Before you get the big stuff out of the way, start packing your home decor: all those accessories that make your home so…well, homey.
This is often the most breakable stuff, so take the few extra steps required to protect them from damage. (There’ll be plenty of stress later when deciding where to put Aunt Clara’s painting in the new house.)
First, wrap any delicate, expensive, or fragile books in a couple layers of tissue or paper to protect them.
Pack books either flat, or vertically with the spines facing downward (facing the spines upward can damage the binding). Place hardback books or thick pieces of cardboard at either end of the box to protect bendable paperback books from damage and cushion everything with crushed paper. Boxes of books are quite heavy, so keep boxes small.
Mirrors, Paintings, & Photographs
Avoid breakage (and seven years of bad luck) by thoroughly padding all mirrors and packing them in special mirror cartons. Very heavy mirrors should be packed in crates by your moving company.
Framed pictures and paintings with glass should be padded and packed in an appropriately sized carton, but avoid padding oil paintings with paper, as this can damage the art. Small frames (such as prints and family photos) should be wrapped in paper and packed upright in a box. Label all boxes with their contents and “FRAGILE.”
Curtains and Drapes
Curtains travel very well in a wardrobe carton with a rod for hanging.
Drape the curtains over a padded hanger, pin shut to secure, and hang in the carton. If you aren’t using a wardrobe carton, you can simply fold your drapes into a cardboard box lined with plastic. Having a moisture-proof barrier protects your curtains from staining during transit.
Disassemble lamps and wrap the bulb, harp, and base in wadded paper. Pack in a carton with plenty of padding to fill voids and prevent breakage or bending. Tall floor lamps can be quilt-padded and loaded on the truck.
Lampshades should be packed separately and never wrapped in newspaper, as the ink can damage the fabric. Instead, wrap in a clean towel, pillowcase, or a few layers of tissue paper. Choose a box at least two inches bigger than your shade on all sides and line the bottom with crushed paper, just don’t pack any paper around the outside of the lampshade.
If you have a smaller shade that can easily nest inside a larger one, you can pack them in the same box, as long as they don’t touch. However, if you have lampshades made from real silk, they should be packed one to a box, to prevent stretching the silk.
Label all boxes “FRAGILE.” Leave your leaded glass shades and chandeliers to the professionals.
Rugs should be the last thing loaded onto the truck and the first thing taken out; this prevents any uncomfortable shuffling of furniture in order to fit the rug on the truck or in the new house.
Large rugs should be rolled up and secured with shrink wrap (your moving crew should have the heavy-duty stuff necessary for securing a rug). It’s also a good idea to consider having your rugs dry cleaned before your move. The cleaner will return them to you rolled and wrapped. You just need to throw it on the truck.
Silk flower arrangements should be packed in a separate carton (preferably, a carton for each arrangement). Wrap each floral arrangement carefully in tissue paper, paper towels, or plastic wrap and pack in the box with plenty of crushed paper for padding. Very delicate arrangements should be secured to the bottom of the box with masking tape to prevent shifting. Label all boxes “FRAGILE–THIS END UP.”
Carefully wrap all figurines and curios with tissue paper, paper towels, or facial tissue, then wrap in a layer of paper that has been wadded up, then flattened out. Tape everything up so it’s securely wrapped, then pack with plenty of cushioning in a plastic bin or cardboard box.
Small, flat items—such as mirrors, small framed photos, and plaques—should be wrapped in a couple layers of tissue paper, then covered in newsprint and taped shut. Store all flat items on their edges in a plastic bin or cardboard box. As when packing any box, keep heavy items on the bottom and lighter objects on top and label all boxes “FRAGILE–THIS END UP.”
Large Items (Sculptures, Large paintings, Marble Table Tops, etc.)
It’s best to consult with your Orlando moving company for large, bulky decor items. Your mover will likely have solutions for crating and padding these items to prevent damage while on the truck. It is not recommended that you move these items yourself.
If you want to keep your artwork, lighting, and knick-knacks in the same rooms in your new house, make sure you also label the boxes with their destination. Just be sure to mark everything as “fragile”; these little items are just what it takes to make your new place feel like home. Now, where to put Aunt Clara’s painting…?