Packing is one of the most time consuming aspects of moving home, and your valuables in particular will require special attention. Even if you handle them carefully, damage can occur if they are packaged incorrectly. Read our guide to packing valuables to minimise the risk.
Packing up your valuables requires time and attention, even more so than the rest of your stuff, so you must make sure that you’re not packing the night before your big move. Ideally, as soon as you know that you’re moving, start packing your items up so you’re not rushing and can take due care.
Have the Right Materials
Having the right tools and materials could mean the difference between broken valuables and ones that arrive intact. Here’s what you need:
- Boxes. For most of your items, you can borrow boxes, but for your valuables you’ll need new boxes and you may even need specialist boxes. You can even buy specialist flat screen TV boxes that save you time by packing it straight off the wall.
- Bubble wrap
- Foam / void fill
- Shrink wrap
- Packing paper or peanuts. Avoid using printed paper for packing as it can transfer on to hands, clothes and your valuables.
- Tape, blue painters’ tape, fragile tape
Plates should be wrapped individually in bubble wrap, and packed vertically in a small to medium box. Be careful not to over pack the box. Other ceramics should be wrapped with bubble wrap and any spaces in the box filled in with paper or peanuts.
Wrap glasses individually with packing paper and crumple paper inside to diminish empty space. Line boxes with ample packing paper, and place heavy items at the bottom with lighter pieces on top.
Make sure your silverware is washed, dry and polished before packing. This helps prevent any tarnishing that might occur if your items are in storage for longer than expected. First wrap your silverware in cloth or even plastic bags, to prevent them from getting scratched.
Packing electronics can be a little hectic, so it pays to be organised. Label cords and cables before you disconnect them to make unpacking and re-setting up easier. Then, disconnect them, wrap them around themselves and tie with cord ties. When it comes to the main part of the electronic item, wrap in bubble wrap, place in a large box and use paper or peanuts around it.
Earrings – Use a piece of thick card, pierce holes in it and post your earrings through it. Wrap in cloth or a Ziploc bag.
Necklaces – If you’re concerned about tangles, then thread one end of the necklace through a drinking straw and fasten it to help prevent this. Again, wrapping in cloth or placing in a Ziploc bag will prevent damage to your pendants and necklaces.
Try and keep your jewellery separate, as they can scratch each other.
Use a roll up travel bag. These are specially designed for packing jewellery, with compartments for all types of jewellery. They lay flat when open, allowing you to store all your jewellery in various compartments, and then they roll up small. If your jewellery is particularly valuable, keep it with you as you move.
Unframed art – Try not to directly touch the paper unless wearing white cotton gloves. Wrap with acid free tissue paper and place cardboard underneath. Tape your wrapped artwork to your cardboard, and add extra cardboard to both sides, and tape together. Finally, securely tape two pieces of corrugated cardboard to either side, or use a mirror box.
Framed art – Find a box to fit your piece with around three inches of space on every side of the frame. Tape a cross shape across the glass using blue painters’ tape, which will help support the glass if it’s under any pressure, and keep it together so if it breaks it doesn’t cut your art. Wrap in acid free tissue paper and then bubble wrap, concentrating particularly on the corners. Place a layer of foam or packing peanuts for the frame to rest on. Fill the rest of the open areas with packing material. The more snug the fit, the less potential for damage.
Sculpture – Wrap the top half of the sculpture with bubble wrap a few times and tape it. Then, use bubble wrap on the top of this to protect the top. Wrap the bottom half of the sculpture in bubble wrap so it overlaps the top and secure with tape. Place bubble wrap over the bottom and secure with tape. Place in a box on a layer of packing materials and then fill in any empty space with your packing material.
When moving your furniture, make sure it’s clean and try to deconstruct it as much as possible. If you can’t take off doors, drawers or legs, then you will have to find another way to secure them.
To secure drawers and doors, use scrap cardboard to wedge them shut. Add enough cardboard to make sure that they won’t open of their own accord. For feet and legs, wrap each in bubble wrap, enough so you can’t feel them under the wrap.
Wrap the furniture in acid free paper. It doesn’t have to be tight, but it does have to cover the piece completely. Don’t tape the paper to the furniture. Use shrink wrap to secure foam to your furniture, ensuring that it is tight and the foam won’t shift. For extra protection, you can use bubble wrap too.