China is typically glassware that is not only of extreme value but has sentimental value and is difficult to replace. As a high end moving company, Blue Beaver Movers specialize in packing china and fragile items. We wanted to share some tips on how to go about packing your china for your upcoming move.
First, you want to clear off a large table. Typically, a dining table works well. Once you have your surface, you want to set up your packing materials. You’ll need packing paper, small or medium packing boxes, a marker, and packing tape.
Now that you have your materials, you want to start by taping up your box. Tape the bottom of the box with 3 strips of tape just partially overlapping each other. Leave the top of the box open. You’ll then want to take 3 sheets of packing paper and crumple it up. Place these covering the entire bottom of your box.
Now that you have your cushion made, it’s time to load up your box. The first thing you need to know is how to load each item. When loading your boxes, you want to have the larger and heavier items on the bottom and then decrease the weight as you load your box until you’ve reached the top.
- Plates: Lay vertically. Plates can go on the bottom. Never lay horizontally as they can crack as the weight increases and as they are being transported.
- Saucers: Again, stack vertically and these would typically go in the middle of the box.
- Bowls: You should wrap each bowl individually and place them rim down. This will ensure they are in their strongest position and can be stacked on. These can go at the bottom of the box or middle. Just make sure to scale your weight appropriately.
- Small drinking glasses: Place them in the middle or the top of the box. Make sure to place them drinking side down. They are strongest when they are placed in that form. Make sure to separate each glass with a piece of packing paper.
- Wine Glasses: These should be placed in the top of your packing box. When packing wine glasses, you want to take a sheet of packing paper and wrap the stem. Then take another sheet of packing paper to wrap the glass. You want to place wine glasses drinking side down.
- Small Teacups: You’ll want to put teacups at the top of the box. Make sure to separate each teacup with a sheet of packing paper.
When packing, make sure you wrap each item individually. It doesn’t matter which item as all glass items should be individually wrapped. You also want to make sure to separate each dish with a sheet of packing paper. Then once your box is full, you want to fill the top with packing paper until it is almost overflowing. Then you push down the top of your box and seal it with tape. By having overflowing packing paper, your box will be firm on the top and allow you to maximize the utilization of those boxes during the loading of your truck. Remember, you never want your boxes to cave in on top. This creates a headache when loading and exposes your items to a higher level of risk.
Now an important part of packing china is to label your boxes properly. When labeling, pick a universal symbol that will stand for extremely fragile. In this example, we will use a star. For all boxes with china in them, you would mark the top and all the sides with a large star. Then you want to label the top as China. Also, write on the top “don’t put at bottom of the stack”. This will help your moving company to understand the importance of treating this box with ultra-care. You don’t want your china box as the bottom box with 7 or 8 more boxes on top of it. If you have several sets of china, you’ll want to label them specifically. Instead of writing China, write “Blue China Set”. This way you will know where it goes when your moving company asks where you would like that box. Nothing is worse than getting the wrong boxes in the wrong rooms during the unload.
When unboxing your china, you have to be as equally careful. It is easy to be unpacking, grab a piece of paper you thought was empty, and drop a small cup or lid. Make sure you lay each box on a large flat service and empty each piece of packing paper. Carefully inspect it and make sure you aren’t throwing anything away or about to drop your valuable china items. When putting your china away, your boxes will be loaded from biggest on bottom and smallest on top. You’ll be putting away your smaller items first. If they go in front of the larger ones, set them all out on a large open surface. Then you can place them in the order they go.
Know your rights if your china gets broken: Moving companies are going to look at 3 things when taking responsibility for broken items. (Here at Blue Beaver Movers, we typically take more than these things into consideration). Most moving companies will look at what level of coverage you had and if they packed the boxes.
If you packed your own boxes, the moving company will not take responsibility. If you think about it, the moving company has no idea of the condition of the items placed in the boxes, they don’t know if your boxes were packed properly, and they don’t know if the boxes were dropped, etc. during the packing process.
If your moving company did pack you and an item broke, they will then look at your coverage. If you took the free $0.60 per pound reimbursement as TXDMV regulates movers carry, then they will likely pay you that. Especially since the value of those items can be very expensive. If you chose one of their valuation options (typically ranges from $200-$500 depending on deductible) they would be obligated to replace those items. In this case, you’ll need to provide information on purchasing or replacement prices to your moving company. They will likely make you go through a claims process which can take between 30-90 days.
The last thing is who drove the truck. If your moving company packed you and you purchased their valuation, but they loaded your truck that you drive, it can void the coverage. Because the moving company can’t know if you drove into a ditch, or ran over something, or swerved excessively, they can’t cover the damage.
To avoid these issues, let the moving company pack your most valuable items. Most moving companies can come the day before and do a couple hours of work. It’s well worth the extra $200-$300. Then make sure you choose your coverage options. If you have nice stuff, I’d purchase a coverage option. This offers you a lot of protection in the event something is scratched, dented, broken, or destroyed. Lastly, let your moving company provide the truck. Almost all moving companies provide a truck with your move. It doesn’t save any money to rent your own truck. Allow them to provide the truck so you stay completely covered. In the event, something did go wrong and you were happy with the resolution by your moving company, contact your local DMV and request a mediation.
We hope this was helpful in navigating your venture of packing your china. If you have questions or need help, feel free to reach out to us.