The Most Commonly Damaged Items During a Move

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Moving can be stressful enough without damaging a beloved piece of furniture, an important kitchen appliance or a whole box of fragile glassware. Yet, time and time again people who are short on time and high on tension will cut corners in their approach to packing and moving in order to save some precious time. The best way to prevent broken items when moving is to be aware of the common mistakes and take precautions to mitigate those risks. Using a specialised moving services company that provides insurance is also a way to ensure your move runs smoothly. To help you avoid the common pitfalls, we’ve created this simple guide covering the most commonly damaged items during a move.

Commonly damaged items


Glassware tops the list as the most common item to get broken during a household relocation. The fragility of glass combined with the wide array of shapes and sizes can make drinking glasses and other household glassware particularly tricky to pack safely. While it might seem like an obvious candidate to feature on this list, people often make mistakes with packing glassware because they don’t get the right packing material. The trick to safely and securely packing your glasses is not to overpack your boxes. Too many glasses in one box can lead to the box breaking, or the glasses knocking each other and chipping during transit over bumpy terrain. Source yourself some high-quality boxes, preferably with dividers to prevent glass interaction during the journey. Use any packing paper you might have to secure them in place and don’t pack more than 4kg in one box.


Crockery comes in a close second in the most common items to get damaged during a move. Delicate china, fragile mugs with intricate handles and precious plates or bowls are all highly susceptible to chipping, scratches or shattering during transit. As with glassware, it’s important not to pack too many delicate pieces of crockery into one box. While packing paper, old clothing or towels can provide a perfect cushion for your favourite crockery, too much padding in one box can put stress on delicate pieces during transit. When stacking plates or bowls, ensure you have a lining of padded packing material or cloth between each piece to prevent rubbing that can result in chips or scratches.


Art comes in all shapes and sizes, meaning there is no ‘one size fits all approach to packing it. However, the delicate nature of art makes it one of the most frequently damaged items during a home or business relocation. As pieces of art being transported during a move often have high financial and sentimental value, it is especially important to take extra care when packing and moving art, whether it’s on a canvas, a sculpture or any other style of artistic creation. When it comes to choosing your packing material for art, there is a range of choices available. Moving boxes specialised for frames and canvases can ensure your pieces won’t move or come in contact with anything else during transit. If you have a particularly unique piece of art and aren’t sure how best to secure it for your move, get in touch with our moving consultants. They can talk you through your options and provide you with expert advice on the safest approach to moving your art.


The bathroom, bedroom and decorative mirrors are all highly fragile items and some of the most frequently damaged during a move. Cracking a mirror is not just bad luck, it’s also highly avoidable if the right precautions are taken. Taping an ‘X’ across the mirror can help to secure the structural integrity of the mirror, while also preventing the chances of small pieces falling throughout your belongings in the unfortunate event of its shattering. It is also important to wrap your mirror in packing paper and another supportive padding before placing it end over end in a sturdy moving box.

Books and photographs

Books and photographs have deep sentimental value but are highly vulnerable to degradation and damage if they aren’t properly secured for their move. Exposure to natural elements such as wind and rain can easily destroy these precious items. For this reason, it is important to ensure that these items are protected in waterproof boxes which are sturdy and won’t be compromised by heavy items being packed on top. It is equally valuable to think about how you protect these items within their boxes. During short or long-distance trips, books or photo albums that have not been properly secured can shift and move. This type of movement can lead to friction between books, broken book spines, torn pages, photographs to come out of their sleeves and general damage to your items. These are all easy moving mistakes to avoid. To prevent these types of issues, it is advisable to wrap your books, photographs, albums and other documents individually in packing paper, old cloth or towels. While this may not seem as economical with the box space you have, it will help fill gaps, prevent movement and also reduce the chances of overloading your boxes with too many books.


One of the most commonly damaged items during a move is, unfortunately, yourself. People who choose to move without assistance often find themselves short on time and high on stress. This can lead to overloaded boxes, improper lifting techniques and easily avoidable mistakes. Attempting to lift too much weight on your own, or without the right body movement, frequently results in lower back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries and even neck injuries. These sorts of problems are long term pains that are never worth the short term gains of rushing, overpacking or failing to seek assistance for your move. There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of an injury during the moving process.

Don’t put too much weight in your boxes

Not only will this reduce the chance of your boxes breaking and your items being damaged, but it will also dramatically reduce the chances of hurting yourself when you pick up and put down the box. A general rule of thumb is that you don’t want more than 4kg per box to ensure that they are easily maneuverable and their structural integrity will not be compromised.