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One of the worst nightmares of people who go through removals is to see their beloved objects break into pieces. Sometimes, they don't realize the danger until it's too late. I's difficult to explain the anxiety and dread that some of them experience when they see the boxes containing their preciuous china or the family memorial ornaments be bumped, tossed and carried around by mildly caring courriers. It's too late to try to control the dozens of boxes that you are giving to the freight workers. Even if they are really careful, they will still store them inside a vehicle that will move and turn and stop on the road, not to mention the movement your packages will experience if they go through a turbulence in the sky or a rocking boat on the waves!

There is a lot that you can - and should - do to prevent fragile objects from breaking. Few people are aware of how many fragile objects they own until they pack them. Glasses, crystal objects, porcelain, china, ornaments, computers and other electronic devices, mirrors, flower pots, the list goes on forever. How can you protect these items from breaking?

Here is a brief list of things to consider when packing a removal box with fragile items and handling it. Read it thoroughly, more than once if possible, and keep it handy to give it another read every once in a while when you're packing. 

Remember that removals always stress you a lot, and when you are stressed, you tend to overlook things. You may want to skip some preventive measures or leave objects unprotected when packing them. Don't. Pay extra attention and be very careful. If you need to take a short break before resuming with your activities, do it. It will be better because, even if you won't save as much time, you will definitely save yourself a couple bad times when opening a box in your new home and finding that your beautiful porcelain has turned into pieces.

How to handle fragile items

If you want to transport fragile objects, you will have to protect them from hits, crushing and other physical accidents. You must start from the inside of the box and then go to the outside. Place the objects in a safe way. Heavy items must always be on the bottom of boxes; if they are on top, their weight will crush the objects below. Place items in the right position to minimize the risk of breaking. Glasses and glassware must lie on their sides and plates must be placed in rows. 

Once you have decided how to place items, you have to get a lot of wrapping material to protect your belongings from all sides. Wrap all fragile objects in at least two layers of butcher paper or newspapers. Plastic foam and bubble wrap will also work, but they are much more expensive. In most cases, butcher paper will do just as fine. For extremely fragile objects, make paper balls and create a layer two inches thick before putting away those items.

Close the box and seal it with tape. Make sure that no opening is left without tape, and that the box isn't damaged. Too heavy boxes aren't a good idea because they could break or fall; distribute heavy objects in many small boxes and carry them one by one.

Label the boxes as "fragile" with dark ink that is easily seen from the distance. Don't write on only one side of the box, the more signs, the better.

Packaging Considerations for Fragile Items

Are you moving house or shipping items you have bought from one state to another? Well if you are, then you are most probably facing lots of challenges when it comes to packaging fragile items. Items like glass, marble, ceramics and many others are the hardest to pack in these situations as they can very easily break or chip during transportation. Here are a few things you can do to prevent damage to such items.

Never Wait Till the Last Minute

Fragile items may or may not be of value. While they may be just beautiful glass items, some may be antiques that are worth a lot of money. Fragile items can also just be valuable because of the sentimental value they possess. Never wait to pack at the last minute. Package these items well ahead of the scheduled day of shipping as this will allow you ample time to be keen.

Invest In Quality Packaging Material

When transporting fragile items, the old throw-it-in-a-box and tape it up just won’t do. You have to purchase proper packaging material to ensure that the items arrive in good condition. Some packaging materials that you will need include bubble wrap, packing tape, cardboard, and lots of packing paper, scissors, and double walled boxes. Ensure that you also have a flat working surface. Sometimes moving companies help with the packaging.

Specific Packaging Ideas


When using the packing paper, make sure you wrap up each individual piece sufficiently so that they are cushioned in case of vigorous movement. For large glass pieces, crumple up some of the packing paper and fill the glasses before wrapping. This reduces the amount of empty space. Place heavy glasses at the bottom and lighter ones at the top layering up with packing paper as you go. The more the paper the safer your glasses will be.

Antiques and Oddly Shaped Fragile Items

You will need the bubble wrap here. Wrap up each piece sufficiently with bubble wrap including handles and other protruding sections. Secure this firmly with the packing tape. Put the wrapped pieces on cardboard then bend the cardboard to go around the entire item. Tape it up as much as you can. Place the item in a box that does not leave too much space and fill any empty space left with crumpled up paper. Get professionals to help out if you feel overwhelmed.


