How to Pack Fragile Items

How to Pack Fragile Items

How to Pack Fragile Items

Whether you’re getting ready to move to a new home or simply packing up some belongings to put into storage, it’s important to take special care with glass, mirrors, framed paintings, and other fragile items. If you are looking for how to pack fragile items, we’ve got you covered with tips for dishes, china, stemware, mirrors, and more.

Proper packing methods can mean the difference between preserving your belongings and finding them cracked when you unpack. With that in mind, let’s talk about the best methods for packing and storing your most precious and breakable possessions.

10 Essential Tips for How to Pack Fragile Items

Tip #1:  Purchase quality packing supplies in the right types and sizes. Generally, small, sturdy boxes are best.  Packing breakables in a large box can result in boxes being too heavy and may endanger the contents. Used free boxes may have been weakened by moisture or other damage.

Tip #2: Get plenty of packing tape for the exterior. For organization and protection within the box, you will want regular tape, flexible cardboard pieces, permanent magic markers, and plenty of packing material. Ideally, you should have the following: bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing peanuts. You may also use old tee-shirts, towels, or pillowcases. 

Tip #3: Take your time packing fragile items. If you rush, you’re more likely to wrap things improperly. 

Tip #4: Wrap up the most valuable and/or important items first. That way you will use your best boxes and best wrapping materials for the things that matter most to you.

Tip #5: Irregularly shaped items or items with sharp edges should not be packed in bubble wrap. Instead, wrap them in paper and use plenty of cushioning around them.

Tip #6: Fill empty spaces in the boxes with extra paper or old tee-shirts, but be careful not to overpack them. The idea is to provide cushioning on all sides and between each breakable item.

Tip #7: Be sure to use packing tape to seal the box. Add packing tape to the bottom of the box if you are concerned about how well it will hold.  According to the U.S. Post Office, you should avoid using twine or cord on the outside of your boxes because it is likely to catch on something.

Tip #8: Label all boxes clearly with the word “Fragile” and make sure to indicate the top of the box as well.  Use a color, such as red, so that a person can recognize fragile boxes from a distance. You may want to add a “This Side Up” on your boxes.

Tip #9: When the moving truck is packed, fragile boxes should be on top of non-fragile boxes.  Each one should be placed carefully and made secure for transport.

Tip #10: Upon arrival, open the truck slowly to make sure nothing can fall out.  Take care while unloading not to disturb a box of fragile items. You don’t want it to crash to the pavement when you are getting something else out of the truck. Select several places in the house where all fragile boxes should be placed for protection until they can be unpacked.

fragilePacking Fragile Items: A Guide to Each Type

Plates: wrap each plate in bubble wrap. For fine china, insert a foam layer or cardboard between each plate. Tape the packing materials in place. 

Glasses: wrap each individual piece in newspaper, bunching some up to put inside the glass as well. Secure the paper with tape. Layer heavy glasses on the bottom of boxes. Then, cover them with pliable cardboard, and place lighter items on top. Use this same method for vases and hollow collectible items.

Mirrors, Artwork, Framed Photos: Begin by placing painter’s tape on the surface of the glass in a star pattern to help absorb shocks and prevent cracking. You should then cushion the corners of the mirror or glass item with foam and wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap secured with packing tape. Smaller mirrors and flat glass items should be wrapped the same way and placed in corrugated mirror boxes. Group pieces by size for shipping.

A Few Last Thoughts

If placing the items in storage, remember these three tips:

  • Do not stack heavy items on top of fragile items. Even if the boxes are well-packed, another box’s weight may cause damage.
  • Always store mirrors, pictures, and other large, flat items made of glass upright – never place anything on top of them. If you must, steady them with boxes or furniture to ensure that they won’t fall.
  • Be sure to stack your boxes by weight with the heaviest at the bottom, working your way up to the lightest. This will reduce the chances of breakage.

Be sure to stack your boxes by weight with the heaviest at the bottom, working your way up to the lightest. This will reduce the chances of breakage. 

If you follow these steps on how to pack fragile items, there’s a very good chance that your breakables will survive your move and their time in storage without breaking. Speaking of storage, self-storage keeps the clutter down in your house and reduces stress during a big move.  Click your state to get started: Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.

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