All household goods are important when you’re relocating, whether it’s across country or just across town.  But there are some items that are REALLY important and need extra attention than say… your socks! Maybe it’s a Tiffany lamp or fine china.  Maybe it’s your grandfather’s lucky fishing pole or a childhood sled. Whatever the items may be, they have sentimental and/or monetary value and need to be handled a bit different when you’re relocating.  So we at Blackhawk Moving & Storage want to give you some helpful tips to make sure that when you’re packing yourself, you’re more precious items make it safe and sound to your new home.

Use the right cartons for the job

As the old saying goes, “Any job worth doing, is worth doing right.” Nothing could be truer when it comes to packing.  Whether you’re packing up your valuables or packing up dirty laundry, always be sure to use the appropriate carton for the job.  It might be a bit pricey, but if you’re packing yourself, always buy new cartons.  Using old cartons from your basement, or from the local store (i.e. old egg cartons, liquor boxes, milk crates, etc.) might seem like an easy way to save a few bucks, but often the integrity of the cartons are compromised.  This can result in cartons collapsing in on themselves during transit, possibly causing damage to the contents inside, and potentially causing your load to shift.

Cartons and Examples:

·  1.5 cartons – Books

·  3.0 cartons – Lamp Shapes

·  4.0 cartons – Clothes

·  4.5 cartons – Pots and Pans

Be mindful of how you pack

In the hustle and bustle of moving, the packing itself has the potential to be something that is overlooked or rushed.  Don’t make that mistake!  More often than not, damage that occurs on a move where the customer has packed themselves could have been avoided if they had payed closer attention to what and how they’ve packed.  Always be sure to use plenty of padding in your cartons when packing, and remember, packing paper is your best friend.  Once you’ve started packing your cartons, be sure to pack the heavier items on the bottom and work your way up so the lighter items are on top.  Separate layers of items in your cartons with… you guessed it, more packing paper!  If you’re packing something big and fragile (i.e. Lamp shade) pack it by itself. It may seem like a waste of space but it's the best way to keep the item safe.  

Another good rule of thumb: Box density. When you’ve finished packing, add extra paper on top of the carton until it’s almost overstuffed.  This will help to make sure that the contents of the carton will not shift during transit.  Once you’ve sealed the carton, it never hurts to give a little test shake.  If you can feel the contents shifting around, you may need to add some more paper.

Inventory and label your cartons

It might seem a bit overkill, but making an inventory of the contents and numbering each carton is the best way to prevent anything from getting lost in the shuffle.  Be sure to label your cartons with the name of the room, the general contents, if the cartons are fragile, and arrows that point to the top of the box.  It will make loading the truck more efficient, and make unloading at destination go much quicker. Once the cartons start to come off the truck at destination, have your inventory list handy, and check the cartons off one by one.

High Value Items

When shopping for the right moving company, be sure to ask if they have a High Value Item Inventory sheet.  This is a document that lets you declare any and all items of extreme importance and/or value.

Full Value Protection

Most moving companies provide a basic valuation coverage at no extra cost for every move they perform.  That might seem sufficient, and if you’re trying to cut corners, it might be very tempting.  Beware!  Basic valuation is typically 60 cents per pound per article. Let’s say you had an item that was 100 lbs, and was worth $500. Unfortunately, the item is damaged during your move. The moving company is only responsible for reimbursement for damages up to $60. That’s kind of like adding insult to injury. But not to worry, most companies worth their weight in salt will offer extra coverage for a fee, and some will even offer full value protection that will cover the full cost of the items and even replace sets if an individual piece is damaged while in transit. Before choosing a mover, always discuss valuation options.  You’ll be glad you did!

Take what you can with you

When it comes right down to it, extremely valuable items are probably best transported by you.  Items like jewelry, birth certificates, money, family photos, and other small valuables should be packed away with whatever other supplies that you are taking with you in a suitcase or travel bag.

Your valuables are important, so take the appropriate time and measures to ensure that they make it to your new home safe and sound.  If you don’t have the time or energy to do it right, just remember, Blackhawk Moving & Storage can always provide you with top quality packing services.  Be sure to inquire about packing and everything else mentioned when meeting with one our experienced sales people.

For more helpful moving tips, or to schedule a free in home estimate, go to: