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The Best Tips on How to Pack Fragile Items When Moving

Posted in How-to,Moving Tips & Tricks on February 18, 2021

Every home has some precious pieces, dinner sets, dishes, or beautiful figurines. So, knowing how to pack fragile items is a must if you want to retain your valuable belongings in the new place. This process demands focus and attention to detail, so buckle up because we’re about to break-down how to do this.

Some fragile objects, such as authentic Chinese porcelain, can last up to a thousand years, or at least that’s what the Chinese manufacturers used to say about their craft. Perhaps you didn’t really plan on preserving your breakables for centuries on end, but getting to your new home without any damage is what everyone wants. So, make sure you follow our expert guide if you don’t want your bowls or vases to become a loving memory.

Moving Fragile Items Requires Thorough Planning

As soon as you finish your where should I move quiz or determine your reasons to move cross country in another way, it’s time to start planning. Even if the date seems to be far away, breakables are quite tricky because they can only be packed in certain materials, and the procedure is not the same for different categories. So, don’t wait for the eleventh hour to learn how to pack fragile items for moving because that can diminish your chances of succeeding. Start as soon as you can, and you’ll enjoy the benefits later on.

Pens next to a planner
Make sure you start planning on time

What to Use to Pack Fragile Items and How to Choose the Right Cardboard Box?

Packaging fragile items requires the right materials and supplies because not being attentive about these can lead to terrible results. So, boxes and packing supplies usually cannot be changed with DIY alternatives for the simple reason that you risk breaking some of your valuables if you go for a yet untested option. That being said, here are the things you should search for:

  • Packing paper for moving – In abundance, actually. This is a task in which there’s never too much paper, so make sure you obtain large quantities.
  • Bubble wrap – A good candidate for the title of the best packing material for fragile items, it can help you with almost any piece.
  • Pieces of cardboard – You can use them to your advantage in various ways.

Use a Sturdy Cardboard Box for Packing

You should dedicate a part in your organization and moving binder to getting the right box for every fragile item you own. In order to know what these are, you must create a household inventory list and single out the breakable pieces. Then, you’re ready to hunt for containers.

If you’re looking into how to pack glasses for moving long-distance, or plates for that matter, you’ll see that in that case, there’s a possibility of placing more than one piece inside. In most other cases, that is not possible however, so bear that in mind.

Cardboard containers on the floor
Getting to your new home is more comfortable with these

How to Wrap Fragile Items?

If feeling remorse is not on your things to do after moving checklist, make sure you wrap your belongings with care. Wrapping is just a small part of the entire process, but if you mess up there, you might ruin it all. And in case of any unexpected problems or moving scams, the insurance company will usually pay your indemnification only if you prepared the item for transport and shipping properly. Take a look at the following video if you’d like to learn more about this skill.

Getting Down to Packing

There’s a logic that you can apply for almost all of your belongings in this category. And if you want to achieve the desired result, take your time and do each step with a clear mind. Grab your moving essentials because these are the steps.

Step 1 – How Do You Wrap a Fragile Object?

Cover your item entirely depending on the category.  And remember to seal it with enough tape. Then, you’re ready to check if there’s any bit sticking out. Your chances are as big as the chances of your most vulnerable parts making it through the relocation, so keep that in mind. If it’s all fine, you can move on.

Step 2 – Take a Container That Is the Right Size and Grants You Enough Protection

As discussed above, you need a container large enough to contain your item. Double- wall boxes are a better choice than single wall here because they are more resilient to all they have to take during the cross country moving. And if you’re moving in winter, you’ll be wanting even better protection, so do research on best options.

Step 3 – Fill the Void

Regardless of what material you opt for, ensure you fill your box with padding. It can be wadded paper, foam or peanuts. But you should first fill the container to half and then put your wrapped item in the center and ensure it is not close to the edges. After that fill all the remaining space with protective material. The more loose space you leave, the more chance your item will be thrown around and that is something you want to avoid.

Step 4 – Seal the Package Shut

When you’ve finished the preparation phase, ensure you seal your package with tape. If it is a heavy item, you can also make an X with tape to reinforce the bottom. The tape should be flat  or else it might lose its protective value.

Step 5 – Label Which Side Is Up for Long Distance Moving

After you have written fragile across your carrier, ensure you signal clearly what side is up so that you or cross country movers know exactly how to handle it.

