How to Safely Pack Glass for Moving

If you thought moving flat screen TVs was tricky, you’re in for a bigger hassle when it’s time to pack up all your glassware for a move.

At least flat screens are always flat! Glassware can come in all kinds of shapes, and they’re all fragile and some of the easiest items to break on a move. So yes, it’s going to take a little extra time and care to properly pack your glass items, but it can still be done fairly easily and inexpensively. Here are some key tips to remember:

Never Let Glass Touch Glass

This is a big one. You’re going to be packing most of your glass items into the same boxes, but you need to make sure they don’t touch each other because that’s one of the easiest ways to cause breakage. Luckily, it’s not hard to do this, and it’s also very cheap: All you need is cardboard and newspaper.

The Materials You’ll Need

Your first line of defense are the usual cardboard boxes you’ve been putting all your other stuff in for the big move, but that’s just the beginning.

You can buy specially made ‘dish paper’ at packing stores, but the stacks of newspaper you already have will do just fine. For dishes, put a couple layers of paper between each plate, and for cups and vases, put crumpled-up wads of paper between each object.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

For objects you know are going to be more fragile, you can cut up any extra cardboard you have to create dividing walls inside each box. That will make sure you don’t get any glass-on-glass contact. You can usually get sturdy cardboard boxes with dividers already inside them for free if you ask politely at places like liquor stores that receive their stock in such containers and would otherwise just throw them out for recycling. Or, if you want, you can order specially made glass divider boxes.

The Flat and the Skinny

Large flat panes of glass, like the kind you might find on top of a coffee table, and narrow glass that can easily snap, like the stems of wine glasses or delicate figurines, are special items that deserve special attention.

This is the time to beef up your protection from scavenged paper and cardboard to real bubble wrap. Go ahead and buy a roll, it’s insurance worth having.

For flat glass, a couple of layers of bubble wrap is a good idea, followed by very careful placement in your moving vehicle—sandwiched between two mattresses is a nice option.

Delicate, narrow areas need the most attention. Wrap paper and bubble wrap around the entire object until it is fairly even on all sides; that means packing a lot of extra material in the narrow section. You should end up with something that looks a bit like an egg made of crumpled paper and bubble wrap. You can then pack your ‘eggs’ into a box somewhat tightly, making sure there is not enough room for them to bounce into each other—you may even want to tape the ‘eggs’ together into one unit. You can just tape the packing material, no need to get sticky tape on your glassware. The most delicate pieces may need as much as three inches of extra material around each item.

 

It’s a lot of extra detail compared to loading up books or Tupperware, but it’s better than opening a box full of broken glass at your new home. Take a look at our selection of glass and dish packing supplies, and if you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-818-8449 and the College Muscle Movers of Minneapolis will do our best to help you out.

Moving Furniture from IKEA? Be Careful of These 5 Things

Who doesn’t love IKEA furniture? Even if you’d prefer solid oak antiques yourself, you’ve got to appreciate how easy IKEA is on the budget for young students (like our College Muscle Movers) and families and how simple it is to get everything you need in one shopping visit to an IKEA superstore—we’ve got one right here in Minneapolis, you know!

ikea

 

1. Buy Before You Move? Sure, Why Not

If you live close to an IKEA location but expect to be moving farther away, there’s no harm in loading up in the nice, flat-packed furniture you want right before you move. If you’ve got space in your moving truck, you’ll save on shipping costs and the original packaging will keep your furniture very safe.

And when you do put the furniture together, don’t drill those screws in too tightly. After all, you might need to take them apart for your next move.

2. Disassembly is a Smart Idea

Breaking down that IKEA furniture is easy, it will make the furniture take up less space as you move, and most important it will reduce the chance of the furniture being damaged by the pressures of a bumpy road. Just remember to pack the pieces with blankets to avoid scratches, and be sure to…

3. Label Those Pieces

Put labels on the items as you break them down, especially for furniture with many similar pieces, like bookshelves. A simple sticker marked with “bottom shelf” or something similar should do the job.

Most importantly, be sure to also keep the various screws and fasteners for each item in a separate labeled bag.

But what are you going to do when you’ve got all these labeled pieces in your new home? Odds are good you didn’t bother to save assembly instructions, right?

4. You Can Get Free Assembly Instructions Online

No problem! You can get those instructions online directly from IKEA. If you didn’t save the handy little tools either, that’s okay: common screwdrivers and Allen wrenches should cover almost everything you need to do.

5. Beware the Particle Board—and the Particle Board Waiver

Yes, it’s true, part of what makes some IKEA furniture cheap is that it’s made of particle board which is inexpensive but also somewhat fragile. Properly packed into its original packaging, there’s almost no risk of damage, but if you’re disassembling one of your old pieces or moving a fully assembled item, there’s a reasonable chance that accidents will happen.

Make sure you’re prepared for that possibility, and more importantly, take a look at what your professional movers are expecting to accomplish. You’re paying them for their experience and care, so you should expect a better rate of success than moving on your own—but not every mover feels that way, especially for cross-country moves where the risk of breakage is increased.

Take a look at everything you sign in regards to liability for your move. It’s not unheard of for some moving companies to include waivers that absolve them of responsibility for especially fragile items, especially items they’re used to dealing with on a regular basis, like IKEA furniture. If you think you’re getting a good deal on the move, it may be fair to take the responsibility yourself, but make sure you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign these waivers—and be suspicious of any company that simply slips the waiver in with the rest of the paperwork without informing you.

How to Safely Pack and Move Your LCD TV

One of the most challenging items on your packing list is going to be that big flat screen TV. At College Muscle Movers, we take extra care with these delicate and expensive items. If you’re planning on doing your own packing, we can help you out by giving you a little advice and looking at the truth behind one of the biggest questions in moving LCD TV screens.

