What is the Best Way to Pack Delicate Items

By Stephen Davis
Special to VanLines.com

To many people, packing their belongings in moving boxes creates a vision of books and clothing that needs to be stuffed, taped, labeled and loaded into a moving truck. Most of it is just that. But there is a fair amount of your belongings that should be handled with care and shouldn't be just be stuffed into a box.

The delicates. There are China crystals, delicate jewelry, electric appliances, artwork and antiques. When moving, you should collect all your delicate items in one place. This gives you a complete picture of the things you have and makes it easy to pack and not miss anything.

Use moving paper. First pack each item individually in moving paper. This paper is made from soft pulp and provides good cushioning and prevents scratching for your most delicate items. For hollow crystal ware like wine glasses, fill the inside with a fair amount of newspaper to provide support to the glass shell.

Next wrap the item with bubble wrap®. Bubble wrapc is one of the most useful inventions in the packaging industry. It is great way to protect precious antique vases and jewelry. To use bubble wrap®, wrap up the item and secure it with tape to make a snug fit. For thinner glass items use a double layer of bubble wrap to provide extra cushioning. Heavier items like television panels should be wrapped in four or five layers of bubble wrap®, the heavy weight of the appliance means a single layer cannot provide sufficient cushioning.

Once this is done, place the items in large sturdy cardboard moving boxes. Do not overstuff the boxes; items should touch each other so they do not collide roughly during transport. Use the remaining newspaper and bubble wrap to fill gaps between the items in the boxes so they all fit comfortably. Also, be sure to label the boxes with a “fragile” warning. This will help the moving company identify these boxes and handle them with care.

Packing jewelry. Jewelry needs a bit special care. It is best to spend some money on buying a good organizer. These bags have special pockets for each jewelry item and are designed to prevent any damage to soft gold items. However, many people have attachments to their old jewelry boxes or bags and prefer to use them instead. Though these bags handle larger items well, the make a mess of gold chains and necklaces. The best way to pack these individually is to use plastic drinking straws. Fold and tape one end of the straw, carefully drop your necklace inside and fold and tape the other end as well. Some finer gold chains can get tangled with themselves. For such chains, undo the clip and drop one end into the straw until it comes out of the other opening. Clasp the necklace on the outside. This will solve the tangle problem completely.

Though insuring your delicate items for transport may help, but it is usually not necessary unless you have valuable antiques or paintings. Moving paper, bubble wrap®, packing tape and sturdy boxes usually solve everything.