How to store fragile items

Tips To Store Fragile Items In Your Storage Unit 

Posted on Tips To Store Fragile Items In Your Storage Unit  Written by Udai

There’s nothing worse than opening a box after moving and discovering that your favourite champagne glasses have been chipped in storage. When it comes to fragile items like glassware, crockery, antiques and family heirlooms, it always pays to take the extra time to pack them securely—particularly if they’ll be in storage for a while.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to store fragile items to give you peace of mind that your precious belongings will be safe and sound.

How to pack fragile items – three simple steps

Before we move on to how to store fragile items, it’s important to discuss how to pack fragile items. Here’s a simple three-step process:

1. Clean and inspect your items

Whether you’re packing for moving or seeking long-term storage, it’s a great idea to give your fragile items a quick clean to remove excess dust or sticky residue before packing them up. A quick once over with a dry or slightly damp cloth is typically all they need. While you’re cleaning each item, check it for chips, cracks or other signs of damage that might make it more susceptible to breaking in the event that it’s accidentally knocked around in storage. For important items, it can be a good idea to have them repaired before storing them away to reduce the risk.

2. Wrap each item 

Before putting your fragile items in a box, it’s important to wrap each one individually to minimise the chance of chipping or cracking if items accidentally knock into each other. How much care to put into this depends on how fragile the item is. For example, sturdy plates may simply need a sheet of newspaper between them, whereas items like vases and cocktail glasses typically benefit from a bit more cushioning.

Some of the materials we like to use to wrap fragile items include:

  • Newspaper or packing paper – simply wrap the item fully and use more layers for more fragile items to add a bit of extra cushioning. For flatter items you can generally get away without sticky taping the paper, but for irregularly sized objects it can make the job easier and prevent the paper from unwrapping. And if you don’t have any newspapers, old wrapping paper can be a good option—you’ll just need to use a few more layers.
  • Bubble wrap – it’s an oldie but it’s a goodie. Bubble wrap provides excellent cushioning and is great for wrapping delicate items like figurines and fine china. Simply fully enclose the item and tape the bubble wrap shut, remembering to use multiple layers for particularly fragile items.
  • Foam sheets – just like bubble wrap, foam sheets provide a layer of cushioning for fragile items. While you can wrap items with foam sheets, it can be a bit fiddly, so they’re best used when you want to add a flat layer between items such as between plates. 

3. Pack items into a box 

Once your fragile items are properly wrapped, it’s time to pack them into a box for safe keeping. Here are our top tips on choosing storage boxes for fragile items:

  • Choose a storage box that’s the right size for your items. It’s important to make sure your items fit snugly to prevent them from moving around too much in transit. Select a box that will be the right size to comfortably fit your items, without being too heavy to move.
  • Reuse the boxes your items came in. If you’ve still got the boxes your glasses or plates came in, it’s a good idea to pack your items inside these as you’re sure to have a snug fit.
  • Select plastic boxes instead of cardboard for longer term storage. If you plan on storing your items for an extended period of time (several months or more) it’s a great idea to go with a plastic box instead of a cardboard moving box. Plastic boxes have a better seal and are waterproof, so won’t be damaged by mice or unexpected moisture.

Once you’ve chosen your box, it’s time to pack your fragile items away. To do this, make sure you:

  • Pack heavier items on the bottom, and lighter items on top.
  • Add extra cushioning if there’s a lot of space left over in the box to prevent items from moving. You can use biodegradable packing peanuts, scrunched up newspaper or extra bubble wrap.
  • Don’t overfill the box with heavy items. You don’t want the bottom of the box to give way while you’re moving it.

And if your items don’t fit easily into a box, don’t worry. Items like tall mirrors and televisions can be hard to fit into a box. Provided you’ve wrapped them in enough bubble wrap, simply cover them with a large plastic bin liner or several sheets of thick cardboard, and tape it tightly closed to prevent dust and moisture from getting inside. 

How to store fragile items

Now that you know how to pack fragile items for storage, it’s time to cover our top tips on how to store fragile items in a storage unit.

1. Label your fragile items 

Whether it’s a television, chandelier or a box full of crockery, always label your items clearly with ‘fragile’ stickers or tape. This will help you remember which items you need to take particular care with. 

2. Store fragile items in a secure spot, towards the top of your unit

Choosing an appropriate storage area for fragile items is essential to minimise the chance of damage. If you’re storing fragile items alongside a range of other items, it’s a good idea to store them on top of heavier items. This will prevent them from being crushed if heavier items fall unexpectedly. If you do have to store them on top of other items, always make sure they’re positioned securely to minimise the chance of them falling down. Storing fragile items off the ground will also help to prevent water damage in the case of unexpected flooding.

3. Store extra-fragile items inside cupboards

If you’re storing furniture and want a little extra security for your fragile items, place the boxes inside a cupboard, drawer or wardrobe in your storage unit.

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