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Old 05-01-2008, 01:12 PM
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,662 posts, read 10,139,738 times
Reputation: 5537


I love that idea about wrapping onto pallets and screwing them down! I did a interstate move with PODS and used a lot of rope and that orange saftey fencing for movement barriers. Never thought about pallets and screws, that would have actually been much easier!

If you are putting anything that would be susceptible to mold or mildew, then consider throwing in some dessicant bags when wrapping or bagging these items. Might not be an issue, but they are cheap insurance for small amounts of moisture that might get trapped inside.
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:58 PM
Location: Kauai
649 posts, read 3,349,635 times
Reputation: 472
Great advice, Calico! I would rep you but I have to 'spread it around'. We're really getting some good posts on here lately, for us moving folks.

My first ULine order should have arrived today while I was at work - boxes, bubblewrap, newsprint and markers. I can get good tape cheaper elsewhere, but I'm definitely going to get some of that plastic wrap before we actually get to packing the container. I have heard that moving pads (or blankets, etc.) on furniture, plastic-wrapped in place, works great.

Any tips for (1) glass-fronted cabinets, or (2) shop machinery? The cabinet I'm going to pad like heck with foam and probably crate (may have a professional do that for me), and the machinery I'll leave to hubby - but any advice on things like table saw, bandsaw, planer, drill press, etc. would be appreciated.

A friend says she built "walls" in her container using lumber (actually her ex-hubby did it, and she is sketchy on the details), but I like the web idea, so maybe we'll try that. And taking pics is another great idea.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:14 PM
820 posts, read 2,912,143 times
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Thanks Sweetbeet,

On the tape, I had a batch from ULINE and then a batch from Costco. The Costco tape was so thin than it tore all the time and we spent more time picking at the roll trying to find the end... drove us NUTS! Find some good tape that is a bit thicker and you'll be happy you did.

I'm thinking about how to build a wall in the container - the container walls are metal, with structural bracing, but also metal. The only wooden part is the floor. You could see if there is some way to brace or fasten boards across the width of the container, but it might be hard to know how to do that until you get your container delivered.

With anything glass fronted, one key is to eliminate:
1 - Vibration - do this by putting cardboard cut to the size of the glass panes on the panes, fastened on with blue tape or wrapped around the whole cabinet door with plastic wrap. The cardboard will absorb any vibrations that will happen when your container is moved, bumped over roads, whacked against other containers, or the ships deck. Remember to cushion the BOTTOM of your box or crate too. No good protecting the sides then have a vibration travel up the legs of the cabinet and crack your glass.

2 - Impact - Don't put china or other heavy items in the cabinet. Put in soft fluffy things that you need to pack anyway, like sleeping bags, stuffed animals, old wigs (just kidding). Then on the outside, against the cardboard, put a few layers of bubble wrap. The whole cabinet should be wrapped in moving blankets or sleeping bags or anything that will compress a little if it gets hit.

The idea is to create a good barrier that will iteself compress and flex, because glass won't. If you make a rigid barrier, then vibration can crack the glass, or the force of any impact will just transfer all the way through.

If you use styrofoam for any packing, DON'T just pour in peanuts and put things on top. Those peanuts shift and move, so all the ones on the bottom will end up on the side and your item will be up against cardboard and damage.

If you can put in big chunks of styofoam up against the cardboard-bubble wrap layers, it will be a good insulator for hits.

For big tools, crating is best. You can get some used crates from retail places that get those kinds of things - mostly imports.

You could screw a pallet to the container floor, then strap your equipment to the pallet with tie-down straps. Those would be strong and allow you to tighten them down considerably. Maybe loop the straps to the side of the container too to limit motion.

Since all that kind of thing has odd spaces, pack some of your smaller hardware into small cardboard boxes, and tuck those into the space. This way you can use the room and also build up a tighter fit so the big piece is snuggled in.

The things to remember, in general are:

Fill the space - leaving room between things means they can shift around. When they move, they break.

Hold steady - by using wrap, screwing things to the floor, filling small spaces, you limit how far anything can move. Again, move=break.

Think cushy - put soft layers between rigid layers. Packing materials & soft items help keep hard things from banging against each other or from letting the gooongggs of bumps travel all the way to the breakables. By the way, newspaper is NOT cushy, unless you ball it up. Wrapping one sheet of newspaper or newsprint around a glass does NOT make it unbreakable.

Don't skimp - mostly this applies to time. Take your time to wrap things up, to fasten them down, to take pictures. You will be exhausted and tired and ready to shove it all in the container and go for pizza and bed, but take just a little more time to do it right.

RECYCLE - Be green, save money. Save up your egg cartons and meat foam trays and the packing material that comes with everything you buy. Why toss that in the landfill and go out to buy clean materials? Egg cartons are designed to cushion really breakable contents. Use them to fill small spaces. Even plastic water bottles, empty, with the cap ON - they are very hard to crush. So you can use those to cushion lots of boxes, or tape a row of them together as a layer of cushion between two pieces of furniture. Be sure to still use a blanket or sheets to protect your wood from the hard bottle cap.

