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Packing Fragile, Oddly Shaped or Sharp Items

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There are certain items that require special attention when being wrapped up and packed away. These fragile, and oddly shaped items need to be packed in the best possible way to ensure that they arrive in your new home free of any damage.

Packing Fragile Items

Most of your delicate and fragile possessions are ornamental or reserved for special occasions. Since you don't use these items daily, they can be packed away in advance to avoid rushing through the process. Allowing yourself ample time to carefully pack your breakables will ensure that the job is done right. Stow the boxes in a low-traffic section of your house to keep them safely out of the way while you are struggling to complete last-minute packing tasks.

Before you start packing, you will need to have the right packing materials. You should always use high-quality sturdy packing materials to ensure that your fragile items survive the transport.

Things you'll need:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Old newspapers
  • Tissue paper
  • Old towels or blankets
  • Styrofoam peanuts
  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Durable packing tape
  • Labels and stickers
  • Black permanent marker

Once you have acquired these materials, you are ready to pack individual items.

Packing coffee mugs and teacups

Packing mugs and teacups and similar items can be done in three easy steps:

  1. The first step in wrapping coffee mugs and teacups is to protect the handles. Crumple up a piece of newspaper and stuff it into the hole in the handle to provide support.

  2. Place the mug on its side on top of a piece of newspaper. Carefully roll the mug or cup forward, wrapping it with the paper as you go. You can then fold up the paper near the bottom and stuff the excess paper at the top into the opening. If your items need extra protection, you can also put a layer of bubble wrap over the newspaper.

  3. Once the mugs and teacups are sufficiently protected, place them into a box lined with newspaper or bubble wrap. If there is any extra room in the box, put some crumpled pieces of newspaper or packing peanuts to provide cushioning. Once the box is fully secure, tape it shut and label it "Fragile."

Packing wine glasses

Wine glasses are even more fragile and require the use of tissue paper and multiple-celled boxes.

  1. First, crumple up some newspaper and stuff it into the globe of the glass. Fill the globe completely, but don't pack the paper in too tightly.

  2. Lay the glass on its side on top of two or three pieces of tissue paper. The glass should be lying perpendicular to the corner of the paper. You should then wrap the glass in the paper, tucking the corners into the globe and ensuring the stem is completely wrapped. At this point, put the glass into a celled cardboard box stem first.

  3. After the wineglasses are in the box, fill the rest of the box with additional packing materials. Place bubble wrap on top of the glasses, so everything is secure and well-cushioned. Seal the box and label it as "Fragile."

TIP: Cell boxes are optimal for packing wine glasses and other fragile glassware because of the cardboard dividers. These keep the glasses stationary during transit and prevent them from banging together and cracking.

Packing knives

Though there are plenty of different methods for wrapping and packing your knives, the goal is always the same -- protecting your knives and yourself.

  • One way to wrap up your knives is to use knife guards, which fit over the blades of your knives. Some knives come packaged with these. You can also buy knife guards online or at a kitchen supply store. After putting the knife guards onto your knifes, wrap them individually with newspaper.

  • You can also buy a knife roll to pack up your knives. Knife rolls are sheets of canvas with built-in placeholders for knives. After placing each knife in the canvas, you can conveniently roll it up to safely pack away your knives.

  • You can make a knife roll yourself with an old towel. Place a knife at the edge of the towel and roll it forward a little. Then, put the next knife on and roll the towel again. Keep doing the process until all of your knives are safe and secure inside the towel.

Once the knives are packed up, put them in a small box with plenty of newspaper and clearly indicate that the box contains knives. This way, when it comes to unpacking, you will be prepared to unload your knives.

Packing plates and dishes

Whether you need to pack an antique china collection or everyday dinner plates, the process is the same.

  1. Begin by wrapping each plate individually with bubble wrap or unprinted newspaper. If using newspaper, remember to use two or three sheets to prevent the plates from getting chipped during the move.

  2. For extra cushioning, line the bottom of the box with layers of newspaper or bubble wrap. When putting the dishes into the box, place them vertically to help avoid rattling and vibration which can damage the plates.

  3. Fill in any gaps in your box with more packing material. Once you close the box, remember to seal it properly and label as "Fragile."

Wrap all fragile items in high-quality packing paper and bubble wrap

For the best protection, use ample padding inside all boxes. Line the bottom of your box with crumpled paper, packing peanuts or towels. Place the items inside carefully and fill any empty spaces between them with more padding. After the box is fully packed, top it off with several sheets of packing paper or a towel/blanket for extra security.

Close the box's flaps and do the "shake test" by lifting the box and carefully shaking it to see if anything inside moves or rattles. If so, you require more cushioning. The goal is to ensure everything in the box remains stationary during transit.

TIP: Clearly label al boxes "FRAGILE" and "This Side Up," so the movers know how to carry and set the box down. Label each side of the box -- the words should be visible from every direction.

Rather than replacing damaged items that weren't wrapped properly, take the time to properly wrap and package your belongings before your move. By following the advice in this guide, you can be sure that your fragile belongings will make it through the move in good condition.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on November 26, 2018

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