How do I protect fragile or breakable items when I move?

Moving is already stressful and worrying about damaging or breaking some of your most delicate items can add to your anxiety. How do I pack? What tips or techniques do I use to protect my belongings and make sure they move into their new setting, still in one piece?  Let’s discuss.

Packing: the basics

When you move, you want it to be as fast and painless as possible. Cutting corners during the packing process is a common mistake that’s made when we’re anxious to get things done. It’s normal. Sadly, quick packing means less protection for those items you want to preserve and sometimes, for lack of having the proper material around, we just improvise and cross our fingers.

Luckily, there are many packing options and besides cardboard boxes, newspaper, tape, bubble wrap and sharpies, there’s more available to you for a safe, efficient moving experience.

The ABCs of packing : options and techniques

Have you ever considered using old sheets to protect your kitchen table from potential scratching?

Large sheets, curtains and blankets can be excellent options to protect larger pieces. Covering tables, sofas, appliances and your beloved TV, DVD player or surround sound is always a good idea. In order to keep the fabric from sliding, wrap the piece with plastic film that you can purchase through a mover or a hardware store. This also ensures drawers and doors will not open while you carry the item. Not convinced a blanket will do? Movers can provide heftier cover ups that are guaranteed to protect your valuable furniture and accessories.

Dishes, glassware and mirrors are all extremely fragile and you want to be extra careful when moving them around—regardless of whether or not that ‘7 years of bad luck’ thing is true. When packing such breakable pieces, newspaper and bubble wrap are still the best options. Glasses and dishes should be individually wrapped in newspaper but ideally, go for white paper that won’t stain your belongings. A moving company can provide this.

Once every one of your treasures is safely wrapped and protected, you need to start packing them in convenient, easy to transport boxes or containers. Here are a few things to consider: first, you don’t want to overpack any given box and either reduce its resistance or, worse, hurt yourself by lifting too much weight. Second, make sure to fill empty nooks with paper, especially if you’re carrying glasses. You don’t want objects to move around, potentially hit each other and break.

Finally—this is important to do—, identify your boxes. We think we’ll remember what was put where, but at the end of a long packing session, we don’t. We’re tired and it can be frustrating to to open boxes that aren’t in the correct room or search endlessly for that one thing we need, right now. You also want to identify fragile things by writing FRAGILE on the box, at least on two sides. Taking the time to properly identify your boxes will save you loads of time and make unpacking much easier.

Using these simple moving techniques will help you switch addresses in an efficient, seamless manner. If at all possible, move your most fragile items on your own, a few days prior to the official moving date. You’ll be less pressured to move quickly and less likely to damage or break anything. Plants, lamps, artwork, computers and TVs are most often moved this way. With gentle, loving care and attention. You work hard for everything you own, your possessions are important to you and your move should reflect this. Enjoy your new space!