All set up for your house move?
Perhaps you’re excited about moving into your own home in a different neighborhood. Or you’re simply looking forward to your new job located interstate, or perhaps even overseas. Whatever the reason for your planned relocation, there are usually mixed feelings of dread and enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
Well, perhaps there’s more of the dread part right now, as you survey your possessions from room to room in preparation for packing. You’re certainly no Marie Kondo, though downsizing and decluttering may be just what you need. But how about your most prized possessions?
How do you safely keep your family heirlooms, antiques, art collection, and other important belongings intact during your move? To get you started confidently with this chore, here are some essential packing tips from relocation experts:
Tip No. 1: Make an inventory master list of your valuables.
Before or after your initial survey of all your possessions, set aside a day or two for keeping all valuables in one room or section of your house. You can then sort through them and make some last-minute considerations about whether or not each item counts as a genuine valuable based on your own criteria.
This is important because you may decide to hire a professional moving and packing service provider down the line when packing tasks become a bit overwhelming.
Keeping a list will not only help you budget an emergency amount should you end up letting the experts do a full or partial packing service for you. It will also help you keep track of your most prized possessions during the move. Be sure to keep a duplicate or soft copy of this list.
You can also segregate your valuables at this stage. You can classify items as antiques and family heirlooms, artwork, electronics, china, etc. Big-ticket items such as a grand piano or harp and household appliances may also be counted as part of this category of possessions. These larger items, however, can be saved for later so you can focus on getting smaller, hardly used items ready for moving day.
Tip No. 2: Keep photographic and/or video evidence for insurance.
While your inventory work is ongoing, make time to take photos or create a video documentation of your valuables. By having these on hand, you will have actual footage of the original condition of your possessions should evidence be required later. This will be especially helpful if you have insurance coverage.
Just make sure to check with your insurance service provider that the relocation of valuable items during a house move is also covered. You should also check if you need to purchase additional coverage with your removalist just in case anything untoward happens and some of your valuables and fragile items incur loss or damages.
However, for smaller valuable possessions such as jewelry and expensive timepieces, you will have to be personally responsible for their packing and transport. Otherwise, you can always temporarily store them in a bank safety deposit box or specialized storage.
Tip No. 3: Prepare the necessary packing supplies.
You may already have all the basic packing items with you such as different sized cartons, packing tape, permanent markers, scissors, box cutters, packing tissue and newsprint. However, when it comes to special or prized items, you may want to have the following on hand:
- Specialized padded containers – These are especially useful for fragile china, porcelain and other dishware that will benefit from the softly padded material. Aside from keeping delicate items safe and snug from slips, chips, and cracks, they are also washable so you can keep them for later use after unpacking.
- Acid-free, archival quality boxes and envelopes – Intended mainly for housing sensitive antique photographs which should never be clipped or bound together with rubber bands, these can also be used to keep old manuscripts and other similar documents.
- Mirror moving boxes or double- and triple-walled cartons and rolls of bubble wrap – For fancy, expensive or valuable paintings and artwork, you will certainly find having enough bubble wrap and similar-sized mirror moving boxes handy come packing time. Skip the newsprint and packing paper that can stain these masterpieces because of moisture especially during extended storage.
- Acid-free paper – If you have antique silverware, you should use acid-free paper for wrapping each piece. Doing so will reduce the possibility of damaging the metal, especially if you won’t be able to unpack your things right away. However, for long-term storage, you should opt for a silver storage bag instead to prevent the silver from tarnishing.
- Moving blankets – Use these to protect antique furniture surfaces, particularly protruding sections such as the arms or legs as these have a tendency to get dented or scratched during a home relocation. Additionally, you can protect lacquered or glass sections of your prized furniture pieces with bubble wrap.
For electronic items such as smartphones, PCs, tablets, and laptops, keeping them in their original packaging is usually your best bet. The same goes for electrical appliances such as your flat-screen TV, refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc.
If the original boxes they came in are no longer available, you need to get cartons in sizes as close to the original ones as possible. It is also recommended that you get professional help in arranging for packing and moving big-ticket items in portable or movable storage units such as steel boxes.
Tip No. 4: Make detailed labels of everything.
Obviously, there’s no need to announce to the world that a 300-year-old urn left by your grandparents is being transported during the move. Just be sure to make a code that you will understand, and simply mark the box or container with terms like “fragile,” “handle with care” and “this side up.”
You can simply assign a code to be used for all cartons containing special, fragile or valuable items, including instructions on how each container is to be handled. However, you do need to keep a detailed copy of what items belong to a certain coded carton or container for your reference.
Also, make sure the removalists are given instructions beforehand regarding which room the boxes containing these items will be placed in at the new residence.
Tip No. 5: Get the professionals involved.
No matter how much you love your valuables and how dedicated you are to ensuring their safety before, during and after transport, there really is no substitute for a professionally done moving service.
When searching for a removalist, be sure to check whether or not they have specialized experience with packing and transporting fragile or special items. Additionally, if you insist on packing most (if not all) of your valuables, a reliable relocation partner should be able to direct you and share valuable advice. You may even be able to purchase specialized packing materials from them.
So, even though you may be able to partly accomplish packing tasks, there are some things better left in expert hands.
Keep your sanity and valuables intact by calling on experts to take care of the more challenging packing chores. This way, you can focus on moving-related admin tasks, preparing your new place, and finding spots for all your valuables in your new home.
Robert Wise, Sales Administration Manager at Nuss Removals, has been a respected figure in the removals industry for over 20 years. His attention to detail and the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer have ensured the successful relocation of thousands of satisfied individuals and families. For moving and storage across Australia and around the world, Robert’s wealth of experience ensures his customers are in safe hands