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How to Pack Fragile Items For Moving

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If you’re in a rush to move, you can probably get away with throwing most of your belongings into a box without too much concern. However, chances are you want to protect your fragile items like your favorite mug, plates, or flat-screen TV. In order to ensure their safety during your Boston move, you should take the time to properly pack fragile items so that they are secure. It will mean you have to put in extra effort and attention into packing them correctly, but it will be well worth it when all of your items arrive intact.How to Pack Fragile Items For Moving

Gather Materials for Fragile Items

Before you start packing, you first need to get the appropriate materials. To prevent damaging fragile items, you need to provide some cushioning during transport. Boston streets tend to be quite bumpy, so if you don’t properly protect your glassware, they can easily shatter even if you just move a few blocks away. If you don’t already have some on hand, you should get the following items:

  • Moving boxes of different sizes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper or newspaper
  • Markers
  • Tape and scissors
  • Dividers
  • Towels or socks for cushioning

You can find many of these items for cheap or even free if you know where to look. For boxes, you can ask family, friends, or even a local store if they have any that they plan on throwing out. As well, you can go to sites like freecycle , craigslist or Facebook marketplace and see if there are any listings for the supplies you need. If you work in an office, you might be able to ask the mailroom if you can take any extra supplies they might have.

Pack Your Fragile Items

Once you have everything in one place, it’s time to get packing. Your first step starts with choosing a proper box. You should opt for smaller boxes for your fragile items so you don’t over-pack. Not only are smaller boxes easier to handle, they are less likely to allow items to shift inside during the move. With that said, make sure the small box is also very sturdy as you don’t want it breaking down during the move!

Once you have the perfect boxes, you should secure the bottom and sides with extra tape. This will add extra support and keep it from bowing under the weight of its content. After that, add packing paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even towels to cushion the bottom of the box. Now that you have your box prepared, it’s time to start packing your fragile items!

There are several steps you can take to reduce the chances of your items breaking. Whether you’re packing your plates or glassware, you should take the time to wrap each individual piece. More delicate items like china should be wrapped in bubble wrap and then secured with tape. Other items that are a bit sturdier can be wrapped in packing paper or even things like face and/or hand towels.

Once everything is wrapped up, layer all of the items from largest to smallest. This way, the base of the box will be well-supported and your smaller items won’t get crushed. If you’re packing glasses and stemware don’t stack them. Instead, separate them with cardboard dividers to keep each item from colliding during the move. You should also fill glassware and other hollow items with packing paper to soften any vibrations.

After everything is in boxes, fill the empty space with packing peanuts, towels, or paper to further prevent these items from moving around. Don’t forget to add a layer to the top before you seal up the box!

Label Your Boxes

Regardless of whether you’re hiring professional Boston movers or not, you should always label the boxes with your fragile items so that you know to handle it with care. Make sure to also include an arrow on the side of the boxes telling them which side is up so they’re not carrying your boxes out upside down! Reliable movers in Boston will generally load fragile items last and will pack them near the top of the pile to prevent any items from accidentally getting crushed. If you have smaller trinkets or maybe a mug you really like, you should carry them with you separately. That way you won’t lose or ruin it during a trip.

If you are putting your items in storage for a while, you should take the time to create a content list on each box. Chances are you likely won’t remember what is in each box after a few months, so just writing fragile or glassware won’t really help. Plus, writing everything out will help you keep track of your items after the move and can help you unpack once you’re in your new place.

Handling Broken Items

Even the best laid plans can often go awry. Even if you did everything right, something still might break during the move. If that happens, you should be very careful when unpacking the items. Remember, handling broken glass or ceramic items is dangerous so be cautious. If you are moving with roommates or family, inform them of what happened and then remove the large pieces first. After that, carefully remove the other unbroken items and carefully wipe it down to remove smaller pieces. You should also vacuum around the box to clean up any small particles that might have fallen to the ground.

If you hired Boston movers, you should be able to file an insurance claim if you can prove that the fragile items were in one piece and properly packed. Most moving companies provide basic insurance that will reimburse you $0.60/pound for each damaged item. Some companies will go the extra mile and might even reimburse you more depending on the cost of the item. If you have a lot of expensive and fragile items, it might make sense to pay the extra money for full moving insurance. This way you can get a full reimbursement for your damaged items.

