Part 14: Packing & Moving 101

Joan London and her Cat, Mia - June 2013Whether you’re moving into senior housing, as I am, sending your grandchild a package or returning an item that needs repacking, selecting the correct packaging and method of shipment is critical.

For this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned from downsizing my entire condo and sending nearly 40 boxes to my 3 children on the West Coast.

Moving Terms Defined

First, a few definitions:

  • To Pack: the act or instance in which goods, supplies and items are grouped or bundled together for ease of handling and transport
  • Packer: a person whose job is to put objects into a container
  • To Move: to change place or position; to go from one residence to another
  • Mover: a moving company that helps with packing, moving and storage
  • Moving boxes: Generally cardboard boxes, manually packed and carefully handled by professional moving companies; boxes normally travel in trucks, gently packed and carefully unloaded at a specific predetermined destination by moving company representatives
  • To Ship: transport goods or products. Originally, the term “ship” was used for transport via a sailing vessel. However, the term evolved to include air travel, railway and trucks
  • Shipper: someone who sends goods for shipment by packing, labeling, arranging or coordinating the transport of goods
  • Shipping Boxes: extremely sturdy boxes, made to withstand weight, “edge crush” and a 3.5-foot fall, without damaging contents; boxes are dropped off at a specific site or picked up by carrier and delivered to a transport destination for delivery by air, train, boat and truck
  • To Send: to cause or initiate transport in any manner; generally “send” applies to movement of items by the US Postal Service

Selecting a Moving Company

Obviously, every packing situation is unique, but most folks with items to transport are concerned with three major criteria: price, reliability and convenience. Shipping companies include UPS, FedEx, the US Postal Service, and many small private companies. And packing and moving companies abound. For recommendations, check with friends, relatives, professional organizers, the Internet and the Yellow Pages.

Whichever products and services suit your needs, interview the company’s representatives and negotiate for the best discounts, deals and options. That’s what I did and the negotiations paid off in savings, convenience and reliability.

Comparing Pricing

Packing, shipping and moving prices vary. Two websites that compare shipping pricing are:

  • – compares shipping rates from national, regional and local delivery services
  • – offers real-time shipping rate quotes direct from the shipping companies and package tracking features

Regarding my journey to senior housing, I have no news to report. I’ve learned patience is a virtue in the sale of one’s condo. Until the next Joan’s Journey, enjoy the trip, day by day.

*If you are moving to or from senior housing in the Greater Los Angeles area, contact Green Lane Senior Relocations. Serving seniors throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Green Lane is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.


Written by Joan London, a freelance medical and social service writer, who plans to relocate from Baltimore to a senior housing community close to her children in Southern California.

Read Part 15 of Joan’s Journey: Packing & Moving – It’s a Wrap!

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