Day 26: Taking Control of the Stressful Situation

So yesterday I mentioned that I’m stressing. The nice thing about this stress is that there’s actually something I could do about it — I could pack up the contents of the stressful armoire.

So, a little more about this cupboard….up until last night, it was basically the storage place for every wedding gift we received….picture crystal, china and other highly fragile materials. And packing things of this nature is not exactly easy — if you want your belongings to show up in one piece, you better be careful how you pack it.

First off, be sure you’re using the appropriate packing materials. “China Barrel” boxes have a double thick wall and are specifically meant to protect these kind of items. It is pre-printed with the word “Fragile” and some “this side up” arrows.

This is a china barrel.

The next thing you want to do is pad the bottom of the box. You can use packing paper (which is heavier than newsprint), or even some towels/bedding that you have to pack anyway. IMPORTANT: Don’t waste your bubble wrap on padding the box!

Luckily, many of our wedding gift items were still in their original boxes, offering even more protection. Even so, DO NOT SKIP that initial padding step.

fragile items in their original boxes.

Once that first layer of items are in, you’ve got to pack paper (or something else soft) around them so that they will not shift around the box during transport.

stay right where you are.

Another layer of padding and you can continue adding to the box. For items that aren’t in their original box, you’ll need to take more care.  If the object in question isn’t solid (think a vase, or a pitcher, etc.) – start by filling the cavity with newsprint – this will make it more stable. It’s good to use blank sheets (not actual newsprint) so you don’t get ink all over your beautiful belongings.

filler paper.

After you’ve filled the cavities with paper (don’t forget about the hole between the handle and the pitcher!) — it’s time to bubble wrap:


That bubble-wrapped package can go directly in the box. Once you’ve finished your layer of bubble wrapped items, repeat the shift-prevention step and pack paper between and around the items. Continue until you’ve reached the top of the box, and pad the final layer before closing up:

a pillow makes a great final padding layer.

Once you close up, label the box according to where it’s going and what’s inside:

take this box to the dining room, please.

Because this box is full of fragile items, I wouldn’t want the movers to pile anything else on top of it. Which Is why I add the following:

don't pile on me!

You can see why these kinds of boxes take more effort than packing other stuff. But, I put on some good music and just went with it. 4 packed china barrels later, I was feeling a lot better about the status of things!

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