Moving house can get very hectic, especially when you don’t have time to pack all your stuff. And, if that’s not enough, the fragile items need their own special wrap so they can arrive at your destination in one piece.
The 7 Golden Rules of Packing
No matter what you’re packing, there are a few very important rules you should always follow, so there are no accidents on the way.
- You never have enough packing supplies. Get as much as possible: all box sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, stretch wrap, blankets, packing paper, etc.
- Do not exceed the limit of 30 pounds for a box. This is especially important when packing books inside cardboard boxes. It’s not just bad for the box, but it’s going to be hard on your back as well.
- Fill empty gaps in the boxes using old newspapers, packing papers, or just old rags. This will keep them from clattering around.
- Always label the boxes. This way you can know what is where. Read our tips on proper labelling your moving boxes.
- Use double-wall boxes for heavier items.
- Place small packages inside a larger outer box.
- The heavier the item, the smaller the box.
How to Pack Plates
Fragile glass or porcelain plates should be packed in small, or mostly medium-size boxes. To start packing, you need packing paper or cloth towels.
- Position a sheet of paper on the table. Take a single piece of packing paper, preferably something big and place it on the table.
- Put down the first plate. Start with the biggest plate you have and continue to the smaller ones. Place your plate on the sheet of packing paper.
- Wrap. Fold the edges around the plate, until you have a wrapped piece, like a present.
- Put in the box vertically. When packing into the box, the plate should be on its side. This is to avoid breakage. Repeat until you fill the box.
- Fill the gaps. If there are free gaps that don’t contain enough space for another plate, use crumpled packing paper to fill them.
- Close and label the box.
If you happen to get really big sheets of paper, you can try using one sheet on two plates. This will both save you materials and provide some extra protection.
How to Pack Glasses, Cups, and Bowls
Just like with the plates, glass and porcelain cups and bowls wrap glasses need to be wrapped individually in packing paper. You need to use a small box, or mostly a medium one.
- Layer the box with packing paper, or cloth. This is done to cushion the edges and walls just in case.
- Separate tableware. Put on one side cups, or bowls that are relatively the same shape and size.
- Put the one over the other. Make a few small towers of your tableware.
- Wrap in packing paper. Wrap your towers securely, don’t be shy with the paper.
- Pack. Start packing from the edges to the middle of the box, lips down. Fill the gaps with spare packing paper, or other rags.
- Close and label the box.
Once your box is ready for moving, make sure to place it at the top of a box stack. Do not place anything heavy on top of it.
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How to Pack Lamps
For lampshades, it’s more appropriate to use bubble wrap, but it won’t hurt to arm yourself with some more packing paper as well. For this, you need extra tall boxes. Lamp sizes are different, so you might have to measure to make sure this is the box for you.
- Reinforce the bottom of the box with packing tape. Do not be shy with the tape, and make the bottom as firm as possible.
- Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the empty box.
- Disassemble your lamp. Remove everything that can be removed – the bulb, the shade, the cords.
- Wrap the base of the lamp with bubble wrap. Roll the bubble wrap around the sides and secure with tape. Then, fold the top and bottom of the bubble wrap and secure with tape again.
- Place the lamp in the box base down.
- Fill the box. Fill the gaps with cloth or packing paper, do not put anything else that’s fragile inside.
How to Pack Framed Pictures/Mirrors
For these, you need to use either small or medium boxes and lots of packing paper and tape.
- Wrap each item with tape. Take each picture frame, or mirror and wrap it three times in the shape of a six-pointed star. This will keep the glass from shifting from the frame and avoid breakage.
- Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box.
- Wrap pieces in packing paper. Just like with the plates, make sure all of them are packed like presents.
- Pack vertically in the box.
- Fill the gaps. Use packing paper or other unneeded clothes.
Do not mix plates and picture frames in one box. It will only make labelling more confusing and make your unpacking lengthier.
How to Pack Irregularly Shaped Items
With irregularly shaped objects, for example, an abstract statue, it’s important to designate the most vulnerable parts, and start from there.
- Use the bubble wrap. Just like we did with the fragile lamp, you need to make sure every part of your sculpture is covered with at least two layers of bubble wrap. Secure it well with packing tape.
- Make your own box. Here, we need to be creative, just like the artist that made that irregularly shaped figure. Place your sculpture in a piece of cardboard. Place another piece of cardboard on top and have more cardboard pieces waiting just in case. Bend the cardboard enough to cover all of your sculpture and wrap it very tightly in packing tape.
- Label the new box, FRAGILE.
Moving doesn’t have to be accompanied by the stress of breaking something you love. Knowing how to pack fragile items for moving is the first step to give yourself peace of mind. Or, simply rely on professional packers – that’s a reliable option too.
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