Packaging plates is pretty simple if one rule is followed; always keep the plates vertical. All you have to do is wrap up each plate with bubble wrap, tape it up and place it vertically in a box. Repeat this till all plates are wrapped then place paper in between the plates to prevent collision.


Lamps can be very tricky to package properly and safely. So when packaging lamps, ensure that you dismantle them first. Packaging it as a single item is a sure way to break it. Pack the bases separately from the fixtures. You must wrap up these with lots of wrapping paper.

Pictures and Frames

Picture frames, wall hangings and paintings are all fragile items because any single scratch on them and they are ruined. You must ensure that you wrap these up in lots of paper then bind up with tape. Line them up in fitting boxes with paper in between any gaps.

Call Movers If You Are In Over Your Head

Sometimes you just don’t know what to do when moving and that is ok. Do not panic or do a shoddy job that will see you break everything you have. Call in the professionals to do their job. There are lots of great moving companies that will pack up everything and even take up liability for damages.

If you decide to hire a moving company, ensure that you have a list of everything being moved to prevent any misunderstandings. Always sign a contract that holds them responsible for damages because after all you called them to prevent damages not cause them.

One important point to remember is to always buy the moving materials you need. Do not try to substitute bubble wrap for instance with clothing or bed sheets. These will not provide the correct cushioning for your items and you will be shocked upon arrival. Remember; better to be safe than sorry, so take all necessary precautions.

Mark and Label 

Moving is hard work and as you pack up all your fragile items you will need help at least placing the boxes in the car. Always label the boxes that contain fragile items. Labeling will ensure that anyone handling the boxes knows not to toss them around carelessly. 

Packing can be as tiresome as it is exhausting. Part of the stress is picking out the boxes in which to pack, and knowing how to pack the different items to be moved. How you pack will make it easier or harder when you finally get to unpack. If you have a lot of stuff to move, the packing process can be particularly overwhelming. However, to make the process easier, here are a few tips.

1. Packaging Supplies

When you get the news that you need to move, there are a few supplies that you cannot afford to miss. If you are going to move the items oversees, you will require high quality, good packaging materials to ensure the safety of your items. The most important packaging supply is the boxes. If you have a lot of odd-shaped items, you can decide to pack them in barrels instead. Other than that, here are other supplies you should pick. 

Packing paper/unprinted papers     Bubble wrap for delicate items
PVC tape (not cellophane or masking tape)   Cutting tool (scissors or sharp knife)
Labels/stickers for identification   Notebook (for inventory recording)
Tape dispenser   Labeling markers

2. Picking the Packing Boxes

It is very important to pick packing boxes of the appropriate sizes; you will need small and large boxes. When picking large boxes, make sure they are only large enough to fit the bigger items. Keep in mind that a person will carry the boxes so don’t make the load too heavy.

When picking packaging boxes, consider the items to be moved and choose a suitable, sustainable packaging. If you are packing items such as shoes and clothes, you can go for the standard boxes. However, if you are moving items that are fragile, and china, you need sturdy boxes. Most dish pack boxes are double walled, and they can be either tall or medium. The taller boxes can be used to pack lamps, larger toys, baking utensils such as sheets and the like.

If you have previously moved and you kept the boxes that you used, check their sturdiness first before using them. While you may find that most are usable, especially quality ones, some may have been weakened and can only be discarded. You may need to get rid of a lot of things that you no longer use, or hold a sale to get rid of them profitably. Such items may include toys that the kids have long overgrown, furniture and clothes that the family no longer uses, and other things that you really do not see value in carrying around to your new place.

3. Pack One Room at a Time

Now that you have the boxes, begin a systematic and organized packing; one room at a time. Start with the least used items. This helps if you will be packing for a few days. Once you are done, make a label clearly showing what is inside.

When packing delicate items such as kitchenware, toys, or electronics, wrap them with bubble wrap, unprinted paper or soft clothes (that do not have any hard embellishments) before packing them in boxes. The extra wrapping protects them against clanking, which can cause breakage.

For each box, pack heavier items at the bottom then fill it with lighter, smaller items. If the items leave any space, fill it up with clothes, dishtowels, packaging/butcher paper, or bubble wrap to keep the items in place. Keep the boxes less than 15 kilos to make it easier to move around. Make sure that the items do not shift while inside the box as they can break when moving. Once the box is comfortably full, close the lid, secure it with the PVC tape and label it. Do not pack items that stick out of their boxes, and try not to have any loose items left unpacked.

