Use the right size boxes.
Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in larger ones. (Large boxes packed with heavy items increases the chance of injury and of the box breaking.)
Put heavier items on the bottom of the box, lighter items on top.
If you’re loading the truck yourself, pack heavier boxes first, toward the front of the truck, for balance.
Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes.
Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, or packing paper. Loosely packed or unbalanced boxes increase the chance of broken items.
Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.
It will make your packing quicker and your unpacking immensely easier.
Label each box with the room it’s destined for and a description of its contents.
This will help you and your movers know where each box belongs in your new home. Also, numbering your boxes and keeping an inventory list in a small notebook is a good way to keep track of what you’ve packed, and to make sure you still have everything when you unpack.
Tape boxes well.
Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then use one of the movers’ techniques, which is to make a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where stress is concentrated.
If you’re moving expensive art, ask your mover about special crating.
Never wrap oil paintings in regular paper; it will stick. For pictures framed behind glass, make an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and to hold it together if it shatters. Then, wrap the pictures in paper or bubble-wrap and put them in a frame box, with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece for protection.
As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. And use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Pack them all in dish-barrel boxes.
Consider other items that will need special treatment.
TVs should be treated like any other piece of furniture, wrapping them in quilted furniture pads. However, plasma TVs can be ruined if you lay them flat, thus they require special wooden crates for shipping if you don’t have the original box. If you’re packing yourself, double-box your TV, setting the box containing the TV into another box that you’ve padded with packing paper.