Often times the possessions we hold closest to our hearts are the ones a mouse’s sneeze could shatter into a million pieces. Glass trinkets, porcelain plates, huge glowing screens of technological wonder; even that hand carved crystal Star Trek figurine chess set that your girlfriend won’t let you play with anymore. Whether strictly sentimental or part of your financial portfolio (re: hand carved crystal Star Trek figurine chess set), relocating your most delicate belongings to a brand new, international homestead is of paramount importance. So let’s begin with…
1. Broadening Your Horizons
Let’s talk about what your fragile items actually are. There are the basic kitchenware items, such as plates, mugs and wine glasses. Obviously anything made from glass is subject to smashing, such as glass tables or ornaments, potentially creating a lot of dangerous mess to feel sad about while sweeping up. Picture this: Your picture frames are on this list. Moving them from one corner of Europe (or further if you like, it’s your move) to the other is not something to take lightly. Any valuable electronic goods are fragile items, so don’t throw out your flat screen TV’s original packaging. If you have, don’t worry, we will cover this later on. f. Now, Ladies (and Gentlemen if they so choose), your makeup is fragile, and if what we’ve heard snippets of in conversations I should have been listening to is true, expensive. So you need to be very careful and pack your beauty products properly.
Finally, lamp shades. They break so easily if left on the lamp during transport. For many of us, we haven’t invested in expensive lamp shades, so we wouldn’t consider a broken one the end of the world. If, however, your dapper décor is destined to follow you across international borders, please ensure it’s boxed up. While you’re at it, glance around your home now and see what else is more fragile than it looks, and make sure it’s properly protected for your move.
2. The Movers And Shakers
When we assist with any removal, we do so with a duty to keep our customers property in the condition it was packed in. Clearly labelled boxes with the word fragile on them are loaded on top, picture frames and ornaments secured as so they won’t be knocked by any heavier goods. Alas, we can only do this if the items are packed and labelled in the first place. A box of stacked, unwrapped plates will not be protected simply by putting the word fragile on it. Although our professional drivers will load the van to ensure such a box is loaded properly, the road ahead is littered with lumps, bumps and potholes. No one can win a fight with gravity, right? There is no reason your breakables shouldn’t, though. Just make sure they are packaged well enough so that the only thing they do bump into is something soft and padded, thus ensuring your most precious cargo arrives safely.
3. Let’s Wrap This Up
You don’t have to spend big bucks for packing peanuts. The small chunks of styrofoam are a staple part of filling out space in boxes that contain anything breakable. Not sufficient on their own, they none the less prove incredible when used in conjunction with packing paper and blankets. For brand spanking new stuff, try Amazon or eBay to find a good deal. Alternatively, for a low-cost solution, try a local search on Gumtree, Freecycle or Facebook. Many packaging goods can be picked up for, ahem, peanuts and often for free. Bubble wrap is amazing, for some of us simply because we can pop it to feel utterly satisfied at the end of a long day at work. But fresh, unpopped bubble wrap has been an industry standard for years because it’s that good at protecting the things we need moving. Buffing empty box space and wrapping anything you like in it are its primary functions. It’s an inexpensive solution to many of life’s problems (pop some, you won’t regret it) and is often given away if you don’t mind second-hand packaging. Professional packing blankets are exactly what they sound like. They are designed to wrap up larger items and absorb the shock of anything knocking against them. But anything with the word professional in it doesn’t come cheap. I’m a professional blogger and consider myself the epitome of class.
So, the low-cost alternative? Bath towels make for a wonderful wrapping material. Although the shock absorption isn’t as effective, they can be cut to measure, whereas a decent packing blanket will be padded and liable to spill, rendering it useless. Paper is a plate’s best friend. Packing paper to be specific, as it’s durable and thicker than its typical counterparts. It will reduce the chance of any chips in glass, ceramics or porcelain significantly. Screwing it up into balls is another great way to fill box space, much like the packing peanuts. The low-cost alternative, as we are fans of recycling and saving money, is newspapers. Be prepared to use a lot more of it, and as with all things, you get what you pay for.
Last but not least, make sure you use thick and sturdy boxes for anything fragile, alongside some durable packing tape to seal them up as tightly as possible. If whatever is in there is wobbling, it is not protected well enough.
4. The Natural Order Of Things
Finally, make sure your now finely tuned wrapping skills aren’t put to waste by improper packing methods. Plates should be packed vertically – not stacked one on top of another. Box up glasses with crumpled packing paper inside each one, wrapping them separately and having adequate padding between each one and each side of the box (and don’t forget to fill the empty space!) Any ornaments should be wrapped in the same fashion, keeping items of similar weights in the same box (I never transport my collection of priceless Fabergé eggs alongside my prized marble paperweights). The aim of the game being to keep all boxed goods from moving as little as possible, with as little unbalanced force in each box as possible. The same applies to makeup and other high-cost goods. Keep ’em still and covered.
Picture frames should have each side and corner wrapped in the original polystyrene supports, failing this, a homemade equivalent of foam padding is ideal. If the frames can’t be separated from the glass without causing panic, make sure the front and back of the picture and frame are covered with a blanket/towel, or at the very least paper. Lastly, if the original box isn’t available anymore, don’t worry too much. It’s best not to strain the joints by trying to force it into a box that’s too small, a box too large in size will not provide any support.
In an ideal world, a TV or computer should be re-packed in their original boxes alongside their polystyrene supports. Any TV screen/monitor should have the edges padded with foam, the screen covered in a blanket and boxed in a suitable alternative if possible. It’s worth asking your local electronic goods store if they have one in your size (although there’s no need to brag) from one of their display models. Better still, contact your manufacturer and see if they’re able to send a replacement box for your model. Some will, some won’t but it’s always worth asking. If no box is suitable (the stand won’t unscrew for example) then wrap it without prejudice and keep it on the stand, as this is preferable to a flat, unboxed screen. But boxed is always better. Remember to mark boxes as “Fragile” and which way up they should be as to avoid any confusion.