Then please recycle them when you get here!
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:22 PM
11 posts, read 53,075 times
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Calico, your info on packing was invaluable. Don't guess you want to get a job as a "master packer". Thanks for sharing you expereince.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:47 AM
820 posts, read 2,912,143 times
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Another couple of thoughts -

Before you start loading, string in a long, long, and strong extension cord, and hang a work light way up at the top of the container, maybe in the center. You can wire it to the side support beams. Then you will have light while you work late a night (and you will). It works better and keeps the troops going if they can see. When you are done loading, leave the light in place, unplug the cord from your house, coil up the extra cord and put it at the back end of the container. Then when you get to your destination, you can just pull out the cord and plug it in.

It takes a lot less time to unload than to load. But if your container is delivered in the late afternoon, you will probably be so excited you will want to get in there and find things all night long.

Just before you close the door of your container, tape a large envelope containing your contact information (name, cell phone) to the inside door. Label it in BIG LETTERS with IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.

That way if there is any problem with your container (damage, break in, ends up in Tahiti) someone won't have to check all kinds of paperwork to find you.

Did I mention you should tip the drivers who pick up and deliver your containers. Give them a soda, a bottle of water, and a tip. They will be happy and more patient.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:22 PM
Location: Oahu
35 posts, read 66,469 times
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HELP! We are moving to Oahu this summer. It appears that most correspondents in this group used a shipping container (Matson?) We checked with Matson and they no longer accept partial container shipments. We have 16 boxes and 1 small ladies desk and chair ~140 cu ft. Our stuff is stored in Atlanta, Ga in a Smartbox (like a POD but cheaper) and we are in NYC. We Googled HI shipping and have requested quotes from 3 companies so far. Anybody have any suggestions? Should we get to our storage unit and put our boxes in wooden crates or maybe get a pallet and tie them down? Anybody use a shipper besides Matson? We just returned from the Peace Corps (Thailand). Before we left the U.S. we got rid of everything (almost) clothes, cars, house, furniture, pots n pans, etc. Our boxes have framed items, photos, papers, some towels etc.
Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:12 PM
682 posts, read 2,705,315 times
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Some options to consider:

1. Unless it's got sentimental value, ditch the desk & chair, ship the boxes via parcel post (but insure them), and buy a new desk & chair when you get here.

2. Look into something like ABF U-Pack, which has smaller containers and does ship to Hawaii. They are 6x7x9 foot, though those are outside dimensions so the inside is a bit smaller than the 378 cu ft you would expect. It would be more than enough to ship what you describe, and would probably cost in the range of $5K. (I used ABF and was very happy with them. I had a lot of boxes, books mostly. A very small amount of furniture, most of it being kept for sentimental reasons, and a ton of kitchen stuff because that's how I roll.)
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:26 PM
4,919 posts, read 21,857,694 times
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There is only a small number of shipping companies to Hawaii. Most others use their service. A company may contract to ship containers at a set price and broker the space for smaller loads to other companies. So a freight consolidator may contract with Matson for 2 containers per ship and brokers the space to other shippers and forwarders all over the US.

The key is to make sure you have a firm written contract for the total cost and not just an estimate with actual charges due on delivery. It does no good to get a low price only to have it triple because your weight was underestimated.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:47 PM
2 posts, read 4,892 times
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Default Thanks for the good advice

We just recently moved from Colorado to Maui, and I used a lot of the information from this thread to pack a container. Thank you, all! We had our shipment, which was pretty small, in storage in Denver, and helped the moving and storage company move our stuff from their storage bins into the container. Being a local, landlocked moving company, they were not familiar with packing a container for the train and ocean trip. We arrived with used pallets, deck screws, and lots of shrink wrap. Even with a 20 ft container, we only filled 1/3 to 1/2 of the container, so we didn't need to pack things too high. We had 4 pallets with boxes in front of the container. The movers would load the pallet in the middle of the container, then wrap them with the shrink wrap. They would then use a small lift to move them into place. I then put a couple of deck screws to hold the pallet to the wood floor.

We put our beds in next, which were in cardboard boxes and then shrink wrapped and tied them off with the hooks at the top and bottom of the container. Then a couple of more pallets with boxes and misc.

Furniture: we bought used moving pads on craigslist, and then shrink wrapped the pads to the furniture. Then shrink wrapped the furniture to a pallet.

Our stuff arrived on Maui ahead of schedule and not a think was scratched or broken. We used Matson for our container, and they were fanatastic. This was after a very terrible experience with attempting to use West Point Relocation to do a partial container.

Last edited by 7th generation; 05-16-2009 at 04:17 PM.. Reason: sorry, new members cannot make recommendations.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:12 AM
Location: Was in Western New York but now in Hilo Hawaii
1,234 posts, read 4,411,687 times
Reputation: 453
This is a great thread !
I have many questions but the most important at this time is Wildbillr how much did your container cost? and was there a weight limit on it?
All the packing tips are great
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