How do you safely pack fragile Disney ornaments when moving?

KatMac

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
I’m moving after having lived in the same house for 16 years. In that time, as any Disney lover can imagine, we have bought a ton of Disney ornaments and collectibles. I actually thought I’d die in this house, so I never thought to save the boxes to any of these things. Well, in eight months, we‘re moving to Southern California. I‘m going to have to drag these things 1,250 miles and I desperately want everything to be intact when we get there. Every time I see Olaf’s nose or Elsa’s dainty little hands or the bread sticking off Lady and Tramp’s dinner table, I visualize opening these boxes in California to find broken noses and hands and bread. :(

I don’t trust bubble wrap. In the past, I’ve had bubble wrap protected things that ended up broken after being transported. What would you do? Any advice would be very welcome!
 

fla4fun

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Are you driving or flying to your new home? When we moved from Ohio to Florida, anything really fragile was in the car with us. We wrapped fragile ornaments in tissue paper and loosely packed them in heavy duty storage containers with lids. Everything arrived without breaking. We still use the same system to store the ornaments in the basement.
 

tarheelmjfan

Proud Redhead
Joined
May 10, 2001
I kept my original boxes, but some of my Disney ornaments didn't come in original boxes. They were in a thin, white, rectangular box.

We're getting close to Christmas. You can probably find boxes stronger than Disney's, generic boxes at a dollar store or similar. Wrap the ornaments in a lot of tissue w/an outer layer of bubble wrap or buy craft snow blankets https://www.walmart.com/ip/Buffalo-Snow-Artificial-Snow-Cover-Blanket/19399812?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=1996&adid=22222222227065219865&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=170069203869&wl4=aud-566049426865:pla-276420903483&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=19399812&veh=sem&gclid=Cj0KCQjwivbsBRDsARIsADyISJ9tMJCvMP5gOFXht7QHxjmz7oNDDV_4W_-NRe-GzxEEaZiqMMlXEqoaApSXEALw_wcB to wrap them in, before putting them in the box. I find the latter more effective. We've moved a few times. None of my expensive ornaments were broken in transit. Unfortunately, I've lost a few $50+ ornaments, while decorating the tree. If you drop them or they fall off the tree, they're toast. :sad2: The cheaper ornaments are much more resilient.
 
  • tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    and you obviously never watched me get rid of stuff :p
    I'm right there with you. I'm one of those people who thinks, if you don't use it within a year, you don't need it.

    Some of my ornaments bought at Disney cost more than $75 each. (After seeing a couple of them on the ground shattered into pieces, I'd never spend that much again.) Fortunately, they fit the every year requirement. Even if they didn't, I'd have a hard time parting with the ones that have survived.
     
  • QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    I've moved a few times with delicate ornaments. They just move like they're wrapped for next year. I wrap each ornament in tissue, then put them in a segmented box. My segmented boxes are cardboard, but they sell them in plastic, which would likely protect better (I've had my boxes for 30 years or so). If you have movers coming, mark the boxes as fragile. If it makes you feel better, put the ornament boxes together in a bigger cardboard box--again, mark it as fragile.

    I've never had an ornament break due to moving. but I have had a couple fall off the tree--sometimes after having been "pushed" by one cat or another. It breaks the heart! I love glass ornaments--they typically shatter, no chance of salvaging them. we tie off the tree, and put unbreakable ornaments at the bottom to entice the cats, but it doesn't stop them from climbing up and batting at stuff. Stupid cats!
     

    KatMac

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2016
    Thank you for all the fantastic suggestions. I knew you guys would have great ideas.

    @QueenIsabella - I love the idea of segmented boxes. Thank you! I‘m definitely going to use that idea! It’s funny that I never thought of tissue paper, but that’s certainly better than bubble wrap!

    @fla4fun - Heavy duty storage containers are going to be way safer than cardboard. I like that idea a lot, too. I actually already have some that I was going to use to pack heavier stuff. Those things are so much stronger than cardboard. Excellent idea!

    @tarheelmjfan - my mom has tons of quilt batting. That’s very similar to snow blankets. Great idea! I can tear off tiny bits of it and fill in every area that‘s vulnerable to breaks. Thank you!

    @low-key - In preparation for this move, I’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff. Good Will knows us by name now. I was determined to reduce the “stuff” by half before the move. I don’t think I’ll make that goal, but I’ll be pretty close. But the Disney stuff? Never! Lol.

    Thanks everybody! I very much appreciate your suggestions. I’m feeling a lot better about it now. :)
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    I typically cut the sheets of tissue into quarters or eighths, and find that it's plenty. However, you do what makes you feel secure--tissue paper is cheap.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    Thank you for all the fantastic suggestions. I knew you guys would have great ideas.

    @QueenIsabella - I love the idea of segmented boxes. Thank you! I‘m definitely going to use that idea! It’s funny that I never thought of tissue paper, but that’s certainly better than bubble wrap!

    @fla4fun - Heavy duty storage containers are going to be way safer than cardboard. I like that idea a lot, too. I actually already have some that I was going to use to pack heavier stuff. Those things are so much stronger than cardboard. Excellent idea!

    @tarheelmjfan - my mom has tons of quilt batting. That’s very similar to snow blankets. Great idea! I can tear off tiny bits of it and fill in every area that‘s vulnerable to breaks. Thank you!

