Moving home is undoubtedly a stressful experience, one that is only made more difficult when faced with breakages along the way. Packing fragile items properly is crucial to ensure that all your sentimental and valuable items are moved from A to B in one piece, saving you at least a little bit of stress and money on the big day. To avoid any nasty surprised when it’s time to unpack, here are our top tips for packing fragile items.
Just like all our advice for pretty much everything, we recommend planning ahead and leaving plenty of time for your packing. Amongst all the paperwork and planning involved with moving to a new house, it can be easy to leave the packing until the last minute. Unfortunately, packing fragile items properly isn’t something that can be rushed. While it may seem like a nuisance, you should inventory all the fragile and valuable items that need packing and set aside enough time to prepare them all properly with our fragile packing tips.
Get the right supplies
A good workman is only as good as his tools, and the same is true for packing. When it comes family heirlooms or pricey glassware, you won’t want to skimp and use old towels or, worse yet, nothing at all. While packing with old newspaper lying around may be the quickest option, it’s often dirty and can leave ink residue on all your precious possessions. Here’s a list of the essential items you’ll need for the day, but we also recommend going the extra mile if you’re packing something especially valuable or sentimental.
- Cardboard boxes
- Packing paper
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tap – special fragile tap can also save you time on writing on each box.
Stuffing everything into one box may be tempting when you’re trying to save time and space in that expensive removals van, but ultimately this will just make things harder to pack and could lead to damaged items. Bulging boxes are a pain to stack and filling every available space with fragile items will undoubtedly lead to breakages. If in doubt, always get more boxes than you think you need rather than run out and be forced to overpack at the last minute.
Change up your boxes
Believe it or not, getting boxes all the same size isn’t easier to pack. Along with bulky and odd-shaped items, it’s actually easier to pack a range of boxes sizes Tetris-style. As well as being easier to fit into the moving van, you’ll want a range of box sizes to better fit all your items. Glasses and mugs work better in smaller boxes, while larger boxes should be filled with lighter items. If you have a variety of small, medium and large boxes to choose from, you’ll find it easier to get the right fit and properly pack your odd-shaped items.
Don’t be afraid of single boxes
Don’t be stingy with your boxes when it comes to odd shaped fragile items. If it doesn’t obviously fit with anything else and it’s especially fragile or valuable, put in a box by itself and securely pack any empty surrounding space with packing paper and bubble wrap. For extra safety, you can even place a blanket on the bottom of the box and a pillow on the top.
Don’t forget to label in your last-minute rush. This doesn’t mean just labelling the room and hoping for the best. If it’s fragile or valuable, write it in big bold letters on every available side of the box. Be extra cautious and draw arrows to show which way the box should be held. In the rush and confusion of the moving day, you or your removals company will easily overlook labels if they’re not clear enough.
Get rid of empty space
Prevent any dangerous jiggling by filling empty space. For your belongings themselves, this means filling any vases and glasses with packing paper as well as wrapping them secure in wrapping paper and bubble wrap as well. When it comes to packing your boxes, layering packing paper at the top and bottom and fill any empty gaps with scrunched up paper or bubble wrap if necessary.
For plates, wrap in bubble wrap or packing paper, layer the top and bottom of the box the packing paper and stack them vertically with paper between each plate. For glasses, you should fill with packing paper and wrap around in paper a few times if necessary or with bubble wrap. Top and bottom your box with paper and fill any extra gaps with scrunched up paper.
Use specially designed boxes where necessary
If you any original or special boxing available, make sure you use it. Ornaments, for example, often come in a partitioned box and you can buy new ones quite cheaply. You have also kept the boxes for your major electronics such as TVs and games consoles. Again, make sure you pack all these items in their original packing. Don’t forget to still label the box, even if it has a clear picture of the contents on it.
Dismantle what you can
If you can dismantle any valuable items, such as detaching the tops of lamps and separating cables from electronics, then you should. Not only this will make them easier to pack into boxes and onto the moving van, but there’s much less risk that they’ll be broken as well. They will be much easier to bubble wrap and secure in boxes ready for the move.
Don’t forget your bulky items
If you have bulkier valuable items that can’t be dismantled, like antique furniture, don’t forget that they also need to be protected. These items may have been in your home for so long that no one even remembers how you got them in, so don’t leave it until the last minute to find out. Struggling to get these items out of doors and down stairs is one of the biggest causes of damage, plus it will waste time on the day.
Instead, try and figure out how difficult or easy it will be to move and talk to your removals company if needed. When it comes to packing, wrap them in blankets, bedding and towels and then shrink wrap the whole thing to keep it secure. This will help it take any knocks and scrapes without getting damaged in the process.
Get expert help if needed
If you have anything that is especially unusual in shape, size or value, then don’t be afraid to get extra help. People often want to save money by handling the move themselves, especially if they’re just putting a few of their belongings in storage for a brief period time. The fact is you’ll probably find it much more difficult and stressful than anticipated, and sometimes the money saved doesn’t quite make up for the time and stress involved. If you’re in any doubt, talk to a removals or storage company and at least get some advice for the move.
If you’re faced with costs of removals and storage or are unsure about what the right next step is for you, talk to one of our friendly storage and moving experts today.