Avoiding Scratches

Scratches are the most common damage received during a move. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help avoid them.

Scratches are primarily caused by items rubbing together or otherwise coming into contact with each other. There are two main ways to prevent them:

First, we can prevent them from being able to move against each other. If you can pack items in such a way as to ensure there is no movement, then they shouldn't be able to scratch each other. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to do. Even a very small amount of movement over the entire trip can add up to a significant amount of abrasion.

Second, you can place one or more layers of material between objects to absorb movement and keep objects from contacting each other. The simplest method is to wrap items in paper before packing them. You can use newspaper for much of this, but be cautious to avoid getting newsprint on difficult to clean items. Also, ensure you use enough paper. If there is a lot of movement, a thin layer of paper can be worn through allowing your goods to contact each other, potentially causing scratches.

On larger items that will not fit into boxes, you should use either packing blankets, multiple layers of plastic wrap, or both.

Many scratches can occur when carrying items to or from the truck. Door handles, doorframes, banisters, etc. can easily damage fine furniture if they come into contact. Most ramps are designed for traction, not to be gentle on your goods. Finally, remember that concrete is very abrasive.

Helpful Hints

  • Use wadded-up paper to fill the gaps between items in boxes. This will minimize movement and help keep things secure.
  • For certain items, you can use towels, sheets, old curtains, etc. as layers between items. This saves on the expense of purchasing paper and may actually be better padding than paper in some cases.
  • If you don't want to use actual newspapers, you can purchase blank newspaper along with your boxes and moving supplies.
  • Ensure you totally fill your boxes so that no empty space is left on top. This will help to avoid the top of the box being crushed in transit and will also help to minimize motion within the box. If you have nothing left to pack in a box, wad up a bunch of paper to fill the top.
  • Paper is not the only option. You can also use bubble wrap or equivalent, but it will most likely be more expensive.
  • If you are packing large items that will not fit into a box, you can use plastic wrap/packing film. This should be applied in thick layers to get the best benefit. You can also try putting several layers down then covering the item with blankets, rugs, etc. and securing them with more layers of plastic. Remember, the idea is to avoid letting anything move directly against the item.