Moving house: What items are most at risk & how to protect them?


It doesn’t matter whether you’ve moved house 30 times or twice, perfecting the art of it – and yes, there is an art to moving, always seems to be a challenging experience.

Everyone has at least one moving nightmare experience. Usually it’s enough to hire professional removalists to get the job done safely and smoothly.

Whether you’re tackling the job on your own, or hiring someone else to do it, it pays to know what culprits are most likely to get damaged and how you can protect them.

Planning is key to a successful move. Not only does it eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with it, but it gives you time to carefully consider the best way to pack and protect your belongings. No one wants to get settled into their new home by opening up boxes of broken possessions. It’s costly and an outright pain.

Give yourself plenty of time to pack and organise before the big moving day and learn how to keep the items most at risk safe with these tips.

1. Plants.

If you’ve been blessed with a green thumb and invested in inside and outside greenery, moving your plants can be a tricky operation. Plants are difficult to move and expensive to replace, so you want to make sure they make it from the old place to your new home in one piece.

Prepare your plants by cutting off any dead sections. Come moving day, they should be the last items to add to the truck. Get some sturdy boxes with air holes to allow the plants to breathe, and line the boxes with plastic. You can use foam cushioning or bubble wrap between the pot and the box to eliminate the plant shifting during the move too.

Tall plants can be bagged or gently wrapped in plastic to protect them. This is a smart idea if they have fragile branches, or stems and flowers that don’t do well being handled. Utilise cable ties to separate plants for one another and protect branches. Once you’re in the new home, unpack them straight away and give them plenty of water. Avoid moving plants on very hot days, instead opt for early in the morning or overcast days.

2. Glassware.

It should come as little surprise that glassware is a commonly damaged culprit during a move. Despite how fragile they are though; many people underestimate the amount of packing needed to keep them secure.

Pack glassware in a smaller box – you don’t want to exceed 4kg. Each item should be wrapped individually to avoid contact with other breakables in the box or take advantage of glass dividers. Use lots of padding and layering. Bubble wrap is ideal, and anything you can use from around the house, such as cushions, clothes, socks, blankets and towels.

Test boxes before you put them in the truck. If items are moving around and rattling inside, add more padding. If you don’t feel comfortable about dropping the box, they need more protection. Label glassware boxes as fragile so removalists handle them with care.

3. Paintings & artwork.

Prized paintings and artwork are often delicate, valuable and meaningful to their owners. Thus, you don’t to jeopardise these precious items – especially if they’re one of the kind.

Custom containers and materials are available for such items, like travelling frames and slat crates. They ensure pieces are snugly cushioned inside, leaving no room for movement. Use bubble wrap to protect any artwork, canvases, paintings, glass and wooden frames too. Avoid placing canvases next to sharp items as they can easily be teared and punctured.

4. Lamp shades.

Similar to canvas paintings and artwork, lamp shades shouldn’t be packed or placed next to anything sharp which may tear the material. For short moving trips, you can pack the lamp and its base separately. Use a box large enough to comfortably fit the lamp shade, with the bottom of the box lined with padding. Wrap the base of the lamp in bubble wrap and create cushioning in the box. To avoid dints and bends it’s important not to pack anything else with lampshades, unless it’s clothes, towels or linen to act as padding.  

5. Mirrors.

X marks the spot! Utilise masking tape to form an ‘x’ shape across the front of the mirror to prevent it from easily shattering. This also helps to protect the frame and keep it intact. As you would with artwork, special boxes can be used to snugly fit mirrors in. Wrap the mirror with styrofoam or bubble wrap a couple of times around and tape together securely.

Professional removalists will know how to pack the mirror in the truck safely, but if you’re moving it yourself avoid laying it down or putting it on top of anything. Instead, gently wedge it between lounges and larger furniture for support.

6. Crockery.

Plates, cups and other tableware can be wrapped in butcher’s paper or bubble wrap. Avoid using newspaper as the ink can rub off onto the items. Don’t be shy when it comes to using the paper – the more the better.

Separate each item with paper, and use padding in the bottom and top of box to keep it protected. You can pack small stacks of plates into a box, provided paper is placed between each item. Pack larger, heavier plates at the bottom and utilise any leftover butcher’s paper to scrunch up as additional cushioning.

To ace your next move here's what to put in your moving and packing survival kit and week by week moving checklist.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Adlam Transport – Perth office removals and storage specialists operating WA-wide since 1996. Adlam aim to carefully strategise the move for you and have an experienced team of office removalists on board to help protect your valuables. You can catch her on Google+.

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