Moving into a new home or apartment is supposed to be an exciting time as you let go of the old and embrace the new. But nothing can sour the move-in experience faster than arriving at your new location only to find that some of your belongings have not survived the move.

You may be surprised to learn that some items are more likely to break during transport than others. And so, today’s post is dedicated to revealing the top four items most likely to break during your move…and how to keep poor packing from taking out the things you love most.

1. Glassware and Dinnerware

There’s no question which items take the number one spot. Ask any removalist and they’ll tell you—glasses, dishes, and china are the household items most likely to get broken during a move. And the most common cause of the destruction is poor packing.

To avoid picking through glass-laden boxes or making do with a set of dishes that are a few plates short, take extra care when packing these items.

  • Purchase dishes and glassware boxes – It’s true. Your local moving supply store has boxes specifically designed for plates and glassware…go buy them.
  • Pad adequately – Don’t be shy with the bubble wrap. Wrap each item completely before placing it in your box. Both glass and plate boxes come with cardboard dividers for another layer of protection…use them.
  • Label – Be sure to mark boxes containing glasses or dishware all over with words like “FRAGILE” “HANDLE WITH CARE” or “CONTAINS GLASS”… basically anything that will grab the removalist’s attention.

2. Electronics

Televisions, computer monitors, and laptops are susceptible to breakage during a move, especially when packed improperly. Some people think they’ll just throw their television in the back of their car…unprotected…and move it themselves. This is a mistake. One quick turn and your tv is a goner.

What’s the trick to keeping electronics safe?

  • Use original packaging when possible – We know it’s a pain to store those extra-large boxes and clunky pieces of styrofoam that your television arrived in…but doing so can save the life of your equipment. If you have them lying around, pack TVs, monitors, and other electronic equipment in their original packaging. We promise…it’s going to be a perfect fit.
  • Pack securely – If you threw the OG packaging out years ago, fear not. It is possible to pack electronics and safely transport them. Get to…you guessed it…your local moving supply store where they sell…imagine that…boxes custom made for both flat screen televisions, computer monitors, and even microwaves!
  • Be sure to unplug, coil, and label cables and cords, and place them into the box along with your electronics. You may even want to take a photograph of the back of your equipment before unplugging. This will make the hooking up process much easier when you get into your new home.

3. Mirrors and Artwork

Both mirrors and artwork hold the number three spot on our list. Their size and delicacy make them tricky to move and easy to break in transit. Keep them safe by:

  • Taping the surface of the mirror – Before you pack up your mirror, cover the surface in a grid of painter’s tape. In the event the mirror does shatter during transport, this will keep the glass from spilling into the box…or onto the floor of your new home when you remove it.
  • Buying corner protectors – Surprise, surprise. Your friendly neighborhood moving supply store carries these nifty, cardboard corner protectors that you can affix to the corners of mirrors and frames to keep them from getting damaged during the move.
  • Wrapping them well – Place a pre-cut piece of cardboard over the front and back of your mirror or artwork (like you’re making a sandwich with the cardboard serving as bread). Lay your sandwich on top of packing paper and wrap it completely, tape it, then follow that up with a layer of bubble wrap and tape. Once all layers are secure, slide it into a box and tape it to secure.

4. Lampshades

Lampshades have a hard time surviving a move. They often get tossed together into a big box that somehow gets crumpled during transport. You can prevent this from happening to you by:

  • Wrapping your shades in a protective layer – use white packing paper or even a pillowcase to protect your lampshades. Avoid newspaper as the print can come off on the fabric.
  • Using a sturdy box – Now is not the time to use hand-me-down boxes. Head back to the moving supply store and invest in a reinforced box—it will be more resistant to getting crushed during the move
  • Stacking them up – It’s fine to stack similarly sized lampshades on top of one another once they’re covered but be sure to add plenty of padding to the bottom and sides of the box before the shades go in and a final protective layer on top

And there you have it—four items that are most likely to break during your move and the insider secrets that will keep that from happening to you.

May your upcoming move be exciting and stress-free, and may you arrive at your new home without a single broken item.

Happy moving!