Conclusion

Packing might be tedious, but if you want to give your delicate items the best chance of making it through a move, it pays to take your time and do it right. Of course, if you don’t have the time to do the packing yourself, you can always hire a full-service moving company that will do all the packing for you. Just make sure to let them know what items need to be treated with care, especially if it’s not obvious!

FAQ

Are there alternative wrapping materials I can use instead of packaging paper?

If you have a tight budget, any cost-savings can be a godsend. Instead of buying packaging paper you can use clothes, towels, sheets, and other fabrics. Just make sure everything is washed and cleaned. If something breaks, during the move, make sure the items you use are properly vacuumed and cleaned of any stray glass/ceramic.

I don’t want to use bubble wrap for moving. What else can I use?

Bubble wrap is great for protecting your fragile items, but after you move chances are you’ll end up tossing it in the trash. If you’re concerned about the environment, this might be the last thing you want to do. Instead, there are more eco-friendly options such as biodegradable packing peanuts, seaweed packaging, air pillow, corrugated packaging, and more.

What items should be considered fragile?

Glassware and dishware are the obvious choices, but other fragile items include: lamps, pictures/frames, TVs, antiques/specialty items, tiles, collectibles, and more. Basically, it includes anything you really don’t want damaged!

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Packing for College Dorm Room Life

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With colleges and universities across the New England getting their school year underway, we thought it may be helpful to share our own experiences with what you’ll need for your first or fourth year at college and how best to pack for the fall semester. After all, with more and more Americans going to college than ever before, many are the first in their families to go and thus there’s often a learning curve when it comes to dorm life, such as knowing when to use a professional storage unit. To help you avoid some of the mistakes we’ve seen over the years when it comes to packing for a tiny dorm, here are four tips to consider for your move to college or university.

Packing for College Dorm Room Life

Packing for College Dorm Room Life Tips

1. Think Small

One of the hardest things for any first-year college student to adjust to is dorm life and having to share an already small dorm room with another person. If possible, get the measurements for your room in advance so that when you’re in dialogue with your future roommate and planning on who will bring what, you know just how much space you have to work with and don’t end up with more stuff than you have room for. Often packing for college, much like writing a paper, takes several drafts with each one removing any remaining items that you just won’t need.

2. Establish the Essentials

Communicating with future roommates has gotten so easy that especially congenial students can spend much of August just planning on how to best pack for their new room. But when communication is so easy, it’s often tempting to skip establishing what particular items you simply must have and the ones you really want to have. If possible, communicate with your new roommate that you wish to discuss the essentials right off the bat so as you continue to get to know one another and get a better sense of what our room will look like with a roommate in it is the best way to avoid missing the essentials. And yes, packing an essentials box applies for dorm life as well.

3. Go Easy With the Electronics

We get it. Going to college can represent long nights of playing video games with friends on a giant forty-two inch flat screen, but good luck fitting a television that size into a dorm room–that’s something that may have to wait for off-campus life. Knowing how to pack your electronics is as important as deciding which ones you’re going to bring if you simply have too much for the space of a dorm room. Be sure to pack any manuals you may need as well, even if it means a video game or two may get left behind.

4. Organization is Everything

While it’s easy to go overboard when shopping for college as each year more unnecessary products come out that distract students from less glamorous items like organizational tools. From milk crates and closet organizers to plastic hooks and bins, these items not only serve as handy packing containers, but also as potential shelves in the form of stacked milk crates. Of course, you can also hit up IKEA for a more sleek cupboard or shelving unit while also grabbing a few milk crates as those are packing materials that can be used again and again.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Load a Moving Truck Like the Pros

Load a Moving Truck Like the Pros - Pony Express Moving Services

Want to know how to load a moving truck the professional way?

Yes, there are an infinite number of ways to pack a moving truck. Much of it is common sense. But the purpose of this blog post is to provide some serious step-by-step guidelines to load a moving truck properly. The information you need to know is segmented into three parts: general guidelines for packing furniture and the equipment you’ll need; packing specific furniture pieces; and step-by-step packing the truck.

