Spring Cleaning: 9 Items and Where to Donate Them Before Your Move

Nothing makes clutter clearing easier than knowing your household items, clothes, and shoes are going to a worthy cause. Of course, selling your items is also an option for many items in good condition, but it can be a hassle to bargain and coordinate with others on sites like Craigslist and eBay, and if you’re in a rush, it may just not be worth it.

By donating, you can feel good about helping others, all while quickly and easily getting rid of unwanted belongings, and providing yourself with a little good karma for your upcoming move.


1.   Books

A little light reading can get pretty heavy when you have to move it all at once. Of course, it’s hard to give away a beloved book, but we’re all guilty of having one or two titles that we “swore we’d read” five years ago. When you move, you only want to take the things that are really meaningful or truly useful, and sometimes that 500 page vegan, gluten-free, better-for-you cookbook just doesn’t make the cut. But that doesn’t mean that book won’t mean the world to someone else.

When it comes to donating books, though, make sure the book is in good condition. A crinkled spine or a few folded edges won’t ruin it, but if it’s falling apart, stained beyond recognition, or missing significant chunks, it may be time to retire the book completely. Writing in your books may be acceptable (it worked out for Harry in The Half Blood Prince) for some donation locations, but check carefully with the rules before making your choice of where to donate.


Places to Donate Books:

Operation Paperback — A national non-profit that collects gently-used books to send to overseas troops as well as veterans and military families across America.

Access Books — A California-based non-profit that sends books to public schools and libraries where the majority of students live at or below the poverty line.

Books Through Bars — An organization that sends free books to incarcerated people in six mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia).

Your local library— Your local library will be glad to take your books.

A local Little Free Library— Little Free Library is a network of small drop boxes erected by regular people across the country where others are free to grab or donate their old books.


2.   Clothes

Clothing, especially fragile items in need of special care or wardrobe boxes, can be a hassle to move. It’s also one of those things that can easily pile up—an abundance of free t-shirts or pieces from years ago gathering dust in the back of your closet. This makes clothing donation one of the easiest pieces of your pre-move purge. There are copious locations to donate most clothes from online boutiques to large stores like Goodwill to the numerous local used clothing shops you could likely find with a simple Google search. But here are some locations you can use to get rid of unwanted clothes—both the basics, and slightly more niche items.


Places to Donate Clothes

GreenDrop— An organization that specializes in the sale of donated clothing and donates the funds back to the American Red Cross.

One Warm Coat— For coats specifically, this organization provides free coats to children and adults in need.

Dress for Success— This non-profit provides business/work-appropriate clothes to women who need business or career clothes for interviews and jobs.

Soles4Souls— A regional nonprofit that takes gently used shoes and gives them to people in need across the U.S. and around the world.

United Way— A worldwide organization that allows people to purchase clothes at a low price. They take any type of clothing, including swimsuits, snow boots, winter coats, and prom dresses.


3.   Cell Phones

True, you may not be able to get much for your Nokia 3310, but if you have a pile of 5 to 10 year-old smartphones gathering dust in a closet somewhere, they may be able to serve a purpose elsewhere. There are many places that will take old cell phones, and even help recycle your phone if it can’t be taken and used.

Just remember to wipe all of your personal data first unless you wish to donate your identity as well as your phone. And ensure, if you’re donating somewhere that will be using it, that it is in working order before you drop it off.


Places to Donate Cell Phones

Call2Recycle— This organization collects cell phones with or without the batteries. If it can no longer be used, they help recycle your phone. The proceeds support a public education and phone collection program.

Cell Phones for Soldiers— An organization that collects used cell phones and accessories to sell and recycle. They donate the money to purchase calling cards for deployed military troops and their families.

Secure the Call— An organization that seeks to help two problems: 1. electronic waste. 2. lack of electronic access to emergency services by vulnerable communities.


4.   Computers

Much like phones, with rapidly updating technology some people go through computers relatively quickly. If you’re an “early adopter” and have a pile of slightly aged but certainly still usable computers, you can do a lot of good by giving them to people in need. Technology is an integral part of society, and giving a new, working computer to organizations or individuals who don’t currently have access can fundamentally change a life.

Also just like phones, make sure you wipe the hard drive and get rid of any personal information you may have stored on your old computer, and before that, make sure you’ve saved any files you don’t wish to lose in the erasure.


Places to Donate Computers

InterConnection— This non-profit organization is a certified Microsoft Refurbisher. They refurbish the equipment, if possible, and provide them to under-served communities internationally.

National Cristina Foundation— Pioneers of tech recycling, this organization finds local charities that need your technology donations.

The World Computer Exchange— They take donated computers to refurbish and use in their Inspire Girls and School Refurbishing Clubs projects to provide education to children in 79 developing countries.

Your local library— Before you donate elsewhere, check your local library to see if you can help a community close to home. It’s a great farewell to your neighborhood before you move away.


5.   Cars

Whether it’s because you no longer need a car where you’re moving, or whether it’s because you’re planning on augmenting a new home with a shiny new vehicle, donating your car before you move shouldn’t have to be a hassle. Plus, when you donate, you get the added bonus of a tax write off! Before you donate: Make sure to search every inch of the car for receipts or papers marked with any identifying information. Give your car a good cleaning, either by hand or via a car wash.


Places to Donate Cars

Donate A Car— This isn’t a charity in itself. It’s a vehicle donation service offered by the Insurance Auto Auctions Donation Division that benefits:

  • Animal charities
  • Charities that focus on curing or supporting individuals with specific diseases, such as lupus, diabetes, and cancer
  • General humanitarian charities, such as the Red Cross

The Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program — This program uses the proceeds from the sale or recycling of your vehicle to support your local NPR station.

