Posted by Clive Braude on 23rd Feb 2017
As if moving to a new address in a new community isn’t hard enough without having to think about your packing job.
Moving is stressful business, in part because you’re literally packing up everything you own, putting it on a truck, and setting up shop in an entirely new place - usually all in one day - but secondly, because maybe you’re not great at packing, and when you get to your new place, your stuff could be damaged.
In order to combat the packing blues, we’ve compiled a list of ways to protect your furniture and other belongings during a move.
Gather Your Supplies
You may think that all you need is a few boxes, some tape, and a moving blanket or two - but you’re wrong. Packing up your furniture and other possessions requires a slew of items that are going to make your packing job durable enough to endure a lengthy move. Gather up some:
Padding Is Your Friend
When you’re packing up your kitchen, family heirloom bone china, crystal, or anything fragile - invest the extra time to carefully pack and pad every single individual piece with newspaper, bubble wrap, or another material that helps to soften the blow or jolt of a mid-journey fall. By individually wrapping each piece, you eliminate the hard surfaces needed to cause fractures in your dishes and other breakable valuables.
Give yourself plenty of time to do this, consider starting a few days prior to the bulk of your moving responsibilities to make sure that everything is protected and safe early on. When you’re packing these items in boxes, make sure that the box is the right size - a huge box for a few small trinkets is going to spell problems for your breakables - make sure that the box is snug, and keeps everything in the place you’ve packed it.
The same goes for paintings, mirrors, and especially your beloved furniture. Furniture is an often overlooked item of needed protection during a move as fabric can tear, leather can scratch and cushions can become damaged. Invest the time to carefully pad and cushion corners, protect the finishes of valuable wooden furniture, and glass-topped tables with moving blankets or something similar.
Tie Everything Down
Truly, what good is taking the time to pack if you toss everything in the truck all willy-nilly? When you make sure to tie everything down using adjustable rachet straps or rope, you’re doing your best to be sure that they stay in an upright position, just as you’ve left them.
If you are opting to move your old mattress instead of buying a brand new bed and mattress. Tie your mattress and box spring to the side of the truck wall using a ratchet strap and use the space in between the wall and the mattress to snugly secure your headboard or box frame. The same goes for tall dressers, desks, and other large pieces. Aside from damaging themselves if they fall over during the move, these pieces are usually big enough to seriously damage other more fragile boxes and packables, too.
Don’t forget to strap down the boxes as well. Stacking boxes to maximize your potential for truck space is key to making your move a one-trip day, but having them teetering on the brink of disaster isn’t safe, smart, or economical. Same gist remains, restrain and support boxes that get stacked high to eliminate the chances of falling over - and - make sure to stack them according to what you’ve packed. For example, don’t pack breakables on the bottom, with a mountain of boxes filled with books on top.
Finding and using the correct boxes for a move can be tough. Sometimes we’re reduced to picking through the wine boxes at the local liquor store, or sorting through banana crates at the grocery store. If you’re opting to hire movers, sometimes services include boxes or tough totes that the company will allow you to use for a nominal fee.
Try to find boxes of varying size. A massive box filled with books, magazines, artwork, or pots and pans will be incredibly heavy to lift, so separate those heavy objects into smaller boxes that can be moved and stacked easily, reducing the likelihood of dropping them, or tearing through the box itself.
If you’re storing some of your possessions in an off-site storage facility, opt to use plastic totes to protect your furniture and boxes from damp/wet floors and mildew. A good tip is to to line the floor of your storage unit with pallets to raise them up off the floor.
Whenever possible, dismantle and take apart your furniture for transport. This means taking the legs off of your coffee and dining room tables - even couches. Unhinge and break down bed frames. Empty dresser drawers, and tape them shut to avoid them smashing fingers or damaging themselves.
Taking apart your furniture will make moving these items much easier to move and pack on the truck. It also will help to eliminate any damage caused by rolling or brushing up against walls and door frames as you move them out of the house or apartment. Use your plastic sealable bags or garbage bags to organize and store all of the applicable hardware, table legs, etc that you need to re-assemble at your new address.
Big tip: Try to do this a few days prior to moving day to save yourself from rushing.
Now, wrap everything. Use the bubble wrap or corrugated cardboard sheets to separate and protect wooden pieces from becoming scratched and gouged during the move.
Placement in the Truck
How you organize and pack your stuff matters. Take the time to plot a course of action, and plan your truck-packing to maximize your space and reduce the chances of damaging your stuff.
-Start by building a secure wall of boxes at the back of the truck. Choose the heavy and durable boxes first, tack them securely to add stability.
-Next comes square furniture. Tables, dressers, and desks. Place them directly up against your wall of boxes. Use the tops of tables and dressers to pack more boxes - perhaps some of the more fragile ones that won’t have more boxes stacked on top of them.
-Mattresses next. Followed by upholstered pieces of furniture like couches, chairs and daybeds. Wrap your upholstered pieces in bubble wrap or moving blankets to prevent them from getting dirty and being punctured by a moving corner, or sharp object in the truck. Use some rope to secure these pieces to the sidewalls of the truck so you can evenly and neatly pack additional items around them.
-Fill the front of the truck with all of the easily transportable, awkwardly shapes items. These can come off easily and be moved quickly when you arrive at your new home.
Should You Hire Movers?
Ask yourself if the additional cost of hiring movers is worth it. Many moving companies can make short work of a modest family home in under a few hours, and they have the experience to move awkward and heavy items of furniture with ease. They’ll also have the confidence to move these pieces without damaging them.
Some moving companies include packing services as well - and even bring the boxes, wardrobe packing boxes, and specialized industry moving equipment most people don't have readily available to them - like piano moving skids and dolly’s.
For the additional cost, and peace of mind that your furniture is going to be moved by professionals - movers are the #1 choice for many people swapping addresses.
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