Even our best advice can’t guarantee you’ll have a safe move, especially if you hit a lot of bumps in the road, but this little guide will should improve the chances of getting that TV where it needs to be safe and sound.

Let’s start with the big question:

Can I Move My TV Flat, Or Do I Have To Keep It Upright?

You’ve probably heard that you can’t lay modern TVs flat without damaging them. That’s actually only partly true. There’s nothing wrong with laying a screen flat, and it won’t break just from being horizontal instead of vertical.

The real problem is that a screen laying on its face or on its back is much more easily damaged by all kinds of other factors. Those screens are engineered to be shipped and be used standing up; a horizontal TV will have more pressure on that delicate screen, and any additional pressure—like from a bouncing moving truck—can cause real damage.

So, if your TV is perfectly packed, there’s not really anything wrong with laying it down, but on the other hand there’s no reason to take the risk.

How Should I Pack My LCD TV?

Okay, let’s get to the real issue: how to pack your TV.

First, your best option is always going to be repacking the TV in the box it came in. Of course most people don’t bother to save those boxes, but if you’re one of the people who do, you’ve got a solution all ready to go. If you’re really serious about the best possible security for your big flat screen, you can buy special boxes designed to offer similar protection from retailers like EcoBox.

But that’s probably overkill. If you’re looking for something simpler, your best option may be wrapping a soft blanket around the entire TV and sealing the blanket with tape. This protects the entire TV, and in particular it keeps the screen protected from scratches.

So delicate. So precious. Image Credit: Flick
So delicate. So precious.
Image Credit: Flickr

If you have bubble wrap on hand, it’s a good idea to add a layer  or two over the blanket—and if you don’t have bubble wrap on hand, it’s probably worth picking some up! It’s a lot cheaper than a new TV, and you’ll have plenty of other fragile items to wrap too.

Finally, when it’s time to load the TV into your moving truck, make sure you have a partner to help you carry it—this is one item you definitely don’t want to drop.

Make sure you put your TV in a secure location in the truck. It definitely shouldn’t be under anything that’s likely to fall on top of it, and if it’s on top of other items, make sure it’s not going to slide off and hit the floor. If you have two mattresses, you’re in luck: putting the upright TV between the two mattresses is a great way to keep it safe and secure.

And as always, if you’re in the Minneapolis area and need a hand, College Muscle Movers is here to help.

Moving to Minneapolis – Part 4 : Unloading and Unpacking Boxes

Okay, you’re in the home stretch! You’ve successfully packed all your stuff, you’ve managed to get all those boxes and furniture out the door, and you’ve loaded up a rental truck and hauled your life to a new home.

But the last step can actually take the most time and cause the most frustration. Unloading shouldn’t take too long—it’s just loading in reverse, so check out our post on proper box handling and lifting techniques.

The real challenge is unpacking. Even if you’ve properly labeled all your boxes so you know which goes with which room (we sure hope you did!), you’re going to be a little exhausted and you’ve still got plenty of other new-home chores to take care of. For many people, the unpacking process can stretch into days or weeks.

That’s okay, you earned a break. Take your time. And when you’re ready, take a look at these unpacking tips that will help the process go faster and smoother whenever you decide to tackle it.

The horror... the horror! Image Credit: Flickr
The horror… the horror! Image Credit: Flickr

Plan Ahead

Hopefully you’re reading this before you’ve arrived at your new home, because there’s a lot you can do ahead of time to make unpacking easier.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the last box you load into your truck—and the first box you unload—is your ‘essentials’ box, full of everything you’ll need for the first few nights. That means toiletries, food and dishes for a few simple meals, garbage bags, any documents you’ll need, and some common tools you’ll use to assemble your other items.

If you’re able to scout out your new place ahead of time or even get a floor plan, you’ll also be able to plan what furniture will go where, and you can move it straight to the proper room instead of letting it clump up in the living room.

Details First

It may seem counterintuitive, but there are a number of chores that seem like low priorities that you should really take care of right away. It’s going to be easier to line your cupboards before you load them with pots and pans, and it’s a good idea to start bedroom unpacking by organizing your closet—you’ll have the space to lay out everything and put it where it needs to be so that everything is easy to access in the following days and weeks.

The First Room, the Last Room, and In Between

It’s best to get all those boxes marked ‘kitchen’ unpacked first, unless you plan to spend extra on eating out for every meal.

As you proceed from room to room, always move in the furniture first so that you can plan around it. You don’t need to reassemble everything right away, but it’s best to get these bulky items out of the way first and have them in place so you can estimate how much space they’ll eventually take up.

You can leave any garage and patio items for last. There shouldn’t be anything in there that can’t wait, and you’ll be much happier and more comfortable getting your interior in shape before worrying about these extras—plus you’ll have a better idea of what items should end up in the garage if you can’t find a suitable place for them indoors.

Take it Easy

There’s really nothing wrong with putting off all the little unpacking chores that come after you’ve got the essentials in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom sorted out. Doing everything at once is stressful, and you and your family will have a much better time if you reward yourself by taking breaks to explore your new neighborhood.

Go ahead, relax. If you've unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need? Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Go ahead, relax. If you’ve unpacked your clean underwear and your coffee machine, what else do you need?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

People like to joke about how long it takes them to unpack after a move, but they still do it anyway. The result will be a less stressful and exhausting experience and a final layout that reflects your real preferences instead of simply the first place you could think of to stick your stuff.

And we’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: Make sure to follow the best practices for safely lifting and moving heavy and awkwardly shaped objects. Or better yet, let College Muscle Movers do it for you! Good luck!