How to Pack Valuables?
Picture this: after weeks and weeks of packing, your hands, covered in cardboard-induced paper cuts, finally tape up the last box and load it onto the moving van. So you gather the kids, take one last look in the rearview mirror, and head to your new home.
But when you get there, you realize: the work is only half done. You have to unpack. And you still have to take care of your family while you do it.
So you head to the boxes marked “kitchen” and start searching for some bowls, pans, and utensils to cook with.
But when you go to unpack the kitchen plates (the plates you’ve had since your wedding; the plates with the little blue spirals that you love), you only find glass shards. All your beautiful plates are broken.
Luckily, if you are still in the pre-packing stage of moving, this stressful situation can be avoided. Keep reading for some simple tips that will keep your favorite plates—and any other fragile or valuable items—safe from harm during a move.
Keep Small Items Close
If you have small things you absolutely cannot afford to lose, keep them in a bag with you or in your car when you move. This might include expensive jewelry, important documents, family heirlooms, money, and so on. Additionally, if you hire a moving company, they would rather that you keep your valuables with you so that they are less liable.
Choose Your Packing Materials Wisely
It’s surprising how many cardboard boxes intended for moving do not come with handles. It’s much easier to drop a box and break everything inside of it when you have to find a way to lift it off the floor without handles. To avoid this, get boxes with handles or cut your own.
Also make sure your packing boxes are sturdy. It’s useful to get all your boxes for free from a grocery or book store, but make sure that the used boxes are strong enough to keep your belongings secure.
Use baskets, suitcases, and laundry hampers as containers for your belongings. Suitcases with wheels are great for heavier items, and baskets are perfect for items you need easy access to like snacks, electronics, or toiletries.
If your boxes don’t completely fill the moving van, consider piling boxes on crates and shrink wrapping them to keep them from tumbling around. You can find crating from Toronto to Tulsa through companies like Pack-All International.
Protect Items from Each Other
When you are packing things like hair products or condiments, unscrew the lids and place a piece of saran wrap over the opening before replacing the lids. That will keep bottles from spilling their contents, making messes, and soiling the other items they are packed with.
Be Extra Careful with Glass and Breakables
Jars, Vases, Glasses. First, stuff the insides of the containers with paper or packing peanuts. Wrap any thin, extended areas with bubble wrap, then wrap the entire object the same way. Place objects into the box and fill the empty spaces with packing peanuts or shredded paper. To save more space, wrap your valuable objects in fluffy socks, sweaters, and scarves (source: eBay).
Dishes. Most resources advise wrapping each of your dishes in large sheets of paper like the cashier did when you bought them. Another tactic is to stack a Styrofoam plate in between each of your breakable plates. Place them sideways in the box, and make sure they have little room to move around.
Glass. Use masking tape or painters tape to make a giant X over any large areas of glass (including mirrors!). The tape will keep the surface from shattering. (Pro tip: heat the tape up with a hairdryer and it will tear off easily in one piece.)
Insure Your Belongings
Sometimes things break even when you’ve done all you can to pack wisely, carry gently, and load carefully. If your movers are the ones handling the boxes, make sure your items are insured through the moving company. That way you will be able to replace the items that suffered damage en route to your new home.
Packing takes a lot of time as it is, but it’s worth it to take even more time to pack carefully. Use these tricks and tips and brainstorm some of your own to make the process as efficient as possible.