Protect Your Investments: Tips for Packing Valuable, Fragile or Unusual Items for a Move
When you're planning a move, either for your home or business, you have a lot to think about. One of the most common concerns before and during a move is how to properly pack valuables, important documents and unusually shaped items.
Packing is a big enough job on its own, and these types of items present their own set of challenges when it comes to moving them safely. Follow our tips for packing valuable, fragile or complex items below to help make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Tips for Packing Items In Your Home
For framed artwork, use foam corners to protect the edges of the frames from scuffs or scratches. Use masking tape to create a star pattern across the glass front of the frame. This way, the glass will have less room to move in the event that it cracks or breaks. If you choose to pack multiple frames in a single box, include a layer of bubble wrap between each frame for added cushioning.
For individual pieces of art that sit on tables or shelves, pack them as you would other fragile items, using packing paper and bubble wrap. Add plenty of padding in-between items for maximum protection.
If you have valuable paintings, sculptures or other pieces it’s a good idea to either ship these separately from the moving truck or container. You may also want to consider taking them in your personal vehicle if you have the space.
Dishes and Glassware
Dishes and glassware are highly breakable, so it is important that you pack them properly to minimize breakage. Use several, small boxes to ensure that they don’t become too heavy or difficult to maneuver.
Start by placing something soft in the bottom of the box to cushion any impact, like packing foam, bubble wrap or a towel. Wrap each piece individually using packing paper. Newsprint can also work if you don't wish to purchase packing paper, but you'll likely have to wash everything when you reach your new home to remove any ink residue.
When wrapping stemware like wine glasses, be sure to include plenty of wrapping around the stems so that they don't snap off in transit. Crumple up packing paper inside glasses as well to give them more stability.
If you have saved original packaging for any of these items, don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s well-packed just because you’ve re-packed it in it’s original box. Manufacturers ship products in bulk and wrapped on pallets, so very often the individual box is not as protective as you would assume. (A fine wine decanter was once lost in this exact manner!) Make sure you pack the item the same way you would if you were using an ordinary box.
Because of their age, antiques tend to be much more fragile than more modern pieces of furniture or artwork. If they are of particular value, either monetary or sentimental, you’re likely to be better off entrusting your antiques to the care of professionals for the move. This way, you know they will be handled by those who are familiar with the proper care of antiques. It may be more costly than moving them yourself, but the expense will be worth it for the protection of your valuables.
Whenever possible, try to move electronics like game consoles, TVs, computers and stereos, in their original packaging. Assuming you’ve also kept the styrofoam molds, they'll fit perfectly with all of the protection already in place. However, if you're like most people, those original boxes have long since been thrown out so this won't be possible, so here’s the next best idea.
Try to find a box that is similar in size to the item to be packed, but just a little bit larger. This will give you room for bubble wrap, packing paper or other padding. Try to pack these items individually if you can. If you need to pack them together, include plenty of padding between items.
Pack any associated cables with their electronic item to make it easier to identify which cables go with which item. If you have to pack them together, use masking tape to label each cable and even tape the cords directly onto the item so there’s no confusion when you unpack them at your new home. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the cables before they are disconnected, which will help when you need to set them up in your new home.
Appliances like refrigerators and washer/dryer sets can be difficult and costly to move. In most cases, the previous owner will leave their appliances as part of the home purchase, but if you’re going to need appliances in your new home, here are a few things to consider.
This high cost and hassle of moving appliances often makes moving them more trouble than they're worth. Before moving, take stock of your appliances and decide if it will be worth it to bring them with you. Evaluate the condition of your current appliances and take into consideration how many years of useful life they have left, and don’t forget to factor in the cost savings that come with new energy-efficient appliances. If your appliances are aging and you don’t want to enlist the help of friend or professionals to move them, you’d probably be better off buying new appliances for your new home and having them delivered and installed by the supplier.
If you love your appliances and want to take them with you, weigh your moving options. Find out what professional movers would charge. If you have a lot of help and the proper moving equipment (like a dolly and/or a two person lifting system shoulder harness) you may be able to do it yourself with the help of a half ton truck or a portable storage container, like a BigSteelBox.
Also make sure you research the proper way to move appliances. For example, a refrigerator should always be kept upright, and never laid on it’s side. The interior of the refrigerator also needs to be properly prepared before being moved. Learn more about how to move a refrigerator.
If you have unusual items in your home like aquariums or pianos, you'll need to take extra precautions to ensure they are moved safely.
For aquariums, start by removing any fish and plants (no kidding, huh?!), placing them in a smaller transport container. Retain some of the water to restart the bacteria culture when you arrive. Take great care in moving the aquarium itself, using a dolly for especially large tanks. When you arrive at your new home, treat the aquarium as if it were a brand new fish tank, taking care to appropriately acclimate the fish.
Pianos, both upright and grand, are extremely heavy thanks to the cast iron harp inside. Because of this, it’s best to leave the moving of pianos to the professionals. This will ensure the safety of you and your family, as well as protect your piano from damage. Do not try to roll the piano on its casters; they tend to not be very sturdy and can break or jam, resulting in scratches to your floors or tears in your carpet. Trust us, let the professionals handle this one.
Packing Tips For Small Businesses
Between proprietary information and customers' financial data, chances are your business has a lot of important documents to protect. When packing these documents, you may wish to transport them in a safe or lockbox to ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Make sure you have a clear outline of the chain of access throughout the move, from the initial packing stages all the way through to unpacking in your new office. This will help to reduce the risk of your information being compromised during transit.
Office equipment like printers and copiers are bulky, heavy, and awkward to move. To make it easier on you and your team, rent several dollies or four-wheel flat movers. Aside from lifting the equipment onto the dolly, try to let the wheels do most of the work to prevent injury and reduce the risk of damage.
Remove the equipment from the dollies once loaded into your mobile storage unit or moving truck to prevent them from sliding around during transit. However you move these items, make sure they are securely tied down once loaded.
Computers and Electronics
Computers and other electronics should be packed in their original packaging as often as possible. If you no longer have the original boxes, follow the instructions for electronics for home-owners above. Before packing any computers, be sure to backup any documents and other information stored on the hard-drive.
A BigSteelBox Can Make Moving Easier
All of these tips for packing can help with the process of moving valuable items, both for homeowners and businesses. Here at BigSteelBox, we can help make the process even easier for you. We deliver the portable container to you. Keep your BigSteelBox at your home or office for as long as you need it, or have it stored at one of our secure locations until you need your things back again.