Wheels For Wishes— This program benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which works to grant the wishes of children diagnosed with critical illnesses.


6.   Furniture

Lugging unnecessary furniture from your old home to your new one is a strain no one (and no one’s back) should have to bear. If you’re downsizing, or if you’re just planning to decorate your new home with a new style, donating furniture can be a great way to do some good. The trouble comes in finding the right organization to handle it, ensure it’s care, and—most importantly—carry it away for you.

Once you find that perfect match, make sure you’re living up to their standards as well. Ensure your furniture is as clean as can be (when was the last time you thoroughly dusted that couch? Be honest) and that there are no dangerous edges or sharp pieces protruding from the surface.


Places to Donate Furniture

The Furniture Bank— This organization helps battered women and children, immigrants, the unemployed, the working poor, and the previously homeless set up their home.

Habitat for Humanity— A nonprofit organization that helps build safe and affordable homes for families who need them. In addition, they also act as a furniture pickup and donation center.

Pick Up Please— A program of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) that can often pick up your furniture within 24 hours.


7.   Glasses and Eyewear

Eyewear is rarely something that will really change or weigh down your moving load, but if you have extra pairs of glasses, it may be a good idea to say goodbye to them, especially if your prescription has changed. Plus, there will be no need to worry about extraneous lenses breaking in transit.


Places to Donate Glasses and Eyewear

Lions Clubs International— A network of collection boxes and recycling centers where volunteers process donated glasses for distribution through medical missions around the world.

OneSight— An independent nonprofit that has helped more than nine million people in 46 countries. They set up permanent vision centers and hold charitable clinics around the world.

Eyes of Hope— An organization that provides free access to eye care and eyewear for more than 2 million people around the world.


8.   Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances can be bulky and difficult to pack for a move, so if you’re not putting that air fryer to good use, it may be best to just let it go. Especially if you’re moving to a smaller kitchen, being intentional with what you bring and cutting down clutter can make a home feel calmer and more inviting. It also leaves room for the appliances you do use, and counter space to prep, cook, serve, and display any delicious dishes you make. But your old kitchen appliances—after they’ve been cleaned and gathered with all their attachments, cords, and other add-ons—can find a new, loving home at any of these places.


Places to Donate Kitchen Appliances

Habitat ReStore— An organization that offers free pickup for large items and accepts both new and gently used appliances to help fund the construction of homes for families in need internationally.

Responsible Appliance Disposal program— A part of the Environmental Protection Agency that will help dispose of your old appliances and may even offer a financial incentive to do so.

Goodwill— While Goodwill does not currently accept large household appliances they will happily take any gently used small appliances.


9.   Tools

Tools can come in handy if your new place is a bit of a fixer-upper, but if you’re losing storage or garage space, there are certainly places you can donate unnecessary tools. Especially if you’re a bit of a DIY fanatic and have tools you bought for a specific project that are no longer proving useful, it may be worth a try to pick out some things to let go before you move. Just make sure you have all your tools and any corresponding parts properly packaged and safely secured before donating.


Places to Donate Tools

Habitat for Humanity— Habitat collects tools, building materials, appliances, furniture and housewares, using them to carry out and fund their work.

Earth 911— A recycling center search page that provides a list of smaller, community-based options for donation or recycling.


And for the rest

But you can’t give it all away. No matter how charitable you are, no matter how fiercely you embrace Marie Kondo minimalism, you’ll likely still have quite a lot to deal with when it comes time to pack and move. And that’s why having expert movers is so important. Especially because what you have left after your pre-move purge are the things that really matter to you, and it’s of vital importance that those items get delivered to your new home quickly and safely.

Elite Moving & Storage is a Chicagoland and long-distance moving company, in business for nearly two decades. Throughout the years, we have helped thousands of families and businesses with their relocation needs with competitive rates and impeccable quality. We tailor our strategies to find the best moving packages to suit your needs and budget. Visit elitemover.com to learn more about everything from packing, to door-to-door relocation, to storing services.

Six Important Items and How To Pack Them For Storage

Sometimes, it can be hard to get everything you need packed into a moving truck. Even more commonly, you might not want to. Decluttering, especially if you’re downsizing, is a great way to make a new home feel cleaner, more modern, and more open. And if you’re downsizing, it may be a necessity. But it’s hard to let things go, and storage can be a great solution.

Whether it’s long-term or just while you’re getting settled in, having a safe location for your things can be a huge relief. But even if your storage facility is protected, that doesn’t necessarily mean your belongings are. It’s important to pack your things for storage correctly, just like it’s important to pack the boxes you’re moving the right way.

Out of sight out of mind? Maybe. But out of sight out of danger from mold, dust, or damage? Certainly not. Here are tips for packing up six important categories of items for the best possible storage experience.


1.   Furniture

Anyone who said there’s no creativity in moving and storage never tried to pack away a curved sofa. Some of your largest, most cumbersome pieces may also be some of your most expensive—the pieces you most want to keep safe. And with the variety of shapes, materials, and sizes, furniture can be one of the more difficult things to figure out what to do with. But while there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment (just like your old couch may not fit in your new home) there are some basic steps to take when it comes to keeping your furniture safe in storage.

The first step is cleaning. It may feel like a waste of time to clean your furniture—which can be an arduous task—just to hide it away where no one will see it. But your future self will thank you because dust, dirt, mold, and odor only get worse when left unattended, especially if your storage is long term. To get the best clean, use a general solution of soap and water (unless your fabric needs something more specific) and let your piece fully dry in sunlight before storing it away. Last minute cleaning, and storing wet items is a guaranteed formula for mold. Yuck!