4. Pack for Your First Night

The first night after moving is usually hectic, tiresome and long. In order to make it easier, plan before you pack. Put a few essentials in a separate box and clearly label it. This box should include toiletries, pajamas, bottled water, snacks, a change of clothes, and anything else needed for a night or two.

In order to make packing and moving easy and painless, give yourself adequate time to plan. Plan for all items, as well as for the trucks that will be involved in the moving. Think of the weather on the day of moving and be prepared. If you are only moving a few items such as when moving offices, you can do it yourself instead of hiring movers, especially those who charge on an hourly basis. While we don't want any awards for packaging advice, we still want you to have a good moving experience.

The perks of putting stuff on a boat

We’ve all shopped online. We see a few items, choose the one we want, and click on the button to make the purchase. It’s so easy to buy things that are produced offshore, that we don’t even think about it. Where was this item produced? A European country? The United States? China? India? Who cares? Things are as easy as typing your credit card information and clicking on the purchase button. Easy, huh?

We are used to seeing shipping fees on the detailed order. Those fees mean that, somewhere in the world, there will be a guy carrying a package with our purchased item inside of it; or maybe a machine will do it, or a guy driving a machine. Then that package will end up inside a ship, and the ship will sail across the ocean towards us. The package will be delivered and we will - hopefully - open it up in our houses and get our hands on our item of choice.

For as simple as it sounds, shipping companies face lots of challenges and complicated issues, most of which remain unknown for the customers. Few have heard about shipping trouble besides some delay or, in the worst of cases, a damaged item. However, there is much more to this business, from logistics to international regulations.

Waters of no law

All national governments have the right to rule their own countries, and no right to rule other countries. In an attempt to achieve global organization, international bodies such as the United Nations were created. These organizations mean to propose measures and regulations for the countries of the world to apply. However, they have no actual authority on those countries; in other words, they can only come up with ideas and make suggestions, but each nation is free to accept those suggestions or ignore them. However, this is the closest thing that exists to actual international authority.


This is important for shipping because this activity usually means to travel from one country to another, and different nations have different laws. The sea area around a country is considered a part of the country’s territory, and therefore, that nation’s laws are on effect. Some laws will apply to vessels and trade in general, such as quality and safety requirements, and paperwork regulations. 

Some of these regulations have an environmental weight, such as Co2 monitoring for shipping companies, and therefore have inherent importance to the eyes of international organizations. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was created to regulate these aspects of shipping and creating an even field for this activity. Its conventions for safety and environmental measures are the closest things we have to an authority, but as stated, they will only have an effect on those countries who choose to ratify them. Even if DTI want shipping charges regulated, international consense will be needed to extend the measure to other nations.

Removals From S.Africa

S.Africa has for long been synonymous of efficiency and hard work. However, all countries have economic challenges here and there. In S.Africa the shipping industry has problems, with a credit crush about to hit at any second and bring many shipping companies down. The shipping industry has actually seen bright days at the early 2000s, and strong investment boosted this industry even more. The port of Hamburg, where most ships arrive or depart from S.Africa, is currently facing an overgrowth issue. There is over-capacity in many units and they can’t find enough demand to fill up all their ships. The industry has seen better days, and there is great conflict about whether to save the capital and wait for a brighter situation or to try different schemes like refinancing and third-party investment to bring the business afloat. Even if banks are more willing to wait, private lenders put pressure on ship owners to get their money back, and as a result, they’ve even started collecting entire floats of ships as payment.

However, the S.Africa people are used to undergo difficult situations and rise again, morally and economically. Even in this challenging climate, some industries find their way to expand their business. For example, TNT in S.Africa are becoming more efficient by enhancing their logistics with a surprising move. Many of TNT’s offices in S.Africa are now equipped with 3D printers, which they can use to craft the products that their clients demand on site, thus significantly lowering the costs and complexity of shipping. As these printers can also be used to 3D print spare parts and other useful items for the company itself, TNT is stepping up its game. It is noteworthy that a huge company like FedEx has expressed interest in purchasing TNT. 

International house removals    

Overseas relocation of the goods and the belongings is carried out by a huge number of removal companies these days. They not only help people in relocation of their material but also businesses. The business of removal companies is blooming with the number of people hiring them being on the rise. Mostly the process of removal will include the use of vans. However, if there is relocation across the borders, then the movers might take up other means of transport such as special shipping containers. Many removal companies also offer assistance in packing. Few companies offer complete assistance in the full packing services which includes handling the entire procedure in connection with the packing and moving. Many other companies have restricted services such as just packing and just moving.

Relocation of self also includes the entire relocation of the luggage and belongings. After all, it is your hard earned money that you have used to make up your house. The removal companies will include the complete work of removal of the carpets, rugs, wall paintings, lamps, furniture, electrical appliances, kitchen cutlery, wardrobe and clothing, footwear and much more. They involve taking up the responsibility of dissembling of the furniture, wrapping up of the material, packing it with complete padding and protection, labelling the boxes and much more. They are completely professional and take up the entire packing process with care. You can be very satisfied with their service in terms of the packing and winding up the entire household in a day or two.        

The complexities involved in international moving:

Relocation is one such task which can give any person great stress and trouble. Shifting the business or the house is a tedious job indeed! From packing to labelling to remembering to keep things as planned includes few things that need to be taken up during your packing and moving process. Apart from the materialistic things, house removal also includes you to sit down and notify all the people associated with you in some or the day way about your relocation.

In addition to all this, hoarded things in your area need to be removed. The things that you feel are not needed can be sold. This can be an extremely straining job and difficult to do it without any help from an expert. The packing and moving companies associated with removals are experts and trained professionals. Relocation within the same state might seem an easy task. However, relocation overseas is no easy task. International moving is a tedious job which can’t be carried out without the help of an expert.         

Moving on your own vs. Hiring a removals company

Moving on your own might not a very pleasant experience for most people. It will turn out to be a mind boggling experience with the loads of work and strain involved. Hiring a removal company will ease down your stress to a great extent by taking care of all the headaches leaving you with minimal and nil stress. With the removal company, you will find that the entire work would be finished rapidly, in the expected time and more organized. The stress felt would be much less when taken up the assistance of a professional expert than do it yourself. You can conveniently move things such as your vehicles and other important things hassle-free with the help of the packing and removing companies. You can go online and check the reviews about the people in regards to moving their belongings themselves versus the removal through the professional experts.       

Choosing the right removals company is important

When you have decided upon relocating your house or business, always keep in mind your requirements before you hire any removal company. There are a huge number of removal companies which give complete assistance in the packing, moving and rearranging. You can get the best deals for yourself by checking online or through word of mouth as well. Whichever company you choose, you must keep in mind that you give the company the complete details about your requirements and expectations. They are famous globally with offices in a wide range of places. Part load removals to France as well as complete load removal, both are taken up by the companies through complete perfection and perfectionism. The rates of the services will differ from one company to the other depending upon the kind of services and also depending upon the place the material is relocated to.    

Moving Overseas by a Shipping Container   

If you have decided to move overseas, you already know that there is a lot of adjusting, shifting and changing that is in store. The biggest dilemma that your face in this period is the choice between selling off all that you have to travel light and shipping all your belongings to a new place. While the former choice is practical in a lot of ways, there may be too many unnecessary expenses involved. In addition to that, it is very inconvenient to be in an entirely new country with none of your belongings. Shipping seems like a fair choice as there are several shipping companies that will help you put your things in order and ship them carefully. The only thing that you need to worry about is when ship your stuff, how you pack your stuff and what to ship and what to leave.

When Should You Ship Your Stuff?

The answer to this question depends entirely upon where in the world you plan to relocate to. There are two possibilities when you are moving overseas. Your relocation is either iso-hemispheric or trans-hemispheric. The former refers to a shipping route that will remain in the same hemisphere while the latter refers to a shipping route that crosses hemispheres. In case of an iso hemisphere relocation, make sure that you choose a season that is relatively dry. Humidity can cause a lot of damage to your belongings. If you are unable to control the shipping date, make sure that you get all your packing done during the day and that your container is shut tight at night to avoid any condensation.

When relocating to a new hemisphere, the ideal time to pack is the beginning of winter so that the shipment reaches its destination in a warmer month. The most important thing to keep in mind is that packing in the rainy season can be disastrous. 

How to get Packing and Shipping right

Gathering up all the contents of your home to ship to a new country is not the easiest thing to do. However, you can plan well in advance to ensure that you leave none of your valuables behind but take only what you really require.  To begin with, collect as many containers and boxes as you can. You can also order shipping containers home to pack yourself. .

