Packing and Moving Fragile Items

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How to Pack and Move Fragile Items

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Packing and moving fragile items is always a worrisome situation. Some of your belongings could very easily be damaged on a bumpy ride in a moving truck or from rough handling by careless movers. There is no way to guarantee that any item will be safe 100 percent of the time, but there are some precautions you can take that will make packing and moving your fragile items less of a gamble.

Some fragile Items that you may have to move

  • China
  • Paintings
  • Statues
  • Memorabilia
  • Dishes
  • Glasses
  • Framed pictures

Clearly labeling your fragile items as "fragile" is the most obvious, yet sometimes overlooked, aspect of ensuring some level of safety for them when they're being packed and moved. Be sure the labeling is clear and thorough. It won't hurt to label certain borderline items like framed pictures as "fragile", even if they may not be the most delicate items you are moving. The labeling should be big and clear. Use a thick black marker and white labels. Writing directly on cardboard boxes may work, but the black on brown could be overlooked by movers and it puts your items at an unnecessary risk.

Materials for packing fragile items

  • Black Marker
  • White labels
  • Bubble wrap
  • Old newspaper
  • Styrofoam peanuts
  • Shredded paper/tissue paper

A rule of thumb should be to wrap what you can in bubble wrap and then make sure the item is secure in its packaging. Usually bubble wrap and some soft cushioning, like paper or Styrofoam peanuts, are a good combination for most individually wrapped fragile items. Be sure to fill the boxes with the soft "stuffing" to leave minimal room for motion within the boxes.

Particularly fragile glasses may not be adequately protected with the bubble wrap method. The inside of these glasses should be filled with newspaper or even tissue paper and the thin handles of wine glasses should be snugly surrounded by similar soft packing material. You may want to avoid printed newspaper, since the ink may rub off, dirtying your glasses. There are multi-celled boxes specifically designed for transporting glasses, as well, so they might be your best bet in this situation. If you can't procure a box like this, it is possible to make one yourself. Any glass item with sufficiently small or thin pieces should get the wine glass treatment.

If you are moving these items yourself

If you rented a moving truck or are transporting these items in your own vehicle, you have to consider moving them safely in addition to packing them safely. There are additional safety concerns to consider when you decide to do a DIY move. The most well-packed items in the world won't survive an hours long trip if the box they're in is violently tossed around in a truck.

Don't count on your packing being the only thing protecting your fragile items. Secure the boxes containing them so that they don't shift or slide during the move. You can strap these boxes down, as long as you don't break the boxes with the straps. If you are transporting your fragile items in a car trunk, then you may be able to get away with simply packing them tightly with other objects in that relatively small space so that they have no room to move. Just make sure that adjacent objects are also secured and not in a position to crush the boxes that hold your fragile items.

Fragile items can be some of the most expensive items, so it pays to have a little foresight when packing and moving them. These items are also often irreplaceable. No matter what the moving company is willing to pay you, certain items are unique and/or have sentimental value beyond a dollar value. Family china or unique art can be lost forever if not moved with safety in mind. Use all the necessary packing tools, and if you are moving them yourself, be sure they are contained, safe, and secure.

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on June 24, 2014 - Moving Expert
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