Handle with Care: 10 Tips to Store Dangerous and Fragile Items

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

Sharp edges. Prickly points. Shattered glass. These items can be a mover’s nightmare.

Hard to pack and potential hazards, dangerous and fragile items require extra precaution during the moving process.

Proper packing protects both items and movers. Transport objects safely and free of worry with these ten tips.

Soften Sharp Edges 

Knives, scissors and razor blades all contain some of the sharpest edges in your household. Preparing these items for a move can be tricky, as you want to be sure nothing is accidentally cut in the transition.

  • Tip #1: Blocked Knives: If your knives came with or in a block to keep them safe and sharp, pack them secured in the block. Secure the knives in place with tape or plastic dividers, and then wrap the piece as a whole with tape and bubble wrap or another form of packaging before you place into a box.
  • Tip #2: Loose Knives: For steak knives or other sharp utensils that do not have a natural home to hide their edges, keep items wrapped together in a towel or a sturdy box that can then be wrapped, and kept separate. Label the wrapped towel or box to note the contents as “careful: sharp knives.”
  • Tip #3: Razor Blades: Keep grooming items together in a make-up bag. This set of items should travel with you during the move—not on a moving truck or packed away in a box. If they must be packed, consider fashioning a secure cardboard cover for the blade-facing side of the razor to keep the actual blades covered at all times during the move. Take extra precaution and wrap the entire razor with cardboard covered in bubble wrap before placing into a box. As with the knives, label as “careful: razor blades.”

Cover Prickly Points 

While some items are without a doubt sharp in nature, some are less obvious as potentially harmful objects. The prickly items, the ones that probably won’t give you a cut, but could give you a little prick if not careful, are worth watching out for too.

  • Tip #4: Cactus: As plants, any cacti should be handled separately. Keep them with the rest of your plants, but pack to account for their prickly nature. Put on gloves and carefully wrap the cactus in its pot with multiple layers of newspaper. Follow up with a layer of bubble wrap. After you place into a box or storage container, surround with packing peanuts and label as “careful: cactus.”
  • Tip #5: Kitchen Accessories, Gardening Tools, School Supplies: These are overarching categories of items that can contain prickly parts. When possible, fashion cardboard or plastic covers over sharp edges. Always wrap and double wrap each item until each is safe for transport.
  • Tip #6: Push Pins: Pins kept for sewing and other tasks can become an unfortunate moving discovery. Purchase a pincushion if you do not already own one to store all of these items safely. Once in the pincushion, wrap the entire thing in newspaper and bubble wrap before placing into a box. 

Protect Fragile Items

Once you’ve taken care of the dangerous, protect fragile objects so that they don’t become hazardous during the move. 

  • Tip #7: Glassware: Use cardboard glass dividers or cell boxes to your advantage when moving glassware. For stemware, take extra precaution with the stem part and wrap with extra cushion. Then, wrap the entire glass in paper and bubble wrap. Make sure all boxes are labeled “FRAGILE: glassware,” and contain additional packing materials to avoid shifting.
  • Tip #8: Dishes: To keep items from shifting and sliding, pair items with plenty of packing peanuts for their journey. Wrap each piece individually in bubble wrap or paper, or place a secure cushion between pieces to avoid scratching. Label as “FRAGILE: dishes.”
  • Tip #9: Vases: For specialty items like vases, consider specialty boxes. Either use the box the vase came in or seek out boxes specially made to house vases during a move. Wrap in newspaper and bubble wrap before setting into the box, and mark as “FRAGILE: vase.”
  • Tip #10: Mirrors: Beyond just bad luck, a cracked mirror can provide additional sharp edges you never intended to deal with during the moving process. As you pack, first use duct tape to make an X over the glass. This will keep the mirror from shifting during the move and also keep the glass together in one place should it crack. Then, utilize foam board, bubble wrap, and/or another cushy fabric to cover the mirror and prepare it for transport. Cover any edges of the frame with cardboard corners, and store in a vertical box so other objects don’t crush the mirror. Label as “FRAGILE: mirror.”

What processes do you have in place to store potentially dangerous or fragile items as you move and store? Let us know in the comment section below.

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