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Tips for handling fragile items

Don't let it break!

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.

More resources

There are plenty of security measures that you can take to ensure that you fragile items will arrive to their destination safely. Some items need particular care, like oil paintings - which don't get along with bubble wrap - or metal items - that can be damaged by newspapers. We've collected some articles that you can check to read more about how to handle fragile items in removals.

FREIGHTCORP has published a very complete article on particular care measures for different sorts of fragile items.

removals.co.uk tells us how to pick the perfect box for our fragile objects - and all other kinds of items - and how to prepare it properly.

also has some good tips for fragile items and how to use wrapping material properly.

removals.me has excellent advice for all purpose on removals and packing, so even if this one isn't as specific as the other articles, it would be great for you to give it a read anyway.

Finally, has extremely useful information on how to protect your own health when in a removal.

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