The Wheaton Blog
Commonly Damaged Items: How to Avoid Casualties During Your Move
Packing your belongings and going through moving day may seem like the most stressful part of moving, but sometimes, unpacking your boxes only to discover items that broke during the move can be even more stressful.
Now you have to look for replacement items or mourn the loss of some priceless fragile keepsakes. Here are the most commonly damaged items in a move and what you can do to protect them. Reducing the risk of damage to your belongings is the best way to make unpacking in your new home a good experience.
Of course you’d expect glassware to be at the top of the list. However, even though homeowners know that glass is one of the most challenging items to move, they still inadvertently pack it incorrectly. Here are some tips to help you make sure your glassware makes it through the move in one piece.
Hire Professional Packers
You don’t have to leave all the items in your home to professional packers, but for tough and breakable items, using a pro can save you a lot of time. Packing glass properly takes time, and sometimes it even takes special products. A professional packer can provide the materials and expertise needed to keep your glassware safe.
Use Smaller Boxes
If you choose to pack on your own, the first step to keep your glass safe is to choose a box that is small enough to be easily carried by one person with little need for awkward handling. A box too large means you will fill it too full of glassware, which is heavy in large quantities. Doing so also increases the risk of dropping the box.
Remember to label the boxes “fragile” and “this way up” so your movers know to handle them with care.
Pack Just Right
There are two common mistakes with packing glassware: packing too lose and packing too tight. When packing too loose, the items can move around too much in the box, increasing the chance of breakage. When packed too tight, the pressure of the pieces against each other can be too great, causing cracking if the box is placed under stress, such as when it is stacked with other boxes.
As a compromise, after each glass piece is wrapped, it should be packed snugly next to its fellows, but you should be able to get a finger in between the items after they are packed in the box.
After unboxing your computer, printer, or TV for the first time, you send the foam and cardboard boxes to the curb or to recycling. But these boxes are very helpful for preventing damage to your electronics. These electronics are often heavy, awkward in size or shape, and delicate enough that if they are dropped, they don’t ever recover from the accident. Having the original packaging can minimize damage.
If you don’t have the original boxes, invest in packing materials like peanuts, shrink wrap, and inflatable plastic bags to keep these items from coming to any harm.
Art is an expensive casualty of moving. Stretched canvases, restoration glass and frames, and original paintings are best left to professional movers. Even when handled carefully, it doesn’t take much to over-stretch a canvas or shatter the protective glass on a custom frame.
If you must move your artwork yourself, take every precaution possible, including:
- Building custom moving crates for large pieces. You will want to move large paintings and canvases in crates built from rough lumber, with the painting carefully wrapped in fleece and packed in with foam. Tape glass in an X shape to help prevent breaking.
- Using boxes that allow smaller pieces to fit snugly and upright. Be sure to pack art in a way that prevents moving around or falling forward. Placing corner protectors on frames.
- Wrapping manageable pieces in plain paper to prevent dust or staining.
- Wrapping sculptures and ornate frames in shrink wrap to prevent surface damage.
It is strongly recommended, however, that you rely on professionals to move art, especially if the art has a high monetary value.
Specialized equipment for sports is often large, bulky, and easy to damage. One reason it breaks is because it is often packed as an afterthought. For example, you might simply throw a pair of skis over the top of the moving load, only to have them shift during transit and get severely scratched.
You can avoid damage to sporting equipment by making sure you have the right carrying cases for the equipment before moving day: a bag for skis, a zipper case for a tennis racket, or a case for golf clubs. Everything should be secured.
Larger items like nets and treadmills should be completely disassembled with the pieces secured in boxes if possible. Finally, for delicate equipment like bikes, make sure you transport it separately from the main load.
These are just a few of the items that can get easily damaged without proper preparation and professional help. For best results, consult our professional movers at Wheaton World Wide Moving about packing and loading fragile items. We can provide all the services required for short- and long-distance moving needs.