Regardless of whether you're moving to a different neighbourhood, another city or a new country entirely, moving your breakables from one place to another can be stressful. It can also result in some heart-breaking disasters.
We offer some expert advice on how best to pack breakables, from glassware, crockery and mirrors to TVs and other fragile items, so they make it to their destination in one piece.
Pick the right packing materials
It is always best to pack breakables in their original packaging as this usually includes polystyrene inlays and padding built specifically to protect the item. But you can use another box as long as you pack it carefully.
If you don't use the original packaging, choose a sturdy, double-wall box. Opt for small and medium-sized boxes, so they don't become too heavy to lift and carry.
If you reuse old boxes make sure that they are clean, sturdy, dry and still intact. It's always a good idea to give both old and new boxes some extra support by taping the bottom shut with a few strips of high-quality packing tape (NOT masking tape).
Packing instructions for breakables
Before you pack, wrap items individually in bubble-wrap, newspaper or tissue paper to prevent scratches, scrapes and shattering.
Also use foam sheets or crumpled newspaper to line each box. This will act as a shock-absorber.
As you pack items into the box, use additional foam sheets, wads of crumpled newspaper or corrugated fibreboard to separate items from each other, as well as from the walls of the box.
Then use more crumpled newspaper or foam peanuts to fill any open space to prevent the contents of the box from shifting in transit. Never overfill a box or the seams may split.
Once the box is packed, seal it with packing tape, and ensure that all edges and flaps are taped in place.
Extra care for specific breakable items
Some breakables require extra care. Here are some tips for packing extremely fragile items.
Use cardboard dividers or cell boxes to separate glassware. Due to their shape and pressure points, wine glasses are prone to breakage, so pack them in a speciality wine box. When packing wine glasses, secure the stems with bubble-wrap first, then wrap the entire glass in paper, and then bubble-wrap.
Protect your crockery by placing lots of cushioning in the bottom and around the sides of the box, then place crockery inside, separating items with foam sheets. Ideally, stack wrapped-up plates sideways in their box and fill any void space.
Start by making an "X" with duct tape over the glass to keep it in place if the mirror cracks during the move. Secure cardboard corners to the edges of the frame and wrap the entire mirror and frame in bubble-wrap. Ideally, pack the mirror in a vertical box so that it doesn't get crushed by other items in transit.
- Picture frames
Wrap each frame individually in bubble-wrap, then place in a medium-sized box with layers of crumpled paper between each frame.
Separate the bulb and the shade from the stand, then wrap the stand and light-bulb separately in paper or bubble-wrap, wrap the shade in tissue paper, and then box all three separately.
- Televisions and Hi-Fis
If you haven't got the original packaging for these items, use well-padded, shallow boxes, and make sure that you wrap each item in lots of bubble-wrap.
Label boxes clearly
Once you've packed each box, seal the top securely with packing tape and label it clearly with “fragile” on at least two sides. Include a description of the contents and, to ensure that boxes of breakables don't get carted around unnecessarily, identify the room where the box is meant to go.
Transport with care
Exercise extreme caution when the time comes to move fragile items from your old home to your new one. If you're moving without the help of a professional moving company, take your time packing and unpacking boxes with fragile contents.
Make sure that boxes are loaded and unloaded carefully, and drive with caution to ensure that your breakables make it to your new home intact.
Storing breakable items with XtraSpace
Even well-planned moves tend to be chaotic. An excellent way to prevent fragile and breakable items from being damaged is to get them right out of the way before having professional movers pack and transport heavy furniture and other items.
At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units that are ideal for storing breakables until you're ready to move them into your new home or premises. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.