How to Pack Fragile Items

Fragile itemsPacking your belongings can be time-consuming and tiring work. One thing that many people worry about when packing is making sure that their fragile items – things like china, crystal, and fine keepsakes – are packed in such a way that they will still be in one piece on the other end of their move. If you want to ensure that your precious belongings are safe, you need to consider a variety of things, including packing materials, packing strategy, and transportation.

Packing Materials

Choosing the right packing materials is a must if you want to make sure that your belongings are safe. It’s not enough simply to wrap dishes in newspaper and hope for the best. Here are some tips for choosing the proper packing materials for your fragile items:

  • Sturdy boxes of the proper size. If you pack small fragile items in a large box, they might shift around and get damaged. Large fragile items are best stored in their original packaging if you have it. Dishes are best packed into dish storage boxes, which tend to be sturdier than regular cardboard.
  • Cushioning materials, including bubble wrap, foam peanuts, and polystyrene filler can all help to fill the space between items and keep them protected. If you don’t have these things, you can use extra towels or even clothing as fillers.
  • Cardboard partitions make a good addition to boxes, especially if you are transporting glasses. The partitions keep the glasses isolated and immobile during your move. You can buy cardboard partitions or get boxes that already have them from your local liquor or grocery store.
  • Plain newsprint or tissue paper makes a good added layer of protection for dishes and other breakables. Your best bet is to buy plain packing paper instead of using recycled newspaper. In some cases, the newsprint can bleed and stain your belongings.

You should also make sure to have a permanent black marker to use to label your boxes. Anything with fragile items in it should be labeled properly so that you know which items to handle with care.

Packing Methods

packaging fragileNow let’s talk about some specific methods you can use to pack your fragile and valuable items.

  1. To pack fragile items, start with boxes made especially for dishes. Tape the bottoms securely and make sure that you use strong packing tape, not duct tape or masking tape. The tape should extend about a third of the way up the sides of the box for maximum security.
  2. Fill the bottom of the box with crumpled paper (newspaper or blank newsprint is best.) Crumpling the paper is preferable to folding it or layering it because it provides a good cushion for your valuables.
  3. Wrap each fragile item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper. Secure the wrapping with tape and make sure each item is completely covered. You may want to double-wrap extremely fragile items such as stemware.
  4. Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of the box and lighter items on top. Be careful not to overload the box. Like-size dishes can be stacked as long as there are at least two layers of paper between them.
  5. If you hear items clanking together or bumping into one another, you have not used enough paper. Repack and add more paper as needed.
  6. Stop about three inches from the top. You can layer small, non-breakable items like plastic on top, and then fill in the space to the top of the box with more crumpled paper. Fill it enough so that when you seal the box, the top remains firm.
  7. Securely tape the top of the box, and label it as fragile.

When you are loading your moving truck, make sure not to place heavy boxes on top of your fragile items. You should also make sure that the boxes themselves are secured so that they do not shift during transport.

If you follow these suggestions, you should arrive with your fragile items intact and ready to be put away in your new home.

Posted in Packing Tips and tagged .