Gather Supplies Before Starting - Make sure you have enough packing supplies before you start packing. Running out of supplies in the middle of packing can be really frustrating and cause you to lose track of your plan for packing. Packing supplies that may come in handy are: plastic bags and labels for identification; foam peanuts; tissue, craft, or newspaper for delicate items; packing boxes of various sizes; and packing tape (masking tape is too weak to use to tape boxes).
Box Size Is Important - Making sure you have the right amount of boxes at the right size will save you time and effort. Boxes that are too big and filled up tend to be too heavy also. Boxes that are too small end up not holding enough and result in you having too many boxes to keep track of. You want boxes that don't get too heavy and are manageable. Therefore the general rule of thumb is to make sure you keep boxes filled under 50 pounds.
Use Fabric Wisely - Fabrics such as linens, pillow cases, and small clothes items like socks can be used in place of some packing materials and save you money. Rolled up pillow cases and folded socks can fit in the corners of boxes, or in crevices between belongings to fill up extra space and act as protection.
Pack Boxes By Room - If you're packing because you're moving, categorize each set of boxes for each room you plan to pack. Packing boxes room by room makes things more organized and easier to unpack later.
Take Inventory - Keep inventory lists of each box and it's contents. On each box use labels with brief descriptions of it contents. If you're packing boxes room by room, color stickers or labels and a color chart could help you easily identify what room to unpack each box for later on. Use a permanent marker to write on the sides of the boxes (not on the tape holding the box closed).
Fill Boxes In Layers - Put the heaviest stuff on the bottom of the box first, then medium weight next, and lightest items on top. Not only will this keep your items safe but also help you stay organized.
Pack Wisely - Pack fragile items away from corners and sides of boxes, because that is where most of the travel shocks occurs. Packing peanuts or even fabric from tip 3 used correctly can help keep items secure and away from box sides and corners.
Don't Over-pack The Box - Over-packing a box risks damage to the contents inside of it. Make sure the tops of boxes can close properly flat, and be tape sealed without effort.
Packing Liquids - Liquids always find a way to spill when packed for travel. Make sure to transfer all liquids to a sealed container, or use that packing tape to seal the lids. Then put those items into water proof bags and seal that too before placing them upright into their boxes. Clearly mark the box with which end is up so you don't accidentally turn the box upside down.
Large Box For Small Boxes - Many small similar items can be organized into multiple small boxes. Then a larger box can be used to group these similar items together and make carrying them easier. Ten small boxes in one big box makes nine less trips for when loading or unloading your belongings. Just remember to obey the rule of thumb from tip 2, and not exceed 50 pounds of weight in each box.
Heavy Garbage Bags Pay Off - Spend a few extra dollars that you saved on packing peanuts towards the heavier duty garbage bags. These can be used to pack your clothes, linens, and other soft material items. Regular garbage bags rip too easily. Also you can use your packed garbage bags to secure boxes next to each other in the moving truck. Placing these garbage bags packed with clothes around the inside of the moving truck will absorb most of the shock and keep the boxes safe.
Pack Safe, Storage Smart - If your packing to storage your belongings, make sure you put the stuff you'll access the least in the back of the storage unit. You want to finish filling the storage unit by putting the boxes of items you'll be taking out the most often in the front of the unit.