Moving your belongings to a new home can be a huge undertaking and unless you’re careful, some things tend to end up a little worse for wear when they’re unpacked at their destination.
Here are the most commonly damaged items during house moves. Figure out which you’re most likely to face, and take adequate precautions.
Glassware & Pottery
The most vulnerable items in any move will usually be your glassware, so if you want yours to survive you’ll need to provide it with plenty of protection.
Get the right box for the job (not very large and not carrying more than around 4 kg).
Wrap individual items separately for protection (ideally they shouldn’t come into contact with other items). Use a lots of padding and layering and fill in the empty gap between them with paper, towel or even better, packing beans, to make sure they do not jolt when moving the box.
Label! Label! Label! Clearly label any boxes that contain glassware as ‘fragile’ and ‘this way up’. (This goes for the other boxes too, just to make sure you don’t lose track of your stuff since there’s going to be a lot of boxes) Take your time packing and even consider moving your glassware separately from the rest of your belongings.
It doesn’t take much to damage glassware, but it may cost a lot to replace, especially if it’s rare or sentimental.
Photos in glass frames should get the same care. They’re even harder to replace and just as breakable.
Art pieces are often extremely delicate and awkward to move. They’re also not cheap and very precious. Canvases don’t look nearly as good with a hole in them, and broken frames can be cause for costly tears.
If you have a lot of art, or highly valuable pieces, consider investing in an art transport company, who will oversee the process with a specialist eye for you. Either way, at least insure your art for the move if you don’t already have it covered.
Movers should use custom containers and materials, including travelling frames and slat crates. Pieces are usually cushioned snugly inside a box that fits them perfectly, so there’s no room for movement.
Most artwork is one of a kind, so don’t risk the damage of a careless move.
Bulky, oddly shaped and heavy; when you’re moving house, furniture is always victim of being damaged and this is nearly always a direct result of not having enough help, which will also end up in you being the damaged one. (Yes, we will to this point later)
If you can’t get anyone to help, it’s smart to have removalists take care of at least the more difficult furniture items for you. They’ll dismantle if possible, wrap it in custom blankets, tape it up and maneuver it over balconies, down stairs, around corners and other places it’s likely to get bruised without assistance.
Sporting equipment may hold its own in play, but it’s no match for a rough house move. People don’t think of it as needing the protection of something like glassware or artwork, but it’s sometimes just as sensitive and can be expensive to replace.
Breakages are nearly always due to equipment poorly packed or totally unprotected. If you kept the original packing materials intact, they may offer you a customised starting place for protection. Check the manuals for oversized or extra sensitive equipment to see if there are special considerations or precautions you need to take when moving it.
If you have any vulnerable sports gear needing to be moved, whether it’s golf clubs, tennis racquets or your bike, take extra care with how you pack.
There is nothing better than having all of your favourite plants with you at your new place, but getting them there can be tricky and they’re at high risk for getting hurt.
Stop watering them a few days before your move to help make them lighter to transport, and if they’re in boxes, make sure they’ve got holes to breathe. Utilize ties or bags to separate plants from one another and protect loose branches that might be broken. Research the best ways to move the plant, and take your time moving them carefully.
Your plants should be one of the first things you unpack to help keep them safe!
Your back, your ego, your sleep patterns, your sanity… you’re very likely to be somewhat broken and battered during a move.
Take time to relax, plan ahead and get as much help as you can afford to minimise damage on you yourself.
Do you really need to move it?
Moving is always a good time to take stock of whether you still need everything you’re hauling to a new place. This could be the best time to de-clutter some of your stuff. See if there is anything that you should be giving away, selling or throwing out rather than moving it (and risking damage to).