General Guidelines

  • Safety first! Any moving truck you rent will have a ramp and you need to make sure it’s fully engaged, clean of debris and dry, and covered with non-stick matting if necessary
  • During the loading process, ensure the weight of all items is distributed evenly from front to back and side to side
  • The truck should be loaded in layers, each self-contained and independently secured. The goal of any layer is to avoid hitting or rubbing into an adjacent layer
  • All furniture should have blanket pads draped over exposed surfaces. The majority of damage done to items is by them rubbing against each other during transport. For added protection, use Plastic wrap in addition to blankets for fragile or hard to move items
  • If your truck is too big for your items, ensure each piece of furniture is strapped independently to the back or side wall of the truck with blanket pads protecting exposed surface areas.

Packing specific furniture pieces

The following items have been singled out as the common household pieces that require special attention.

  • Aquariums should be emptied with pads placed inside and out and then stretch wrapped. Place them on top of a box
  • Bed frames should be strapped toward the back of the truck
  • Chairs should have legs individually wrapped or bubble taped before wrapping the entire chair
  • Couches should be loaded on top of a blanket pad, on the floor of a truck, with the feet faced toward the side wall and the back faces out to protect incoming items
  • Drawers should be loaded faced toward the side wall to ensure they do not fall out during transport. All loose drawers should be secured with rubber bands
  • Grandfather clocks. Remove weights from inside the clock. Wrap and label pendulums. Wrap the clock in plastic or blanket pads
  • Hide-A-Beds should be secured using a strap so the metal insert doesn’t prop open during transport
  • Metal should not be loaded close to furniture as it has the potential to tear through plastic wrap during transport
  • Mirrors and glass should be wrapped and put between the mattress and box spring and strapped in
  • Wooden furniture should be wrapped well with plastic wrap, paying close attention to the edges and sides. This is especially important for cherry oak wood!
  • Rugs should be rolled up and taped
  • TV’s should be wrapped and faced against a box and strapped. Flat screen TVs should never sit sideways or on their backs.

How to load a moving truck

  • Your boxes will be your first layer, stacked high against the back wall of the truck to maximize space. Load the heaviest boxes on the bottom. Stack vertically with the lightest, most fragile on top
  • Lay a blanket pad on the floor and load mattresses and box springs next. Stand them vertically. Loose glass pieces should be placed in between (as per above). Strap to the side wall. This, with your boxes is the first layer
  • Next, lay another blanket pad on the floor and load couches vertically with feet toward the side wall, pillows removed. Secure each couch by straps to the side wall. Pillows can fill the empty space. Furniture pieces, such as dressers can be placed in between with blanket pads draped over.
  • The next layer is more furniture, covered in pads and/or plastic and secured to the side wall when complete
  • Appliances and wardrobe boxes are loaded last and will be the first items off the truck.

Ensure you close the back of the truck properly, replace the ramp securely and push safety pins into place. Happy Moving!

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Four Moving Tips You Should Remember

You’ve just rented or bought your new place and are ready to start the next chapter of your life. You can see the finish line, and it’s almost there! Now you just have to cross it. With so many different aspects involved with moving, it’s easy to forget about something here or there. These bits of advice will help ensure that your moving day is a smooth one, void of any unnecessary last-minute headaches and heartbreaks.

1. Removing heavy and fragile items from dressers

four-moving-tips-you-should-rememberIt’s the day before the move, and you still haven’t finished packing. Putting away the dishes are taking way longer than you expected. But at long last, you think that you’ve finally finished packing up your whole house. You breathe a sigh of relief, as you pour yourself a glass of celebratory wine. You walk around your place one last time, and notice a dresser in the corner, full of stuff. You are too tired to care, and figure that it can be moved as is.

What you didn’t realize is that your dresser doesn’t like change. Its frame and legs are not used to moving around, especially with drawers full of odds and ends. The move finishes and there is only one casualty- that poor dresser, along with all the broken items inside. Now that late night judgment call is all you can think about. Items need to be replaced or repaired, and that time you saved last night, is coming back to haunt you.

