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House To Home Moving Blog

How to Pack Mirrors & Frames

When it comes to packing household goods, some belongings require special care and attention. This is especially true for things like framed pictures, mirrors and professional artwork. You don’t want to arrive at your new home and find shattered glass, chipped frames or punctured canvases.

Steps for packing picture frames and mirrors

Whether it’s a $30 painting from the store or your Grandma’s antique mirror, you want to make sure it’s safe during transit. Start by gathering the appropriate supplies, then follow these steps:

  1. Using the artist’s tape, create an “X” across the glass. This will help keep the glass intact during transit.
  2. Cut a piece of cardboard or foam board slightly larger than the frame, place it over the glass and secure it with packing tape.
  3. Wrap the entire piece in two or more sheets of packing paper and tape loose ends.
  4. If you want, add a layer of Bubble Wrap for additional padding and security. Secure with packing tape.
  5. Cushion the bottom of a picture/mirror box with packing paper, and then slide the object into the box. Keep in mind, large items should be boxed individually in specialty boxes. Smaller mirrors and framed pictures can be wrapped and boxed together. Stack these items vertically and do not lay them flat.
  6. Fill extra space with more paper to prevent shifting.
  7. Tape and label the box “fragile” on all sides.

How to move canvases

The best way to pack a canvas will depend on if it’s stretched across a wooden frame or rolled. Here are the steps for each scenario:

Stretched 

  1. Cover the canvas with glassine, acid-free or archival paper.
  2. Tape a sheet of foam or cardboard to the back of the canvas.
  3. Put the canvas into a plastic gallery wrap bag to protect it from moisture.
  4.  Wrap the entire thing with two layers of Bubble Wrap and secure it with tape.
  5. Sandwich the canvas between two sheets of foam boards or cardboard and use the packing tape to bind the pieces together.
  6. Line a picture/mirror box with padded paper and slide the canvas into the box, filling empty spaces with more paper.
  7. Tape and label the box.

Rolled 

  1. Lay the canvas between two sheets of your choice paper (painted side down).
  2. Loosely roll the canvas and paper (rolling too tight can cause damage).
  3. Roll with Bubble Wrap.
  4. Slide the canvas into a cardboard tube.
  5. Place the end caps on and seal them with packing tape.
  6. Label the tube.

Best way to store loose photos

If you’re like most people, you probably have hundreds or thousands of loose pictures buried away. Organizing them can be time-consuming, but well worth it — especially if many are older and irreplaceable. There are three ideal ways to organize loose photos:

  • Albums. Probably the most popular way to store pictures is in an album. However, you’ll want to avoid “magnetic” peel-and-stick albums and ones that aren’t acid- or lignin-free because they can cause damage to the pictures. Wrap albums in a layer of packing paper, and stack them vertically inside a moving box.
  • Photo boxes. These come in all sizes and colors and are great for long-term storage — just make sure to use acid-free cardboard or metal boxes. Many also come equipped with divider index cards to help organize, but if they don’t, you can also layer the photos between sheets of acid-free paper. Or, simply lay them flat in the box. When it comes time to move, wrap the boxes in packing paper and place them inside a moving box.
  • Digital storage. Digitally backing up images will take some time, but you’ll be happy you did if something ever happens. At the very least, consider digitally storing your favorite photos. Do this by scanning the images to a computer and then storing them on a cloud service, an online photo storage website, an external hard drive or a USB Flash Drive. Or, upload them directly from your phone, tablet or camera.

How to Pack Dishes

Packing dishes isn’t difficult, but since most of them will be fragile, it may take some time. Repeating the process over and over for each piece can get tiresome, but taking the time to do it correctly helps ensure they arrive in good condition.

  1. Prepare the boxes. Since these boxes will be carrying heavy, fragile items, use several layers of packing tape on the seams and along the bottom of each box. Pad inside with a layer of packing paper, and be careful not to overfill. We recommend keeping the weight of any single box to 40 pounds or less.
  2. Wrap each dish. Place one dish in the center of a sheet of packing paper and pull up the corners to the middle, folding the paper to enclose it fully.
  3. Bundle plates together before packing. Once four similar items are wrapped, stack them together, wrap them again, then tape the paper to keep it bundled tightly.
  4. Fill empty spaces in the box. When filling the box, place heavier dishes on the bottom and more fragile ones on top. Fill any extra spaces with crumpled packing paper (or kitchen linens if you have them). If the contents shift when gently shaking the box, add more filler.
  5. Tape and label the box. Tape the top well, and label it “Dishes” and “Fragile.” Also mark which way is up, so it is loaded correctly.
  6. Use care when loading dishes. Place boxes containing dishes and china near the floor of the moving equipment, and avoid stacking heaving things on top that could crush them.

Other tips:

  • Plates: Place vertically in the box, like you would load them in a dishwasher. Wrap differently sized pieces in separate bundles. 
  • Bowls: Nest like-sized bowls together (like plates), and put some packing paper in the top of each bowl for support.  Also put these in the box vertically.
  • Cups and glasses: Package these individually, placing paper inside. Load them in the box upside down.
  • Mugs and Teacups: Cover handles well, and place packing paper inside for support. Wrap each one individually.
  • Stemware: Use Bubble Wrap®on the stem, then wrap the entire piece in packing paper, making sure paper fills the inside of the glass. Place upside down in a box, and do not stack anything on top.
  • Odd-shaped pieces: If the piece has a lid, remove it and wrap it separately. Wrap any handles well with Bubble Wrap®. Protect odd-shaped dishes completely with packing paper. Use tape if you need to cover it completely, but be careful only to apply tape to the paper (as it could damage the finish of the dishes).

