When it comes to packing fragile items for moving, it can be quite a tricky affair, which is why a lot of people prefer to hire a specialized moving company. You can put in your best efforts at packing them effectively enough so that they don’t break or end up getting damaged but somehow, that ends up happening anyway. It isn’t always the mover’s fault either as small mistakes while packing can put these fragile items at risk.
What makes the heartbreak 10 times worse if you end up damaging these items is the fact that they are often of considerable value. Suffering breakage or even the smallest amounts of damage can often rid these items of their beauty and purpose, resulting in them ending up in the trash. Their high cost makes the loss even harder to bear.
There is a way around this, however. By following a few simple tips, you can give your fragile items a fighting chance at survival while moving. In fact, if you follow all the tips from this list, you will be able to successfully move all fragile items with very minor or no losses at all.
Start Well in Advance
When packing, especially when it comes to fragile items, it isn’t something that you can rush at the last moment. You require adequate time to pack each item properly according to its unique specifications and apply the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that it does not suffer damage while being transported. Valuable crystal items, as well as other fragile possessions, all require extra care so make sure to start well in time and do not rush the process.
Have All the Necessary Tools and Materials Handy
Before you even start packing, make a complete list of things you’ll be needing. Then check and double check whether you have enough packing materials and tools to last you through your packing endeavours. Running short on cardboard boxes or tape can be annoying and even cause you to pack the items improperly in a hurry due to a shortage of materials or tools. Some of the things that you will need include boxes (of different strengths and different sizes), packing paper, old newspaper, bubble wrap, scissors, pliable cardboard, and tape. A large table or an empty open and plain area to lay out and pack your items will also be essential.
Each Fragile Item is Different
Just because they are all fragile items does not mean you can just throw in some bubble wrap and hope that it will do the job. Every item needs to be packed differently according to its build material, design, and structure.
Plates break easily during moving if not packed properly. Moving experts suggest packing plates vertically in boxes that are not too large. Here is what you need to do: line the bottom of the boxes with crumpled up newspaper (you could go for packing paper too by why spend that extra money). Then, wrap each of the plates using either bubble wrap or multiple layers of paper, using tape or some other adhesive to secure it in place. Make sure you provide extra cushioning between the plates using bubble wrap or packing paper as well as a layer of paper on top.
When it comes to lamps, the shades and bases need to be packed separately. For shades, put them in a box with the flat side at the bottom and use lots of paper. Bases can be placed separately in a large box if they are breakable and bubble wrap can be used if necessary. For bubble wrap, again, use tape to secure it in place.
If there is one item that is most likely to break or get damaged while moving, it is glasses. No matter how careful you try to be, you end up finding out at the end that a few pieces did not make it to their destination safely. Therefore, wrap each glass with packing paper; for larger pieces, you can fill the empty space inside with scraps of crumpled paper and reduce chances of breakage. Use small- to medium-sized boxes and line them generously with packing paper on all sides. Also, use paper to fill the spaces around and between the glasses as well. Heavier items need to go near the bottom of the box while the lighter pieces should be placed at the top.
For picture frames, again use small- to medium-sized boxes lined with paper. Wrap each frame individually and separate them from each other in the box using crumpled paper as mentioned above. If you feel like the frames will move around a lot in the box, insert more packing material where necessary to ensure that the items stay in place. For larger pictures that won’t fit inside boxes, secure them using blankets and similar items for extra protection after wrapping them in plastic and then ensure that each piece is carried separately and with care.
Flat screen televisions, audio and video equipment, cameras, and other such electronic items also require special care as they are prone to breaking while moving. Try using the original box, shaping, and packing as much as possible. Then, for additional protection, have the items packed safely inside padded boxes. Talk with your moving company about the nature of the items and what valuation options they offer to see if any of them work for you. Specialized moving is also an option; you can discuss it with your mover for unique or valuable items that require special handling.
Leave Fragile Items for the End
When you start packing, make sure everything else in your house has been packed before you get to the fragile items. As fragile items require extra time, care, and attention, people who start their packing with these items often end up wasting too much time on them and don’t get to other stuff, consequently not being ready when the day of the relocation arrives. For this purpose, again, start well in advance.
Use Lots and Lots of Cushioning
Cushioning is key. Use plenty of packing paper and bubble wrap to protect your items. Additionally, make sure to line the top and bottom of every box with paper. Eliminate room for the items to move around in the box. This does not mean that you should jam pack the boxes with your possessions, but rather that you use packing paper to eliminate extra spaces and keep the items from moving too much. If you don’t have the option of bubble wrap, use paper which is a good alternative and is also much cheaper.
Using the Right Kind of Box Matters
No amount of wrapping and packing will be enough if you don’t use the right box for the right item. Cardboard boxes, in fact, have a shelf life and after too long a time in your basement or the attic, they are often not as sturdy as they used to be. Old cardboard boxes can be quite flimsy and should not be used for moving, even more so when it comes to fragile items. If possible, use boxes labelled as “dish packs” as they are made of thicker cardboard and are much better at withstanding punctures and absorbing the shock of sudden movements. Talking with your movers about special containers for fragile items can help a lot in this case.
Labelling is Key
Labelling every box is more important than you think. While packing, try to keep similar items together. Then write fragile on each side of the box and even mention what type of materials it is carrying. This not only alerts your movers to handle the box with extra care but also makes unpacking a lot easier as one look at each box will tell you what it contains.
Do Everything in Your Power to Prevent Jiggling
Jiggling is the enemy of fragile items. You can pack each individual item properly but if they all move around a lot in the box, they will bump into each and get damaged. Be generous when it comes to packing paper and make sure to remove empty spaces in the boxes as much as possible. Paper at the top and bottom, on the sides, in between fragile items – do everything you have to when it comes to reducing jiggling to a minimum. It might seem annoying while you pack but it will save you a lot of trouble and your valuable items from breaking.
Do Not Overpack
Experts stress that over-packing and then using tape to force box close is not the right thing to do. Bulging and over-packed boxes not only make it harder to move and place your boxes in the vehicle but also increase the chances of the items within getting damaged. Get more boxes than you think you’ll need so that you don’t have to over-pack. Lastly, don’t be afraid to tell everyone about the fragile boxes to ensure that every last person from the moving company knows to take extra care while handling them.
We hope that these tips prove useful the next time you have to move and are worried about how best to pack your fragile items. Make sure to talk with your movers about the valuation and specialized moving options they offer as they will make your life much easier.