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-> Packing questions
Oct 05, 14:32
Question by gloria (Gloria M.)

Fragile valuables - how to preserve during long distance move

I have several antique vases and pictures that are valuable to me. How to make sure that these pieces are not going to be damaged during long distance moving?

Oct 05, 16:30
Answer by alexzehn (Alex Z.)

Certainly, one of the ways to preserve your fragile valuables is to carry the smaller ones with you to the new residence, either in a car (if you are driving) or in hand luggage when flying.

In case you absolutely have to transport or ship those items with the rest of your household goods you basically have two choices: either to pack those valuables yourself or have the movers pack them for you, while you closely supervise the packing process.

Keep in mind the disadvantage of packing yourself: the movers will not assume liability on items inside the boxes packed by the owner. But, considering how small this liability is (usually $0.60 per lb per article) I personally would suggest you pack them yourself using quality packing materials, and not rely on the movers to do it.

It is also advisable to insure those items before the move with moving insurance.

How to pack small or medium vases: first of all firmly stuff the vase with a lot of crumpled newspaper to create inside pressure. Then firmly wrap it with bubble wrap, keeping the bubbles inside (towards the item). This will protect the vase from possible cracks and scratches resulting from jolting. For additional protection you can wrap the vase with towels or a quilt.

Next step is to place the vase in a box and seal it. When choosing a box make sure it is sturdy, at least 1.5 times higher then the vase, and will have enough extra space around the vase when its inside (click here to see different types of moving boxes). Then fill the box with Styrofoam peanuts or crumpled packing paper, and place the wrapped vase inside. You can also use pillows, quilts or other soft items instead, but make sure the vase has no points of contact with the box, and never put any hard items inside. This way you protect the vase from serious jolting and from situations when the box might be crushed by other boxes or bulky items.

When done close the box and seal it tight with packing tape. For instructions on how to build the box and seal it with tape see General Packing Techniques. And finally mark the box on every side with big red letters: "FRAGILE".

How to pack pictures:Wrap your framed prints individually in blank newsprint, tape cardboard around them or wrap them with bubble wrap.

Cover a canvas with bubble wrap, and then tape it. Paintings framed with glass should be taped across the front like an "X".

Put your framed prints in frame boxes. Fill in the spaces in the box with wadded paper in case the items fit loosely. If you build a box for your painting, to get the right size make sure that it is slightly larger that the painting itself.

It is better if you pack your painting in 2 boxes, cushioned with bubble wrap in the space between boxes. Obviously, the second box should be larger that the first one.

When you are done with boxing your paintings do not forget to mark them "Fragile Art"

For more packing tips you are welcome to visit our Moving Guide -> Packing Tips. Also, if you really want to learn how to pack your boxes I recommend visiting They offer a DVD showing professional techniques of packing fragiles in boxes, and more.

Good luck with your move,

Alex Z. @

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