Furniture protectant and leather conditioner (if applicable) are also important to keeping your furniture in the best condition. For wooden tables and chairs, you can finish with a coat of wax to seal the wood and prevent mold development, and for metal surfaces, channel your inner Dorothy Gale and coat with oil to prevent tarnish and rust (ruby slippers not required).

The next step: break it down. Not in a cool, hip-hop way, although anything that makes the experience a little more fun is fine by us. Even though breaking down furniture can be a hassle, as can putting it back together (make sure that if you have the instructions, you store those too), it will make the process of moving and storing your belongings so much simpler. Individual pieces are much easier to lift, carry, stack, and store in contrast to heavy, bulky, potentially awkwardly shaped pieces that you’d have to jigsaw into your storage unit.

Next, you’ll want to use blankets or other furniture covers to make sure your items are fully covered. You wouldn’t want your furniture to get cold. Or, rather, you wouldn’t want your furniture to get mold. Keep everything in place with rubber bands, cinches, or anything else that will hold your coverings tight to fend off dust, dirt, and anything else that could damage your belongings.

Remember too that plastic wrap should never be used on wood or leather; plastic traps moisture and heat and can easily cause mold or warping of your favorite pieces. Instead, it’s always safer to opt for cotton sheets or items specifically designed for fabric.


2.   Appliances

Appliances are another tricky thing to pack up as they are fragile and easily damaged by water or impact, but if done correctly, they should easily last in your storage unit.

First, again, is cleaning. This is, perhaps the most obvious step. After all, you wouldn’t put a full refrigerator in your storage space unless you’re really dedicated to feeding the dust mites. But make sure your fridge is not only empty, but completely defrosted and cleaned. The same goes for other appliances, especially ones in your kitchen. Even a crumb can start an infestation, not to mention create a lingering stink. Make sure water is fully drained from everything as well to avoid freezing damage if it gets too cold and mildew if it gets too hot.

The tip that, perhaps, is most likely to save you a mental breakdown, though? Don’t get your cables in a twist. Nothing is worse than untangling disorganized cables, especially when you’re storing your appliances all together. Trust us, if you don’t take special care to coil and tie them separately, they will somehow end up in a knot that even Houdini himself couldn’t untangle.


3.   Electronics

Like everything else, electronic equipment should be clean and dust free before going into storage—don’t forget to clean between those keyboard keys! Keeping sensitive equipment in its original box or in another protective container is the best way to give an extra protective layer, as well as wrapping your devices and stuffing your boxes for extra protection. Packing peanuts, foam, or even crumpled paper works great for this. Seal everything tightly to prevent water damage. And remember to back up any data on devices before you start packing!


4.   Clothing

Much of clothing storage comes down to time frame. If you’re only storing for a short period of time, most clothes will be fine in boxes, just like much of your regular moving material. But for long stints in storage, hanging your clothes in wardrobe boxes is the best way to keep them clean and wrinkle free as well as ensuring good ventilation to protect against mold. Wardrobe boxes are available in most places where you get regular moving boxes, but can also be purchased directly from many movers. Elite Moving and Storage has a catch-all moving store that sells not only traditional boxes for your move in sets specific to your house’s needs, but also specialty boxes for items like your wardrobe and mattress.

For particularly delicate items or fussy fabrics, consider keeping garments covered can help fend off dust and mold. You may also want to use an insect repellent like naphthalene (that’s mothballs in mover’s speak) to ensure that no unexpected pests are taking after younger siblings everywhere and borrowing your clothes without asking.


5.   Mattresses

Step one of preparing your mattress is cleaning—wash gently and let air dry in the sun. Then using a specialized mattress box or mattress bag, seal up your mattress with quality packing tape for maximum protection. Vacuum bags can also help store comforters, duvets, linens and other bedding items. Before you even think about packing, though, make sure you check for any signs of infestations. Your parents said it and we will too: DON’T let the bed bugs bite.


6.   Books

Rare books or anything leatherbound may need more extensive care, but for the most part, books are one of the easier things to pack. Before you start, make sure all your books are dry and perhaps consider a humidifier to prevent mildew. Other than that, just pack them into boxes. Be careful, though. It may not seem like it when you’re just holding one, but even the lightest paperbacks can be heavy (and we’re not just talking philosophically) when they start to stack up.

Use small, sturdy boxes for books in order to keep from throwing your back out when carrying them, and arrange them with larger, heavier books on the bottom and smaller, lighter ones on top.


7.   Fragile Items

The best way to ensure your fragile items are safe in storage? Don’t put them there. Breakable items, especially of the invaluable family heirloom variety, are not the kind of things you want to throw around or leave in a storage facility for too much time

That being said, there are certainly ways to keep things safe within reason. Wrap all fragile items individually with packing paper or another padding material (make sure to keep it away from kids who might have a little too much fun with your bubble wrap). You can even use extra towels or dishrags—a bonus if you were planning on storing those anyway.

Expensive or delicate dishes can go in specialty dishware containers for safety, but regular dishes should be fine as long as they’re stacked evenly and padded well. Always place cups and glasses rim down, and nest smaller dishes in larger ones as well as they’re relatively sturdy.

Art as well as statues and other fragile decorations may need to be stored in crates rather than regular boxes to ensure their safety.

Lastly, make sure you mark the boxes as FRAGILE and treat them as such when you’re moving them. This is also where having expert movers comes in handy. Professionals like those at Elite Moving and Storage have over 15 years of experience handling all kinds of materials, both packing and moving. We’ll ensure your items get into storage safely and stay that way with a secure, climate-controlled facility available both for long term and short term storage, whether you’re moving down the street or across the country.

Visit elitemover.com to get a free moving or storage quote today.

