Unless you are a young person with little furniture (that is mostly particle board), leave it to professionals! Many people get over-ambitious in an effort to save money, only to find themselves calling a mover to the rescue when their situation becomes dire. Remember the “Friends” episode when Ross tried to move a sofa up the stairs with a “Pivot”. We have been called on many occasions with items stuck in hallways or doorways…
Most Moving Companies (if not all) provide free estimates. You are under no obligation to hire a company, so it would be wise to weigh your options by obtaining some free quotes. Some clients will hire a moving company to only move their big furniture items, and will move the boxes, clothes, pictures themselves, in order to cut down on the cost of a move. You can make an educated decision after you talk with some companies and receive some free advice.
There are many items that I wouldn’t recommend moving by yourself:
- Glass or marble table tops can break or crack very easily, and sometimes need special wrapping or crating. In addition, large glass pieces and marble needs to be carried vertically.
- Pianos require special boards to move, and need to be disassembled.
- Pool tables need to be properly dismantled, crated, and prepared for moving.
- Light fixtures and chandeliers need special consideration with the electrical and fragile components.
Other items that require special care would include:
- Professional gym and exercise equipment
- Grandfather clocks
- Large glass cabinets
- Mirrors and priceless art pieces
Additionally, large sofas, hide-a-beds, and recliners can be dangerous if not handled properly. These items are heavy and have reclining metal pieces that need to be secured before lifting and moving.
It is very important to choose the right boxes when packing. The rule of thumb is the heavier the item, the smaller the box—and the lighter the item, the larger the box. What size should the box be?
- Small box: books, photo albums, and canned goods
- Medium box: pots, pans, and files
- Large box: linens, blankets, and toys
- Wardrobes: hanging clothes
- Mirror cartons: pictures, paintings, and mirrors
Dishpacks are to be used for fragile and breakable items. They are a thicker, double walled cartons designed with arrow’s pointing up, and are marked “Fragile.” These are standard in the industry and movers know that the contents have breakable items inside.
Boxes should be packed tightly, and when necessary extra paper should be used to fill the remaining space. If a box is only half full, there is the possibility for the box being crushed and the items inside getting damaged. When packing a dishpack, you should shake the box once it is full to make sure that nothing rattles. If a dishpack is not packed properly, the vibrations from the truck can cause damage and breakage.
How do you pack a dishpack?
- The fragile items should go into dishpacks. Here’s a quick how-to on packing dishpacks, so you can keep your fragile items safe during the move:
- Line the dishpacks with unprinted newsprint. This is the material that we line all of our boxes with, and we also use it for wrapping each individual item that goes into the dishpack.
- The unprinted newsprint is crumpled and lines the bottom of the dishpack for the first layer.
- The heavier bowls or items are wrapped, and then placed securely at the bottom of the box.
- Next a level of newsprint is placed on top, creating another layer.
- Plates are wrapped and then placed vertically (like a dishwasher) tightly across this second layer. There is less pressure on the plates and less chance of damage if packed this way.
- Another layer of newsprint goes on top of those plates creating a final layer. You can never use too much newsprint (crumpled, of course).
- Place the lighter cups, saucers, and glasses on this third layer, wrapping each piece (no glass should ever touch).
- Finish the top with a final layer of newsprint.
This is how the professionals pack, and we call it the “layered salad.”
If you follow the guidelines on what to pack in which box, the contents should move and travel safely. If you pack too many books or photo albums in a large box (instead of the small box), then the box will be too heavy and it will fall apart. The way a professional creates a sturdier container is to build a wooden crate around the box. For example, a chandelier would get wrapped and secured in a large box, then framed with wood for added protection. This would hold true with artwork, ceramics, paintings, etc.
We have a team of professional packers that are separate from our movers. They pack and prepare the contents prior to moving day, and get the move organized for our clients. This team is dedicated to packing the most fragile items as well as building crates for transport, whether it is a local, long distance, or international move.
