International Packing Tips
International Shipping Packing Tips
Make sure every box/piece is somehow labeled with your last name. Use of a permanent marker is best, if possible.
Be sure to tape all of the seams of the cartons (top, bottom and side).
So that cartons do not collapse, be sure they are filled to the top, using packing materials to fill any unused spaces.
Do not use printed newspaper. Ink can run if it gets wet, transferring to the objects being shipped.
Screws, etc.: It is a good idea to make a ‘PARTS’ box that contains all bed parts, screws, assembly instructions, basic reassembly tools, etc. Be sure to mark this box clearly.
Appliances: If possible, pack appliances in the original boxes using the original packing materials. Otherwise wrap smaller appliances in bubble wrap before placing them in cartons. Larger appliances need to be cleaned, defrosted, drained and dried before packing/wrapping. For washers, stuff towels between the tub and the side to keep the tub from moving. Tape hoses, cords and wires to the back of the appliance. Lightweight linens and soft toys are good filler for washers, dryers, fridges, freezers and dishwashers.
Beds: Disassemble the frame. Roll the bedrails and cross pieces into a blanket and then tape the roll together. Put the small parts into a zip lock bag marked for that particular bed. Plastic mattress bags can be used to keep a mattress clean.
Bikes: Straighten the handlebars and wrap the bike in an old blanket or sheet to protect the finish.
Books: Books can get heavy, so it is best to pack them in smaller cartons.
Clothes: Dresses, suits, jackets and coats can be packed into hanging wardrobe boxes. Other items should be folded in large cartons or put in suitcases. Your clothes will get wrinkled; there is really no way to prevent this.
Dishes and Glassware: Every piece needs to be wrapped separately using paper or bubble wrap. Place crumpled paper at the top and bottom of the carton for extra cushioning. Place plates on their edge in the carton, rather than flat. Mark the boxes ‘FRAGILE’
Kitchenware: Pots and pans can be stacked into boxes with layers of crumpled paper in between. Anything breakable needs to be wrapped in paper or bubble wrap before being placed into a box. Make sure the heaviest items are at the bottom of the carton.
Lamps: Remove the shade and pack it in a carton (using crushed paper as cushioning). Remove the bulb from the lamp and wrap the base in bubble wrap before packing. Mark the boxes ‘FRAGILE’ and “TOP LOAD” so that no other cartons are stacked on top of them.
Lawn Mowers: Drain fuel and oil very thoroughly or the fluids may leak all over the shipment. Remove handles or fold them down to save space. Wrap in old blankets or sheets (something absorbent is best). Be sure the wash the mower well so there are no traces of dirt or grass or you might run into trouble with customs.
Mirrors/Pictures: Put masking tape in the shape of an “X” over the glass. Wrap the mirror in bubble wrap. Place the paintings into picture cartons or ‘build’ a box with sheets of cardboard. Be sure to stand pictures and mirrors upright (not flat).
Paintings: Consider putting cardboard sheets over the frame to protect the painting, followed by wrapping in acid-free paper and then in bubble wrap; this sequence is important otherwise bubble wrap might stick to the finish if applied directly to the painting. Place the paintings into picture cartons or ‘build’ a box with sheets of cardboard. Be sure to stand the paintings upright (not flat).
Rugs: Roll up the rug (with the underside facing out) and secure the bundle with tape. You might also want to wrap the bundle in brown paper.
Tables: Remove the legs and wrap all surfaces in bubble wrap. So that they are not misplaced you will want to put the screws in a PARTS box or in a zip lock bag.
Tools and garden equipment: Drain hoses thoroughly and place them into a carton or plastic trash bin. Tools can be shipped in a sturdy upright carton with the top open; you might want to tie or tape the tools together. Be sure to wash off all dirt and planet materials or you may run into problems with customs overseas.
TV/Computers: It is best to wrap the item in the original box/original packing. If you do not have the original materials then wrap the items in bubble wrap before placing them into boxes. If the items are too large for cartons, or have an odd shape you will want to wrap the items in several layers of blankets or bubble wrap. You might want to mark the ‘screen’ side of the TVs and monitors as FRAGILE.
Valuables: We recommend that you carry jewelry, personal papers, passports, birth certificates, treasured pictures, film negatives, tax returns, school, medical and dental records, and any other important personal items with you.
Paint/Flammables/Guns/Hazardous Materials: These items are most often not allowed. Check with your carrier and customs of destination country for any restrictions.
Food and alcohol: If you plan to declare that there is food and/or alcohol in your shipment, be prepared to answer very detailed questions about the items (food = ingredients and manufacturer details, alcohol = country of origin, type of alcohol, volume of bottle and volume of alcohol, value). Alcohol and food can result in delays of your shipment, inspections, and customs duties (alcohol)