Your Complete Guide To Moving Boxes

Packing is one of the most integral parts of moving, and doing it wrong can not only make the process before the big day incredibly difficult, but can lead to lingering distress over unnecessary unpacking and even broken or damaged items following your move. Packing your things correctly is the best way to feel prepared—it’s making sure your tie is tight before the big meeting, it’s fueling up with a full tank of gas before the road trip; it’s…not always intuitive. You can get moving boxes pretty easily, but rarely do they come with instructions. So what boxes should you use for what? How can you pack most effectively? What can you do to ensure your most prized (and fragile possessions) are safe?

Elite Moving and Storage has 15+ years experience in the industry, so we’ve packed our fair share of boxes, carried them too, so here’s our complete guide to the types of moving boxes.


Small boxes

Small boxes aren’t quite as easy to find as medium or large boxes—they’re often left out of moving box packages—but that doesn’t make them any less important. They’re also often called “book boxes” for a reason. They’re ideal for packing small heavy items like books, CD’s, canned goods, records, tools, videos, small appliances, toiletries, or kitchen items. They are also used for holding things that might get lost in a bigger box, things that might tangle or snag if unconfined, or sets that you want to keep together. Flatware, tools, wire and cords, jewelry, toiletries, or precious knick-knacks go great in boxes of this size, but make sure you label them with exactly what’s inside so you don’t end up with a thousand little boxes full of mystery miscellany.


Medium Boxes

These will often be included with your moving packages. They’re great for packing most of the belongings you’ll be moving. Easily fit small kitchen items, linens, toys, clothes, small decor pieces, and much more into medium moving boxes.

Of course, even though these are perhaps ideal for packing some heavier items, it’s easy to overpack them. Make sure you keep in mind that you or a mover will have to pick this up and lug it to a truck. If that feels impossible or, at least, impossible without sustaining some sort of trauma to your back, maybe rethink your packing strategy. Balance heavy boxes by filling the remainder with light items like pillows, sheets, or light clothing.


Large boxes

Large boxes are great for strangely shaped items like appliances, toys, pots, pans, or decorative tchotchkes. Even more so than with medium boxes, you’ll want to be careful with the weight of these boxes as they’re easy to overpack. Unless you’re Mr. Incredible (or have him on speed dial) it’s likely that you won’t be able to move all your kitchenware in the same box, so be strategic about what you put together.


Extra large boxes

Because the size of these already makes these awkward to carry, it’s recommended that you keep these as light as possible. Reserve your extra large boxes for large, awkwardly shaped items—especially those such as lamps or vases that may need extra protection. The room in the box should give you the space necessary to ensure that everything is packaged and padded to perfection so you don’t break a single item in the transition.


Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes, unlike regular cardboard boxes, are specifically designed to prevent fragile items from breaking. While typical boxes are made of thick paper stock or heavy paper-pulp, corrugated cardboard is made from multiple layers of material including an inside liner, outside liner, and a fluted medium that goes between the two for extra cushioning and support. Similar to how the shocks of a bicycle absorb the impact of rough roads and bumps, these boxes are made to keep your breakable items from feeling the full effect of the moving process. The containers also protect from other potential dangers in shipping such as water damage and temperature changes.


Specialty Boxes


Though certainly not something for the average mover, crates are a viable option for especially important or valuable items such as rare pieces of art or sculpture. These are often custom made for your specific valuables, so an outside vendor would likely be involved. But for most people looking to move, getting this kind of specialty protection is not worth the time or money. Boxes picked up at a UPS or even bought in easy, pre-packaged plans from moving companies like Elite Moving and Storage, provide plenty of protection at a fraction of the cost.


Wardrobe Boxes

A Wardrobe box is essentially a cardboard closet. Fitted with a bar for hangers, these work best for nice clothes that can’t simply be folded and packed up, or clothes that you want easy access to in your new home. Because your clothes go in already on the hanger, they make it easy to transfer your clothes to a new home, but they’re also very large which makes them difficult and awkward to carry. Prioritize clothing that is particularly important or would be particularly difficult to pack such as wedding dresses or gowns, delicate or easily tearable items, or garments made of expensive materials likely to wrinkle or fray easily.


Picture/Mirror Boxes And Poster Tubes

Picture boxes and poster tubes are pretty self-explanatory when it comes to expected contents. However, it should be noted that these containers are often best loaded in last; although the containers are designed to provide optimal protection to their cargo, they are still at risk of damage from collisions with surrounding boxes full of heavier cargo.


Mattress Boxes

A mattress, while not particularly fragile, is something you really want to keep protected. No one wants to wake up on their first day in their new home smelling like the back of a moving truck. Mattress boxes and bags are engineered especially to protect mattresses from dirt and debris as well as water damage and mildew.

If absolutely necessary, you can cover your mattress with fitted sheets for the move and pop them into the washing machine when you arrive at your new home, but a container specifically designed for mattress protection is ideal.


Dish Pack Box

These boxes, created with customisable inserts to fit the quantity and shape of your dishes, are ideal for keeping fragile dishware safe. Although other types of boxes are great for protecting fragile items from outside forces, these boxes also ensure dishes don’t crash and break against each other, keeping each item (or a few items) snug and secure in their own little compartments.


Lamp Box

These tall thin boxes are ideal for floor lamps and any tall items. Make sure the lamp is wrapped in packing paper or furniture pads and the cord is placed outside of lamp to eliminate any scratching


Other Helpful Packing Tools

Aluminium Hand Truck

Collapsible dollies like this one available from Elite Moving and Storage may look small and inefficient, but they’re stronger than they appear. With a 600 lb. capacity, they are the ultimate moving tool: lightweight aluminum, rugged and easy-to-handle, and ideal for transporting heavy loads up and down steps and curbs. You won’t want to try your move without it.


