General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What's the best way to pack and ship fragile valuables?

Asked by Jeruba (55921points) October 20th, 2021

If I want to move some valuable breakables such as china and glassware, am I better off packing them in large plastic boxes or cardboard?

Assume that they are well packed in bubble wrap and that they will be loaded by professionals and taken with other items in a moving van.

Or should I transport them by some means other than a moving service?

Should I even try to pack them myself, or should I get them all together and have them packed by pros?

The quantity is not large, but the value is high and the objects are irreplaceable.

Tags as I wrote them: moving, transport, china, heirlooms, glassware, fragile items, packing and shipping, Limoges porcelain. I did not put a capital C on china.

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13 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would ask a curator of a local museum for expert help. They handle fragile items all the time.

JLeslie's avatar

I would pay the movers to pack. They usually only insure what they pack.

Unless, it was things that fit in my car and I was driving to the destination. If that was the case I’d pack myself and risk the trip in my car.

I’ve moved a lot. You need plenty of packing paper to make sure the boxes are full, so things don’t jiggle and the boxes don’t crush easily. Mark which side up and fragile all over the boxes. You can use bubble or foam (the foam is thin wide strips of foam, like a scarf) to help wrap items too, but most of all movers use a ton of paper, and I don’t think any of my movers have ever used bubble.

There are dish boxes that are large and thick, and harder to crush than a typical box and are often used for breakables. The boxes are too large and heavy for me to manage. They are large because so much paper is used to protect the items.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Have the professionals (movers) do it – they have the padded boxes, the wrapping, the plastic bubbles – they do it for a living. Don’t try it yourself.

kritiper's avatar

However you decide to pack your things, be sure to write “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE” on the outside of the boxes.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Pool noodles from the dollar store are your friend. Bubble wrap is not good enough. If it’s really valuable use an inexpensive cooler as the box.

Zaku's avatar

The fragile things I cared about most, I’d tend to pack and transport myself, unless I thought I couldn’t do it safely, or didn’t have enough room.

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flutherother's avatar

Very delicate items I would protect with bubble wrap then put in a cardboard box surrounded with packing material so it won’t shift in transit. Put this box in a larger box surrounded with more packing material for extra protection. Leave your contact details within the box just in case the details on the outside of the box become illegible during shipping.

I would check if there are any specialist fine art shippers you might use and discuss things with them. That is probably going to be your best option.

cheebdragon's avatar

If they are important to you, it’s best to pack and move them yourself. The last 3x my mom has hired movers she has ended up with several broken items. Use lots of bubble wrap. Boxes are fine if you’re careful not to stack them. If they will be stored for longer than a few months, just invest in a couple of heavy duty containers (Usually they are black with yellow lids).

jca2's avatar

If the movers pack them, yes, they may be insured but do the movers care personally if the items are broken? Probably not. They’re probably very accustomed to having to file insurance claims for broken and damaged items, and to them, they won’t have a lifetime of regret about something broken they same way you would, if your valued items are broken.

If possible, pack and ship yourself. Do you know someone making the trip that can take the items in their car, if you box them up yourself?

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King_Galaxius's avatar

Pack them using “bubble wrap”.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

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