How To Pack Those Fragile Items For Your Next Move

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If you have ever moved and unpacked a box to find broken dishes or a crushed lamp shade, you probably swore to pack things better next time. Packing those fragile items for a move takes patience and a planning. Here are some tips to get you through your next move with no broken pieces to deal with.

Don't Rush the Process

To make sure fragile items get to their destination in one piece, take the time to wrap each one carefully. Don't wait until the last minute and throw some packing paper around that crystal dish hoping it makes it safely. Plan ahead, get your materials together and set up a space with a large table on which to do the wrapping.

Don't worry about having everything you need to wrap all of your breakables at once. Plan on several sessions and you'll know after the first one how many more supplies you'll need to finish the job. Depending on what you need to wrap, here is a suggested list of packaging materials you'll need:

  • packing boxes in different sizes
  • original boxes for fragile items, if you still have them
  • bubble wrap with different sizes of bubbles
  • pliable cardboard sheets
  • scissors and a box cutter
  • packing tape

General Packing Tips

  • Use the smallest box that will hold the items - It's easier to add padding to keep the items from shifting when using the right sized box.
  • Pack similar items together - Don't mix items. For example, when packing glassware, don't add books or magazines to take up space. These items can shift and break the fragile pieces.
  • Use the right packing materials - Don't use linen, newspaper or paper towels for wrapping fragile items. Linen slips easily, newspaper can be dirty and paper towels provide little protection.
  • If unsure, contact your moving company - Don't try to improvise if you're not sure how to wrap a breakable item. Moving companies often have the supplies and expertise to tackle any unusually shaped item for you.

Specific Packing Tips

Plates - Wrap bubble wrap around each plate and secure with tape. Crumple up packing paper in the bottom of the box. Place the plates in the box on their edge. They are stronger this way than sitting flat in the box. Put paper between each plate. Leave room between the outside plates and the sides of the box to fill with more crumpled paper.

Glasses - Fill each glass with crumpled paper then wrap individually with paper. Place the glasses with the opening down into a box lined with crumpled paper. When you have a layer full, place cardboard sheets down on top of those glasses with more paper on the cardboard. Continue layering the box with glasses and cardboard until full.

Lamp shades - These should be packed one per box. With crumpled paper on the bottom, place the lamp shade flat side down into the box and fill around it with more paper. Make sure to note on the box that it is fragile and needs to be placed on the top of the load.

Picture frames - Line the box with crumpled packing paper. Wrap each frame with paper. Pack similarly sized frames together in the same box. Stand the frames on their edge and place packing paper in between each one. Fill the box with crumpled paper until the frames won't shift against each other.

Odd-Shaped items - Figurines, china tea pots and other knickknacks can be a challenge. Take your time with each piece. Wrap the entire piece with bubble wrap. Tape well with packing tape, going around the item with several wraps if needed to hold the bubble wrap in place. The less the item can move in its wrapper, the less risk there is of breakage. For larger items that have a flat surface, such as a terra cotta planting dish, once it's wrapped in bubble wrap, place a piece of the pliable cardboard on top and bottom. Bend the edges of the cardboard toward each other and secure with tape. This adds some protection and allows the item to lay flat in the box with other breakables.

When you take the time to wrap and use the right materials, you'll save yourself the headache of replacing broken or damaged items at your destination. Talk to local storage experts like Security Self Storage for more information.