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How to Pack Fragile Items Before a Move

Aug 16, 2022

Did you know that 13% of Americans move each year? If you’re one of them, you probably have some breakables that will need to make the journey with you. The last thing you want to experience, however, is a broken mirror or family heirloom when you arrive at your new home.

That’s why you need to take extra precautions with your most valuable possessions. Stick around to learn how to pack fragile items before a move!

Wrap Fragile Items Individually

One of the best packing tips is to wrap each fragile item securely. This means using bubble wrap, foam, or towels to secure each piece of glassware.

Avoid the temptation to cut corners and bundle multiple items into one piece of packing paper or foam wrap. For the most delicate items, you want to cushion all surfaces before placing them into a box.

Before doing this, remove lids or other delicate pieces that could break. For example, you’ll want to remove the lid from a teapot or the shade from a lamp. Then wrap each piece and secure the wrapped items with tape.

While it might be easier to place all items in a well-padded box, they probably will shift during loading or driving. You’re better off ensuring that every item has enough padding. Even better, use a box with dividers so you can have an extra buffer of cardboard between individual pieces. 

Use Sturdy Packing Materials

Only use the sturdiest boxes to pack fragile items. Even if someone hands you some free boxes, it’s not worth skimping on quality. You want to set aside money in your budget to get better boxes.

Look for creases, rips, and other visual indications that a box won’t be reliable. Sagging sides and dusty interiors only elevate the risk factor when moving. Discard those boxes!

Instead, turn to boxes with thick walls for the most durable protection. Corrugated and cardboard boxes are best. And, when possible, choose boxes with handles to make it easier to load and unload your moving truck. 

Make sure to line the bottom seam of the box with extra tape, too, for added support. Otherwise, bulky or heavy items could cause the cardboard to bow and break. For used boxes with rough corners, fortify those corners with some extra tape, as well. 

For furniture, use wraps, blankets, and pads to keep dresser drawers and surface areas secure. You’ll also want to make sure that all furniture is stable in the truck. If a bulky armoire or table tips over during the drive, it could damage everything around it, too.

Aim to put appliances and electronic items, like monitors, in their original boxes, if possible. These boxes are fitted to the device, so they’ll provide optimal security during a move. Otherwise, use towels and bubble wrap to protect screens and other delicate devices, and anchor them securely during transport.

Assemble Box Contents Carefully

In other words, don’t toss pre-wrapped items into your boxes. Even if you’ve wrapped items carefully and applied plenty of tape to box seams, you still need to be careful. Don’t overstuff your boxes, but be sure to fill empty spaces with bubble wrap if a box has extra room. 

Line the bottom of your box with a thicker layer of packing paper or towels. Then place the heaviest items on the bottom of your box. By doing this, you’ll avoid putting too much weight on smaller fragile items, like delicate vases or decorative objects. 

Even the most well-packed box can be susceptible to damage, however, if it isn’t handled with care. Hire the best movers to help you load boxes and wrap furniture to avoid ending up with damaged belongings. 

Use a Clear Labeling System

When you’re moving houses, do so with well-labeled boxes! If you start packing items and sealing boxes without using some sort of tracking system, you’ll make unpacking a lot harder.

Create a chart or list where you map out the contents of each box. For instance, you could label a box with “A” and then create a chart where you list all contents of that box. Alternatively, you can be descriptive and list all contents right on the box.

Failing to label boxes means you won’t know how careful you need to be during unloading. Make sure to write “Fragile” on all boxes that contain breakables. And try to group fragile boxes together so you’re extra careful when lifting them.

Choose Smaller Boxes to Pack Fragile Items

Yes, you could put lots of items into larger boxes to minimize the number of boxes you’re dealing with. But with fragile items, you’re better off going with smaller boxes.

Not only should you wrap small items individually, but you also should place them into small boxes. You’ll reduce the likelihood of items shifting within a box — and crushing or damaging a nearby item.

For your most precious ceramic vases or glass decor, use the smallest boxes you can find. Fill any open spaces with packing peanuts, paper, or foam. And designate an area in the truck where you can group these smaller fragile items.

Prioritize Your Fragile Items

When you know how to pack fragile items, you can avoid the disappointment of unwrapping a broken lamp or dish set. Use high-quality packing materials and wrap breakable items individually. Load the heaviest items into boxes first, and commit to labeling each box as you pack it. 

Are you preparing for your next move? Contact us and we’ll be ready to help!



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    Tue 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wed 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
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