8 Ways to Avoid Breaking Things During a Move

Jon Fesmire | Jul 24, 2018 @ 08:00 AM

Moving is tough enough as it is. Getting to your new home only to find that some of your most cherished items have broken is even tougher, but don’t worry; there are ways to avoid that. Here’s how to prevent items from getting broken during a move.

Take Inventory

Taking an inventory of your belongings as you pack them does several things. First, it makes it easy to find any item. Second, it can help you be sure that everything arrived. Third, it can help you determine the value of your belongings if you choose to get moving insurance (more on that shortly).

Here’s a simple process for taking inventory. As you pack, have a pen and pad of paper with you. Label each box with the room it belongs in and a number. Write down the box room and number at the top of a page, and jot down each item you put in that box.

This will help you be more aware of what’s in each box so that you are better aware of which boxes to handle with the most care.

Packing Boxes for Safety

The first step here is simple. If you are going to pack a box with fragile items, label it as fragile.

Use packing materials to keep items from shifting in their boxes. The most common types of packing material include packing paper, which you can crumple up to create volume, foam packing peanuts, and bubble wrap.

Nest Items

Some items, such as pots and pans,  are great for nesting other things during a move. Perhaps you have a favorite mug but your box of cups is full. You can wrap it in layers of packing paper, place it in a cooking pot, and fill the area around it with bubble wrap. Just make sure your fragile items are well-insulated with packing materials.

Disassemble Large Furniture

Many types of furniture are made to be put in one place and to stay there. Yes, you may move your table to another part of the kitchen, or your couch to another spot in the living room, and your office chair rolls on wheels, but they weren’t made to go through a move once assembled.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that will work for a great deal of your furniture, and that’s to properly disassemble it. Common types of furniture to disassemble include the aforementioned tables, couches, and office chairs, and also beds, bookcases, and dressers.

With many tables, it’s possible to remove the legs from the tabletop. A bed’s pillows, sheets, and blankets should be packed apart from the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Disassemble the bed frame and use bungee cords to keep the rails together. Remove shelves from bookcases and stack them together similarly.

Use Moving Blankets

Moving blankets are great for a couple of purposes. First, they make it easy to move heavy items once you get them into the rental truck. Place the item, be it a desk or dresser, on the moving blanket in the truck bed. With one person keeping the item steady, another can pull the blanket to where you want to pack the item.

They also make great padding between items. Just as you want packing material inside your boxes to keep items from bumping into each other, you’ll want padding in the truck between furniture items to prevent breaks and dents. They can be placed over corners that can cause damage, and so on. Consider using your own blankets for this purpose, too, as larger blankets can cover, and protect, more surface area.

Use Ratchet Straps and Bungee Cords

When you get your rental truck, you’ll find ridges along the inside of the trailer. These are there so that you can use ratchet straps or bungee cords to keep your furniture tightly against the walls. There are a variety of wall types in moving trucks, so we recommend asking the rental company how to use ratchet straps and bungee cords in theirs when you rent. In any case, this will allow you to keep furniture from shifting or worse, falling over, in transit.

Don’t Move Alone

When it comes to keeping your belongings from breaking, it helps to have people assisting. Get your strong, able-bodied friends and relatives to help you, or hire a moving company.

Get Moving Insurance

Even with all the aforementioned precautions in place, accidents can still happen.

If this occurs, moving insurance can help.If you work with a moving company, talk to them about the amount of insurance they require, and what they recommend. You will need to estimate the total value of your items and plan on being insured for that amount.