Edge Protectors

Use these cheap customisable cardboard protectors to keep your furniture, art, or other valuable items safe during your move. Corner furniture protectors provide a great cost effective way to secure valuable shipments and avoid costly damages.


Elite Has You Covered

Elite has nearly two decades of experience with packing and moving, and we’ve used that knowledge to help you get your moving boxes, supplies, and movers all in one place.

Shop Elite for pre-designed box packages, available for 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, or just order your own medium and large boxes with additional specialty boxes like lamp boxes, dishware boxes, and more.

Visit elitemover.com today to purchase moving materials, to get a free virtual quote on your move, or to learn more about how else Elite Moving and Storage can support your move.


What to Pack in Your Car for a Cross Country Move

Cross-country moves can be difficult. However, they can also create fun memories! Being prepared is the best way to ensure a smooth move. Proper car packing is not just about maximizing the space in your vehicle. It’s about making the right decision about which items to go into the car versus into the moving truck. That’s why we put together a list of some essential things to pack in your car for your cross-country move.


Organize your belongings – Set aside all the items you intend to transport in your car. Items you should bring with you in your own vehicle include valuables like jewelry and special mementos, important documents, essentials boxes, and small electronics. Make sure you save enough space for your pets and their carrying cases.

Extra clothes (and masks!) – Set aside a few changes of clothes. Whether you arrive before your moving truck, you need another layer, or your travel outfit gets dirty, you’ll want extra clothes on hand. It is especially important to pack extra undergarments, socks, t-shirts, jeans, pajamas and a jacket. Don’t forget your mask and bring several extras in the car in case it gets dirty or someone leaves one behind.

Bathroom packBe sure to include the essentials to wash off that “hours in a car” feel. Pack a small bag of bathroom essentials including, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, face wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, mouthwash and lotion

Pillows & blankets for napping – Driving cross-country takes a long time. It’s likely your passengers will want to take naps during the drive. Get a few pillows and light blankets so they can sleep as comfortably as possible. If you have children, you’ll want them to each have their own blankets.

Road trip snacks & music – No road trip is complete without quality road-trip snacks and good music. Don’t forget the basics on an already stressful day by being sure to bring snacks and plenty of water + hydrating drinks. Entertain yourself and your passengers with audiobooks and music. Create playlists and download tunes, stories and podcasts ahead of time.

Use bags for packing – Use duffle bags or plastic bags for packing things in your car. Bags are flexible and don’t take a lot of space. Bags are ideal for packing bedding and clothes. Consider using vacuum bags to pack clothes and bedding in your vehicle. Vacuum bags shrink based on the volume of items saving more space for additional items. Cardboard boxes are useful for arranging items and stacking up in the moving trucks, but they take up a lot of space in a car. If you have to use a box to carry any items, use small manageable boxes.

Small tool kit – When you get to your new home you won’t be getting started on major fixes right away any small or annoying bits will be able to be taken care of right away when you include this in your essentials bag.

First aid kit – Along with traditional first aid kit supplies, make sure you include a small pair of scissors, tweezers, alcohol pads and extra bandages.

Car emergency kit – Roadside emergencies happen when you least expect them. Be prepared by packing the following items in your trunk: flashlight, gloves, spare tire and lift kit, roadside flares and folding shovel.

Be safe – It is always essential that you have a clear, unobstructed view out of all of your car windows and that you can safely operate your vehicle without items shifting or sliding.


Packing the essential items on this list in your car is a great way to start your cross-country move on the right foot. Elite Moving & Storage will help you plan your move, transport your belongings, support you along the way, answer any questions and help ease your concerns. Contact us today!

How to Pack Artwork for Moving

The framed art pieces must be one of the things that makes your house feel like a home. . Precious framed pictures around your house tell all kinds of stories and bring back memories of special occasions from the past. If you happen to be an art lover and the day to move your house has come, you will definitely need to take special care of the important artworks that give character to your home. For some people, ensuring that valuable pieces arrive intact is just as important as moving all the other furniture.

Elite Moving & Storage has moving supplies specifically designed to protect framed decorations. Specifically, the Mirror & Picture Boxes along with packing paper or bubble wrap is everything you need to ensure your mirrors, artwork, pictures and other framed items, aren’t damaged while you move to your new home. Follow these easy tips for packing artwork and wall hangings for safe transport during a move.

Use the right supplies – Get appropriately sized boxes. For large pieces, especially mirrors, the optimal choice is a box specially made for wall art in a size and shape that will provide a secure fit. We offer boxes in a variety of sizes, including ones designed for art and mirrors. If you are packing smaller pieces, like family photos, pack them together with others of similar sizes. Pack all small picture frames together in a small box and fill in gaps with bubble wrap or packing paper to prevent shifting. Get the proper packing supplies: bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing tape. Your most fragile wall art, especially mirrors, should be wrapped in bubble wrap to ensure its best possible safety for transport. Always use packing paper instead of an alternative like newspaper because the ink can rub off onto your artwork, and always use packing tape instead of duct tape because packing tape is easier to remove and won’t leave behind a residue.

Wrap them carefullyFirst, prepare the artwork by taping the glass surface with painter’s tape, if applicable. Make a large “X” shape from corner to corner across the glass. Then, add a piece of tape to each side around the border of the glass. This way, if the glass breaks during your move, the painter’s tape will prevent it from shattering and damaging the art. Next, cover your artwork with a layer of protective cardboard. Cut two equally-sized pieces of cardboard a little larger than the surface area of the frame or canvas. Position the art between the two sections of cardboard. Tape these cardboard pieces together to keep them in place, being careful not to get tape on the frame. If the painting is on canvas without a glass covering, we suggest using a sheet of acid-free glassine between the art and the cardboard to prevent damage. Next, you should wrap this entire bundle in a thick layer of bubble wrap. Avoid leaving any part of your artwork exposed. Secure the bubble wrap with packing tape to prevent it from coming undone in transport. After you finish wrapping the piece, place it in a heavy-duty moving box and fill any extra space in the box with packing paper. This step will keep the frame from sliding around during the move. All of your items should be wrapped separately, even small pieces, to make sure nothing rubs together and is secure as possible.

