Practical Moving Tips from Bernard Movers:

Here are some packing and moving tips that will make your move run smoothly and save you much precious time.

Packing & Moving Tips

  • When you pack your items, consider the floor plan of your new home. The moving tips here is to organize your items based on the rooms that they will be placed in. This will make the unpacking process more efficient.

  • List content and room on the outside of every carton.

  • Use ample paper inside the carton on the top and bottom to provide good cushioning.

  • Write “OPEN FIRST” on cartons containing essential items such as cooking utensils, toiletries, etc.

  • Pack heavier items in the bottom and lighter items in the top of the box. Try to keep the per-box weight of 50 lbs or less; it makes moving a lot easier. A general rule to remember – the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.

Packing Materials

Please use only strong corrugated cartons with covers. We can provide you with specialty cartons for everything from mattresses to clothing and mirrors. Plastic bags and labels for easy identification. Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or ‘popcorn’.


Carefully wrap china in sheets of clean newsprint paper, be careful because old newspaper stains! Place newsprint paper in the bottom of a Dishpak for cushioning. Wrap each piece individually then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of paper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on the edge. Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next level. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level. Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls can make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

Cups, Glasses, and Stemware

Best Among other moving tips is to stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping. Lay it on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations; pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection. Place glasses and stemware at the top of your box.

Lamp Shades and Bases Handle lampshades by their wire frames only and place in a carton lined with paper. Surround the shade with protective paper. Shades can be placed inside each other, as long as they are separated by paper. Bernard has cartons specially designed for packing lamp bases. These cartons are also good for floor lamps and garbage cans.

Stereos and other electronics

Moving tips come in handy especially if you packing electronics. If possible, pack electronics in their original cartons. As long as proper packing materials are used (bubble wrap, newsprint, foam sheeting, comforters/blankets, pillows, etc.), electronics can be safely packed in sturdy boxes.

Start by padding the bottom of the carton with a generous amount of packing material. Wrap electronics with paper and place in carton. Tightly pack padding around and on top of the unit to prevent damage. Firmly seal the carton. Note: When you unpack your electronics, let them reach room temperature before plugging them in.

Statuary and Figurines

Wrap statuary and figurines with bubble wrap, then tightly wrap with clean paper. If bubble wrap is not available, use clean paper to wrap the article until it is adequately cushioned.

Wrap the picture or mirror in a generous cushion of clean paper. Place in a flattened packing or telescoping carton. Carefully tape and seal the carton. Always stand glass, pictures and mirrors on their edge. Do not lay flat.


If possible, pack computers in their original boxes. As long as Chicago Movers use proper packing materials are used (bubble wrap, newsprint, foam sheeting, comforters/blankets, pillows, etc.), computers can be safely packed in sturdy boxes.

Start by padding the bottom of the carton with a generous amount of packing material. Wrap computer parts generously with paper and place in carton. Tightly pack padding around and on top of the PC to prevent damage. Firmly seal the carton. Label the carton as “Fragile ” Top Load. Be aware of special considerations for the internal workings of the computer.

Pianos and other large valuables

The logistics of moving can be overwhelming, especially if you are moving pianos or other large valuables. Even if you hired excellent help and you have organized the numerous tasks before you, it’s a daunting task. So we prepared an entire article with moving tips and how to prepare for and move pianos and other large valuables.


Accessorial (Additional) Services

Services such as packing, unpacking, an extra stop, or shuttle that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation costs.


An affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of the van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services.

Bill of Lading

Customer’s receipt for goods and contract for transportation. The customer’s signature acknowledges that the household goods can be loaded on the van and “released to the carrier.”

Binding/Non-Binding Estimate

A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance between the customer and the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the estimate. A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the carrier and the final charges will be based on the actual weight and tariff provisions in effect on the day of the load.

Booking Agent

Accepts the order for the customer’s move and registers it with the van line. The booking agent may or may not be the origin or destination agent.

Bulky Article

To ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (i.e., big screen TVs, motorcycles, hot tubs, etc.) require extra handling and/or blocking. Our tariff provides a schedule of extra charges for such articles.


The moving company providing interstate transportation of household goods under whose Department of Transportation registration the shipment is moved.


Statement of loss, damage, or delay to a household good shipment while in the care, custody or control of the carrier or its affiliated agent.

COD (cash on delivery)

A shipment where the customer pays the moving charges at the time of delivery. For COD shipments, payment is required in cash or by traveler’s check, money order or cashier’s check. If a credit card is used, it must be arranged with the booking agent because authorization is required prior to loading. Personal checks are not accepted.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

The federal agency which, through the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) within the DOT, governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Destination Agent

The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information regarding the shipment to the customer or the van operator.


When a customer changes the destination of their shipment after it is en route, transportation charges shall be calculated from the point of origin to the point at which the carrier is able to affect the diversion, plus the transportation charge from the diversion point to the new destination point.

Exclusive Use of Vehicle

Upon request and subject to availability, the customer may request and the carrier may provide an exclusive unit for a shipment. Transportation charges are based on actual weight subject to specific minimum weights.

Extra Labor

Hourly labor charge (15-minute minimum) for performing any requested services for which specific fees are not published. This generally covers activities such as removing/placing items in attics/crawlspaces, packing/unpacking owner’s furnished containers, etc.

Extra Pickup or Delivery

Line haul/transportation charge includes pickup from a single address and delivery to a single address. Additional charges are assessed for each stop or call requiring an additional pickup or delivery.

