5 Fragile Items to Transport Yourself During a Move

Moving to a new home is an impactful life change that requires careful coordination of time, money and resources. One of the major expenses besides the actual home can be hiring packers and movers to transport your possessions and property from your old home to your new one. You may be weighing the pros and cons of hiring professional movers versus recruiting friends and family. It is true that having professional movers on hand can save you a lot of time, and oftentimes, money. If you prefer to have more control over your move, however, a do-it-yourself packing experience may be more desirable. When it comes to fragile items, some items like plasma TVs, large works of art or bulky home aquariums are best left to the professionals. There are many items, however, that only require diligent wrapping and cushioning, making you capable of packing them yourself. The following guide lists the fragile items you can pack and transport yourself during a move and provides tips for packing them securely.

  1. Kitchenware and GlasswarePacking up your kitchen can be one of the most time-consuming tasks of moving because there are usually many small items that need to be packed. Gather your friends and family to create an assembly line for sorting, wrapping and packing and you can finish quickly. Wrap each dish individually in packing paper, then stack four or five together and wrap the outside once again. Cups and bowls and can be packed one inside the other. It is important to take extra care when packing glassware. Use packing paper to wrap each piece and line your boxes with bubble wrap, cloth or towels to provide extra cushioning. Using cell boxes with internal dividers is a convenient way to protect your kitchenware and glassware, but they are not always required if you wrap each item individually and pad the boxes well.
  2. Vases and LampsVases and lamps are often difficult to transport because they are not symmetrical and may not be composed of standard shapes. The key is wrapping them evenly to prevent shock and impact, which can cause breakage. Bubble wrap is often the best choice, especially for the most fragile lamps and vases. However, if you are on a tight budget, towels and blankets that you need to take to your new house anyway are also useful for wrapping fragile items. Use masking tape to seal all the seams of the bubble wrap, and place the vase or lamp into a box padded with newspaper. This will further help absorb any impact the box may encounter on its way to your new home.
  3. PlantsIf you are planning to transport your houseplants during your move, there may be a chance of breaking the pots or damaging the plants themselves. There is a risk that your plants may move around or get squashed in a large moving truck full of boxes so it is sometimes best to pack and transport your plants in your own vehicle. Make sure that the pot is set firmly on the floor with enough space around it that it will not bump against other objects that may damage it. If you are transporting several plants, you may want to wrap the pots with newspaper or cloth to protect against potential impacts.
  4. Framed photographsFramed photographs, though susceptible to breakage, are easy enough to manage on your own without the help of professional movers. Be sure to make a cross or similar crosshatching across the glass panel with masking tape in case the glass breaks and use the bubble wrap to completely wrap the rest of the frame. When placing the frames in boxes, use small sheets of cardboard to separate them and add additional padding.
  5. Antiques and collectibles Since antiques, family heirlooms and collectibles usually have sentimental value, you may want to pack them yourself so that you are sure none of them go missing (accidentally or due to theft) during the move and that they are being handled with the appropriate care. Because of their value, it is especially essential to use correct packing techniques to ensure they make it through the move. The method you use to pack your valuables depends on what the object is, its materials and shape. For example, if it is a serving dish or set of glass goblets, use the same packing paper that you would use with other kitchenware and glassware. If it is an antique vase, on the other hand, bubble wrap is a safer choice.

Additional Packing Tips

In addition to the specific strategies for securing these types of fragile possessions, here are a few general tips that can help you throughout your move.

  • First of all, remember not to overload your boxes. Use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for lighter ones. This makes them easier to lift and transport.
  • Similarly, within each box, put heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. This prevents damage caused by weight crushing your more fragile possessions.
  • Additionally, remember to surround your fragile items with crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts. Do not leave empty spaces in the boxes because this allows room for your breakables to move around, impact each other and shatter.
  • Finally, remember to tape your boxes securely closed and label them as “Fragile.” This informs anyone who handles them to do so with care.