If your family is like most, you probably have some items in your home that you cherish above all others. And when you move, there’s always a risk that some of your things will suffer damage during the process. That’s why taking extra precautions when packing, transporting, and storing your valuables is important to ensure they make it through your move unharmed.
What kind of precautions should you take? Read on for helpful tips and tricks that’ll help you avoid common mistakes and protect your most prized possessions throughout your move.
1. Hire a Professional Moving Company
If you are worried about the condition of your valuables when moving them, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a team of professionals to help you pack and transport your high-end items.
When you hire professional movers, you get access to a variety of services designed to protect your belongings and make your move as simple as possible.
Opt for Full Packing Services
This comprehensive service includes safe and secure packing of almost all of the things you own. The pros will not only pack your whole house but also load everything onto the truck, transport your stuff to your new home, and unpack everything for you.
At Ed’s, we offer hand wrapping, specialty container packing for delicate items, hanging clothes in wardrobe cartons, and custom crate building for large, specialty items upon request. Whatever you need to make your move as easy as possible, we’ll do our very best to make it happen!
Plus, we’ll get rid of the packing materials, too!
Enjoy Custom Crating
Do you own anything valuable that might not fit in a standard moving box? If so, your movers can hand-build custom crates that will keep those items safe and secure throughout your relocation.
Moving crates are an ideal solution for packing and transporting large, delicate, valuable items, such as paintings, chandeliers, antiques, sculptures, and awkwardly shaped objects. Or, if you’re planning a commercial move, crates are also a great option for businesses that must transport large pieces of office equipment, such as file cabinets, printers, and certain types of furniture.
Please note: If you’re considering hiring full packing services, you should be aware that professional movers cannot pack or transport certain hazardous items. Under some circumstances, they may also prefer not to pack or transport specific items.
2. Know How to Handle Valuables Movers Won’t Transport
Your movers can only transport so many items, and there are many different things they can’t transport because of high liability risks. Things like perishable foods, flammable and hazardous materials, and even pets should not and cannot be placed into the hands of the movers, and you will need to find alternate transport options.
Keeping your pets in a carrier close by, using a cooler for perishables, and consulting with local regulations for hazardous and flammable materials is the best choice. If you still have questions about the stuff your moving company can’t handle, check out our tips for moving items your residential movers won’t transport.
3. Use the Appropriate Packing Materials
Would you rather pack up your house on your own? Then you must make sure you’re using high-quality packing products and that you’re using the right materials for the job.
That means you’ll want to avoid using second-hand boxes you found behind your local grocery store and random materials from around your house. Quality packing supplies are specifically designed to protect your valuable belongings — that’s why they exist.
Make sure the packing supplies you choose for your long-distance move can withstand all that goes into the transport process. Choose multiple boxes with large, medium, and small sizes, and invest in containers specifically made for mattresses, mirrors, and dishes for the safest transport. Ed’s Moving Storage has the necessary packaging, including bubble wrap, boxes, tape, and other supplies.
Compact boxes are great for moving collections of small, dense items, such as trinkets, jewelry, figurines, books, and glass objects. It’s safer to keep your small, priceless valuables in your personal vehicle when you move simply because you know exactly where to find them and what happens to them throughout your move.
Before you pack, we suggest compiling an inventory of your small valuables to make sure you transport everything successfully to your new location. Plus, an inventory can help you locate which boxes contain your most valuable possessions, so when you arrive at your destination, there’s no panic about whether you accidentally left something behind.
Small boxes won’t hold oodles of objects because they’re only 1.5 cubic feet, so if you have an extensive collection of small items, plan accordingly.
Medium boxes are typically called all-purpose boxes because they can contain a wide variety of heavy and less dense items. They’re great for packing children’s toys, garage items, and kitchenware due to their size, which, in most cases, is around three cubic feet.
Medium boxes can also contain a substantial amount of protective packing material, which makes them great for transporting possessions that must be wrapped or insulated to prevent breakage.
Large boxes have a volume of 4.5 cubic feet and are well suited for transporting larger, lighter items, such as bedding, curtains, decorative pillows, blankets, and throws. Due to their larger size, they’re not the most appropriate choice for heavier items, simply because the bigger the box is, the lower its relative rigidity is.
To properly safeguard your valuables, you’ll want to contain them in the most sturdy packing material for their size, and larger boxes tend to bend inward or buckle slightly under pressure or force.
Dish Packing Boxes
If you have valuable china, dish packing boxes are the perfect solution to keep it in flawless condition throughout your move. Dish packing boxes contain protective dividers that separate plates, saucers, cups, bowls, and stemware to prevent them from chipping, cracking, or breaking during transport.
Consider adding protective, insulating material around each dish to help absorb vibrations and shock.
Modern mattresses can be incredibly expensive, so safely transporting your existing bed can potentially save you thousands in relocation costs. One of the biggest issues with mattress transportation is cleanliness, followed closely by unintentional damage from pointed or metal objects within the moving truck.
Wrapping a mattress in flimsy plastic and precariously positioning it against the truck's inner wall is asking for a puncture wound – in the mattress, that is. Instead, a mattress box functions to protect the mattress’s delicate exterior from accidental damage while keeping it clean and fresh for your new location.
