Northern Virginia Moving Blog

How to Pack Fragile Items with Household Goods—and Save Money!

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 26, 2016 7:22:12 AM / by Michael Rhodes


One of the most common moving-related questions is how to pack fragile items. Whether those fragile items are valuable or not, it is always nerve-racking to try to transport these delicate belongings. Luckily, there are a few helpful moving tips that will not only contribute to your items arriving intact, but they could actually cut down on your cost to move!


Best Moving Tips for Packing Fragile Items on the Cheap


The Three Items You Should Always Move Yourself

If you’re looking into self-packing, one of the best moving tips you can follow is the rule of three. That is, pack lamps, artwork, and small electronics yourself. This is one of the best ways to save money during a move. Some movers estimate it could save you upwards of $30 per box!


How to Pack Lamps


Lamps are always an awkward (and expensive) item to pack. If you have your local moving company handle this for you, it will require two full boxes—one for the lamp and one for the shade. That means you have to pay for two cardboard moving boxes…per lamp. If you can transport these items yourself, that can end up saving you a big chunk of change.


To ensure each lamp arrives in one piece, use pillows or couch cushions to protect the lamp. This will cushion the blows of moving and avoid chips or shattering, but it also means you’ve already transported the bulky pillows or couch cushions along with the lamp.


One of the best packing tips for lamps is to avoid merely using paper for cushion. That often isn’t substantial enough to offer any real protection.


How to Pack Pictures and Artwork


From framed family photos to artwork, pictures are yet another tricky item for move day. One of the best ways to transport pictures and avoid having to pay for packing supplies is to use large bath towels or hand towels to wrap the pictures and then place them gently and securely in the back of your car. This offers great cushion, you don’t have to pay for pricy picture boxes (the most expensive moving boxes), and you’re also transporting your bulky towels.


Just make sure you use towels you don’t mind getting a little dirty in the back of your car.


How to Pack Small Electronics


Small electronics are another item you can easily wrap yourself and self-transport in the back of a car. Electronics are often very delicate and shouldn’t be turned upside down or knocked around too much, so wrapping them individually in clothes, towels, or rags and keeping them out of the moving truck is an easy way to save money and the potential hassle of broken DVD players and wireless speakers.


Moving Packing Tips: Important Things to Keep in Mind


How to Pack Small Breakable Items


Knowing how to pack for a move can be confusing, and knickknacks and other small fragile items can make that even more problematic. If you don’t want to pay for protective wrapping for that collection of breakables, you can always use old T-shirts or stained rags. Just remember to use items you don’t mind getting a bit dirty.


How to Pack Moving Boxes (General Advice)


Fragile or not fragile, there is certainly a best technique when it comes to packing moving boxes. You always want to make sure the box is filled full. When it’s taped shut, there can even be a slight bulge on top. You don’t want it so full that the box is going to burst the tape open, but it also shouldn’t leave room for items to roll or shift during transport. Especially for fragile items, that’s a recipe for broken possessions.


Self-Packing and Self-Transport


Whenever possible, keep the boxes for large items, such as panel TVs. This guarantees the box will be a perfect fit, and it saves you from needlessly purchasing yet another box.


One note: Be aware that if you pack your own items versus letting the movers do this, your moving company will not insure those boxes. Unless the movers physically pack the boxes and can confirm this was done correctly, they simply won’t insure that work.


Other Items to Self-Pack

Anything odd-shaped, bulky, or not stackable is a good candidate for self-packing.


This includes: 

  • Artificial flower arrangements.
  • Tools.
  • Lawn care equipment.


For bulky sweaters and other cloths, put these in suitcases rather than purchasing unnecessary boxes. Transporting empty suitcases is just one way people make moves more costly than they need to be.


Start Early!


To avoid a lot of major stress, start as early as possible with your packing. Items such as pictures on the wall and anything else you don’t immediately need access to can be done weeks in advance.


For more packing tips or information about how to safely transport your fragile items, please feel free to contact a representative of All Star Movers, Northern Virginia movers with over thirty years of experience in the business.

Free Moving Estmate - Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC

Topics: Important Moving Tips, Moving Costs, Moving Packing Tips, Packing Supplies, Packing Fragile Items

Michael Rhodes

Written by Michael Rhodes

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