If you are moving home, or if you simply want to declutter your house to create space by putting items into storage, the planning and organising of the packing of these items is important. Some of your items may be of a fragile nature – glassware, crockery, porcelain, perhaps musical instruments, or antiques – these items need special care, and you need to ensure that you have the right materials and techniques to safely pack and store these items to avoid breakages and damage. Here are some tips on preparing fragile items for moving:
Consider the size of box you want to use – a large box may prove heavy once filled with glassware or similar items, so may be difficult to lift and safely carry – consider smaller, more compact boxes, and use more of them – the fewer the gaps in the box the less chance there is for damaging movement when in transit. Padding materials will be needed to provide the best protection for the boxed items – newspapers, soft towels or other soft materials will be ideal as well as the specialised, though more expensive, bubble wrap material. Each individual item should be surrounded with some form of protection. Dividers can be created using cardboard or other fabric which will hold the fragile items in place during the transportation.
Use the space within each box effectively – do not overfill! Whilst you want your items to be secure in transit, you do not want to overfill your box creating undue pressure on individual items. If in doubt, do not try to ‘cram’ extra items into an already crowded space – simply use another box! It is always advisable to pad the lining of the box with bubble wrap or other suitable material before packing – this extra layer of protection will help absorb any impact or movement when the box is being transported.
Preparing and Packing
Firstly, ensure that the box you are packing is laid on a flat, even, and secure surface and lay out your packing materials alongside the box. If using newspaper or specialised packing paper, crumple enough sheets to initially cover the bottom surface of the box to provide a base cushion for the delicate items. If using cloth materials or towelling then, likewise, line the bottom of the packing box before starting the packing.
Wrap and pack the largest and heaviest items first – place these on the bottom of the box and the lighter items on top. Consider the size and shape of each item and arrange them carefully in the box. Take extra care and attention to the more fragile items such as wine glasses – especially those with delicate stems. With these, wrap the stem first using half a paper sheet followed by the rest of the glass. Wrap one glass at a time and make these the last items you pack for each box allowing space at the top of the box for extra padding and protection.
Ensure there are no demonstrable gaps in the box – any additional space between the individually wrapped items should be filled with paper, bubble wrap or other suitable packaging.
Check the Box
It is always advisable to gently shake the box before sealing it – if you hear any ‘clinking’ or can feel the contents move too much then you will need to repack to avoid broken contents at your destination. If the box contents seem secure, then seal the box with packing tape and clearly label it with the contents and the intended room for unpacking. Ensure that you clearly mark the box as “Fragile” to inform anybody handling it during the move.
Consider the task of unpacking when the items reach their destination – the more care and planning you put into the initial packing of the items the easier the unpacking will be later. Take time and care to ensure that the items are wrapped, packed and stacked correctly – it will save you time and may well save you money in breakages and replacements!
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