Moving, when you get right down to it, is the act of taking everything you own out of your house and putting it in a different home, where it will stay until you have to do it again. When items are damaged or broken during the moving process, it’s not only annoying but it defeats the purpose of moving. Why not simply throw those objects in the garbage or give them away instead of wasting your time packing them in boxes, carrying them from place to place? Unless you’re the type of person who enjoys playing “What Will I Need To Replace?” when you move into a new home, you probably want to ensure that your belongings make it to your new house undamaged.
The best way to guarantee that your breakable items arrive at your new home safely is to hire a professional moving service, of course. Qualified, reputable professional movers have the expertise, equipment and skill needed for packing fragile items and transporting them without incident. However, you may not have the budget for a professional moving service. Or, you may prefer to handle certain delicate items yourself for peace of mind. You might feel better about moving highly personal items such as family heirlooms, valuable collectables and precious jewelry yourself. No matter the reason, when handling any part of your move yourself, you’ll need to know how to pack fragile items to keep them safe.
Here are some basic tips you should follow for protecting your fragile items during a move:
- Heavy items go on the bottom. When packing boxes, don’t place heavy items on top of lighter items. This is a good way to ensure that those items on the bottom will be crushed by the time you get to your new home. There’s a reason the grocery store baggers always put eggs and loaves of bread on top of the grocery bag. Heavy items on the bottom also give boxes a lower center of gravity — meaning they will be less likely to tumble during the move.
- Fill boxes as much as possible. Any empty space inside your boxes is space that could allow items to rattle, increasing the potential for items to be damaged during the move. Using packing peanuts, air-filled plastic bags or wadded-up towels to fill empty space makes for a more secure move.
- Be sure to wrap fragile items. Using bubble wrap or towels to bundle delicate items helps protect them from being chipped or dented during the moving process. It also helps prevent empty space inside boxes that can lead to more damage.
- Use plenty of tape. Even if you do everything else right, your fragile items could be lost if the box they’re in bursts open during the move because there wasn’t enough tape securing the box. Invest in an extra roll of tape and make sure every seam on your boxes is sealed and secure. It may take a few more seconds to open it once you arrive, but it’s worth the extra time for that additional protection.
- Go slow when packing. Rushing through the packing process is a surefire way to make mistakes that you’ll regret later. Make sure you have plenty of time to pack everything properly. Also, be sure to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t want to bring with you. You don’t want your uncle’s old bowling ball getting loose inside the moving van if you’re just planning on putting it in the garage sale after moving into your new neighborhood.
If the idea of replacing some of your fragile items after your move seems exciting, you can pack them any way you feel like. However, if you’re more interested in making sure everything you pack makes it to your new home in one piece, be sure to follow these tips.