Contrary to popular belief, movement is what causes most damage to boxes while shipping and moving NOT your friends and family. Even the slightest movement while in transit can cause scratches, scrapes, and chips. The best way to prevent movement inside the moving boxes and hence damage to your items is to select the right moving supplies and use them correctly. Different packing supplies are designed for different purposes. Three of the primary purposes are surface protection, cushioning, and voidfilll.
Surface protection is exactly as it sounds, you are trying to protect your valuables surface (paintings, china, furniture etc.) from suffering damage by rubbing up against other items. Supplies such as small bubble wrap, packing paper, furniture wrap, and foam sheets are wonderful for this purpose. Bubble wrap and foam are generally cut to smaller sizes so they can easily be wrapped around your smaller objects. Packing paper and furniture pads are wider so they require a special packing trick called the wrap and roll technique. This is a fairly simple process, just layout a sheet of paper and place the item in the middle. From here you’ll take the three corners of the paper to the center of the object. That’s the bottom and two side corners. Finally, you’ll roll the object up toward the top corner, and now you’re ready to pack the object into the moving box. You will use the wrap and roll technique on almost everything you pack with paper.
Cushioning is the second purpose for using moving supplies for protection. Cushioning is putting a protective layer around your valuable in order to prevent movement or jostling from causing the item to break. It isn’t another object that is causing the damage but the weight of the valuable itself along with gravity. An adequate layer of cushioning can prevent a lot of breakage, especially when combined with a firmly packed moving box. All the cushioning and surface protection in the world will do no good if you have a packing box that has lots of empty space within it. That is why it is so important to pack for density by packing your moving boxes as tightly as possible.
Make sure to pack all empty spaces with the right protection. This is the third purpose of protective moving supplies – voidfill. Almost all moving boxes need some sort of voidfill, that is something to fill up the empty space once the box has been loaded with it’s primary object. Voidfill doesn’t have to be a specially designed supply you buy at a store, it can anything soft that isn’t easily damaged by movement. Pillows, towels, clothes, bedding, paper towels are all good examples of voidfill that you don’t have to buy. Some moving supplies that serve this purpose is larger bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts. Whether using your own homemade voidfill or you buy some, the most important thing is that there is no movement within the box.
A good test is if the content inside the box rattles.