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DIY Removals - Part Two


Sort books by size and pack in special book cartons, either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Don’t pack with the spine upwards as the glue can break away from the binder. Individually wrap expensive or sentimental books. Documents can be stored in special document cartons to ensure you don’t have weeks of shuffling paper back into place upon your arrival.

For bedrooms, get different coloured labels so each family member knows which box has their items in. If you want to keep your clothes hanging up for the journey, purchase wardrobe cartons which have bars. Otherwise, fold all clothing and store in a box lined with paper.

Bedding, linen and towels should be folded then put inside a plastic bag before packed in a box, or alternatively used as padding for other items. There are also special mirror cartons available to pack fragile mirrors, but if the mirror is particularly large or fragile, it should be transported in a crate.

A nifty tip for rugs, is to get them professionally cleaned before the move. They will come back from the cleaners rolled up and wrapped, so the hard work is done for you. Very valuable items of jewellery should be wrapped in tissue and put in a small box or envelope to keep with you. Toiletries should be taped shut and bagged in sandwich bags to prevent leakage, then packed in a box.

Living areas usually have the most expensive items in, so great care should be taken to pack these items properly. For CD and DVD players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit. Pack speakers all round, cushioning the sensitive area well. Larger televisions may need to be transported in a crate, but smaller TVs can be placed in a box with padding.

Stand CDs on edge, never flat and on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books, or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper.

Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark as fragile. Family photos, videos and negatives should not be packed with other household items. Also, be aware that hot or humid climates can affect photos and negatives, so ensure they are packaged to protect from the elements. Photos in frames should be packed on edge in a small box.

For small lamps, remove the bulb and lamp harp, then wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newspaper, but pack them together in a well padded box. Wrap lampshades in tissue paper, as newspaper will soil them. Smaller shades can rest inside larger ones, but pad the layers with tissue and store in a box separate from other household items, and marked fragile. Glass shades and chandeliers should be packed in a crate.

Dining room and kitchen contents will require the most newspaper, so subscribe to all the regular Sunday rags well in advance! Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually.

Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. Label cartons with room, contents and “FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP”.

Layer flat china and glassware on top of each other. Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack. Surround each bundle of wrapped dishes with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces, then add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items. For cups, if you are not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

All silverware should be completely enclosed in plastic or paper wrapping to avoid tarnishing. For other delicate items, such as ornaments or figurines, wrap first in tissue paper, then wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out. Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should also be wrapped individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint. Then, a bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and also as padding for glass. Place flat items on edge in a carton.

Don’t ever use newspaper to directly wrap items, as the ink can impregnate some china. Use clean paper instead.

In preparing large appliances for your move, it is important that they be clean and dry to avoid the build up of mildew and mould. Grease left on a stovetop will catch dust and dirt and leave spots on anything it touches.

Remove perishables, then clean and dry out refrigerators and freezers, and service if scheduled before transit. For dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, once they are clean and dry, disconnect all hoses, wrap in towels and place inside the machine. The washing machine should have the tub secured following the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent swaying.

Detach all removable parts from the cooker, and pack safely in a box. If you are moving a gas cooker, it must be disconnected prior to moving day by a qualified service technician, and the gas line properly secured. When arriving at your new residence with a gas cooker, you will need a qualified gas installer to check your gas supply, connect the gas line, seal any openings, light the pilot and handle any other hook-up requirements.

There are items that moving companies legally can’t transport. Hazardous materials such as: aerosols, ammonia, ammunition, car batteries, charcoal, lighter fluid, chemistry sets, cleaning solvents, fertilizer, fireworks, gas, kerosene, lamp oil, bleach, loaded guns, matches, motor oil, paint thinner, nail polish remover, paints, pesticides, poisons, pool chemicals, propane tanks, and weed killer, cannot be moved.

Also perishables such as frozen foods, plants, refrigerated foods, and open or half used foods cannot.

It is best not to send via transport goods which are overly sentimental, high in value, or likely to spoil such as cash, deeds or wills, moving documents, family photographs, stamp or coin collections, or valuable jewellery.

Packing can be a mammoth task, so if this sounds like too much to handle yourself, moving companies can professionally pack for you. As a general rule, furniture and major appliances will actually be wrapped and padded by your moving professional. Items requiring professional disassembly and/or crating - such as slate pool tables, chandeliers, or large glass table tops - are also best left to the pros.

However, if you want to DIY, follow the rules stated to ensure you pack like a pro and get your goods to their new place of adornment in one piece!