Moving house can be a pretty stressful experience. The last thing you need on the big day is a pile of broken crockery, cracked dishware, and smashed glasses.
Packing Tips To Save Your Breakables
Fortunately, we’re here to offer some tips and tricks for packing your breakable goods in preparation for the move.
The Right Containers
When transporting your precious cargo, you may want to consider investing in thicker, sturdier boxes. You can buy boxes called ‘dish barrels,’ which use double-walled corrugated cardboard to give your dishes added security. They’re a bit more expensive than regular cardboard boxes, but many homeowners think the peace of mind is worth the investment.
However, if all you have is good old-fashioned cardboard, all you need is a bit of extra padding to help safely ship your valuables. Start by adding a thick layer of crumpled padding to the bottom of the box before you stack your dishes. Next, ensure that there are no open pockets in the container for the dishes to slide around. Then, simply fill them with padding so they sit snugly in the center of the container.
The Right Tape
You may be tempted to use masking tape or duct tape to close up your boxes if you have it lying around the house. Don’t. When packing for a move, you need to use a wide tape with a strong adhesive. The wider the tape, the better coverage you get on the box, and the stronger the adhesive, the more secure the box will be.
- Masking tape is thin, narrow, and has a weak adhesive. Masking tape is used mostly in painting, literally to “mask off” areas that don’t need to be painted. While it might be an excellent choice for painters, it’s less than ideal for homeowners on the move.
- Duct tape uses a rubber adhesive that makes it extremely sticky; so sticky, in fact, that it can become a major problem when unpacking boxes. Plus, it leaves a nasty residue, doesn’t adhere well to cardboard, and is generally more expensive than other kinds of tape, and this cost really adds up when you’re using tape on all your boxes.
The Right Choice
The simplest solution is simply to use packing tape. There’s a reason it’s called that! It’s the thin, clear tape; the kind found on those tape guns that professional movers use. It’s also several inches wide and super adhesive, which makes it ideal for sealing your boxes uptight. Plus, the tape gun makes application quick and easy. When sealing a box, draw the tape across the bottom and about a third of the way up each side for extra security. This will also help keep the box square while you’re packing it.
There are a surprising number of items you can use to pad your breakable items. You want to ensure that your items are well cushioned to protect against bouncing, jostling, and potential impacts. A thin, flat layer of paper or fabric just won’t cut the mustard here. If you’re working with a thin material, just bunch or crumple it up, so your goods aren’t touching in the box. Whatever product you end up using, apply it generously!
- Packing paper is the industry standard and can be bought almost anywhere for an affordable price. Plus, you can recycle it once you’re done with your move. If you are using packing paper, however, be sure to crumple and layer it, so it provides cushioning for your items.
- Newspaper can also be a great substitute for packing paper: it’s readily available, recyclable, and there’s plenty of it. Be careful, though, as newspaper ink can rub off, leaving prints or stains on your dishware. In most cases, it will wash right off, but you may not want to risk it with your grandma’s fine china.
The more budget-friendly option is to use something you already have lying around the house. This can be newspaper, pillowcases, sheets, towels, or even t-shirts. For wrapping delicate items, towels are probably ideal: they provide lots of cushions and are large enough that they can usually accommodate several dishes each.
If you’re going to use thinner fabrics like pillowcases, sheets, or t-shirts, try to fold them multiple times or crumple them as you would with packing paper. You can also tuck your glasses and stemware into thick socks and separate them with some additional padding!
We hope these tips help to set your mind at ease. Moving can be stressful, but with a little bit of preparation and proper packing, you’ll have no problem settling into your new home with all your dishware intact!
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.