Did you know that 70 percent of all moving in the United States occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day? With one full month left before the end of the busiest moving season of the year, many individuals and families will be moving to and from the South Metro Denver area, and it’s possible that many will be rushing through a do-it-yourself move. One of the more stressful and anxiety-inducing elements of a move includes moving fragile and valuable items – whether you’re packing your own items or utilizing professional movers, no one wants to open a moving box and discover a fragile, valuable or irreplaceable item chipped, cracked or broken. Luckily, if you’re packing your own stuff as part of a do-it-yourself move, there are extra steps and precautions you can take to lessen the risk of damage or breakage!
Use New Boxes for Fragile Items
Premium-quality cardboard moving boxes can be expensive, bulky and entirely useless once you’ve completed your move and have unpacked the items you plan on keeping in your home, so we understand if you aren’t eager to run out and purchase moving boxes. Many savvy movers choose to store old cardboard moving boxes in a garage, attic, basement or self-storage space, believing that the boxes will come in handy upon their next move.
But it’s an unfortunate fact that cardboard does not have an indefinite shelf life. Cardboard can lose its stiffness over time, which can result in boxes that feel less sturdy when reused. If you are packing a box of clothes that you’re planning on moving in the trunk of your car, an old cardboard box may be perfectly suitable, but if you’re planning on moving fragile and valuable items, it pays to purchase new, premium-quality boxes that won’t rip, collapse or topple over.
Choose Packing Materials Carefully
Whether or not your belongings arrive in one piece, unmarked, unchipped, unscratched and uncracked, will depend greatly on your choice of packing materials. Like premium-quality cardboard boxes, packing materials can be relatively expensive when purchased from specialty stores or in bulk. Because of this you may be tempted to skimp when packing or use household items such as printed newspaper, balls of paper and old blankets. Unfortunately, the most valuable and fragile items can be damaged by these same household items and even by store-bought packing materials when used incorrectly. For instance, the ink from printed newspaper can rub off on your belongings, leaving stains that may be difficult or even impossible to remove, while a packing material such as a bubble wrap can pop and flatten, greatly reducing its effectiveness.
While each category of fragile household items, such as dishes, glassware, art, collectibles and electronics, needs to be packed differently, a few general rules apply. First, consider not just the potential for breakage when packing, but also carefully consider how the packing materials you use may damage the very items you’re trying to protect – for instance, plastic can damage certain materials and trap moisture. Next, don’t overfill a box with insulating materials, as a box that’s misshapen due to overpacking is more prone to spill or fall when moved. Finally, utilize original boxes and packaging whenever possible, especially for electronics, as the original boxes and packing are custom-made and ideal for moving or shipping.
Should You Personally Move Your Most Valuable Belongings?
If you are moving with very valuable or irreplaceable items, you may be tempted to personally move these items yourself, either by car or plane. Personally moving your own belongings can be a hassle, and it may even provide less protection for your belongings than utilizing professional movers. If you are travelling to your new home by car, it’s easy to keep an eye on your stuff while on the road, but vehicles parked at hotels and restaurants located near interstates and major highways are often targeted by thieves. Your belongings have significantly less chance of being stolen on an airplane, but they’re also subject to inspection and handling by both the TSA and the airline.
Before considering how to travel with your most valuable belongings, carefully consider whether an item is replaceable or irreplaceable, regardless of its monetary value. A valuable item can be insured by a shipping carrier or a moving company, which can provide peace of mind even if the item becomes lost, stolen or damaged. Conversely, if an item is irreplaceable, an insurance claim may be of little comfort, so consider the pros and cons of keeping that item with you as you travel to your new home.