This is a frustrating moment that could have easily been avoided. If it is a lightweight dresser, remove everything before the move. It is simply not worth the risk. For sturdier dressers, it is usually fine to leave items like clothing inside, while fragile items should always be removed.

2. Make sure there is a parking spot available for the moving truck at BOTH locations.

four-moving-tips-you-should-remember-parkingIt’s the morning of the move, and the moving company calls you to say they’re on the way. They ask you where they can park their big truck, and that’s when panic sets in. You dash outside, only to find cars lining the streets as far as the eye can see. The closest parking spot is 2 blocks away, and you sheepishly inform the movers of the situation. They let you know that this move will now need to go late into the night, and cost triple the amount that you had anticipated.

Reserving a parking spot at both locations is essential for an efficient move. The onus is on the customer to provide parking for the moving truck. Any parking tickets incurred are also the responsibility of the customer, so by securing parking spaces at both locations, you will not have to incur any additional fees/fines. It will make for a shorter and easier move.

3. Reserving elevators

The movers have arrived, and they enter your apartment. They lift and carry your couch to the hallway. One of the movers presses the button for the elevator, and then waits 2 minutes for one to come. The doors open, and there are 6 people and a dog crammed together, with no chance of even getting a lamp in there.

If you live in an apartment building or high-rise condo, you will need to reserve an elevator, and coordinate the times with your moving company. Buildings usually equip and protect the service elevator with padding/blankets before the start of the move, and most places will not even allow you to move without reserving one. Many buildings also require a “Certificate Of Insurance” from the moving company. This COI usually needs to be received before the day of the move. To obtain a copy, it’s as easy as requesting one from the moving company via email or fax.

4. Label boxes, according to each room

You did it! The move is complete, the movers have left, and now you’re alone in your new place with all your possessions. But then you look around the house, and there are boxes everywhere. You open the first box in the living room, and see that it’s full of dishes. You go to the kitchen, and find out that those boxes are full of blankets and clothing. As tired as you are, you realize that this move isn’t close to being done.

To help alleviate this problem, there is a simple process that can be done while packing – labeling each box as it is packed. By doing this, your movers will be able to place the labelled boxes in their desired room. The last thing you want to do on moving day is to spend unnecessary hours dedicated to finding items all over the house, and then having to place them where they belong. A simple label on each box will make it that much easier to set your new place up and have it feeling like home in no time. The movers will also be able to figure out the safest way to stack the boxes on the moving truck. Writing “fragile” on boxes of delicate items will also let the movers know how to stack the boxes, thereby preventing your 100lb weights from resting on top of your antique china set.

As stressful as moving can be, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your move goes as seamlessly as possible. A little preparation goes a long way, and in this case, it will save you time and money- something we can all get behind. Contact Us if you need any help moving.

 

What should I pack last before move?

What should I pack last before move?

What should I pack last? Before you move, you probably want to get everything stored away as quickly as possible. But you can’t forget about the things you’ll need to have accessible for the last few days in your old place. Here are a few things you should avoid pack till the last day, unless you want to go digging back into your perfectly packed boxes.

–          Toiletries including toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper.

–          Snacks and coffee. A lot of people will order food out for the last few days before they move, but you may want to keep some light snacks and your coffee maker around.

–          Box cutter or pocket knife. You’ll be happy when you start to unpack.

–          Tape measure. This will come in handy when you are moving into the new place.

–          Phone charger, both for your car and a wall charger.

–          Extra extension cords, a flashlight, and batteries. In the off-chance of an emergency, you won’t want to have to sift through all of your packed things.

–          Trash bags. You’ll want to keep a couple bags to clean anything up on your way out.

–          Medications. This can go along with your toiletries. Keep these handy and throw them together with your toiletries as you leave.

If you keep these things handy, you’ll probably be in good shape for the last few days in the old apartment or house. Good luck!

How to Safely Pack China and Other Fragile Dishware

Safely Pack China and Other Fragile Dishware

Safely Pack China

If you have any china or fragile dishware, you should take extra care to safely pack these items before your move. China can crack easily if it isn’t packed properly. Take the extra time to make sure these items are secure before your move.

