How to pack heavy items for shipping

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    You probably own some pretty heavy items. A piece of furniture in your home, perhaps, or maybe a machine you use at work. So when the time comes to move, you’ll most likely have to pack heavy items for shipping regardless of whether you are relocating your home or your business. And if you’re not relying on moving companies Marysville WA for packing services, you’ll need to learn how to properly do this yourself. Some things may be obvious; others less so. But since packing and shipping heavy items can be tricky and lead to damage, you’ll want all the tips you can get.

    What is considered to be a heavy item?

    People are often confused about what exactly is a heavy item. Is it something you can’t lift alone or are there measurements that will determine it? It is good to know that everything above 250 pounds is considered to be a heavy item. You will have difficulty moving and carrying it on your own and you will need movers and packers in Seattle to help you out. Depending on your household, these items can be:

    • Big sofas and other furniture items
    • Piano or other big musical instruments
    • Wardrobes and beds
    • Kitchen appliances

    Professional packers will deal with them properly and you will not risk hurting yourself or damaging something.

    black piano in a home
    Musical instruments are really delicate so ask professional packers and movers to handle them

    Why is it important to properly pack heavy items for shipping?

    Whenever you’re moving, putting things in storage, or sending things somewhere for other reasons, there’s a risk that something will be damaged. That risk is significantly higher when your belongings are fragile or when they’re heavy because those are harder to move safely. Additionally, heavy items pose a risk for the heavy equipment movers handling them – if they’re not prepared for how heavy a box is, they might get injured lifting it. Heavy items may also receive a harsher treatment as it is sometimes impossible to lift them.

    Instead, movers and shippers will push them, pull them, and use other techniques to move them. Finally, heavy items may require multiple people to handle them and are more likely to be dropped multiple times. All this increases the chances of them being damaged in the process. You can combat that risk by packing and preparing heavy items properly before shipping.

    The right way to pack heavy items for shipping

    The exact process of packing something heavy for shipping will depend on what exactly it is. Packing furniture is different from packing industrial equipment; preparing a vehicle for shipping is different from preparing for shipping a piano. But there are certain guidelines that you can apply to just about anything heavy that you need to prepare for transport.

    Colored chalk used to label and pack heavy items for shipping
    Heavy things are more likely to get dropped and therefore broken.

    Use the right packing supplies

    When you’re packing heavy items for shipping, it is vital to use high-quality moving boxes Seattle. Even if you’re on a budget, this is something you shouldn’t skimp on. Because heavy items typically go through multiple hands, might not be possible to lift, and are more likely to be dropped, you need to pack them using something sturdy and durable that can withstand rough treatment.

    Enforced moving boxes, containers or crates will provide the kind of protection your heavy items require. Even if they might cost more than regular moving boxes, they are a good investment. Cheap, second-hand, or low-quality packing supplies could lead to damage to your items. It’ll be far more expensive to fix that damage than to prevent it.

    Do what you can to make the items lighter

    Sometimes, what you’re shipping is simply heavy and there’s nothing you can do about it. But there are cases in which it is possible to make your heavy items at least somewhat lighter. If you’re shipping something that has parts, for example, try dismantling it. You might be able to pack and ship individual parts more easily.

    If you’re sending some type of furniture with drawers, cabinets, or other types of household storage, make sure to empty it of your belongings so as not to add unnecessary weight. Whatever you can do to make the items easier to move and ship is a good idea.

    Boxes used to pack heavy items for shipping.
    Only use high-quality supplies for heavy items.

    Don’t overload the boxes

    A good rule of thumb is to pack heavy things in small boxes. If you fill a large box with heavy items, it’s very easy to make it impossible to lift even with the help of professional movers and packers Seattle. Of course, if your heavy items are also big, you’ll have to use appropriately sized boxes. But make sure you’re not overloading the boxes. Even sturdy boxes have their limits. If you fill them too much, they might not hold during transport. And of course, the fuller the box, the heavier it is and the harder it is to lift. Typically, you’d want to keep boxes under 50lbs. Moving and shipping companies that handle heavy items might allow boxes of up to 150lbs in weight. More than that is generally considered freight shipping.

