Protecting Your Stuff: Tips for Moving Your Valuables

By L. Roberts on August 21, 2019

Moving to a new place can be overwhelming. It’s important to start packing weeks before your move date — you’ll always underestimate how long it will take you to get everything organized and packed up. Without fail, I end up throwing things in boxes the night before the moving truck arrives, hoping I don’t leave anything too important behind.

When you’re packing, you’ll probably start by organizing things according to how you use them. You’ll pack up your home office and label all the boxes “office.” You’ll leave the things you use regularly out (for now) and focus on packing up all the meaningless stuff you’ve somehow collected over the years. If you’ve started packing multiple weeks in advance, you’ll feel like you have plenty of time to focus on keeping things neat and organized. If you’re smart, you’ll set aside many Saturdays to make progress on your moving schedule.

But there are several things you won’t know how to pack. The things that are most valuable to you won’t want to be packed away in the bottom of your kitchen utensils. Your toothbrush and overnight necessities won’t want to be lost in a box labeled “home office” or “upstairs guest.” Packing in advance takes a lot of preparation. In order to stay organized and protect your valuables, you should follow these 8 tips for protecting your stuff:


1. Use clothes, towels, and washcloths to protect dishes.

Anything breakable is at risk while you’re moving. With all the sloshing around in the moving van, you’ll want to make sure you won’t arrive at your destination with a bunch of broken dishes. Consider using your endless amount of clothing and towels to wrap your dishes prior to packing them in boxes. No matter how rough you are carrying boxes in and out of your home, if they’re wrapped in protective fabrics, you won’t have to worry about shattering the China you inherited from your grandmother.

You can also save room when you pack your dishes if you put them in boxes side by side instead of stacking them on top of one another. If you slide your plates and dishes into boxes side by side, you’ll be able to fit a lot more into the boxes you have. This will save you both time and money in the long run. Remember – it’s all about using your spatial skills!

2. Separate jewelry and bag it individually.

The most frustrating thing to move is going to be your jewelry. If you have one of those cabinets hanging on the wall where you keep it all organized, you aren’t going to want to just throw that in the moving van and get on with it. Do yourself a favor and spend time separating out your jewelry beforehand. Package them individually in little sandwich baggies. Then pack them in with your other bedroom essentials and remember that you’ll have to re-arrange them when you get to your destination.

If you don’t prepare your jewelry ahead of time, you’re going to end up with one big knot of all your necklaces. It’ll be impossible to wear them after that. You’ll have to spend hours upon hours at your kitchen table with a fork trying to separate your necklace chains. Even worse, your rings and bracelets will be all wrapped up in them as well, so you’ll have absolutely no jewelry to wear for the first few weeks at your new place. I highly recommend taking the time to separate it out before you move.

3. Use pillows to pack in valuable things that could shift during the ride.

Couch pillows, throw pillows, and pillows that go on your bed are all awesome ways to makes sure the things you’re worried about stay where they belong. While you’re driving down the road, bumps and turns will slosh your stuff around in the back, so you’ll want to pack them in well with any pillows you might have. This will keep things from getting scratched or damaged during the ride.

If you’re afraid you’re going to get your pillows dusty or dirty from moving, put cheap pillowcases or pillowcase covers over all of them. Those are easily washable and they’ll protect the pillows you’re going to lay your head on from dust bunnies and debris during the move.

4. Take pictures of all your valuable items.

If you’re using a moving company, you’ll want “before” pictures of your valuables just in case something happens during the move. Usually, moving companies will replace items they’ve broken or lost during the move, but you have to have proof of the item. I know it sounds tedious, but taking photos of your valuables will really come in handy later on when you’re trying to convince the moving company to replace your items.

You might even want to keep an inventory of all the valuable things you move. Whether it’s an electronic list on your laptop or a notepad you keep with you during the move, your valuables are not the items you want to misplace when you relocate.