A person taping a container
Can you put fragile on a package? Of course, but all of these steps must be followed through

Packing Tricky Objects

Working out the question of how much do movers cost and letting them take the upper hand with this is the easiest route, especially if you’re moving to another state alone. Still, if you want to handle your possessions on your own, it might help to know what to do about particular categories.

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How to Prepare China for Relocation?

China is in some people’s families for a very long time and usually represents a memory. So, whether you’re moving for love, or taking memories of it with you, you want to give it all you’ve got to ensure your China is fully protected. And this is how you deal with a beautiful dinner set:

  • Take care of all the components separately,
  • Plates should be wrapped in stacks consisting of at least three or four pieces,
  • Bowls go one by one, especially in this case when they’re all valuable,
  • Glasses can be prepared following the standard rules.

How Do You Pack Fragile Figurines?

Many collectors or art fans like figurines whose shape and volume can range a lot. Still, they’re all pretty frail, so you might want to do all you can to ensure they live through the transition. The following procedure will set you up for success:

  • Close any openings or cracks,
  • Wrap the entire figurine and finish it off by wrapping the bundle in bubble wrap,
  • Get a sturdy enough container and repeat the procedure.

How to Deal With Glasses?

If you know how to pack dishes for moving, you’ve been through this already. And if not, now is the right time. If you want to pack a mug or a glass, it should be placed in the corner of your paper. Ensure you’ve got two sheets and ensure you tuck it in the glass as you go. Position a glass six inches from the center and then roll over it. If it’s got a stem, fill the inside with crumpled scraps and protect the stem before you roll.

How to Deal With a Vase?

You don’t want your precious antique pottery to take your mind off searching for answers to pressing questions, such as how to get a job before you move. And vases are special and require extra effort. Don’t forget to put foam around the body and then wrap it three to four times. Close the bottom and upper part with some more bubble wrap and tape and apply the same method as for other boxes when you finish it off.

What About Oddly-Shaped Objects?

If your object creates problems due to its odd shape, there’s a solution. Ensure you wrap it in a padding material, put cardboard as a base and another thick strip of cardboard as a roof layer. Connect the two and seal it with tape. Then bundle it all again.

A white ceramic figurine on a brown wooden table
These need to come home safely too

How Do I Protect My Fragile Packages? – Expert Tips

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready for moving hacks and all the expert tips. Considering all we already explained, try to remember this too.

Don’t Overpack the Box

It’s not the same as learning how to pack clothes for moving. In this case, you must ensure you leave enough space between the objects. All the remaining space should be filled with wadded paper or other cushioning because you want to reduce any chance that your objects will move during the relocation.

What Not to Use to Pack?

Regardless of your moving budget, there are some materials that you should avoid because they can create problems:

  • Flimsy boxes – If a container is not sturdy enough, you’ll do best to avoid it.
  • Newspaper – The method can lead to smudging, and you’ll be safest if you opt for other materials.
  • Towels – They are impossible to tape and thus highly unreliable.
  • Bubbles are actually not a good idea if your item is heavy because they can burst.

Label Is a Must

If you’re wondering how to pack a moving truck, this one is something you should by no means skip. You need to label what side is up and that the contents are fragile by all means.

Consider Dishboxes if You Don’t Want Cardboard

These are quite resistant and for that reason, they can endure long distances. Investing in them for this purpose is quite worth it since they can help you avoid double packaging.

Packing Fragile Items for Moving Is Made Easier With Celldividers

These can be made out of cardboard and they come in handy if you want to create space to put more objects in the box. Just ensure you don’t abuse this and finish packing more than you intended.

Stack Vertically

This is a rule you should be very careful about. Though things may stand horizontally in a cupboard, they must be packed vertically for shipping or transportation to avoid any potential damage.

A man carrying a heavy container with a red label
Expert tricks can turn you into a pro in no time

Professional Long Distance Movers Know How to Pack Fragile Items or Prepare Them for Storage

A reputable company will ensure to answer all your questions such as how to package fragile items for shipping or lend you a hand with top-rated cross country moving services such as packing services that come with boxes and moving supplies, or car shipping, and storage services. Perhaps you’ll do best to contact and rely on professionals and ensure the safety of your breakables that way.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

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