As a professional removal company we have been faced with an enormous variety of items to pack, move and store from one person’s home to another. Mostly these items box easily or are robust enough to cope with having other items stacked on top of them. So what do you do when you have awkward, fragile or expensive items to pack?
Here are some of our favourite packing challenges – once you know the tips you’ll be packing like a pro! But remember if in doubt, call in a professional removals company (like us!) – it’s what removal companies do day in, day out. However some removals companies are more respectful and careful with your belongings than others, so make sure you check out the reviews and use a member of BAR (British Association of Removers) to ensure they do the job properly.
First, have ready your essential packing items:
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Basic tools (screwdriver, pliers, scissors etc)
- Packing peanuts
- Zip up bags
- Felt-tip pen
Take photos of any items you need to dismantle or take apart before you start packing. This will give you a point of reference when it’s time to put them back together. We’d also recommend taking a photo of each room before packing so that when you reach your new home you have a visual list of your items.
1. Packing your home gym equipment
Your home gym equipment can be really difficult to move as it’s heavy, awkwardly shaped and also will have delicate controls and mechanisms. Here’s some tips to make the job more manageable.
Clean all your equipment with a sanitiser or anti-bacterial solution – they can accumulate a lot of germs that you don’t need to take to your new home.
Unplug and store all the cords together in a labelled bag (it’s a good idea to attach this to the bike so you don’t lose them). If you can, remove the handlebars and pedals to make it a lighter load. Wrap the bike in a thick blanket. With assistance load the bike into the removal van and strap it securely. A professional removal company will often use skates to move heavy bulky items.
Set the incline to zero, fold up the walking deck and either strap into place, or use the inbuilt locking mechanism. Completely wrap the treadmill in blankets and get assistance to move it.
It’s important when moving a multi-gym to take lots of photos, notes and diagrams as you take it apart, so you remember how to put it all back together again – unless you’ve been prudent enough to keep the instruction manual of course!
To make moving the multi-gym possible you need to remove as much of the detachable items as possible including the weights, accessories and the seat. Then unbolt the arms and stands into individual pieces. Wrap the weights in bubble wrap or layers of paper, then put into very strong boxes. Use smaller boxes (less weight!) and fill extra space with blankets. Don’t overload anything or it will be impossible to move it.
2. Moving floor lamps
Floor lamps are often delicate, tall and unstable. Remove the light bulbs, wrap and box separately. If they are special bulbs label the box so you know where they belong.
If your lamp seems pretty robust, remove any lamp shades, wrap the stand in blankets and secure carefully in the removal truck. Lampshades can be put in boxes and filled with packing peanuts to stop them moving. Take extra care to keep them away from dirt as lamp shades can be very hard to clean.
If your lampstand is fragile, then you will need a box tall enough to house it (you can customise two or three boxes). Wrap with blankets, insert into the packing box and fill the box with packing peanuts to hold the lampstand in place.
3. Packing a chandelier
You don’t have to leave behind your cherished chandeliers if you pack them up properly. This job requires two people, a thick towel or blanket, packing paper or tissue paper, foam padding and packing peanuts, a step ladder, screwdriver and strong boxes.
Make sure you turn off the electricity before you get going. Get your assistant to take the weight of the chandelier, then disconnect the light and remove the ceiling wires.
Placing the chandelier gently onto the towel or blanket you can unscrew the light bulbs, wrap them in paper and store them in a separate box. Using your screwdriver disassemble any removable pieces – crystals, arms, candle cups putting small items in zip lock bags and either taking photos or notes so you can remember how to reattach them. If you don’t remove the crystals, wrap each piece individually in paper to avoid them scratching or chipping each other.
Add padding to the bottom of your boxes or thick towels and blankets and lay the chandelier carefully inside the box. Fill the space with packing peanuts and make sure the chandelier won’t move in the box. Top the box with another blanket or packing foam before sealing and labelling with EXTREMELY FRAGILE – CHANDELIER so everyone knows to take care with it.
Professional removal companies can provide a chandelier moving crate if you advise them in advance. Ensure you inform your removal company personally about the chandelier, and ask them to inform the storage company (if you’re using one) so that everyone knows to take extra care.
4. Packing sharp knives
How can you pack sharp knives and ensure no one or no things get injured or damaged in the packing and unpacking process?
Carefully wrap each knife individually in bubble wrap, or several layers of paper. Tuck the bubble wrap or paper at the ends of the knife in and secure with packing tape. Place the knives in a shoebox or similar small box before placing into larger boxes. Label the box on at least 2 sides – WARNING – SHARP KNIVES and add the destination room to the label.
5. Packing and moving a lawnmower
You may not have packed up your lawnmower since you first brought it home from the shop, but if you take the necessary steps it can be done safely and successfully.
Empty the grass and wipe down the mower and blades (carefully!). Remove the blades, wrap and pack them separately (labelling the box to make it easy to reunite them).
If you have a fuel powered lawnmower empty the fuel and oil into suitable containers. Usually your removal company will not be able to move these for you due to insurance cover, so you need to transport them separately.
Disconnect the spark plug – this may seem unnecessary, but a mower can start accidentally from build up fumes. Then you can roll your mower to the removal truck, strap securely in place ready for transportation.
If you have a ride-on lawnmower, the best way to transport it to the new property is to use a trailer with a ramp.
6. Packing and moving a patio heater
To move a patio heater you first need to remove the gas bottle. Most removal companies won’t be able to transport them for you due to insurance and health and safety.
Then remove the heat reflecting hood. Keep all your nuts and bolts together in a zip lock bag, clearly labelled and tape it onto another part of the heater. Take photos or notes if necessary so you can remember how it all goes back together.
Take apart as much of the heater as possible to reduce size and weight. Then wrap in packing blankets to protect from scratches and put all the parts in a box if possible.
7. Packing and moving an oven
Often the oven is left behind for the new owners as part of the fixtures and fittings, but if you love your oven, you’re going to want to take it with you. If you have a gas oven you will need a Gas Safe registered plumber to disconnect it for you. Once all disconnected or unplugged, remove all the detachable parts like burner pans and grates so they don’t get dropped or damaged, or scratch the surface. Wrap and box these, then label so they don’t get misplaced.
Slide a dolly (removal trolley) under the oven and tip the oven. Get someone to assist by holding the oven and preventing it from scratching the floor. If you don’t have a dolly and have hard floors you can use a piece of upside down carpet under the oven to drag it on and avoid scratching the floors.
At JamVans we specialise in home removals whether it’s domestically in the UK or internationally. We move people every single day whether they have a few items or a truck-load of belongings! If you’re moving then get in touch with us today to see how we can help.