How to Pack Books

Whether it’s one shelf full or an entire library, books need to be carefully packed to stay protected. When packing books, consider their weight and distribute them so you can easily carry the boxes. We recommend using small boxes and keeping the weight under 40 lbs.

  1. Use sturdy boxes. Used or found boxes may not be in very good condition and aren’t typically designed to protect your items during a long distance move.
  2. Tape the box well. Place a double layer of packing tape along the bottom seam and any corners or edges to add support.
  3. Prepare the box. Add crushed packing paper to the bottom of the box to create a layer of protection.
  4. Organize the books. Group them by size for easier packing.
  5. Wrap special books in packing paper. Items that are older, fragile or special should be wrapped to provide extra protection. If it’s a very high value book, we recommend keeping it with you during the move.
  6. Pack. There are three ways to place books in the box:
    • Upright (like on a shelf). Place each book with pages facing the outside of the box. Rows should be spine to spine, and if there’s a third row, use a layer of packing paper to keep pages from touching. This method is best for hardbacks.
    • Laid flat. Stack books on top of each other and place packing paper between stacks to prevent pages from touching. This option is best for paperbacks.
    • Spine down. Place books in the box with the pages upright, then add packing paper to keep them secure. Best for large or heavy books.
  7. Fill any extra space. Use crushed packing paper to keep the contents from shifting.
  8. Tape the box closed. Apply two layers of packing tape to the top for extra protection.
  9. Label each box. Write “books” on the box to make loading and unloading easier.

How to Pack Silverware

The most important thing to remember when packing up silverware is to not let your items get damaged or misplaced while in transit. Your silverware gets used every day and is an essential part of your kitchen. Make sure it’s properly packed so it arrives ready to use at your new home.

Most people utilize a cutlery tray to store their silverware, which is convenient for moving as it’s simple to pack.

  1. Cushion the box with paper. Use crushed packing paper to provide extra protection.
  2. Wrap tray. You can wrap your tray completely with plastic wrap or packing paper.
  3. Place tray flat inside the box (like in a drawer). This will help ensure that the silverware stays in place during the move.
  4. Add other kitchen items. Kitchen linens, wrapped measuring cups or utensils will fit great into a small box.
  5. Fill any gaps. Used crushed packing paper to pad the box so nothing moves inside.
  6. Tape the box closed. Secure well and then label the outside “Silverware.”

If your silverware is lying in a drawer with no tray, we recommend bundling similar pieces together and wrapping in packing paper. Then, place the bundles flat inside the box as you would with the tray, or pack the bundles with other kitchen utensils.

If you’re moving with sterling silver pieces, a family heirloom set or any other valuable silverware pieces, polish them to help protect them while in storage or moving boxes. Make sure each piece is completely dry and then place them in a fully-enclosed protective box or case. Before closing the box or case, cover them with cloth, tissue paper or packing paper, as exposure to air can cause them to tarnish. You can then pack the case by covering with packing paper and placing in a box.

Don’t forget about your cooking utensils! Wrap your utensils and other cooking tools individually with a single layer of packing paper. After you’ve wrapped everything, put all the pieces in a box. If you’ve got unused space, fill it up with bubble wrap or packing paper.

How to Pack a TV

Because the entire front surface of a flat screen is glass and its body is thin, TVs are very fragile. You may consider asking a professional to pack it for you. But, if you choose to move it yourself, ask someone for help and follow these steps (all apply to SmartTVs, LEDs, OLEDs, 4Ks, HDRs, Plasmas and LCDs):

  1. Take a picture of the cords, then disconnect them. Take a picture of where all the wires connect (or color code them) for easier reassembly. Then, unplug, bundle and fasten them with a cable tie, and pack them in a separate box. If any of the cords can’t be removed, use painter’s tape to attach them to the back surface (never tape directly to the screen as it could cause damage).
  2. Clean the screen. Use a fiber cloth to clean the TV. Removing dust or dirt particles can help prevent scratches or damage to the screen during transit.
  3. Remove from the base or mount. Refer to the user manual if you’re unsure of how to remove the TV from a wall mount or its base. Cover the base and mount in Bubble Wrap, and pack them separately.
  4. Cover the screen. Place a layer of foam wrap across the screen, and then wrap the entire thing in Bubble Wrap. Secure loose ends with packing tape, being careful to apply tape only to the packing materials and not to the television.
  5. Prepare the box. Line the bottom of the box with crumpled packing paper, and then slide the TV into it. Fill remaining gaps with more packing paper.
  6. Tape and label the box. Make sure all ends are securely taped, and write “fragile TV” and “this end up” on the outside of the box.
  7. Pack the accessories. Be sure to box up any additional accessories like the remote control, cable box, sound bar, speakers, etc. These should also be wrapped in packing paper.

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