The Best Way to Pack a Living Room or Family Room

It’s not easy to pack a room that the family spends so much time in. But this guide has helpful advice and useful tips to help you break down the process of packing your living room or family room and make it easier.


Your professional movers will shrink wrap your large, upholstered items to keep them safe during your move, but you should talk to your Relocation Consultant in advance about any leather furniture items you may have. Couch cushions and pillows can be packed in large moving boxes, and the corners of your tables can be protected with cardboard pieces.

Audio and Video Equipment

Make sure your DVD players, CD players and record turntables arrive in proper working order:

  • Secure the laser on CD or DVD players using the transport screws on the bottom or back of the machine.
  • With turntables, secure the platter (the platform where you place the record) by tightening the screws that are included for this purpose. They may be on top of the turntable, but when in doubt, check the owner’s manual. Also, secure the tone arm using your turntable’s plastic lock or by tying a piece of string around the arm.

Packing Help: Remote Controls

You can either pack remote controls all together in a box labeled “Remote Controls,” or you can pack them in the boxes with their related equipment -- whichever system makes more sense to you.


Speakers, receivers and tape decks usually don’t require servicing prior to packing. However, speakers should be packaged in well-cushioned dish pack moving boxes. Large or extra-heavy speakers will be padded and placed on the truck rather than being packed in cartons.


Some large TVs, such as big screen or plasma television sets, will need to be crated in advance of moving day. Be sure to let your moving company representative know if you have this type of TV.

  • Cancel your cable service and return the converter box (if you have one) before moving. Contact the cable provider in your destination to arrange cable service in your new home.
  • In your new home, be sure to choose a location for your TV that is on a hard surface at least 6 feet from where you normally sit to view it. Don’t place it in an enclosed space without ventilation..
  • Don’t forget about your external antennas!.
  • DVD or VCR

    If you have a DVD player or a VCR, there is no special preparation required. At your destination, place the DVD or VCR on a hard surface, making sure to allow adequate ventilation for openings.

    Satellite Dish

    As a piece of sensitive equipment, a satellite dish may need to be crated -- which is a service your professional moving company can provide for you. Call your satellite dish distributor for help with disconnecting and disassembling your satellite dish.

    Packing Help: Cords and Cables

    Cables and power cords all start to look alike after a long move. Clearly label them so you’ll know what goes where, and pack cords and cables in the same box as the electronic equipment they go to.

    Compact Discs, Tapes and Records

    • CDs and records should be packed standing on edge in the packing carton -- NEVER flat -- on top of a layer of crushed paper. Use large hardbound books or several layers of cardboard at both ends for support and stability, and top records or CDs with another layer of wadded up paper.
    • Mark the box “FRAGILE” and label it with the contents.
    • For records that don’t have jackets or album covers, wrap each in tissue paper or plastic wrap to shield it from scratches.
    • Pack records in smaller moving cartons -- they’re heavy!
    • Cassette tapes should be placed in cases, wrapped individually in crumpled paper, and placed vertically or horizontally on crushed paper.


    • Books should be packed either flat or with the spine at the bottom of the moving carton -- not spine-up, because that can damage the binding.
    • Books of the same general size should be packed together in small book cartons.
    • Individually wrap books that are valuable to you before packing them, whether because they are antique, expensively bound or have sentimental value.


    • Depending on how rare or irreplaceable your family photos, videos, negatives and slides are, you might want to carry them with you when you move instead of having them packed on the truck -- and all the more so in hot weather or a humid climate.
    • Stand framed photos on edge in the packing carton and protect them with padding.
    • Label moving cartons of photographs and videos for easy identification.

    Silk or Artificial Flowers

    Use separate moving cartons labeled “FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP” to pack arrangements of silk or other artificial flowers to keep them from being damaged. Wrap them in tissue paper, paper towels or plastic wrap, and fasten the base to the bottom of the moving carton if you can.

    Moving Lamp Bases

    First remove the light bulb and the lamp harp -- the frame that holds the light bulb -- and then wrap the harp, base and bulb separately in newsprint. Pack them together in the same moving carton, being sure to fill the empty spaces with crumpled paper.

    Lamp Shades

    Instead of wrapping your lamp shades in newspaper that can stain the shade, wrap each lamp shade in 3-4 sheets of tissue paper. A pillowcase or large, light towel also works great.

    Pack lampshades in a sturdy moving carton that is at least 2 inches bigger around than the largest lampshade. Use crushed paper to make a protective layer under the shade, and you can also nestle smaller shades inside larger ones as long as they don’t touch. Delicate silk lamp shades should be packed in individual cartons. Label these moving cartons "LAMP SHADES - FRAGILE - TOP LOAD ONLY."

    Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

    Because they are delicate and often valuable, it’s best to ask your mover to crate your large, or leaded glass lampshades or chandeliers for you.

    Glass Table Tops, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Marble Slabs, Statues and Large Vases

    Because items of this type are unique as well as fragile, it’s a good idea to ask your moving company about whether they require custom-made cartons or crates. Also, remember that paper should never come in contact with the surface of an oil painting.


    You can leave area rugs right where they are for the moving company to handle them. However, if you’d like to get them professionally cleaned before the move, they will come back to you wrapped and ready for shipping.

    Area rugs should be loaded onto the truck last, and unloaded first at your new home -- that way the furniture can go right on top of them as it is unloaded, without any rearranging.

    TV Stand/ Stereo Cabinet

    Remove the glass doors before packing, if possible, and pack them in the type of moving carton used for glass, framed art or mirrors.


    Upright pianos such as spinet, studio and console pianos generally don’t require advance preparation for moving, but a grand or baby grand is different. Have a qualified piano service provider handle the preparations for moving your larger pianos, and plan to have your piano tuned once it is set up in your new home.

    All pianos are pad-wrapped to keep the surface safe from scratches and dents.

    Pool Table

    Pool tables generally require disassembly and crating that your moving company does not provide, so arrange to have that done by a third party. A store that sells pool tables can tell you where to get this assistance. Crating is a possibility with slate.

    Once at your destination, you’ll need to make arrangements to uncrate, reassemble and level the pool table.