4 Mistakes People Make When Packing And Shipping A Chandelier

15 January 2016
 Categories: , Articles

For many people, a chandelier is something that you only expect to see in a large period property or mansion, but these ornate light fittings are increasingly popular in more modest homes throughout the United States. That aside, a typical chandelier could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so if you decide to move home, you'll want to make sure this item is safe. If you need to pack and ship a chandelier, make sure your precious cargo reaches its destination, and avoid the four following mistakes.

Using the wrong preparation space

It's easy to underestimate how much space you need to pack a chandelier. When the fitting is hanging from the ceiling, it may not look as big as you expect, but you need enough space to comfortably work your way around the chandelier as you prepare it for shipping. Experts recommend that you hang the chandelier on an industrial-strength hook while you pack it, but you should always make sure the hook can handle the weight.

While you can lay the item on the floor to pack, hard surfaces increase the risk of damage to any delicate ornaments and features on the chandelier. Nonetheless, if you have no alternative, make sure the floor space is big enough and use lots of soft padding to protect the chandelier's delicate parts. Pad the floor as much as possible with blankets, sheets and cushions before you lay the chandelier down.

Inattention to small parts

When you remove the chandelier from the ceiling, make sure you don't lose any of the hardware used to mount the device. Keep all screws, brackets and finials in a secure plastic bag that you can store safely in transit. If the chandelier's mounting mechanism is relatively complex, you may want to label different parts to make it easier to put them back together at your destination.

Similarly, you don't have to pack and ship the chandelier completely intact. In many cases, you can remove delicate ornaments and crystals from the chandelier, which you can then pack separately and safely. Again, label bags and/or boxes of parts as appropriate, so you can easily fit them back on the chandelier.

Wrong size or type of crate

A chandelier will need a sturdy crate while in transit. A wooden crate is probably the strongest and most durable packing material, but a double or triple-walled corrugated cardboard box could also work, especially for a smaller or lighter chandelier. Make sure the box is between three and four inches bigger than all the sides of the chandelier. A smaller box presents a risk from impact damage, while a larger box will leave too much empty space to fill.

If you want to hang the chandelier in transit, you will probably need a wooden crate. In this instance, you will need to fix a wooden rod or several pieces of lumber across the top of the crate from which you can then hang the chandelier. As such, a cardboard box is unlikely to safely support the weight of a hanging chandelier.

Failure to fill empty space

There's a high risk of damage if the chandelier can move around in transit. As such, you need to fill all the empty space in the crate to hold the fitting in position. The most effective way to fill this space is with plenty of packing peanuts. These light, polystyrene-based packing tools are cheap and easy to use. Once you load or hang the chandelier inside the crate, you simply fill all the remaining space with the peanuts.

Make sure you have enough packing peanuts for the job. Leaving empty space inside the crate is a recipe for disaster. What's more, you'll need to carefully shift and pack the crate by hand. If you just tip the packing peanuts inside the crate, you may not adequately fill certain spaces, which will then allow the chandelier to move around. This is a relatively time-consuming job, but it's worth taking your time to make sure your chandelier is safe.

It isn't easy to safely ship a chandelier, but if you take the right steps, you can protect your precious cargo. Go to sites and talk to a professional moving specialist for more information and advice.