How to Pack Fragile Items | Cross Country Movers Group

How to Pack Fragile Items – The Best Packing Tips and Tricks

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a picture wrapped in tape that says 'fragile' on it, just before cross-country moving

Moving fragile items is often the scariest part of relocating. Cross-country moving overall is stressful, but it’s the smaller parts that tend to make us nervous. However, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not that complex to learn how to pack fragile items, as long as you plan your packing.

After figuring out your reasons to move and getting to the bottom of some logistical issues, like learning how to move your fish tank or what to package in the case of moving into a college dorm, there’s the issue of figuring out how to package the breakable stuff you have at home safely. Most of the stuff that’s vital to our daily life is breakable in some way – from glassware and kitchenware to TVs and other electronics. Relocating at the last minute doesn’t seem like the way to go in these circumstances.

What Should You Wrap and Package Carefully When You Move?

Before you learn how to package fragile items for shipping, try to understand which of the things you have at home are breakable. One of the most common relocation mistakes is thinking that only glasses and plates can break during a move. If you look around your living room and bathroom, you’ll see so much more that you’d rather not lose sleep over during packaging or transport.

Relocating into a new home should also be a sign for you to do some decluttering and minimizing. It’s normal to want to package some sentimental things, but do you need all the glasses and plates that collect dust in your cabinets? Probably not.

Electronics are Delicate and Need Careful Handling and Moving

Reading tips on how to wrap fragile items sitting comfortably in your living room is one of the first things to do when you move. For many families, the center of their living space is the TV, which means protecting it at all costs in situations that could harm it. Other electronics, such as laptops, tablets, desktop computers, gaming consoles, and alike also fall under this category and require the same attention during packing.

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If You Have Pictures, Pack them With Lots of Care

If there’s lots of art on your walls and you plan to bring it to the new house, you should take precautions where necessary. Canvases and frames are highly sensitive materials and require extra care and attention. The last thing you want is a hole in the middle of your favorite picture while it’s being transported.

Is Your Old, Inherited Vase Safe to Box Up?

Packaging a TV and some paintings seems easy enough, but how do you wrap a fragile object that’s old and nearly priceless? Firstly, if you’re relocating with pets, get them out of the way when you’re boxing up something breakable and valuable. Another important thing about packaging something like this is to get a custom-created box or crate, especially if it’s an oddly shaped item. You can try to do this on your own or get custom crating from cross-country movers.

Other examples of valuable and delicate belongings people have at home are:

  • Grandfather clock and other vintage decors,
  • Wall and radio clocks,
  • Musical instruments and equipment (guitar, piano, DJ mixer, and alike)
  • Porcelains (even the ones in the bathroom)
  • Tiles and marble,
  • Optical instruments.

How to Pack Fragile Items for Moving According to Their Type

So, now that you know everything about the breakable things at home, you have to learn how to package them appropriately. This is important because the quality of the packaging determines how well the belongings survive later during transport. Several materials can be purchased in bulk that even professional movers recommend and include in their relocation tips.

Use Packing Paper for Glassware and Dishes

How do you pack fragile items for moving and storage? The answer is: use the almighty packaging paper. This is the best material for packing glassware and kitchenware, and it’s available in bulk. You can purchase bubble wrap, too, but paper is easier to handle and provides more space within the boxes.

With glasses, ensure that you wrap the paper around the outside first, then tuck the rest of the material inside them. With a wine glass, put the paper around the stem first and then take a different piece to secure the rest of it. When you put them in the box, ensure the same type of glassware sits together – each glass is made differently, and the heavier ones can put lots of pressure on lighter ones.

When it comes to packaging plates, you can try stacking three to five on one pile, depending on how large they are. Make sure to put a layer of protective material between them before putting them in the box. Additionally, it’s better to stack them vertically into the container rather than horizontally.

If you plan to relocate during the holidays, try to add essential glassware and dishes into a separate box, so you could unpack faster after relocating and start the holidays the right way.

Get Some Bubble Wrapping for Pictures and Electronic Items

Packaging paper doesn’t seem like the best material for wrapping large objects, especially TVs. You can utilize it for paintings, but bubble wrapping will always be the better option for packaging electronics and especially for packaging pictures. A couple of downsides of this material are that it’s the most expensive kind of wrapper for packaging, and it’s not recyclable. The latter part could benefit you in a different situation – perhaps you’ll use bubble wrap for the safe-keeping of something you want to preserve or for another move.

