A young lady packing and shipping labeled boxes.

Expert Small Move Tips for Safe Packing

Planning for your move helps ensure your packages safely arrive where they need to go. The small move plan should include knowing what types of boxes are best and how to pack items securely for a damage-free small move. Many people fail to plan or try to rush through the moving process, which can result in damage and lost items.

At Ship Smart, we can help with small moves, which consist of goods with a total weight of less than 2,000 pounds. Let's look at some small move tips and advice to protect your belongings while they're in transit.

The Basics of Damage-Free Packing

Packing materials come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Still, the kind you choose is imperative in keeping your belongings protected. Commonly used packing materials include boxes and bags, fill packing, and labels. Combining these materials ensures your materials arrive intact. It's important to label each container. This way, you won't have to search for something you need as you unpack.

When moving, choose high-quality boxes designed for shipping. When your fragile belongings arrive at their destination in good condition, you won't have to spend money on replacements. Fragile items include anything that might break in transit, such as glassware, keepsakes, musical instruments, and electronics. If you're unsure if an item is fragile, it's better to be safe than sorry and wrap the object like any delicate item. In addition, shipping boxes are lightweight yet sturdy, which can reduce the overall weight of your personal belongings. To save money, downsize and donate or sell unneeded items.

Essential Tips for Packing Fragile Items

Boxes tend to get bustled around in a move, so you want your breakable items, such as dishes and crystal, to be as protected as possible to safeguard against damage. Consider the following packing tips for managing your delicate possessions.

  • Choose the original packaging when possible: The original box is always a good choice for glass and electronics because it was designed as a perfect fit to prevent shifting and movement during shipping. Kudos if you have the original Styrofoam and inserts.
  • Select your boxes: Pick thick, sturdy boxes without any give.
  • Place dishes and plates separately: Choose small to medium-sized boxes that are manageable to carry. Wrap each plate or dish individually in bubble wrap and tape them. Use crumpled paper on the bottom and top as a filler to prevent shock. The less an item moves within a box, the more secure it is for shipping.
  • Pack glasses in dividers: Use dividers in your boxes for stemware and glasses to keep them from sliding around. Pack the inside of the glasses with packing paper to help soften shock from vibrations.
  • Protect picture frames: Stand pictures and frames horizontally in a box with crumpled paper or bubble wrap between each one to save space. For larger artwork, wrap it in a soft blanket or plastic wrap for protection.
  • Seal packages: Use tape liberally. Place several strips on both the bottom and the top to keep the box from falling apart at the seams due to the weight.
  • Stack items from heaviest to lightest: This helps distribute the weight evenly and prevents smaller items from being crushed.
  • Wrap all delicate items individually: It can be incredibly time-consuming to ensure nothing gets broken, but it's worth the effort. For oddly shaped items, choose a box large enough for the item to fit. Wrap it in bubble wrap, fill the bottom of the box and any empty space with packing paper. Crates work well for larger pieces of valuable art.
  • Label all fragile items: Adequately mark boxes containing breakables to ensure careful handling and safety during transport. Use fragile stickers on all sides or write in bold, large letters.

Preparing Furniture for a Damage-Free Small Move

Consider the following step-by-step guide when dismantling items, such as furniture and other larger objects. While this may be common for many furniture items, you should check with your manufacturer for any moving and disassembly recommendations.

  • Couches and loveseats. Remove throw cushions, seat cushions, and any covers and pack them in a large box or bag to prevent the material from soiling. Unscrew and separate any movable components, including armrests and legs, and wrap them in blankets.
  • IKEA-type furniture. Remove all drawers and stack them separately. Detach glass tops and shelves, cover them securely in bubble wrap, tape them, and stack them in a box. Use a screwdriver to unscrew each section. Place all hardware and small items in a bag and label it. Wrap larger sections in moving blankets.
  • Beds. Remove the mattress, box spring, and linens. Clean and pack the linens and pillows separately. Remove any slats, then detach the headboard, footboard, and sideboard. Place hardware in a bag and label it. Wrap large items in moving blankets and use bubble wrap for smaller items.
  • Solid furniture items. Empty and remove all drawers and detachable shelves. Unscrew doors and other movable items. Wrap these items in bubble wrap and label them. Cover the furniture in moving blankets to prevent scratching.

Using Ship Smart's Expertise

With over 30 years of experience in the moving industry and 20 years helping our customers with small moves, our moving specialists can assist you with an affordable, damage-free move. If you need help packing, our shipping experts can assist with packing furniture items. We offer insurance coverage for your move and dedicate ourselves to providing the best customer service.

For more information, call (866) 333-8018 now and take the first step towards a stress-free move with 10% savings. Or start your estimate online using our small move calculator.

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