Label it properly – Once it’s packed and ready to go, don’t forget to label each box. It’s important that your movers and anyone else who will be handling the item know that what’s in it is fragile. Although movers are careful no matter what you label a moving box, this will let them know that the item they’re moving is delicate and requires extra attention. Make it very clear by labeling the box with the word “FRAGILE” in a large, clear manner on both sides. Also make sure that nothing is put on top of the box your artwork is in, which could crush the box and damage the art inside.

Moving is a hard-enough process by itself, but it’s even more time-consuming and nerve-racking to move artwork and paintings that have an important meaning to you. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to efficiently pack up your artwork and prevent it from getting damaged while being transported to your new home. If you’re looking for affordable moving services, fill out the quote form or call us during business hours for a free moving quote.

How to Pack Books When Moving

For book lovers, packing up to move to a new home can be especially challenging, since books are among the heaviest items. While it’s important to purge and get rid of what you don’t need before you move into your new place, books can sometimes be a little trickier to assess whether they stay or go. Whether it’s one shelf full or an entire library, books need to be carefully packed to stay protected. When packing them, consider their weight and distribute them so you can easily carry the boxes.


Assess your books

It is best to go through all of your books before you move and figure what you should pass along to a friend, place in storage, donate and/or get rid of. It can be tempting to hold onto every book in your collection, but donating them is a great idea to give back to a local charity or school, or you can also give them to a friend who you think would love the book just as much as you did.

You could also have a yard sale (season and weather permitting). Yard sales are a great way to earn a little extra money before you move, and get rid of a lot of the things you don’t need in your new home.

Go through your books, start early, and take your time: you don’t want to rush your decision.


Pack your books early

Books take a long time to pack, mainly because it involves multiple boxes, careful placement, and the occasional reading break. One of the easiest mistakes to make when packing books is packing boxes too full. Books are heavy, and their bulk adds up quickly. The best way to pack books for moving is to use small boxes that will keep the weight below 40 lbs. This will make your books easier – and safer – to move.


Make sure boxes are strong enough

The boxes you get should be small and made of thick cardboard, very strong on the sides and corners. While we love to reuse boxes where we can, you don’t want to use a book box that looks like it’s seen better days. When you’ve made certain the box will be strong enough for books, add extra tape to the bottom where the seam is formed. This adds some extra sealing power, and protects your books from any liquid or dirt.

Finally, line all your book boxes with a couple layers of packing paper. This adds a bit of extra cushioning and it’s just one more way to protect your books. If you have any space in between your books, consider filling them with small dish towels, shirts, underwear, and/or socks for padding.

Don’t forget to label your boxes. It’s really important to do it so your movers know exactly where your boxes should go when you finally get into your new house. And since these boxes will be super heavy, labeling them as books will ensure that they won’t be placed on top of anything that mark as fragile.


Tips for Hardcover books

Place them in the box standing upright, spine against the box’s side, just like you were placing it on a shelf. If you pack them this way, make sure they’re packed well, but not so tightly that they might be damaged when removing them from the box. If you’re packing valuable editions, wrap those in packing paper or use cardboard slotted between volumes to protect their covers and to keep them from shifting during transport.


Tips for Paperback books

Place them flat or spine first so that their paper edges face upwards. Don’t pack them so the edges of the pages face down or they’ll bend and warp. If you leave the boxes this way long term, they’ll be permanently damaged. Fill empty spaces with wadded-up paper to help limit any shifting in the box. You want to keep the books from falling onto their sides or bending.


Packing can be overwhelming. Did you know that we offer packing services as well as supplies? Elite Moving has everything from tape to packing paper and every moving box you could need. Call us for your next move. Together we can get you packed and moved- around the corner or coast to coast.

How to Protect Your Electronics During Your Winter Move

Not all of your belongings are a match for winter’s mix of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Your electronics need special treatment during the cold days. If you are planning to move during the winter, remember that taking extra time to pack your electronics will help prevent any damage due to the weather.

Electronic devices are sensitive and operate best within specific temperature ranges. Extreme temperature changes can cause condensation build up on the high tech circuitry of your consumer electronic items such as computers, laptops, DVD players, TVs, stereos, etc.

To ensure that your possession arrive at your new home intact, whatever the weather, take precautions and remain aware of the items’ temperature during transportation.


    • Try to make your loading time as short as possible so your belongings move from your warm home into the protection of a truck quickly. You can expedite this process with the help of professional and reliable movers.
    • Read the owner’s manual for specifications on proper operating temperatures, the amount of time to wait to turn it on after plugging in, as well as ideal storage temperatures. This is helpful in case you plan on storing your belongings in an offsite or self-storage unit as well. It may be a good idea to opt for a climate-controlled unit to reduce the possibility of moisture buildup due to humidity or rapidly changing temperatures. Some phones and tablets operate best at temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while other devices operate at temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Unplug all your electronics as early as the day before or at least several hours, so that its internal components can cool down before it is carried and transported outside.
    • Back up all data before packing your electronics devices for a winter move. Separate electronic devices from the rest of your packed goods while you load boxes and move furnishings.
    • Consider removing the batteries from specific electronic devices if you think there’s a chance of battery leakage.
    • Don’t be quick to plug in an electronic device right after you find yourself in your new home but give it enough time to acclimate to the different temperature and humidity values.
    • If you have kept the original packages that your various electronic devices came in, then you have very little to worry about. Original packing boxes are designed to best protect your electronics. They have survived through long journeys from factories, trucks and into the stores. If you haven’t kept the original packages, then you will need to find other packing boxes that are just big enough to accommodate your separate pieces of electronic equipment. Your professional moving company should have special electronics boxes which provide improved protection (thicker cardboard and double walls) and come in different shapes and sizes. Packing paper is a must when you’re packing electronics for a move, for it will keep dust from entering the packed gadgets and will serve as a cushion against external impacts at the same time. Always use packing paper to create a protective cushioning layer on the bottom of each electronics box. This layer will actually absorb the vibrations and shocks along the way and will keep the electronic component safe during the move.


