Top Five Ways to Avoid Removals Breakages
When you’re moving home, the very last thing you want to discover on unpacking is that some of your valuables, your heirlooms and priceless keepsakes are broken. It can really spoil the excitement of arriving for the first time in your new home. The good news is, most breakages are entirely avoidable using these five simple tips.
1. protective wrap – we can’t sing its praises loudly enough. Those little, poppable bubbles of air, encapsulated in polythene (hence the original name Air Cap) really do cushion your most valuable possessions. Buy a massive roll of the stuff and it’ll safely protect your crockery, best china, antiques, glassware and vases. Long gone are the days of newspaper and old rags, and bubble wrap keeps them much cleaner, too.
2. pack right – this is perhaps the most important step. You want breakable items, once wrapped in their protective layers, to fit together snuggly. It’s a bit like a jigsaw: you don’t want edges jarring against each other, but you don’t want gaping big gaps either. Anything that can rattle around can bump into its next door neighbour in the box, during transit. A good tip is to cushion your valuable even further by surrounding them with nice soft things: cuddly toys, cushions, pillows, curtains, duvets and blankets. And for goodness sake, please don’t put heavy items on top of them. Try and make the box, which should be light, almost full to the top so there’s no room for movement up and down. For those most precious ornaments and champagne flutes, for example, try and pack them back into their original boxes: after all, they got to you in one piece that way.
3. good quality boxes – one of the major causes of damage to your possessions is inadequate boxes and/or bad packing tape. If the bottom falls out of your box, it doesn’t matter how carefully you’ve packed it. Things are going to get broken, damaged, stained or wet … even if they aren’t fragile. So make sure you invest in two or three ply cardboard boxes which give a lot of added strength. Use good quality packing tape and enough of it – covering not just the joints but the edges and corners too, particularly on the box base. Buying cheaper boxes and tape may be tempting to save money, but it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run as you try to replace things with invaluable memories or of great worth.
4. careful labelling – a roll of red and white tape that shouts ‘FRAGILE’ is unmistakeable. Even the man with a van in a big hurry can’t miss it. Get some of this, or grab that big old marker pen and scrawl FRAGILE on every appropriate surface of every relevant box. THIS WAY UP doesn’t go amiss either. It may sound obvious, but unless every person involved in the move can see at a glance which boxes you are most protective of, they simply wont know.
5. good quality movers – who you choose to be involved in your move makes all the difference. If you go with a reputable firm, you’re paying them, they’re professional and experienced. In the interests of getting paid and no insurance claims, they will avoid damage and breakage at all costs. They know how to get big furniture out without bumping it or gouging out plaster in your walls. They use corner protectors and furniture covers. If you’re doing it yourself? Well, it’s all down to you and your friends. So plan carefully how you’re going to get the big items out safely, how the van is packed and make sure everyone follows the plan and knows what is valuable.