5. Keep really valuable items in the car with you.

For the things you just simply can’t imagine living without, keep them close to you during the move, preferably up front on the passenger seat of your car. When you pack your big items and the moving truck pulls out of the driveway, you won’t want to be worrying about the family heirlooms or where your medication is. I suggest keeping things that are irreplaceable or necessary to living your life within reach during your move.

Oftentimes, people will keep their televisions and electronics in the car with them. This ensures they’ll be safe from falling items in the moving truck that could potentially cause damage beyond repair. It’s important to keep the things you value most close to you during your move, otherwise, you have no idea what’s going to happen to them in transit.

6. Hire professionals for “the big stuff.”

Don’t feel guilty about paying money to hire professionals. The couch you just spent tons of money on that looks perfect in your living room needs to be moved without damages, so instead of trying to talk your friends into helping you load it up, just hire a company to come take care of all your heavy valuables. You’ll be able to hold them accountable if something goes wrong and you’ll save yourself the pain of having to load and unload heavy furniture.

Some people shy away from hiring a moving company — but it’s going to save you so much time and effort. You’ll be able to supervise instead of lifting heavy, valuable items and loading them into a moving van. After the fact, you’ll definitely be glad you hired someone.

7. Avoid using large boxes for valuables.

created via Piktochart by Lorena Roberts

If you use large boxes for your valuables, you’ll end up packing them with lots of other things. When you arrive at your new place, you’ll have to dig through miscellaneous items just to get to what you’re looking for. It’s much easier to move if you have things in small boxes. It might mean more trips up and down the stairs, but there’s a much lower possibility that your valuables will get broken or damaged.

Also, make sure you’re using the right kind of boxes. Instead of re-using boxes that stores have broken down, invest in some good, sturdy boxes for your valuable items. You’ll also want to purchase some packing paper and bubble wrap to keep your valuables safe.

8. Consider purchasing insurance.

For people who have truly invested large amounts of money into valuables, insurance is a viable option. If you currently have renters or homeowners insurance, there’s a chance your policy covers your valuables while you move. But if it doesn’t, you should consider looking into some insurance options. After all, some of your items might be irreplaceable.

The insurance policy that you’re currently carrying, whether it’s homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, you need to ask before you assume that it covers your move. State Farm offers a great break down of all the questions you need to ask before you purchase a policy here.

9. Pack an overnight bag.

For the first few nights in your new place, you’re going to be scrambling to get things settled. You’ll feel like your days are going by in a blur, and on some days, you might feel like you aren’t making progress at all. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to get everything unpacked in order for you to function every day, pack an overnight bag with two or three days worth of clothes. You’ll be able to wake up every morning and get ready before rushing to start accomplishing your to-do list for the day.

10. Tape up any glass items.

If you put painter’s tape in a big “X” on glass pictures, mirrors, or across frames, you have a higher likelihood of making it to your destination without it shattering. The tape makes the glass a little stronger and able to handle heavier impacts.

When stores prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters, they’ll often tape up their glass storefronts in order to give them a little more muscle during the storm. The same goes for moving your glass valuables. If you reinforce them a bit with some tape, you’ll be saving yourself all kinds of trouble down the road.

Moving is a big job, can be overwhelming, and often takes a lot of thought upfront. You’ll have to schedule lots of Saturdays just to get your things organized and packed efficiently. The later you wait to pack your items, the more flustered you’ll feel during your move. When you get to your new place, you’ll feel completely out of control and you’ll have a hard time tracking down the things you need when you need them. You’ll be easily frustrated when you’re running around looking for your toothbrush before your first night in your new place.

When it comes to moving and protecting your valuables, start early. You can’t go wrong with too much time on your hands. Remember to start by organizing how you want to pack your biggest items, and then work your way down to the smaller ones. The dog’s toothbrush and your socks are probably the least of your worries right now. It’s important that you think about how you’re going to set up your new home — consider drawing out the rooms and placing the items that you want in each. Having a sketch will help you after you’ve relocated to your new place.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pup at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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