Fuel Surcharge

The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Full-Service Packing & Unpacking

Hundredweight rates that apply based on the weight of the shipment when the carrier is requested by the shipper to pack or unpack the complete shipment. The full-service packing rates include cartons and packing labor. The full-service unpacking rates include the unpacking of carrier packed cartons and the removal of such debris.

High-Value Article Inventory Form

The carrier will have you fill out a high-value inventory form to list items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound to ensure they are protected accordingly.

Insurance-Related General Increase (IRR Surcharge)

The carrier’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in the recovery of the increased cost of carrier’s and van operator’s liability insurance expenses.


A detailed descriptive list of the items in the shipment and their condition before the van is loaded.

Method of Payment

Payment must be in the form of cash, traveler’s checks, money order, a bank cashier’s check or a credit card. Credit card payment must be pre-approved prior to loading. Personal checks are not accepted.

Non-Allowable (Prohibited Items)

The Carrier will not accept shipment property that will contaminate or damage (i.e., bug infestations, chemicals, propane tanks, etc.) the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, nor will it remove items that would damage the article or the premises (i.e., furniture that will not fit through doorways). Further, the carrier will not accept liability for items of a perishable nature (food, wine collections, plants, etc.).

Order for Service

A document authorizing the moving company to transport your household goods.

Order Number

Used to identify the customer’s shipment and appears on the upper right corner of the Order for Service and the Bill of Lading. This number should be used whenever the carrier is contacted.

Origin & Destination Service Charge

A hundredweight rate that applies based on the weight of the shipment plus any weight additives and location where the shipment is picked up and delivered. The charges compensate the carrier for basic handling and servicing of the shipment; includes services such as elevator, stair, and excessive distance carries, piano and organ flight carries, additional transportation charge (ATC), basic appliance servicing (preparation of appliances to make them safe to ship), and on shipments moving transborder between the United States and Canada, the import and export service charge.

Origin agent

The agent designated in the origin area to be available for preliminary readying of the shipment before movement and/or to provide information regarding the customer’s move.


When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery.

Overtime Loading & Unloading Service

If you request loading or unloading on a specific date which is a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, an overtime charge, based on the weight of your shipment is assessed. This is also true if you request the service to be performed after working hours (i.e., between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.) on any weekday, or when prevailing laws ordinances or landlord requirements will not allow loading/unloading during normal working hours on weekdays.

PBO (packed by owner)

When articles are packed by the customer for moving.


Before the actual initiation of the unloading of your shipment, you may request a reweigh of the shipment. If a reweigh is performed the actual charges will be based upon the reweigh weight, regardless of whether the reweigh weight is higher or lower than the first weight of the shipment. If you request a reweigh, you must waive your right to witness said reweigh in writing.

Shuttle Service

Used if the assigned over-the-road van is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of physical constraints (extremely narrow road, inadequate parking area for the truck, weak bridge, etc.). A shuttle service is the use of a secondary, smaller vehicle to complete the pickup or delivery. Charges for this service are based on the weight of the shipment and the location where the service is performed.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)

The temporary storage of your household goods in the warehouse of the carrier’s agent, pending further transportation at a later date. SIT service may not exceed a total of 180 calendar days. After 180 days, the interstate nature of the shipment ends and is converted to the rules of the local warehouseman.


Performed by an agent to examine the customer’s belongings in order to develop an estimate of move charges.


A publication containing the carrier’s rates, rules and regulations for services performed, applicable to the customer’s move.

Third-Party Services

Performed by someone other than the carrier or its agents at your request or required by federal, state or local law (e.g., appliance servicing, crating).


removing the customer’s goods from containers and placing them on a flat surface, as well as the disposal of such containers and packing materials. If ordered, unpacking service must be performed at the time of delivery unless requested otherwise.


A tariff-based coverage for a customer’s household goods while they are in the care, custody, and control of the carrier. Valuation is NOT insurance.

Van Operator

Oversees the loading, hauling and unloading of your possessions.

Waiting Time

If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within the free waiting time (i.e., 2 hours) after notification of arrival at destination, you may request waiting time until delivery can be made. There is a charge for the vehicle and manpower for each hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time (excluding Sundays or state/national holidays). The alternative is unloading your shipment at an agent’s warehouse. You will have storage, handling and delivery from warehouse expenses, and consequently, it may be less expensive to pay for waiting time, if it is not for an excessive length of time. The carrier is not obligated to provide waiting time, but we will do so when it does not result in the delay in the delivery of other customers’ shipments or does not cause other undue inconvenience to the carrier.

Weight Additive

Some articles included in a shipment (i.e., camper shells, boats, canoes, boat trailers, etc.) are comparatively light and occupy space in the van that is not commensurate with their weight. For instance, one might load 4,000 pounds of furniture and cartons in the space taken by a 1,500-pound boat. To compensate for this inequity, our tariff provides a schedule of additional weights for such articles.



Marvin L.

“Awesome crew they [Bernard Movers] sent out. They moved me from a third floor apartment to my storage. They were quick and handled all my things with care.”

Richard G.

“I recommend Bernard Movers for anyone. I was given only three weeks to move from Chicago to New York [to] start my new job and Bernard Movers took a lot of stress out of this relocation experience … I had my two-bedroom apartment packed and onto the truck within three hours, then everything moved and unpacked neatly into my new place in New York after two days.”

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