The Bekins Blog

How to Pack Valuable Fragile Items

February 19, 2020 | Moving Specialty Items, Packing Guides & Tips

One of the most stressful aspects of moving is worrying about your fragile possessions. Will they survive transport from one place to another? Will you open the boxes in your new home only to find everything you love busted? Are you going to find all your things ruined, eaten by goats or toppled over in the truck? Luckily, if you move with us, we can answer all of these questions right now. Yes, no, and no. That said, these answers will only stay true if you follow the tips gathered below (and don’t invite any goats into your moving van).

Today we’ll answer all the most common questions about how to pack valuable breakables. Each answer will give you the tips, tricks and advice you need to protect your possessions properly. That way you can protect your valuables–and your heart–from breaking on your move.

What materials do I need to pack my fragile items?

One of the key tips when it comes to proper packing technique is to stay organized. This starts with your packing materials. Prepare and set up more than enough packing materials before you start packing. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can sell unused materials online or donate them to someone in need if you end up with extra. Here’s what we recommend you keep on-hand for packing valuable breakables during your move:

  • A permanent marker
  • Multiple varieties of tape, including clear packing tape, blue painter’s tape and plain scotch tape
  • A pair of scissors
  • Wrapping materials including but not limited to bubble wrap, brown paper, packing peanuts and old linens
  • Your preferred moving containers: either boxes or plastic bins

What sort of boxes should I use for fragile items?

There are a few general rules you should follow when it comes to choosing the boxes you put your valuables in. They are:

  • Never put fragile things in a box that’s too big. Breakage happens when the stuff in your boxes moves around too much as it’s bumped and bounced during the move. Wrapping it up won’t necessarily prevent this, so pack tight.
  • Don’t go for the cheapest option. When it comes to moving boxes, you tend to get what you pay for. Flimsier boxes are more likely to break down. It’s best to order boxes in person so you’re able to check their quality before you take them.
  • Don’t hold back when it comes to tape. The place most likely to have a problem in a moving box is the seam where the flaps come together. One layer of tape isn’t enough to guarantee a box blow out won’t happen. Be generous with the tape when securing your moving boxes.
  • Go plastic if you’re able. Plastic bins are an ideal option, as long as you have storage space for the bins when they’re empty. Plastic bins are less budget-friendly than cardboard, but they’re immune to the breaking and environmental issues cardboard boxes can face.

What things need the most special attention when packing and moving?

This will depend on the items you’re moving, but there are a few things that you’ll always have to be very careful with. Breakable materials like glass and porcelain, books, photographs and artwork will all require special attention during any move. When you’re moving something you need to be very careful with, be sure to:

  • Take your time. When you rush with delicate things, something almost always goes wrong. Take your time wrapping, taping and securing each item.
  • Avoid using packing tape when wrapping things. Packing tape is only for the outside of the box. When securing wrapping for items inside boxes, use scotch tape, which is much easier to remove and won’t damage the item from which you remove it.
  • Put a big X over any glass with painter’s tape. This can be a window, mirror, or picture frame. This is an easy way to help prevent glass from shattering. It’s also the same thing people do to help protect their windows when preparing for a hurricane.

How can I guarantee the safety of my fragile items?

If you’re moving all on your own, there is no real way to make this guarantee. Your best option with fragile items is to hire help from a professional moving company. They’ll have years of experience packing, moving and handling all types of fragile items. The other thing you get from hiring professionals is peace of mind. Most moving companies (if they’re up to snuff) offer valuation protection of some kind.

Packing your valuables the right way is just the first step. Next you’ll need to move them safely. That’s when you should call up the team at Bekins. We’ve got you–and your valuable breakables–covered.

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