How to Avoid Extra Fees When Moving By Wrapping Your Stuff

Two men moving a couch that's wrapped in plastic

Philip Lee Harvey / Getty Images 

Has this happened to you?: The movers, who are moving your things to another country or state, arrived and began their assessment of your goods, deciding what to load first into the truck and to see if everything was properly packed. Turns out, they may refuse to move certain items unless you wrap them to ensure they won't be damaged during the move. 

If you hire a self-service mover instead of hiring a full-service moving company, you are responsible for making sure everything you want to be moved is properly packed.

Even if you usually have your things wrapped, sometimes things get missed because you forget, you run out of time, or you just don't know that it should be wrapped. Sometimes your moves will accommodate you, but many times they'll charge you extra to wrap the items themselves before placing it on the truck. To avoid incurring an additional cost or receiving a bill for the service later, review this list of items you should wrap and protect prior to the mover's arrival.

Remember, some movers charge and some don't. You should ask the moving company what their rules are--which items require plastic wrapping and how much they charge to do it--just to save you time and money. You also need to understand the difference between movers and what services are included and which is the best one for you to hire.

Also, remember that there are things that a mover won't move no matter how well you pack it. Know what you can't move and how to get rid of it before you start packing. 

Furniture

Most large pieces of furniture that are susceptible to scratches and dents should be protected with moving blankets or pads. For items that can't be protected this way, use plastic wrap that will ensure items arrive scratch-free. Items include furniture that is upholstered, including sofas, easy chairs, dining room chairs, office chairs, and headboards.

Awkward items

Awkward items are those pieces that don't fit into a box, that can't be wrapped in a blanket, yet they might get lost if packed into the truck on their own. Things like table or desk legs, shelves or curtain rods. It's a good idea to put loose pieces together using plastic wrap. Not only will it keep items from becoming lost and damaged, but you'll save the item's surface by using plastic and not tape to hold them together. Makes them easier to move, too.

Dirty, Greasy Items

Outdoor items are often shrink-wrapped. These include BBQs, tools, oil cans, and other garage items.

Large, Hard-to-Pack Toys

Shrink wrap toys, in particular, stuffed animals, dolls and anything else that's difficult to pack into boxes can be wrapped. Large toys, awkward toys and things that might get lost otherwise should all be wrapped.

Things You Can't Wrap and Won't Fit in a Box

Anything you can't pack in a box or protect with blankets and that might get scratched during the move, should be shrink-wrapped. Things like bulletin boards, large picture frames, and desk fans should be shrink wrapped. Anything you're concerned about and that has value, yet can't be properly packed, could probably use a bit of plastic wrap.

It's common sense, really. If you value it, protect it.