Packing Tips: Living, Family, Great Room

The living room packing tips we provide will work for any of your larger main rooms in the house, whether they be family rooms or great rooms as well. Stereo equipment, books, lamps and furniture all may be items you have in your living room. Our list for living room packing tips will teach you how to pack each of those components securely and appropriately.

Besides our living room packing tips listed below, here are two more helpful hints: Most pictures and mirrors can be wrapped and packed in telescoping mirror cartons. Fragile or valuable fine art may require special crating and should be handled by your moving professional.

Packing Tips for the Living Room

Stereo Equipment

Advance preparation is required for compact disc players, digital video disc players and stereo turntables.

  • On compact and digital video disc players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit.
  • Most turntables have a plastic lock which should be used to hold the tone arm in place. For additional protection, you may tie a piece of string around the arm in case the lock does not hold. Also, secure the platter (where the records are placed) by tightening the appropriate screws. These are usually located on top of the turntable, but check you owner’s manual if in doubt.


Pack speakers in well-cushioned dish packs.

  • Any large or unusually heavy speakers will simply be padded and placed on the truck.
  • Servicing is usually not required prior to packing for tape deck, receiver or speakers.


Large televisions will need to be crated prior to moving day. Let your moving professional know if you have a big screen or plasma television.

  • Call your local cable company to request your service discontinued. If you have a converter box, return the box and keep the receipt for future reference. Contact your cable company at your destination to order service in your new home.
  • When choosing a location for your TV in your new home, place it on a hard surface at least six feet from your normal viewing position. Most TVs should not be placed in an enclosed space unless proper ventilation is provided.

Videocassette Recorder (VCR)

No special servicing is required to move a VCR. When installing at destination, place on a hard surface, provide appropriate ventilation for openings and do not set objects on top.

Satellite Dish

Contact an electrician or technician from a satellite dish distributorship for the disconnection and disassembly of this sensitive equipment. Depending upon the construction and size of the unit, it may need to be crated, a service which your moving professional can provide.

Compact Discs, Tapes and Records

Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books or  several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark, “FRAGILE.”

  • Cassette tapes should be placed in their cases and wrapped individually in crumpled paper. Place individual tapes either vertically or horizontally on a couple of layers of crushed paper.
  • If records are not in jackets, wrap individually in tissue paper or plastic wrap to protect them from scratches. Records are heavy and therefore should be packed in small cartons.


Pack books of the same general size together, in small book cartons.

  • Pack them either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Do not pack with spine facing upward, as glue can break away from the binder.
  • Expensively bound volumes or those of sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.


Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate cartons rather than being combined with other households items. (Note: watch these when moving to very hot or humid climates by making sure the storage area protects items from the elements.)

  • Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a carton. Label cartons for easy identification.
  • If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.

Silk or Artificial Flowers

An arrangement of artificial flowers should be packed in a separate carton. Wrap carefully in plastic wrap, tissue paper or paper towels. If possible, fasten the base of the floral piece to the bottom of the carton to prevent shifting. Label the carton “FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.”

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newsprint. Place them together in a carton, filling voids with wadded paper.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.

  • Use a sturdy carton at least two inches bigger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade. A smaller shade may be nested inside a larger one, provided they do not touch. Only one silk shade should be placed in a carton to avoid stretching the silk.
  • Do not pack other items with shades. Label cartons “LAMP SHADES – FRAGILE – TOP LOAD ONLY.”

Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades

It is best to have your moving professional crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers.

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

It’s best to consult with your moving professional about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.


Leave area rugs on the floor for the moving company to handle.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move – you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

TV Stand/ Stereo Cabinet

Remove glass doors if possible and pack in a mirror carton.


Your van operator will shrink wrap large, upholstered items.

  • Talk to your moving professional beforehand about any leather items.
  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.
  • You may want to consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.


A qualified service provider should take care of the preparations for moving a grand or baby grand piano.

  • Upright (spinet, console, studio) pianos usually do not require preparation in advance. All pianos are pad-wrapped to protect the surface.
  • Plan to have your piano tuned at your new home.

Pool Table

Disassembly and crating of your pool table should be provided by a third-party service. If possible, contact the store where the pool table was purchased to obtain assistance.

  • Crating is a possibility on slate.
  • You will need to make arrangements at destination to have the pool table uncrated, reassembled and leveled.


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