Packing Plates + Bowls:

  1. Layer the bottom of a box with packing peanuts or crumbled up newspaper.
  2. Pack the china plates on their side! It is safer not to stack the plates. Put newspaper between each plate.
  3. Fill the box with plates and bowls, then fill in additional space with packing peanuts, newspaper or bubble wrap. It does not matter which material you use, so long as there is no room for the china to move around in the box.
  4. Seal the top and sides of the box. Label which way the box should be facing, and which side should be the bottom. Also, label the box “china”, or “fragile”, right away so you don’t lose track of it!

Packing China Cups:

  1. Again, layer the bottom of the box with packing peanuts or crumbled up newspaper.
  2. Wrap each cup individually using bubble wrap.
  3. Use cardboard dividers in the box and stack the cups up in the separate dividers. Try to find dividers that are appropriately sized for the cups. If the dividers leave open space around the cups, fill that space in with packing peanuts or newspapers.
  4. Place a layer of packing peanuts or cardboard after each stack of cups.
  5. Don’t forget to label the box right away!

At Pony Express we are committed to helping you with a smooth transition into your new home. For questions about packing and moving services in your area, contact us today at 617-983-8700

Packing Tips and Packing FAQ

Packing Tips and Packing FAQ Answered by Professional Boston MoversPacking Tips and Packing FAQ

With over 19 years as a licensed, insured, and bonded moving company Pony Express has countless number of local and long distance moves under our belts. We are one of the longest lived moving companies in Boston with over a hundred years combined experience among our movers. There is nothing we have not seen or dealt with when it comes to moving.
Any professional mover will tell you the key to speeding up your move is good packing. The more prepared you are, the more efficient your moving day will be. When you’re hiring movers, you want your crew to have as few loose items to deal with, so work ahead of time to be sure everything that can fit in a box is already packed, and packed safely. We are committed to making sure your move runs smoothly and safely without any surprises. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that we’ve compiled to help you pack better for a better move.

What is that best way to pack dishes for moving or storage?

  •  Use plenty of packing paper. Newspaper works great. Crumple up the pieces and make a layer the bottom of the box. Tuck the paper in the sides of the box after you’ve loaded the dishes in so that nothing can move around.
  • Don’t put your plates or bowls in flat. Put your dishes in the box resting on their standing edge.
  • Use a dish barrel box for packing (pictured on the left). Dish barrels are boxes specifically designed with double-walled extra protection for china, antiques or fragile items. If you are packing using a dish barrel, work heaviest to lightest. Heavier items go in first so they don’t put too much weight on the lighter, more fragile items.

Should I disassemble my furniture when I move, or leave it together?

  • Taking apart heavier or larger items like bed frames, tables, or shelving can save you time and space, especially on a long distance or interstate move, when you only want to make one trip.
  • Be sure you keep all the parts together! If it is a complex piece of furniture, consider making a diagram to help you put it back together afterward.
  • You can also have movers come in in advance to disassemble your furniture on a packing day, or on the day of the move. Be sure to communicate with your movers to discuss your needs ahead of time.

What packing materials are best? Are packing peanuts bad?

  • Packing peanuts are more for mailing. News paper, paper pads and cardboard are good for moving. Packing peanuts can cause motion of items inside the box, which can lead to damage.
  • Professional movers use “clean newsprint” paper. If you are packing fragile items yourself you can use recycled printed newspaper that you have at home.
  • Think twice about bubble wrap  as well. Wrapping things with bubble wrap can cause compression breakage.

When packing, be sure that all of your boxes are loaded with heavier items in the bottom of the box. Properly packed boxes ensure the safety of your belongings, and your moving crew. If you do not have time to pack, or are unsure how to pack large, awkward, or fragile items, contact our crew at Pony Express to learn about packing services. Our professionals will come in before your moving day, and go room to room packing your belongings for safe travel. Call us today to learn more about our moving and packing services, local or long distance. We are located in Jamaica Plains Boston and we have moved our clients all over the country including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Chicago. Call today at 617-983-8700 or e-mail us info@ponymove.com.