Everyone knows breaking a mirror is bad luck, right? So, do you really want to start your move off on the wrong foot? Even if the mirror myth is just a silly superstition, no one wants to come across a shattered surprise as they begin the unpacking process. At Ed’s Moving & Storage, we have the perfect solution: mirror boxes.
Mirror boxes are fully lined with protective insulating materials that absorb shock and vibration during transport. Of course, you can always attempt lining a box with blankets and pillows, but doing so will leave substantial room for wobbling and shifting, which, unfortunately, is a primary reason mirrors are highly prone to breakage.
4. Pack Your Belongings Correctly
Aside from purchasing high-quality materials, you’ll also want to ensure you pack your belongings properly. That means using the appropriate size of box for the weight of the items you’re packing, as well as using enough protective material to cushion and insulate your stuff sufficiently.
The more fragile the item, the more essential it is to pack it well. If you’re moving long-distance, boxes can get lifted, shifted, and stacked throughout their journey, so keep that in mind.
The last thing you want is your favorite vase or cherished family heirloom broken during the move, so first and foremost, ensure you have documentation of the items if a claim needs to be opened. Then follow up with proper fragile item packing, like using the right size boxes and packing materials that provide extra support while in transit.
Before you start packing your electronics, make sure all data is backed up onto a cloud server, so in a worst-case scenario, you can still access all your information. Keeping the cords bundled and labeled will save you some time when you're unpacking, and if the items are expensive enough, invest in additional insurance for total protection.
Small Kitchen Appliances
The biggest consideration with packing small kitchen appliances is having the right size box and enough protective material to keep them secure. You want to avoid leaving gaps inside the box, and make sure that you wipe the appliance down and detach any loose or removable parts before placing them inside.
5. Consider Climate-Controlled Storage
Do you think you may have to store some of your valuables when you move? Then you’ll want to seriously consider putting them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
This indoor storage solution maintains a consistent room temperature and humidity level to help prevent moisture- and temperature-related damage to vulnerable items. It also provides high-level protection from theft or vandalism.
Truly, there’s no substitute for climate-controlled storage. If you store your valuables in a standard, outside unit, there’s nothing to keep them from cracking, warping, or growing mold. There’s also minimal defense against temperature-related deterioration and insects and rodents.
If you need to store any of the following items, it’s in your best interest to opt for a climate-controlled unit:
Wood or leather furniture
Special collections or keepsakes
Comics, magazines, etc.
Portraits, photo albums, or other memorabilia
Electronics and media (CDs, DVDs, records, cassettes, etc.)
For more helpful information on storing your stuff, check out Storage Solutions 101: What You Need to Know Before Renting a Self-Storage Unit.
6. Take Out an Insurance Policy
Several insurance options are available if you wish to protect your high-dollar or highly-valued possessions during your move. At the very least, all moving companies are required to offer you two levels of valuation coverage: released value protection and full value protection. Many moving companies also offer higher-level coverage options aside from those required by federal law.
If you currently have homeowners or renters insurance, your policy may also provide some degree of coverage for your move. Contact your provider to determine whether you have coverage and what it entails. You can also purchase insurance through a third-party company specializing in moving coverage. Shop around to see which provider can give you the best coverage at the right price.
No matter how skilled your movers are, you’ll want to take out moving insurance to cover your possessions in the event of any loss. Coverage is affordable and can give you peace of mind while your valuables are on the road.
If you have any questions about insurance, feel free to contact Ed’s Moving & Storage for more information. State Farm also has some excellent information on valuation coverage for your move.
7. Create an Inventory
Although it might seem like documenting every single item in your move isn’t necessary, it’s definitely a good idea. If you do end up needing to file an insurance claim because something incurs damage, it’s much easier to file that claim when you have proof of an item’s original condition.
Luckily, creating a thorough inventory is as simple as busting out your smartphone and taking photos of everything you plan to move. Sure, you can write everything down, but we all know photos are far easier and faster, and as the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words.
8. Keep Super-Precious Stuff With You
Even if you’re hiring professional movers and packers to shoulder the bulk of your move, it’s in your best interest to keep your most valuable belongings with you. And yes, that’s even true if you’re taking out an insurance policy.
In fact, many moving companies prefer not to move highly valuable items like heirlooms, jewelry, and expensive collectibles because they don’t want the liability. The bottom line is that if you’re hiring a moving company with years of expertise and the highest-quality packing and moving materials available, there’s still some risk involved.
Accidents happen, and no one can anticipate them, so take it upon yourself to protect the things you love most.
Choose Ed’s Moving & Storage for Your Tacoma Relocation
Trying to undertake a moving project all by yourself can be exhausting and time-consuming. That’s why our Ed’s Moving & Storage team is here to help you shoulder the load! Our team specializes in full packing services, appliance moving, custom crating, piano moving, and much more.
Hiring the pros means you won’t need to worry about how much protective packing material you need or whether you’re actually packing your valuables safely. If you want the best protection for your pricey and irreplaceable belongings, having the experts pack your stuff is the only way to go.
We handle small and large-scale moves for residential and commercial customers throughout Tacoma, Washington, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about our services or get an estimate, give us a call at 253-581-2446 or request a quick and free quote online, and we’ll be in touch!