Self-pack packing tips for the home mover undertaking the packing of their house without help from the professionals.

The Schepens family have been in the furniture removals industry since 1911 and have gained a lot of experience over the last century, tried and tested packing techniques handed down from father to son to ensure your goods arrive in exactly the same condition as when they were removed.

Step 1: Boxes

A good quality box is essential, customers often fall prey to buying cheap boxes off internet sites, they may seem cheap but as with anything you do generally get what you pay for!
Here at Schepens we use a 200 grade box, once the box has been taped up,  you can actually stand on it without the box collapsing.  When boxes are loaded on to the removal truck they will always need to be stacked on top of one another, if the box is constructed with a substandard board it will crush, often causing damage to the contents.

You can buy boxes from any BAR member Company, they will have a range of materials to suit your needs and you can guarantee they will be of a good quality.

Step 2: Taping up boxes

When making up boxes it is important to fold the box up correctly, do not tuck the flaps over each other as this makes the box weaker especially at the bottom of the box. Using a good quality vinyl,  tape up the boxes as shown in  the picture, make sure you rub the tape down on the box firmly to ensure good adhesion.

Step 3: Packing glassware

When packing fragile items such as glassware and china it is important to make a cushioning of paper on the bottom of the box, this is done by lightly scrunching up a few sheets of tissue paper and putting it into the box, put enough in so you cannot feel the bottom of the box, put a couple of sheets of paper over the scrunched up paper to create a shelf for the items to sit on. This cushion of paper acts as a suspension for the contents of the box, absorbing any bumps or knocks the box may receive during its journey to your new home.

Now you can start to pack the box, with a box of glass you should start the bottom layer with heavy, more robust items, such as tumblers, pint glasses, vases etc.
Wrap each item neatly in a sheet of paper and place in the box,  repeat  this until you have completed an entire layer in the bottom of the box, put each item side by side in the box, touching but not pressing hard onto one another, if there are any gaps lightly scrunch up paper and fill them.

Now scrunch up paper as you did in the bottom of the box and cover the layer you have just packed, follow the same principles, you shouldn’t be able to feel the items in the bottom layer.

Now start the process again with lighter more fragile items such as stem glasses, lighter ornaments etc.  With stem glass you need to pack out the stem in order to make the whole glass cylindrical, you do this by scrunching up paper and gently squeezing it around the stem of the glass then wrap the whole glass in a sheet of packing paper.  Doing this will protect the fragile stem and make the glass more stable one in the box.  Position the glass in the box upright, think of the eggs scenario, you won’t break an egg when you squeeze the ends, but you will if you squeeze the sides.  It is important not to pack these very fragile items too close to the top of the box as there does need to be space left to put cushioning paper or soft towels and cushions on the top.

Once the final layer has been completed place another layer of scrunched up paper onto the top of the box, this will act as protection for the items on the top of the box. Finally tape up the boxes as per step two.

Step 4: Packing China/dishes/mugs

Packing these items is done in much the same way as glassware, heavy items in the bottom and lighter more fragile items at the top of the box. Tape up a box and put in the scrunched up paper so you cannot feel the bottom. Place a plate onto the paper at the back, fold over the remainder of the sheet and place another plate on top, turn them both over and put a plate on the back, now wrap the three plates together in one sheet of paper and place in the box on their edge.  Repeat this process until you have completed up to the top level in the box. The objects need to be touching to stop movement in the box but not too tightly, any gaps, fill with scrunched up paper.

Place a layer of scrunched up paper on to the bottom layer of china, enough so you cannot feel the layer below, and start the process again using lighter objects, remember these boxes tend to be heavy as plates and bowls tend to weigh a lot so fill the boxes accordingly.  Finish the box with a layer of scrunched up paper and tape up.

Step 5: Packing books

Books are a little less complicated to pack, using a book box tape up as in step two and lay the books flat into the bottom of the box, it is important to lay the books flat so not to damage the spines.

Fill the book box full right to the top: this is important as the box is likely to collapse when stacked on top of each other.  If you aren’t using book boxes box purchased from a BAR member,  remember not to use a box that is too big as once full it will be heavy and the crew may not be able to lift them safely.
It can be a bit like a jigsaw puzzle packing a book box, so if there are gaps scrunch up paper and fill them, this will stop the books rattling around and damaging one another.

Step 6: Packing wine and spirits

Book boxes with dividers are the perfect size for packing wines and spirits; if dividers are not available the bottles can be wrapped in packing paper and placed standing in the book box. Any gaps must be filled with scrunched up paper to prevent any bottles knocking into one another.

General Packing tips

1:  As a general rule when a remover packs, what is able to fit into a box they will put into a box.

2:  Lampshades are always best taken off their bases and packed into a box on their own, or with like sized     shades.

3: Make sure the items in the box are not too big or tall for the box; if so use a bigger box.

4: Fill boxes to the top, either with scrunched up paper with a box of china, or cushions, linen etc with a non-     fragile box. This will help prevent a box from collapsing.

5: Label boxes with a brief description and the room you wish the box to be placed in your new home.

6: Heavy items should be placed in small boxes and lighter items go in larger boxes.

7: Use a good quality purpose build removal box, this saves time and costs in the long run.

Remember always choose a BAR member to carry out your move The British Association of Removers is the Industry’s trade association and members have to meet strict service criteria. Members of the BAR are regularly inspected to ensure that their facilities and staff meet these high standards. The BAR also offers a free, conciliation and arbitration service, which means you can consult with an objective party, should you find yourself in a dispute with your removal company after your move. Visit bar.co.uk/consumer/AboutBAR/CodeofPractice.aspx to see the code of practise BAR members follow.

For more information please contact Schepens on 01794 323558 or visit Schepens.co.uk

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