When preparing to move, the thought of packing overwhelms just about everyone. Whether you decide to pack up your belongings by yourself or hire a moving company to do the job, the entire process can be a headache. But it doesn’t need to turn into heartbreak. Here are a few tips to follow to make sure your valuables don’t get lost or damaged during the move.
Keep Important Valuables With You at All Times
It’s nice to pack up as many things as possible in order to travel lightly, but if you’ll be moving a family heirloom, you might want to think twice before relinquishing it to a moving company.
There are a handful of items you should consider keeping by your side throughout the move. Try to maintain possession of birth certificates, passports and other forms of ID, prescription medications, valuable pieces of jewelry, any one-of-a-kind or irreplaceable items like photos and sentimental things, smartphones, laptops, and any important documents you may need to close on your home.
Take Inventory and Get Insurance
You should always take inventory of your belongings before you move. Documenting every little thing you own isn’t realistic, but making a list of your more significant possessions and taking photographs of those items in their original condition can be very helpful should something go wrong.
Anything that goes on a moving truck needs to be covered by insurance. Check your homeowners insurance policy to see if it covers a move. If not, many moving companies offer additional insurance you can purchase. Just remember that it will be easier to make a claim against insurance if you took the time to itemize and document the original state of your items.
Use the Right Boxes
Did you know that there are boxes specially made to transport flat-screen TVs? They have padding to keep the screen safe. There are also special wardrobe boxes designed to pack your hanging clothes. And there are even specialty boxes for stemware, which can be particularly difficult to pack.
Take the time to find the right packing materials and don’t skimp. Even though you may wince at spending $20 on one box, think of it as an investment – a little cost upfront can save you a lot of expense on the back end by avoiding unnecessary damage!
How to Pack Dishes & Artwork
Pack dishes with numerous layers of paper, and stand them in the box on their side rather than flat-side down. By packing them this way, there’s a smaller chance that they will break if something accidentally bumps the side of the box. When packing mirrors, artwork, or anything else under glass, use masking tape (or painter’s tape) to apply an X across the glass surface. The tape will help keep the glass from shattering; you may have seen this technique used on storefront windows during hurricane preparations.
Boxing Basics: The Right Way to Box
Common sense will tell you that when you’re packing items into a box, the heavier items belong on the bottom. But don’t forget to apply that same logic when stacking fully packed boxes. Heavier boxes should always be at the bottom of the pile.
To avoid unnecessary shifting of your fragile things, gently shake your boxes as you pack them to make sure the items are not moving. If there’s movement, add more packing materials. Be sure to tape the top of each box instead of just folding in the box tops.
Lastly, make sure you pack all the boxes to the top so they don’t cave in when something is stacked on top!
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