Other tips for moving fragile items safely
Packing Lamp Shades:
Use a carton that is a little bigger than the largest shade and line it with paper. Additionally, put crumpled paper under the shade to further protect it. Do not put paper around the shade. You can place a smaller shade inside a larger one, as long as they don’t touch. Do not pack any other items with your shades. Mark your cartons “lamp shades, fragile, top load.”
Packing Lamp Bases:
Remove the light bulb and lamp harp. Wrap these items with newsprint. Use a dishpack or sturdy carton and line with crumpled paper. Wrap the lamp base in the paper and place in the carton surrounded by the crumpled paper. Mark the cartons “lamps, fragile.”
Additional packing tips:
- No box should weigh more than 50 lbs
- Line the box with a few inches of crumpled paper
- Make sure all items are securely positioned so they do not move during transit
- Fill any voids in the box with paper—this lessens the chance of the box caving in
- The more fragile an item is, the more cushioning required
- Make sure there are no sharp points, edges, or rims left uncovered
- The sides of the boxes shouldn’t bulge
- Heaviest items should be placed at the bottom of the box
- Do not mix breakables with heavy items
- Use plenty of paper
- Tape and label each box
- Put labels on the side of the box so they can be seen easily when being stacked
Do not pack:
- Wet or damp items
- Perishable food items
- Open containers
- Cleaning supplies such as bleach and ammonia
- Batteries, combustible or corrosive liquids, explosives, or any flammable materials
- Compressed gases, propane tanks, and paints
Large Flat Screen TVs can be placed in their original box if still available. Removing the TV’s from the walls can be difficult, therefore we recommend hiring a professional. Most moving professionals will do this service and then secure the TVs in a blanket or specially designed box.
Mirror cartons are used for a variety of items. These are flat boxes that come in 4 pieces. The pieces are folded over to cover to the mirrors, paintings, and glass pictures. Most clients leave the fragile mirrors and larger pictures for the movers to secure in these cartons. The flat pieces of a mirror carton are also used to secure glass fronts on china cabinets. The flat carton is placed over the glass then the professionals use shrink wrap to hold the carton in place. Shrink wrap protects the furniture and as adheres like tape, without damaging the furniture. Shrink wrap is used throughout the home to secure drawers from sliding out, to protect sofas, upholstery, and mattresses. The moving pad is used to protect items such as large vases, oversized and fragile floor lamps, statues, etc. These items are wrapped with the pads, then secured with sealing tape.
Let us know what needs extra care and we’ll deliver every time. As a serious moving service, we take serious care of everything you need moved, but if you have special needs for sensitive items, we can work together to ensure these items are taken care of and specially packed.
Ridgewood Moving Services maintains flexible storage contracts. We know how quickly needs can change and because of that we’ve made available different types of storage contracts which allow you to rent space for short, medium, and extended periods. For more information call our offices at 1-201-529-2211.
Choosing a moving company requires you to consider your needs, your location, and the best possible mover near you. Consider customer testimonials, business reputation, and company age; these are good indicators since only the best moving companies can be successful for decades.
You don’t need to apply for a quote with Ridgewood Moving Services. You just need to call our offices at 1-201-529-2211 for your free and instant estimate.
Some moving services in northern New Jersey (Bergen County) and New York metro areas charge for estimates, but at Ridgewood Moving Services, your quote is free. For an instant quote call 1-201-529-2211 and talk to the tri-state’s best moving professionals.
Ridgewood Moving Services is both a residential and commercial mover. We can provide for you whether you’re changing homes or relocating your office.
Ridgewood Moving Services operates outside of Bergen County and within the greater New York metro area, including counties in New York. We are based in Mahwah and Ridgewood, New Jersey, but our services are available to anyone in this area interested in moving.
Ridgewood Moving Services’ climate controlled warehouse is located in Mahwah, New Jersey, and can easily accommodate all needs. We go out of our way to maximize the space you purchase so you get the most out of your investment.
For more than 40 years, Ridgewood Moving Services has built its reputation and name on highly personalized solutions for your moving needs. We’re so proud of our staff and organization that we welcome you to visit our office and see our service in person!