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When packing to move house, one of the most important things is protecting your most valuable possessions. Not just your irreplaceable family heirlooms, but also vital documents, glassware and dinner services. Mirrors, paintings and even pianos need extra special treatment both in packing and in transit. Be aware: some removals services will not cover, in their insurance, valuables that you have packed yourself: only that they have packed. Definitely ask your removals company about their policy and either use their professional packing service, or take out insurance yourself if you do the packing. And, whichever route you choose, be liberal with the FRAGILE tape: so everybody knows!

Glassware
The best thing to pack your glasses, flutes, crystalware and glass ornaments is in the original packaging. There is a good reason for keeping all those boxes in the loft for so long! Wine glasses, for example, come in boxes with lattice frame separators. This provides enough rigidity to keep the box’s integrity and protect the individual glasses. However, for extra security, you can wrap each glass in a layer of bubblewrap, too. Crystalware, decanters and glass ornaments tend to come in boxes with foam insets, for extra protection. If you don’t have the original packaging, either let a professional packing service take care of the glassware or buy special wine glasses boxes. These are available over the internet for around ?5 per box, which will hold up to thirty glasses or cups.

Mirrors and pictures
Now you might not have the original packaging for these, especially if they have been handed down to you. The good news is, you can buy or hire mirror and picture cartons. These give heavy duty protection. Since there is no standard size, they tend to come flat, for you to wrap around to the picture’s specification. Alternatively, get that bubble wrap out again, with tissue, then a flat piece of corrugated cardboard laid directly over the painting or glass surface. We also recommend cardboard reinforced corners to prevent bumping of the frame.

Vital documents
Everyone has important documents – birth and marriage certificates, deeds, wills and passports – that must be kept extremely safe when moving house. The best storage for these at ANY time, not just when moving, is in a lockable, fireproof cabinet or chest. They need to be protected from damp, fire and tearing. This may be the time to look into a secure document storage centre out of the home. These specialist companies will provide short or even lifetime fireproof vaulted storage centres. Or, take out a safe deposit box at your bank. You can also buy fire resistant, lockable document boxes, that store your important papers singly or in hanging files. You might want to keep such valuables with you in the car as you move, rather than putting them in the truck.

Pianos, harps, etcetera
Pianos and other large musical instruments need a very delicate transit. It’s worth looking at specialist moving companies for these as they can be worth thousands of pounds, or even more. This is definitely one best left to the experts. For your guitars, keyboards and other such, look at locked flight cases. It’s worth taking extra care, as these can be very hard to replace, especially if vintage.

Sporting equipment and clubs
Cues, professional rackets, surfboards and golf clubs. Again, these can be worth a small fortune. Just as you would protect them carefully when flying, for example, so you need to when moving. There are plenty of cardboard golf club boxes on the market, and some moving kits include them, too.