Packing valuables in a box to protect them in transit is a simple yet surprisingly little known art.
It is important to correctly pack items you are sending via post or a courier service to guarantee the items safety, both from damage and prying eyes. Obviously the correct way to pack an item depends on the shape and size of the item, but for general small goods, a box is the most commonly used medium for packing.
Below is a quick guide and some tips for packing a box.
First, you will need some supplies:
- A box
- A marker
- Cushioning (Bubble Wrap is best, but crumpled newspaper will suffice)
These supplies can all be obtained from your local post office or office supplies store.
Try to find a box that is a suitable size for the item you are sending. If the box is too large, you will incur a higher fee from the courier to move the greater cubic volume. If the box is too small, you may not adequately protect your item if you cannot fit any cushioning inside the box.
There are restrictions on how big a box you can send with a courier service. Generally you will be fine to send the box if it is under 4 meters in length, and under 30 kg. If the dimensions of the box are bigger than this, you will have to consult the courier you plan to tranport your parcel with.
Try to use a box that leaves a 5-10cm gap around your item, on every side of your item.
If you managed to obtain bubble wrap, cut a rectangle out that is roughly 3 times the size of your item. The aim is to stop your item from being damaged by impact and to stop it from rattling around inside the box, so you may require more cushioning if your box is significantly bigger than your item.
With the bubbles facing inwards, firmly wrap the item so that it is suitably protected on all corners then use a strip of tape to secure. Be sure to not use too much tape as this will make it difficult for the recipient of the package to comfortably unwrap it.
Once you have ensured the item is safely protected within the box, securely tape it up. Generally you should need no more than 6 strips of tape to secure the box (one strip for every seam of the box).
If the item is fragile, ensure that you write the word FRAGILE in clear bold letters so the courier can exercise caution in the handling of your parcel.
Now that your box is securely packed, see our article on sending a package to learn how to organise the transport of your item to its new destination.