To ensure that things arrive in the condition you’ve sent them,
pack carefully to cushion and protect contents.

Getting started

  •    Be on the lookout for good, clean, empty boxes.  Supermarkets, liquor stores, and your own place of business are good sources. 
  •    Be wary of thin cardboard; some boxes say how much weight they can bear. Sometimes you can double-box to ensure sturdiness.
  •    A local office supply store or moving company may donate boxes and packing materials.
  •    Save newspapers, foam peanuts, foam forms, foam rubber, grocery and dry cleaning bags, egg cartons, and even smaller cardboard boxes. Shredded paper makes good cushioning but is heavy.

Packing pointers

  •   When packing multiple items, make sure to select a box size that you can comfortably lift and move. Don’t, for instance, pack books or paint cans into a large box. And remember, you may have to lift that box onto a loading dock.
  •   Leave plenty of space for packing materials. Don’t use items to cushion items, unless they really, truly are unbreakable and uncrushable. (Not many things are.)
  •  Make sure the box remains squared so that it will stack well with others. No unsightly bulges! If you are packing books or other sturdy items with straight edges, use those edges to help the box retain its shape.

Tape, tape, tape

Buy the best-quality packing tape you can, and a lot of it. “Packing” tape is higher-grade than “storage” tape. NEVER use masking tape. It won’t hold. Poor-quality packing tape will drive you crazy (and waste your time) by ripping apart.

  •   Tape 2-3 strips in both directions along the bottom and top of ALL boxes.  Criss-crossing is extra important if the box is large/heavy.  It helps “spread” the load.
  •   Make sure to press the tape down. If ends are popping up, tape over the ends.

Label of Love

All boxes should be labeled with a description of the contents. Keep it brief. The idea is to make the box easy to identify on both ends of the shipping process. (If you want to send a message of support, insert in the box. The thing that will make your eager recipient feel the love is if they can easily find your goods when they need them.)

Some popular categories for labeling:

computer (put a description, like Mac or PC)
construction supplies/tools
office supplies
school supplies
medical supplies
  • To be even more lovable, label the top and each side of the box (5 surfaces), so handlers can see what’s in it, no matter which way the box is facing.
  • Use a thick-pointed marker so your label is visible across a room. Make it legible!
  • If you know the destination, put the destination’s name/address on each box. Otherwise, the hub coordinator will handle this through shipping documents.

How do you tell if a box is packed properly?

Do the drop test. Drop the packed box from a foot or so. If you hear movement, add more packing material.

If you have questions or need assistance e-mail:

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