Written by Abigail Sawyer.
Moving can be exciting or scary, depending on the circumstances, but one thing is certain: it’s a time-consuming endeavor. Most of your belongings pack up and move easily, but a few things in your house might be too awkward, cumbersome, fragile or valuable to trust in the back of a moving truck without a little extra packing attention. Here are five items to look out for when it’s time to pack up and move.
That potted houseplant or ficus tree has been with you for 10 years; it’s practically a member of the family at this point. And it’s also tough to move from place to place because of its size and shape and the potential for damage. Certain shipping companies will handle plants, but if you don’t want to spend the extra money in the middle of your move, pack the plant in a sturdy box that’s as close to the size of the pot as possible. Make sure you have newspapers and bubble wrap to tighten it in the box, and cover the exposed dirt with plastic.
To make sure the plant has enough moisture, you can zip-tie wet paper towels to the stems and the trunk. Place the plants in an area where it will be secure on all sides to avoid tip over. Make sure the plants are easily accessible and can be taken out first thing in the new abode, that way they don’t suffer in the heat of a moving van or truck bed.
Some of the more valuable things you will move are your artwork, framed photographs and various wall decorations. Whether they have monetary or sentimental value, these paintings and photos are some of the more fragile things you will transport.
Some of the smaller picture frames and artwork can be packed together in a single box with plenty of bubble wrap. Larger ones, however, will need their own specific box. Place the art face down on a sheet of thick bubble wrap. Cover the rest of the frame in the bubble wrap and tape it tightly with packing tape. When they are ready to move, make sure the artwork and photographs are standing up in the moving vehicle so nothing sits on top of them and potentially breaks the glass or frame.
Window Blinds and Treatments
Often times, window blinds and window treatments are left behind in the old home. Custom blinds are made to fit specific windows in your current living space, so you may not be able to take them with you for your new home. However, some window sizes are standard, so you should check the windows in your new home to see if your current blinds will fit (just make sure you’re not obligated by the sales contract to leave the blinds with the home). When moving blinds that will fit your new windows, make sure to pack them fully closed. Tape all brackets and hardware to the blinds’ headrail so they don’t get lost in transit. Wrap the condensed blinds in bubble wrap and tape them securely so they don’t separate during the move.
In the more likely case that you’ll have to donate or re-use your blinds, you may try a few re-purposing projects. Vinyl blinds can be cut into strips, and those strips can be woven together to make plant holders or baskets, for example. Thicker, wider blinds can be repurposed as small boxes or containers since the thick, vinyl material should be strong enough for walls. There are dozens of ways to transform old window blinds into picture frames, lampshades and more. Mini window blinds can even be cut into small pieces and used as plant sticks, indicating what is growing where and what sort of attention the plant needs.
Packing up bathroom and hallway rugs are a cinch, but what about that area rug that covers almost the entire living room? Moving businesses have bags for packing area rugs, but they don’t all fit. When you roll up your area rug, make sure it is rolled as tightly as possible. You will want to zip-tie or ratchet strap at least three spots on the rug to keep it together. Depending on where you are storing the area rug, if you want it to be stiff, look for a large cylindrical cardboard or pvc tube or a piece of wood to insert inside the roll to keep it rigid. Otherwise, place it on top of sturdy boxes to the side of the moving truck, and avoid piling other items on top of the rug.
Over the years, televisions have gotten bigger when it comes to the visual surface area. However, they have gotten thinner and more fragile overall. A big-screen television can be perhaps the trickiest and most nerve-racking item to move, given its cost and fragility.
The best way to move a television is to make a custom crate, not a box, for the TV. Using thin, wide wooden planks, you or someone handy with a hammer and nails can build a custom-made crate to fit snugly around the frame of the TV. But because the wood can damage the screen or frame, make sure every area where the crate and television touch each other is buffered by bubble wrap, newspaper or soft rags and towels. This will also make sure the TV doesn’t shift or move when it’s riding to its new home.