The Best Packing Material for Fragile Items and How to Get Free Box for Storage

Besides using wrapping materials, here are some tips on what to use to pack fragile items and keep them secure during transport. The biggest part of the essential packing materials list is, of course, boxes. Securing a great, sturdy box is half the battle won when moving across the country. The first thing to do is figure out how many relocation boxes you need. This is important for two simple reasons: not to make a mess during the packaging process and save money by not purchasing things you don’t need.

One of the essential tips you’ll get both from pros and any amateur movers alike is to secure the boxes’ bottoms with duct tape. This helps the container hold the cargo from the bottom when you lift it, automatically making the package a lot easier to handle. This is why copious amounts of tape belong on the list of essential materials for packaging. In addition, relocation labels for boxes are vital for the processes of transportation and unpacking because they’ll help you figure out where to put which container once you’re at your destination.

If You Can’t Use Expensive Materials, Pack for Free

We mentioned wrapping and tape as the essential materials for securing cargo, but how do you pack fragile items without bubble wrap and without spending too much time and money on buying brand-new storage containers? Some hacks could make you reconsider, such as rummaging through dumpsters of supermarkets for containers and wrapping, but others will just have you wondering why you haven’t thought of them sooner.

One available hack for wrapping your breakable belongings and keeping them safe is to use cotton things and materials. By this, we mean t-shirts, pillowcases, towels, and kitchen rags, mostly. It may be worth noting that these things should all be clean when you use them for wrapping glassware and kitchenware. They’re pretty great for protecting these smaller objects because they reduce damage in case the containers fall.

Another idea you might like is asking for packaging supplies from a local store, restaurant, or even your friends and family. Retailers and grocery stores have packaging supplies in bulk, which they usually just throw out without thinking. This could be an excellent opportunity to get some free supplies and help the cycle of eco-friendly packaging.

Instead of using papers for filling the voids between the stuff you package, you can try various options. Watch the video below on things you can use for void filling.

Before Packaging Fragile Items, Create an Inventory List

As we already said, moving cross country shouldn’t be something you do on a whim. It’s better to plan everything out and look up different options for every aspect of the move. That’s how you can create an ultimate college checklist if you’re not sure what to bring to a dorm, sell unwanted things when you figure out there’s too much cargo for your preference, and determine a relocation budget that can help you save money and feel good about the process.

Creating an inventory list with every dish, plate, and glass itemized and accounted for helps you in two ways – you know how many containers to get and what you’d like to keep. There are sustainable and easy ways to get rid of the things you no longer need; you just have to research them carefully and decide on the best option for you.

We recommend an inventory list for another reason – if in the middle of your move you decide you’d like to pay for professional cross-country relocation services, a complete inventory list will determine the price of the move. It also determines how much packaging service will be needed; the fewer things you bring, the cheaper the move will be.

If You Get Stuck With Packing, Contact a Cross-Country Movers Group for Help

Cross-country movers are trained to package and prepare all types of household objects for relocation. This means that hiring movers promises a high-quality service and move. However, we know there’s fear of choosing the wrong cross-country moving company and potentially running into a scamming company instead, so understandably, many people still opt for relocating on their own.

Still, you shouldn’t worry too much with so many legitimate and easy ways to verify the truthfulness of a relocation company. The part you might feel more concerned about is how your things survive the long-distance transport and how they’re packed into the relocation truck. This part can be entirely within your control since you’re free to assist movers and package some things by yourself, just to be sure.

Trust us – if you have a treasured and breakable item, it’s better to let professionals from a relocation company handle it. You can stay in touch with the driver of the relocation truck the whole time and even track your cargo with some movers. If you plan on relocating to another state alone, then look up movers near you and let them assist you in taking this big step.

Packing Fragile Items for Moving Doesn’t Have to Be an Impossible Task

Whether you get in touch with movers or choose to move alone, just make sure you find the time to prepare. You can research relocation hacks, such as how to package your TV or how to arrange the containers in the relocation truck. Don’t stay idle, and don’t let the relocation stress get to you. While it’s normal to worry about your breakable stuff, it’s even more important to back up your knowledge and convince the anxiety that you’ve got this. We’re confident you’ll make the right choices and have a relatively stress-free move.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

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