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How to Pack Fragile and Valuable Items

When relocating from one home to the next it is important to pay special attention to items in your home that are of high value, and to let the movers help to insure these items are properly taken care of in the move.

Packing Small Items:
Small items that are of particular importance to you such as coin collections, jewelry, family records, and other important documents should always be transported by you personally so that you can see first hand that they are properly handled and don't have to worry about them as part of your move.

Larger Items to Pack:
Larger items of value that cannot be easily transported by you are handled differently, depending on the type of item. As a first step, make sure that you have pointed out all high value items in the home to the movers and obtain their expert opinion on how they should best be moved.

Fragile Items to Pack:
Fragile items such as china, crystal and other valuable dishware will require special packing and packing materials. If the mover is providing you with packing services as part of your move, they will carefully wrap these pieces in tarnish proof paper, bubble wrap, foam peanuts or some special type of packing material that will allow these pieces to have extra cushioning while in their cartons. They also have an exact process of loading the cartons for different types of pieces to insure safety. (Check out this article on all things related to moving boxes.)

Marble and Fine Art:
Marble and fine art pieces are best protected when they are crated in wooden containers. Most often your mover will have the crating done by a 3rd party company as most crates have to be built to fit each piece. This process would also apply to large mirrors, glass table tops, and chandeliers. You can always request special packing for these type of items.

Packing Antiques:
Antique or heirloom furniture will require other services by the mover, depending on the nature and size of the piece. Often they will use a thin foam material called 'dolphin wrap,' aptly named due its grey color and smooth surface. This material will be wrapped around the larger pieces and then protected with the normal moving pads over the top of the 'dolphin wrap.' This process will allow for the protection of the finish on the furniture and the normal protection of pad wrapping each piece.

Pianos require special equipment to move and it is important that the mover is aware from the beginning of your conversations that you have a piano, so they can be prepared. Baby Grand pianos require disassembly of the legs from the piano, and a special piano board for the body. Most professional movers can do this service; they just need to be prepared in advance. Due to the weight of pianos, it is also helpful to let your mover know the location that it will be moved from in the home at origin, and destination because they will need to prepare for the right amount of manpower, and will need to know if the location is on the main level or some other level of the home or apartment.

It is important that you have accurate and complete documentation as to the value of your high value items. When planning your move and deciding on the right type of valuation coverage, the normal amount of coverage needed should be increased to cover your high value items. For the purposes of filing a claim for damages, it is also suggested that you have proof of value (e.g. purchase receipts) or appraisals (for items such as artwork or antiques) on these items. Without proof of value, in the event that there are damages, the value of your items would be established by an adjuster and may or may not be satisfactory to you.

Professional moving companies are comfortable handling your high value items. It is important to communicate early on the items that they will be handling for you to allow them to best plan and execute your move.

Your Next Move:

10 Tips to Make Your Packing Easy

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A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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