Tips for Packing Fragile Items for Your Local Fort Lauderdale Move

Packing and moving your crystal, porcelain, china, art, and other fragile items can be challenging. One of the decisions you’ll need to make about your move is whether to pack breakable items yourself or get help from Fort Lauderdale local movers.

Most mover’s specialty services include full or partial packing options, but here are some DIY packing tips in case you plan to pack some or all of your fragile items yourself.

Purchase the Necessary Supplies

One of the first steps in preparing for a move is to gather your packing supplies. Fragile items need to be well-protected, and that means using plenty of wrapping paper, bubble wrap, and packing tape.

You’ll also need scissors, marker pens, and sturdy, high-quality moving boxes in various sizes. Specialized boxes such as dish boxes and boxes for glassware that include dividers can also come in handy if you can find them.

If you are doing your own packing, you will likely need:

  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Marking pens
  • Moving boxes
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts (optional)

Take Your Time

If you don’t plan on having your movers pack for you, starting well in advance of moving day will give you more time to cushion and protect sensitive items as you pack them.

In addition, packing fragile items early on will give you time to run to the store for more bubble wrap if needed. Avoid cutting corners that will cost you on moving day, and instead, take the time to correctly pad and protect each vulnerable item.

Use Bubble Wrap Because It’s Easy to Secure with Tape

Speaking of bubble wrap, some people decide to use towels, t-shirts, or pillows to wrap fragile items instead of investing in bubble wrap. While using items you have on hand can work in some instances and even save you money, it’s not always the wisest choice. Please keep in mind that tape sticks better to bubble wrap than it does to fabric, and it’s always a good idea to secure your padding with tape after wrapping an item.

Use Smaller Boxes for Heavy or Fragile Items

In general, it’s a good idea to avoid using large boxes for fragile knick-knacks. Not only are smaller boxes easier to handle, but you can put more in them without causing them to get too heavy. Filling each box completely will prevent unnecessary shifting that could cause breakage.

Some exceptions to this rule are awkwardly shaped items such as big-screen TVs and massive artwork, but your local moving company will be able to wrap these items in cardboard or moving blankets or provide appropriate boxes for them. When you hire Suddath for your Fort Lauderdale local move, a dedicated moving coordinator will be happy to discuss all of these specialty services with you.

Use Plenty of Packing Tape to Secure the Bottom of Each Box

Tape is fairly inexpensive, so be generous with it, especially on the bottom of the box. Even if the manufacturer claims that one strip of tape is sufficient, use multiple strips along the bottom seam to prevent the bottom flaps from coming open. Be sure to only use tape that is labeled as packing or sealing tape as other kinds of tape don’t always bond well to cardboard.

Line the Bottoms of the Boxes with Packing Material

A common mistake people make when boxing up sensitive items is placing them directly into the bottom of the box.

Instead, always line the bottom of the box with plenty of packing material before placing fragile items inside. We cannot stress this step enough!

Lining material options include:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Blankets or towels

Place the Heaviest Items on the Bottom

This next tip could probably go without saying, but when packing a variety of fragile items in one box, be sure to place the heaviest objects at the bottom of the box. This balances the weight, makes the boxes easier to carry, and prevents lighter items from getting crushed by heavier ones.

Carefully Pack Breakable Glasses

Wrapping each glass individually in cushioned packing paper or newspaper will go a long way in protecting them. Fill the inside of each glass as well as wrapping the outside to help further soften vibrations. That said, putting your glasses in a box with separators would be even better — especially since newsprint can sometimes stain glasses.

Using cardboard dividers for glasses and stemware will keep them from shifting and colliding with each other during transport. If the box has a second level, be sure to pack the bigger, heavier glasses first and place the lighter ones on top.

Pack Delicate Kitchen Items Separately from Their Lids

Your most delicate kitchen items should be wrapped in bubble wrap secured with tape and accompanying parts such as glass or porcelain lids should be packed into separate boxes rather than stacked on top of the other glassware.

It is recommended that a fragile item the size of a cookie jar be packed in its own small box on top of about a two-inch layer of padding. Place the item in the middle of the box and surround it with padding, both on the sides and top, before closing the box.

Pack Plates and Bowls Properly

Ideally, it would help if you wrapped all your plates in bubble wrap, but even kitchen towels will do in a pinch. The important thing is that you pad the plates and secure the padding with tape that sticks well to the padding you use. Professional packers also recommend that you pack plates vertically, atop a layer of packing material to protect the bottoms of the plates.

Once you’ve filled a box with plates, fill any gaps with dish towels or crumpled paper to keep the plates from moving around in the box. Bowls should also be well-padded. Be sure to fill the insides of large serving bowls with packing paper or towels to reduce empty space. Also, keep in mind that newsprint can stain china and some other dishware, which is why we recommend using bubble wrap or packing paper instead of newspaper.

An additional precaution would be to use dish boxes or “dish packs” specifically designed for transporting plates and bowls. These boxes have thicker cardboard that is better at absorbing shock. Ask your Fort Lauderdale local movers about their recommendations for moving boxes, what they can provide, or where else in your area you can find them.

Keep Picture Frames Standing Up

Just like with the plates, you’ll want to pack your framed pictures and artwork vertically with crumpled paper between each item. Wrap frames with packing paper to ensure the corners don’t get scratched or chipped. Be sure to use the smallest box possible to ensure a snug fit that prevents excess movement.

If you have huge pictures that won’t fit into a small or medium-sized box, you may want to consider having your Fort Lauderdale movers provide an appropriately sized cardboard box that tightly fits around the pictures. They will also do this with certain other large, flat items such as your big screen TV. When interviewing movers in Fort Lauderdale, be sure to ask what is included in a regular moving package and what optional moving services are available.

Place Musical Instruments in Hard-Shell Cases

Musical instruments are susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures and humidity, which could be a factor during a Florida move. Professional moving companies in Fort Lauderdale, including Suddath, offer climate-controlled moving and storage options. Even aside from climate concerns, it’s always best to transport each instrument in a case specifically designed for that instrument.

If you don’t have cases for your instruments, now might be a good time to get them, and they’ll continue to protect your instruments from dust and humidity after the move.

Mark All Boxes That Contain Fragile Items

Once you’ve sealed up a box containing something breakable, it’s time to label that box as fragile. Print the word “fragile” with large letters in a bold color, and don’t be afraid to write on more than one side of the box. Alternatively, you can place fragile stickers on those boxes containing fragile items.

Enlist the Help of Fort Lauderdale Local Movers

If you aren’t sure how to pack a particular item, talk to your moving company. Most moving companies carry specialized boxes for fragile items. They can usually either pack your breakable items for you or sell you the boxes you need. That said, to ensure all of your belongings are fully protected, go with a moving company that offers a professional packing option, and take advantage of that convenient service.

Suddath is a full-service moving company in Fort Lauderdale with decades of experience in packing and moving fragile items. From packing to transporting to unpacking, our moving teams are trained to handle all your belongings with the utmost respect and care. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation moving quote, or if you are new to the area, learn more in our Fort Lauderdale moving guide.