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Comparing Full and Partial Packing During a Move

For many preparing for an upcoming move, the packing process is the most intimidating task on their list. Many will spend months preparing for packing, plus will stress about it and worry whether they’ll have enough time and space to pull it off.

At Sullivan Moving & Storage, we’re here to help. Not only do we offer comprehensive commercial and residential moving services, we provide both full and partial packing solutions to every single one of our clients as needed. Are you running a business that requires the full attention of you and your employees, meaning you won’t be able to take part in any packing for an upcoming office move? That’s no problem — we’ll handle every part of the process for you. On the other hand, are you a homeowner who wants to pack certain things on your own, but only needs help with a few specialty or larger items? We’re happy to help here as well, and with every situation in between.

How do full and partial packing services differ within the professional moving realm, and which should you choose? Let’s go over this, plus some important information on how to prepare for either of these scenarios.

full partial packing move

Full Packing

As the name indicates, full packing refers to a situation where our professional movers pack up every loose item in your home (or office) before moving you. Our team will professionally wrap pack and label all household items into sturdy moving boxes.

Partial Packing

Partial packing, on the other hand, means you’re only relying on us for packing certain specific items. Many clients who opt for partial packing are homeowners who have a lot of smaller belongings to be packed. Full service commercial moves often require this, too, as there’s no way one staff member could do the packing on their own in time for the arrival of equipment and crew members.

In many cases, items chosen for professional packing within a partial packing setup are those that require special attention during the move.

These might include:

  • Kitchen Dishes and Glassware
  • Pool tables
  • Grandfather clocks
  • Antique furniture
  • Exercise equipment
  • Glass items (e.g. fish tanks)
  • Large mirrors
  • Grand or baby pianos
  • Suitcases, bass drums, guitars, etc.
  • Large sculptures or statues

If your specialty items aren’t listed here, don’t fret! This is just a short list of items — anything you want can be added to the list of items we’ll pack up for you.


In virtually all packing situations, unpacking services will mirror the packing services you order. That is, we’ll unpack all the items we packed for you at your final destination, ensuring there are no issues here; items you packed on your own, on the other hand, will generally be your own responsibility. In addition to unpacking, we will remove all the boxes and packing paper upon our departure.

Being Prepared

No matter whether you opt for full or partial packing from our team, both settings highlight the importance of being prepared and organized ahead of your move. During a partial pack, for instance, our team needs to know exactly which items we’ll pack, and which ones you’ll be packing yourself. This is the best way to ensure your transition goes smoothly without any unwelcome surprises or last-minute stress.

Here are some general organization tips for the packing process of any move:

  • Label everything: This will help you and our staff find items without delay, as the last thing you want is to waste time opening boxes during the move. Make note of the room and the contents on the side of the box, not the top. It will be easier to review when boxes are stacked.
  • Pack similar things together: For example, all lamps can go into one box marked “Lamps,” and all small kitchen appliances in another labeled “Small Kitchen Appliances.” This will help you and our team figure out what to unpack first, saving time later on.
  • Gather all packing supplies ahead of time: This means stretch wrap, pads, cardboard paper rolls for heavy duty protection, packing tape (a 3-inch width works best), markers and labels.
  • Check coverage for damage or loss: This is especially important in the case of specialty items and large/expensive pieces.
  • Separate items you pack vs. items we pack: This may seem obvious, but it can get confusing. If you decide to pack certain pieces yourself, be sure not to take them out of storage or wrap them up until we’re done and ready to transport.

Tips for Partial Packing

While there may be some crux points throughout, the basic approach to full packing from our team is simple: Once things are organized in simple ways, simply get out of the way and let our team handle the job for you.

With partial packing setups, however, things can be a bit more complex. Our team will often be packing and moving right alongside you, and it pays to take a few basic steps to avoid any confusion or hassle here:

  • Invest in quality boxes: We can advise you on the size to purchase. These can be found at a local store, or you can purchase the sturdy professional boxes directly from us.
  • Remove small gadgets from wall sockets: This helps prevent damage and ensures a safe move for anything else that’s plugged in, including lamps, televisions and computers.
  • Be sure you have the keys and/or codes necessary for gaining access to a new location: This helps us get in at the right time and ensures a quick, simple move.

To learn more about our full and partial packing services for a move, or for info on any of our quality moving services, speak to the staff at Sullivan Moving & Storage today.

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