    To learn more about moving your household in winter months, contact Elite Moving & Storage today. Call us at 1-847-675-8701, or use our convenient online quote request form for more information and to get your free moving quote.

Wine glasses for move

Easy Tips for Packing Fragile Items

When you move, you might not bring every last thing with you, but your most important items tend to make the trip. In many cases, that means high-value, fragile items are part of the equation. You are at the first, and most important, step in making sure your delicate items stay protected throughout your move. Taking the time to properly package and label your fragile items can ensure your breakables arrive in one piece. Here are our easy tips to pack up your fragile items and keep them safe:

  1. Prepare in advance.

    It is easy to forget to wrap something when you’re in a hurry. Packing up valuable crystal, porcelain and other breakables requires time, so plan ahead and set aside a reasonable amount of time to focus on packing your breakables before your moving date. By setting aside the appropriate time can help ensure they will arrive safely – just as you packed them.

  2. Have the right tools.

    Here’s what you need: quality boxes in various sizes (none too large); packing paper (allot), bubble wrap, cardboard, scissors, and packing tape. A large table to lay out your items and pack on can save you from stooping while you are packing for your move. When it comes to using bubble wrap, remember if you’re moving heavier, oddly shaped, or pointed items it is likely that the bubble wrap will pop during the move, leaving the item unprotected. Especially in the case of a long-distance move, opt for cardboard and packing paper to provide cushioning.

Packing the Most Common Fragile Items While Moving:

How to Pack Plates While Moving

Plates should be packed vertically in small or medium boxes. Professional movers use dish pack or china boxes lined with allot of crumpled packing paper on the bottom, top and in between of each plate. By placing your plates vertically inside the box instead of stacking them, you reduce the risk of breakage during transport. Wrap each plate in bubble wrap and secure with tape. Place crumpled paper in between the standing plates. Make sure to have allot of crumpled paper as the floor of the box and cover on top. For finer china we recommend going an extra step and placing a piece of cardboard or foam between each plate. Do not over pack the box to be too heavy to lift or for the box to brake. Do make sure to use packing material to fill out the box that there is no movement inside the box when you give the box a jiggle.

How to Pack Glasses While Moving

Wrap glasses individually with clean packing paper, tucking the paper inside the glass. Place crumpled paper inside larger pieces to diminish empty space. Since glassware tends to be smaller, but heavier when stacked, your best bet is to use a double-walled box for packing. Pack the heaviest glasses at the bottom and the lighter glasses nearer the top, using a piece of cardboard in between each layer and fill spaces around glasses with crumpled paper as well.

How to Pack Lamps While Moving

Lamp shades should be boxed (flat side down) separately with lots of paper. Lamp bases can be bubble wrapped and placed in a larger box with crumpled paper where appropriate.

How to Pack Pictures/Frames While Moving

Picture frames should be placed standing up in small or medium paper-lined boxes, with crumpled paper in between each piece. Wrap frames in packing paper. Top frames with more packing paper to ensure items don’t move around in the box. Pictures that are over 3 feet should be foam wrapped and packed into adjustable sized picture boxes.

Packing Specialty Items for Moving

It’s important to consider the shape and size of the piece, as well as any handles or protruding pieces that could break easily. Wrap the piece completely in bubble wrap, securing with tape. Place it on one piece of pliable cut cardboard. Place an identical piece of cardboard on top of the item. Then bend the cardboard ends to meet and secure with tape. Don’t be shy with the tape. Make sure all edges and angles are protected. Remember, when packing fragile items, do not over pack but do not leave empty space in the box for your items to move around. Fill in gaps with crumpled packing paper and/or bubble wrap. You want your items to be snug and secure throughout transport, so don’t be shy with the bubble wrap or tape. Use all you need to feel confident. Better safe than sorry.

Follow these packing steps and you can be confident that your items will show up to their new home in one piece.

Rule of thumb:

No matter what you are packing, always make sure to have allots of protective materials, clearly mark fragile items ‘Fragile’ and label the top of the box (This Side Up) where possible. We also recommend noting the room that the box should go into at your new home so that your movers can place things where you like them.

What not to do:

Many people use old towels, small blankets, newsprint, or even paper towels to wrap their fragile items. These are less than ideal choices. Newsprint can be dirty and means you have more washing to do when you get to your new home. Paper towels aren’t strong or reliable. Blankets and towels slip easily, so your fragile items could become unprotected and break during the move. Instead, invest in the proper packing materials – you won’t be sorry.

Elite Moving & Storage can help!

We get it. Packing can be overwhelming. Did you know that we offer packing services as well as supplies? Elite Moving has everything from tape to packing paper and every moving box you could need. Call your friends at Elite Moving and Storage for your next move. Together we can get you packed and moved- around the corner or coast to coast.

Happy Moving!



How to Save on Moving Costs

There’s no way around it – moving is expensive. But hopefully, at the end of the road is a better situation, a higher quality of living, and a new start. Moving is also stressful, but you can reduce both your expenses and your anxiety by following some tips from the experts here at Elite Moving & Storage. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve seen it all! We know how to help you reduce your expenses and get the most out of the process.

