October 31, 2023

Common Types of Damage During a Move and How to Prevent Them

One of the most significant concerns during a whole house move is the potential for damage to your precious belongings. Whether you’re relocating across town or across the country, understanding the common types of damage that can occur during a move and knowing how to prevent them is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the typical forms of damage that can happen and provide practical tips on how to safeguard your items.

1. Scratches and Dents

What Causes Scratches and Dents?

Scratches and dents often occur when items rub against each other or against the walls of the moving truck. They can affect furniture, appliances, and even fragile items like mirrors or glass tabletops.

Prevention Tips:

  • Wrap items in protective materials like bubble wrap, moving blankets, or foam padding.
  • Disassemble furniture whenever possible to reduce the risk of scraping against door frames or walls.
  • Secure smaller items within larger ones to minimise movement during transit.

2. Breakage of Fragile Items

What Causes Fragile Items to Break?

Fragile items such as glassware, porcelain, or electronics are susceptible to breaking due to impact or pressure. Rough handling or insufficient cushioning can lead to costly damages.

Prevention Tips:

  • Use specialised packing materials like dish boxes or cell kits for fragile items.
  • Wrap each fragile item individually with bubble wrap and cushion them with packing paper or foam.
  • Label boxes containing fragile items clearly so movers handle them with care.

3. Furniture Damage

What Causes Furniture Damage?

Furniture damage often occurs when items are not adequately secured or protected. It can result in scratches, dents, or even structural damage.

Prevention Tips:

  • Disassemble large furniture pieces whenever possible to make them easier to move and transport.
  • Use furniture sliders or moving straps to prevent dragging, which can damage wooden legs or upholstery.
  • Wrap furniture in moving blankets or protective covers to shield them from nicks and scuffs.

4. Electronics Malfunction

What Causes Electronics Malfunction?

Electronics like TVs, computers, or gaming consoles are delicate and susceptible to electrical damage or physical harm during a move.

Prevention Tips:

  • Back up essential data on your electronics before the move.
  • Use original packaging if available, or invest in custom boxes designed for electronics.
  • Avoid stacking heavy items on top of electronic devices.

5. Water Damage

What Causes Water Damage?

Water damage can occur if items are exposed to moisture during the move, especially when moving during rainy weather.

Prevention Tips:

  • Monitor weather forecasts and plan your move on a dry day if possible.
  • Seal boxes with packing tape to prevent water seepage.
  • Use plastic wrap or plastic sheeting to cover items vulnerable to moisture.

6. Loss of Items

What Causes Loss of Items?

Loss of items can happen if they are not properly labelled, inventoried, or packed securely. Movers may mistakenly leave items behind, especially in large moves.

Prevention Tips:

  • Create a detailed inventory list of your belongings, including box contents.
  • Label boxes clearly with their contents and the room they belong to.
  • Keep valuable or essential items with you during the move to minimise the risk of loss.

7. Damage to Walls and Doorframes

What Causes Damage to Walls and Doorframes?

During the moving process, large items and furniture can collide with walls and doorframes, causing scrapes, dents, or chipped paint.

Prevention Tips:

  • Use furniture sliders or moving blankets to protect walls and doorframes.
  • Carefully measure doorways and hallways to ensure larger items can pass through without issues.
  • Move heavy items with caution and precision, avoiding sudden movements.


A successful move is not just about reaching your new destination; it’s about ensuring that your belongings arrive intact. By understanding the common types of damage that can occur during a move and taking proactive measures to prevent them, you can significantly reduce the risk of costly and disheartening mishaps. Remember that proper packing, labelling, and communication with your moving company are key elements in safeguarding your valued possessions during this transition.

frequently asked questions

Professional packers have experience and expertise in packing items securely. If you have valuable or fragile belongings, it’s a wise investment.

Specialty boxes designed for fragile items provide added protection. If your fragile items are valuable or hold sentimental value, it’s best to use dedicated packing materials.

Document the damage with photographs, contact your moving company to report the issue as soon as possible, and initiate the claims process if applicable.

Valuables, important documents, medications, and items of sentimental value should be kept with you during the move to ensure their safety.

Research moving companies thoroughly, read customer reviews, check their credentials, and ask for referrals. Choosing a reputable moving company is crucial for a smooth and damage-free move.

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