    Pack carefully

    Packing is an important step in the shipping process because it is a way to protect and prepare your items for transportation. So here’s how you should pack your heavy items:

    1. use sturdy, durable containers and high-quality supplies
    2. prepare your containers by padding them with cushioning material
    3. clean and if possible, dismantle your heavy items before placing them in the container
    4. fill the remaining space with cushioning material and ensure that nothing inside the container can move too much

    Label everything clearly

    You will almost certainly not be the only person handling the heavy items you’re shipping. So it’s important to let others know that the container you’re shipping holds heavy items. You will do this by labeling the box. You can buy pre-made labels, make some yourself, or simply write on the outside of the box. Make sure the letters are big and legible and write on multiple sides of the box. Weight isn’t the only thing you should inform people of either: make note if the items inside are fragile, need to be handled with care, or need to be kept in a certain position.

    Camera in packing peanuts.
    Use packing peanuts or other cushioning material to fill the empty space in the box.

    How to pack heavy items from your office?

    If you are expanding or moving your business outside the USA you probably have a lot of equipment that you wish to take with you. Since we are talking about very delicate things, it is best you arrange everything with international commercial shipping companies. The main goal is to arrive as soon as possible and set everything up so that your company can continue operating. While they will make sure everything is safe and secured, there are a couple of things you can do as well.

    Firstly, detach everything and start with the machines you use the least. You won’t be needing them right away and they will not be creating a mess. Then, proceed to choose the most suitable boxes or crates and place the item in there. Avoid putting more items in one crate as each one of them can damage during shipping. Depending on the item itself, you will know what fits more, a packing box or shipping crates Seattle.

    Leave your I.T. sector for the very end. This is something your company needs to the last day and it will be a sector you must set up first. If you are not sure how to do it, you can find I.T. professionals in Seattle, Washington to do it for you. The last step is to for a team who will be waiting for equipment at the new destination. Ask them to start setting them up slowly so that there is less work once the entire company arrives.

    big white wardrobe
    Heavy items are those that weigh over 250 pounds and include wardrobes or beds

    Things to avoid

    Apart from not overloading boxes, there are more things you should try to avoid when picking heavy items for shipping. Even when you choose a Washington moving company, its employees will advise you to stay away from these things as much as possible:

    • Avoid using cheap packing materials to save on your shipping: This will cause countless issues on the road and will possibly cause damage you won’t be able to repair. It is much better to rely on professional packers if you are not sure what materials to take.
    • Don’t wait too long to start packing your heavy items: All those heavy things you have require a different approach. Even if they are of simple shape and without smaller parts attached, you should start packing them on time. Otherwise, you will end up being late and will break a shipping deadline.
    • Stay away from DIY projects: DIY is extremely useful, but it could not be suitable for heavy items. You will lose a lot of time doing it and even if one thing goes wrong, you are risking the entire process. If you are creative and have experience with DIY packing, you can try it with smaller and lighter items in your home or office.
    • Don’t let people without experience move and carry them: Just like in any job, there are people who do it as their profession. Inviting your friends or family members is a good idea but leave heavy things to professionals. Someone may get hurt or some of the items can break during the move.

    Inform yourself about items you are shipping

    The truth is that even if you have had something for many years, you may still not know how to handle it completely. If you have enough time on your hands get more information about the item you are shipping. The original developer may have some advice for packing and moving it, and that is something you should know on time. If te item is made just for you, it will be much easier to handle it as you were the one providing the measurements and the rest of the details.

    big printing machine
    To pack heavy items for shipping from your office make sure to know how to handle them properly

    And finally, always count on professionals

    If you decide to do it on your own, but it turns out it is much more difficult than you thought, don’t freak out. Professional packers and movers will be there for you to help you last minute. This is something you should count on in extreme situations so avoid planning it on purpose. The easiest method is always to trust your instincts. When the size of a certain item is bothering you and you are thinking about packing it in advance, it will probably give you a hard time. 

    Take care of yourself when you pack heavy items for shipping

    It is important to remember that your belongings aren’t the only important thing here. You must also think about yourself and the people helping you ship your items, whether they are professionals or friends and family. Your health and well-being are paramount. So, do what you can to prevent injuries as you pack heavy items for shipping: get help from someone handling your belongings, learn the proper lifting techniques, and warn your moving and shipping company about the weight of the shipment. That way both you and your belongings can come out the other end safe and sound.

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