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How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

in Expat Tips and Hints, Facebook Posts, General, Tips on Stress Free Removals
7 packing mistakes

Read this article to learn how to avoid these 7 common packing mistakes, so you can pack like a professional.

Considering the number of times that you move in your life, it’s no real surprise you’re not an expert at packing. With the stress of a house move, how could you know all the ins and outs of how to, say, safely pack a crystal vase in a box for a safe removal.

Removals is an area that has tips and tricks just like any other field, so read on to find out how you can avoid these 7 packing mistakes, on your next move.

Although there a lot more tips and tricks in our trade, we have only included 7 of the most common things we see regularly – if you just do these, everything should arrive at your new home in tip-top condition.

1. The wrong type of box

Did you know there is a right and wrong box that you can use for your removal?

No, didn’t think you did. Most people go for the cheapest box,  which costs less for a reason. It is because it is made of single wall cardboard, and therefore has no strength. While this might be fine when you want to put your items into a self-store, it is not good if your removal has to travel halfway across Europe. If you do nothing else from this article, then this is the main packing mistake that you should try and avoid.

Just to give you a heads up, we always stack boxes one on top of the other – up to 6 or more high – so it is always best to use boxes made of double wall cardboard. These have enough strength to keep their shape when moved and stacked.  With these proper removal strength boxes, you can be sure that the box itself, and it’s important contents, will be as good when you receive them in your new house.

triple wall cardboard

The only cardboard to use for your removal

The type of box you want is triple wall with two layers of corrugations, sandwiched between 3 layers of straight card.  There is a picture of the cardboard here, to help you identify it when you go to buy your boxes.

By the way, if you’re buying boxes in Spain, we sell the highest quality triple wall boxes from our storage facility. Just go here to see our price list.

2. Seal the bottom of your boxes with lots of tape.

7 packing mistakes

An airtight seal gives the best strength

I’ve seen this many times, where the box has not been sealed at the bottom properly. In the worst case, when you lift the box, the bottom of the box opens and the contents drop onto the floor. This is obviously not a good result if you have valuables or china inside.

The way to get around this problem is to completely seal along all the open edges of the bottom of the box to make it airtight. It is best to put 2 lines where the 2 leaves join in the middle.

3. The right way to pack glass and china

It is amazing how many people don’t know how to correctly pack fragile glass and china. Not surprising though, considering that it’s not really obvious until you really think about it.

To help you remember, you need to look for where the strength is with glasses and plates.

With glasses it is always vertically, the way it sits on a table. Therefore, please pack it that way. Either upside down or right way up doesn’t really matter. We always pack glasses upside down, so the second layer of china or glass, in the box, has a firmer base to sit on.

With plates and dishes the most strength is with them sitting on their sides. So you should always pack plates upright, not as they would sit on a table.

Scrunch

Always remember to use lots of scrunched up wrapping paper to provide a cushion on the bottom of the box. Then you need to also add more between each set of items. And, of course, use some to provide a cushion on the top too before you seal the box. No piece of glass or china should ever be directly touching the cardboard of the box. The main aim is that there should always be some sort of cushion of air.

Did you know that if you do your own packing you’re not insured for the contents of them. Whilst it may be in their terms and conditions, removal companies don’t tell you this at quote time. Being insured only if your boxes are professionally packed is common sense and perfectly understandable.  If you aren’t trained to pack, how can an insurance company cover you against any damage? Therefore, use all of these tips to make sure you do things right first time to pack things correctly. Hopefully then you shouldn’t have any problems.

4. Overloading

Putting too much heavy stuff in a box is an easy thing to do and is a big mistake. When this happens, the box can bulge, losing it’s shape – then it loses all strength. The way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to just put heavy things in the bottom half of the box, and then fill up the top half with lighter items.

A good test is to see if you can lift the box yourself easily – if you can, the weight is about right. If you can’t even move it off the floor then you might have a bit of a problem. Whilst your remover may still collect the box, they may have to use 2 men to lift it,  and too many very heavy boxes may well lead to an extra charge for your removal.

Another thing to think about is that if you have lots of heavy boxes stacked up, the bottom one may crumple with all the weight above it, damaging the contents of the box.

5. Underfilling

7 packing mistakes

A good example of over filling a box making it bulge and lose shape, and then underfilling the top so it crushes when anything is put on top

Just like overloading, underfilling a box can be just as bad. This is because a box not completely full will crush when it has other boxes put on top of it. If you don’t have enough things to fill a box up, use a smaller box, or cut the box down to make it smaller. All boxes should be filled to the very top, so that when you push on the top in the middle, it doesn’t go down too far. This means it can support a good amount of pressure. The next tip will help with this as well.

6. Not sealing the top of the box – make it airtight!

When you finally come to seal your box up,  do you just put a single line of tape across the top, to just seal the two sides where they meet? This is not good enough to provide the best strength to the box.

The best way to seal it is to put a line of tape along every open edge – this will make the box airtight (if you’ve also  done the same thing on the bottom, as in point 2 above) which increases strength and gives the contents maximum protection.

7. Not labelling as you go.

boxlabel - Indalo Transport

These panels are on all our boxes, to help us make your move easier. Make sure you label it!

The final mistake happens when people are too busy filling boxes, that they forget to mark it once sealed down. Without labelling each box, you won’t know where that box should go in the new property. This is a very simple fix – just making sure you have a black marker pen and either write what is in the box, or alternatively what room the box should be put in, on the top. With the new rules following brexit, it is now a customs requirement to have a packing list, so a full inventory of the contents of every box is vital.

We recommend writing what room the box belongs in, as this will help your removers make life as easy as they can for you.

Make things easy for yourself

So there you have it, hope you enjoyed reading how to avoid these 7 packing mistakes for the best removal. Hope you like the tips and find them useful.

As a bonus, the only other packing advice we can offer is something that is seen all the time. It’s the most difficult thing for you to fix. I think virtually everyone who moves is guilty of this – it is taking things you’re never going to use.

As you’re paying good money to get things moved, there’s not much point in moving things then keeping them in a box for another two years without ever being touched again. Therefore make sure you take a serious look at every single thing you want to take before you decide to pack it and take it with you.

And if all this seems like too much hassle, Indalo Transport would be very happy to professionally pack for you. This can be included as part of our removal service. This will make your move as easy as it can be. We’ll even unpack in your new home, and take away all the boxes and packaging materials. Just click here to contact us or get a quote here.

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