    @low-key - In preparation for this move, I’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff. Good Will knows us by name now. I was determined to reduce the “stuff” by half before the move. I don’t think I’ll make that goal, but I’ll be pretty close. But the Disney stuff? Never! Lol.

    Thanks everybody! I very much appreciate your suggestions. I’m feeling a lot better about it now. :)
    I wrap a generous amount of the batting around each ornament, place them in a smaller box, then put all the smaller boxes in a big box. I keep them stored that way all the time.
     
  • Feralpeg

    Living and Loving Windermere!
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2000
    Just a heads up. I had several of the larger Disney Mickey head ornaments that I collected over time as we visited WDW. When we moved from the Midwest to Florida, they made it just fine. Unfortunately, they haven't survived being in Florida. I'm not sure what happened. I never stored them in the garage. I put them in their original boxes (from Disney) and stored them on a closet shelf. Due to the Florida climate, we never open windows in the house. Sadly, I've had several just crumble. They didn't shatter. They just came apart into little bitty pieces. I'm guessing it is a humidity thing, although the house never seems that humid.

    OP, that being said, be careful how you transport your ornaments if they will be in a non-climate controlled area.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    Just a heads up. I had several of the larger Disney Mickey head ornaments that I collected over time as we visited WDW. When we moved from the Midwest to Florida, they made it just fine. Unfortunately, they haven't survived being in Florida. I'm not sure what happened. I never stored them in the garage. I put them in their original boxes (from Disney) and stored them on a closet shelf. Due to the Florida climate, we never open windows in the house. Sadly, I've had several just crumble. They didn't shatter. They just came apart into little bitty pieces. I'm guessing it is a humidity thing, although the house never seems that humid.

    OP, that being said, be careful how you transport your ornaments if they will be in a non-climate controlled area.
    That's odd. We've stored glass ornaments in Tampa & Miami in a non-climate controlled area & have never had that happen. The ornaments I've lost fell from the tree, due to the metal cap & hanger separating from the ornament. After losing a few ornaments, I started hot gluing the caps on.
     

    Feralpeg

    Living and Loving Windermere!
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2000
    That's odd. We've stored glass ornaments in Tampa & Miami in a non-climate controlled area & have never had that happen. The ornaments I've lost fell from the tree, due to the metal cap & hanger separating from the ornament. After losing a few ornaments, I started hot gluing the caps on.
    I've lost ornaments from the tops coming off as well. I never thought of hot gluing them. Great idea!

    The most heart breaking loss was one of the large Mickey head ornaments I had made when DD and I visited in 2000. It was very special to us. I had noticed, over the years, that the glass was changing color. It started out white, but appeared to be thinning. One day, it simply crumbled. So sad.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    I've lost ornaments from the tops coming off as well. I never thought of hot gluing them. Great idea!

    The most heart breaking loss was one of the large Mickey head ornaments I had made when DD and I visited in 2000. It was very special to us. I had noticed, over the years, that the glass was changing color. It started out white, but appeared to be thinning. One day, it simply crumbled. So sad.
    It always hurts worse to lose a sentimental favorite regardless of how much it cost.
     

    seashoreCM

    All around nice guy.
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2001
    Those glass blown ornaments that have been sold by one of the shops on Main St. in Magic Kingdom really need "scientific" packing, custom designed for each one. Even so it could be hit or miss whether the ornament survives the journey.

    A ball of tissue paper or a boxful of those styrofoam pellets does not necessarily work.

    A standing figurine might need inserts that hold the feet, knees, waist, elbows, and neck just the right way. Sometimes the ornament firmly fastened by a base part to the side of the box and having nothing but air space around it in the box works best.
     

    _19disnA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2018
    Places like Home Depot, Lowe's or even U-Haul sell sturdy cardboard boxes designed to protect fragile items when moving. Most movers say to NOT wrap the item too tightly to avoid damage during shipping. Those boxes with the vertical inserts are good for holding individual items.
     

    AtlasWinks

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2019
    Since you are moving, you can use your towels/wash cloths or linens or clothing as padding. Once in a pinch I put fragile items wrapped in tissue paper in my shoes! And then boxed all my shoes. Not a single fragile thing broke!

    Here is how I store my seasonal fragile ornaments:

    I have bought some storage bins customized for ornaments but they are on the pricey side and so most of my storage is a do it yourself arrangement.

    I buy the clear plastic bins that have locking lids with clips/hand grips on the sides. You can get these at Target for less than $10. I put a buffer on the bottom of either bubble wrap or cardboard then some crumpled up newspaper/tissue paper/used wrapping paper. I then either put the ornaments back in their original box or I completely cover them in bubble wrap/newspaper/tissue paper. The ones that have a box go on the bottom layer and then I progressively go from heavy to light as far as how I stack them in the box. I finish with a layer of bubble wrap just laying on top or a piece of cardboard so that if by some horrible accident it lands on its top, it has some buffer. A few times I have also put cardboard boxing material against the sides of the boxes.

    I usually have teenage boys helping me put in storage or take out of storage my holiday ornaments/decorations and so far I’ve been really lucky as most of the time when something breaks it’s because it wasn’t put on the tree carefully enough or a cat has been mischievous.
     



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