Then, make a list of all the things that you really want to take with you. Cheap items that are too bulky are never really a good idea to take anywhere. The same applies for broken stuff.  You may also want to leave basic things like pillows and mattresses behind. Also discard clothes that you are not using. It is never a bad time for a wardrobe makeover, in any case.

Next, think of yourself living in the country. What are the things that may not fit in with your possible living conditions? Are all your  power adapters in place? These are simple questions that you need to answer to make sure you get your packing right.

The next step is to ensure proper delivery. Look for a good transport company a few months before your relocation date. This will give them enough time to make space for your container on the ship of airplane. They will also be able to decide upon the type of truck needed to carry your goods. Giving the shipping company enough time means that your stuff will be in safe hands.

List, Insure and Track Your Stuff

When you arrive at this stage, you know that you are ready to leave. Label all the containers and also make a list of boxes and loose items within the shipping container.  Make a sheet with three columns-  description, box number and replacement price. This list is also useful for the customs at the destination. 

Ensure that all your goods have been insured. You will have to pay a premium of 2% of the sum insured. This negligible amount secures your stuff until it actually reaches the destination. After you have insured and sent your shipment, you will get a voyager document for your shipment. This gives you all the details of your shipment including the name of the vessel, container identification and the contents. You can log on to the website of the company to track your shipment using this information. Always work with a reliable and trusted company to keep your belongings safe.  

Moving house can be one of the most stressful things you will ever experience. Most counsellors and psychologists put it up there in the top three right next to getting divorced. It is no wonder then that so many people are reluctant to start packing and take the big step – even if it is right next door. The move is even scarier if you are moving further away – whether for another job or due to a personal tragedy (we all need a clean break sometimes). Even if you are a seasoned mover (I have moved more than thirty times in my 27 years) it is still a stressful experience every single time. This article is meant to give you some advice on how to make the move as stress free as possible. Want some advice from a self made expert? Keep reading.

Tip One – Get Rid of All Junk

When I visit people’s homes it is easy to spot the people who have moved maybe once or twice in their life from the permanent nomads. We all collect clutter during the course of our lives and it adds up quickly – before you know it you have boxes and boxes of things you don’t want or need. In order to make the moving process easier you need to set aside a few weekends to get rid of clutter. Take it one room at a time and don’t ever try and do everything at once. It will just stress you out even more. You need three piles – the ‘out’, ‘maybe’ and ‘keep’ ones. A good rule of thumb for the maybe pile is if you have not used or worn the item in more than a year and a half then you don’t need it anymore.

There are obviously sentimental items but it helps to remember that memories are stored and become a part of who you are. Limit the number of keepsakes you have to things you refer to often. Except photos – which are dying out. I will talk about photos in the next section.

Get Organized – Everywhere

Okay, going back to the photos. There are certain objects like books and photos which have become very digitized in recent years but there is nothing like actually paging through a photo album or the smell of a new or musty book that you pick up in the book store or library. Books are a pain to pack but it is worth it. They let people know who you are. Photos symbolize what brought you to where you are today. A personalized visual version of books. With photos either put them all into albums or get a scrapbook and organize them in that manner. Boxes of photos are not easy to pull out and can’t be left on the coffee table so it makes perfect sense to catalogue everything. While you are at it, head onto Facebook and Instagram and develop some of the newer photos for your albums. Another place where moving house can actually be a blessing is in the home office. While you need original copies of important documents you should also digitize as much as you can in case something gets lost.

 Hire Experts to Help You

When it comes to packing up your house, if you can afford it, it really is better to hire professional movers and packers to help you pack everything up. This is something my mother taught me (my dad is a contractor). Packing is exhausting – especially if you work full time or have to do it without the help of your partner while raising children. These people come in, pack everything up properly, mark your boxes and literally let you supervise while you can focus on more important issues. They can also give you advice about small things.

Be Prepared

In all honesty, it is really, really unlikely that you are going to be able  to sleep in your own, perfectly made up bed on the first night. In fact, the chances of this happening are so miniscule that you should not even be allowed to consider it. Pack an overnight bag with all of your basics so you can feel fresh the next day. In fact, pack for a few days. My experience is that life tends to take unexpected turns and you never know when you might need an extra set of clothes and clean toothbrush....

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