Hire reasonably-priced, dependable movers

Look, we know you’re thinking, “Ha, of course they’re going to say you should hire movers because they’re a moving company.” Okay, fine. If you feel comfortable doing that, do it. But think about it carefully, and weigh the pros and cons, and calculate the costs of renting your own trucks and getting supplies yourself. Using movers can prove cheaper in the end because of their expertise and speed. Don’t forget to factor in the potential relationship outcomes of using your family as free unskilled labor.

But, do your research – contact different companies, look at reviews, and get insurance. Try to move during slow times, such as the middle of the week or the month, or winter, to reduce costs. If you need storage, see if your moving company has a deal. Remember that the more you have the moving company do, the more it will cost. So, if you can pack things on your own, do that.

Stay organized

Create a timeline that will allow you to do the tasks you need to do on a schedule you set out. Set a budget that takes every element into account. Don’t forget to count costs of packing materials. You’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and other items. This might be one of your biggest expenses, so try to get boxes free from grocery stores, big retailers, and wholesalers like Costco. Check freecycling sites, liquor stores, and mail offices. The boxes must be in good condition! Note, though, that you won’t want to pack fragile items in free boxes, since you won’t know how strong they still are. Instead, invest in double-walled china boxes or dish packs.

Know what tasks you’re going to relegate to the movers and set out what you’re going to take with you personally. Know what goes where in your new home, and whether or not everything’s going to fit. Are you going to need storage? Do you have specialty items, such as a rare and valuable piano? Keep track of your expenses; you may be able to deduct them come tax time.


Moving is always a great time to unload those things you don’t need. It’s cheaper, and less work, to move fewer things. Your movers may actually charge you based on weight if you’re moving out of state, so this can be a significant savings. This might be a good opportunity to upgrade some of your belongings!

Measure your new place to find out if anything won’t fit – and then get rid of the items that don’t. Do you really need those old appliances or that treadmill you never use? Have a yard sale. Donate to charity and get the tax deduction. Ultimately, you need to be smart about what you put into your new home and how it gets there if you want to save yourself some dough.

Get more moving tips from us!

When creating your budget, don’t forget to set aside some funds for AFTER the move. You’ll need extra to get your home running at a minimum level. You’ll need to replenish your food supplies and send in deposits for utilities, at a minimum. And if your house needs repair, you’ll need to take care of that as well. You might consider selling your boxes after you’re done, at places like boxcycle.com or on Craigslist. It won’t be too much, but every little bit helps!

Want more information and advice? That’s what we’re here for! Elite Moving & Storage offers expert advice on every part of your move. Get an estimate today, and get the benefit of our years of experience moving people in and out of the Chicago area.

donate or sell cardboard boxes

How to Declutter Before A Move

The thing about moving is, the less you have to move, the easier it is.  I don’t know about you, but I’m no minimalist. If you’re like me, this means that prior to any move you’ll have to go through your things and just get rid of as much junk as you can. Own clothes you are hoping will come back into fashion…someday? Do you have small kitchen appliances that seemed like a good idea when you bought them, except that you’re never going to actually grind your own coffee beans? Do you own a heap of electronics for which you’re going to get that part you need as you have the spare time (spoiler alert: you’ll never have the time)?

Then it’s time to declutter. We realize this can be a tough process for some, but the closer you are to your deadline, the harder it will be to keep things organized for your move. Fortunately, we at Elite Moving & Storage, being the best moving company around, have seen it all. We can show you exactly what to do.

Start now and start small

Even if your move is months away, don’t delay. Trust me, you’re going to have lots to do as the day arrives, and any work you can put in beforehand is good. Yes, it may seem overwhelming, but it’s easier if you can do it before the stress kicks in. The key is to do it before you’ve packed anything. Is it really worth the effort to put something into a box and move it halfway across the country, or even onto the third floor or your average Chicago walk-up, if you’re never going to use it?

Start with small spaces – a junk drawer, a cabinet. Get into your refrigerator and throw out things that are expired. Honestly, a lot of clutter happens in small spaces! You can do these quickly, and they’ll motivate you for the larger spaces as you notice that you’ve made progress. Do a little bit every day, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the mess recedes.

Be methodical and make a plan

Decide how you’re going to attack the clutter. Have the items you will need for the process of decluttering on hand, such as trash bags or boxes for donation and storage. Know what your options are, in terms of getting rid of your stuff. Set yourself a deadline by arranging a pickup with a charity, or put an ad online for the date you’re going to have that yard sale.

Remember that initially, it’ll be pretty obvious what you need to throw away. Start with that. Then, it’ll get more difficult. Just work on decreasing the amount of stuff you have, and then focus on what’s left, one area at a time. Make goals – fill one trash bag, or set a timer for five minutes in which you just focus on getting rid of stuff. Then, set aside longer times for digging into the mess. And then just keep going!

Make it fun, and don’t stress – yet!

Invite friends over to help, and then take them out to dinner for their efforts! That way, you get a bit of assistance, and a reward to boot. Or hey, skip the helping part and just go for a reward with your friends after some of the hard work is done. That works also.

Give yourself a bit of leeway to keep things you truly love, but be strict with yourself, too. For example, if you have papers you think might be useful someday, maybe you could just scan them into your computer instead instead of taking a pile of papers with you. In the meantime, decluttering may help you unearth items you’ve forgotten about. That can be part of the fun!

Get help from Elite Moving & Storage

Depending on your personality, decluttering can be an easy process or a more difficult one, so do what you can to give yourself the advantage. And not just in decluttering – in the entire moving process! That’s what Elite is here for. We’re one of the best moving companies in the Chicagoland area, and we want to help you. Get an estimate today!