Packing Instructions

The following are guidelines to help you prepare for your move. Please don’t hesitate to contact Moving Services if you have any questions.

Moving Ergonomics

Visit the University Health Services website for great tips on how to plan for correct ergonomics in your new space and how to move safely.


Please use Moving Services boxes whenever possible. We have carefully selected them for their ease of use and sturdiness.

  • Take care when bending over and picking up boxes. Follow sound principles for taking care of your back.
  • Do not use boxes that are too worn. Worn boxes crush easily and the bottoms could fall out.
  • Pack items with moving boxes so that that they are snug and secure.
  • Do not overload boxes. They should be easy to pick up.
  • Pack all boxes to capacity. Put heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on top.


Remove all loose materials and place in boxes.

Lateral File Cabinets

Empty the top drawer on two-drawer lateral cabinets. On the larger sizes, empty all but the bottom two drawers.

Vertical File Cabinets

Leave them full, but lock them if possible. Remove the key and tape securely on top of the cabinet and label. If you have lost the key, fix the lock so that the cabinet cannot be accidentally locked during the move. The movers will tape the drawers shut.

Storage Cabinets and Shelving

Remove contents and place in boxes. Label boxes in association with the cabinets or shelving.


Usually bookcases need to be emptied into boxes, but talk to your move coordinator prior to unloading. In some cases it may be more suitable to have the vendor put the contents onto a cart to move them.


Movers will unbolt and bolt bookcases, filing cabinets, storage cabinets, and other shelving upon request. The campus recommends that all such furniture be bolted for earthquake safety.


Disconnect all cabling and seismic tie-downs before the move. Coil or tape cabling to the top of the monitor or place them in cartons or bags. Clearly label all components.

Do not pack computer equipment, monitors and hard drives--into boxes. The movers will put computers, other small machines and equipment, and their associated peripherals onto carts to move them.


Do not box or leave laptop computers unattended. Please move these items yourself as the vendor will not accept liability for repair or replacement. Peripheral laptop equipment can be moved by the vendor, such as laptop holders, external keyboards.

Personal Items

UC does not insure personal items. Please move valuable personal items yourself.


If your department owns the unit, contact the company that services it, to inquire whether it should be specially prepared for transportation. If the copier is rented, contact the firm to have them prepare the unit for the move or to move it themselves.

Space Plans

Small moves of a single office or cubicle do not need a space plan if there is someone on site to direct the movers. For multiple office moves, sketch out a plan of the new location and tape it to the doors or walls to instruct the movers where the furnishings are to be placed. (Indicate the shape of the room, doors and windows for reference, and an outline for each item to be placed in the room.) Include any special notes to the movers on these plans. Make sure there is a room number on every door or workspace in the new building or area.

Move Labels

Small jobs, such as a single office usually do not require labels. For larger moves, your move coordinator will provide you with colored labels and will recommend how many colors you will need. On multiple office moves, every item being moved requires a label. Items destined for the Cal Overstock and Surplus Den (formerly Excess and Salvage) always use gray labels.

How to Mark the Move Labels
Devise a consistent labeling system that everyone uses and is easy for the movers to understand. Generally it’s best to put the destination room number in the upper right corner of the label and then use numbers, letters, or a person’s name for further designations. For example, you can use a person’s name and label the boxes 1 of 6, 2 of 6, et cetera, as long as you include the room number on the label.
Where to place labels
Desks: Place on the top surface in an easily viewable area.
File Cabinets: Place on the front of the cabinets, near the top.
Boxes: UC mover’s boxes have a designated space on the side. If you’re using other boxes, put the labels on one of the sides; not on the top of the box.

On Move Day

One person from your department should be designated as move manager for the duration of the move. When the move crew arrives they will report to this person, who will direct them in getting started on the job and answer any questions they may have. Your Moving Services move coordinator will also be available by phone and cell phone (or may be on the job site, depending upon job needs).

People who are moving should be fully packed and ready for the movers. In moves involving more than one or two offices, every one but the department move manager should plan to be out of the office/area for the duration of the move. This will ensure the most efficient and safe move.

Disposing of Unwanted Items

The movers will take unwanted furniture and equipment to Excess and Surplus. Excess and Surplus requires a list of items prior to the move date, which should be sent to your move coordinator.

Inventorial items must be cleared through BETS.

Broken wooden furniture and garbage will be taken to the Alameda Transfer Station and the dump fee will be recharged to your department along with the move charges.

Campus Recycling and Refuse Services

Campus Recycling and Refuse Services has a program to help you recycle all paper and cardboard that you may not want to move.