8 Tips for Packing Your Dishes and Glassware

When it comes to DIY packing, people are probably the most nervous to pack their kitchen and dining-ware. After all, for most of us, this is the most breakable stuff in the house. And often times, it’s got some serious sentimental value, too. You don’t want your favorite bowl from a trip to Europe or your Grandma’s gravy boat breaking during the move, right?

Luckily, with a few basic tips, packing even the most fragile dishes and glassware isn’t all that difficult. Here’s what you need to know about packing these essential items.

Before You Start Packing

First, before you even start picking up boxes to pack these items, talk to your moving company. Different movers have different rules. Most will let you pick and choose the services you want, so if you want to DIY pack, that’s fine.

However, most of the time when you pack boxes yourself, they aren’t as easy to get insurance on. The moving company has no way of knowing when Grandma’s gravy boat got broken – was is during the move or because of your careless packing techniques?

So this is a good thing to just double-check about so that you can make the best decisions for your particular situation.

1. Invest in good moving boxes

Yes, you may be hoping to save money on your move by using boxes from Wal-Mart or your friend from work. And those used boxes will be just fine for the majority of the items in your home. They’re just not a good idea when it comes to your fragile, heavy dishes and glasses.

Instead, what you want are heavy-duty boxes made from extra-thick cardboard. These boxes are less likely to break during the moving process, even with heavy items inside them. And they’ll also have more padding against impacts that might cause your glasses or dishes to break.

2. Prep each box

When you put together these heavy-duty boxes, be sure to tape the bottom, making a cross shape on the bottom of the box with heavy-duty packing tape. You may want to invest in a tape gun just for this purpose!

Also, prep boxes that will hold more fragile items by putting crumpled-up paper in the bottom. It won’t take up much room once it’s squished down with plates or tumblers. And it’ll add more protection to the bottom of the box, where protection is needed most.

3. Choose your packing paper

Here are a couple of options for packing paper: used newspapers and store-bought packing paper. They’re pretty similar, actually, and you’ll find that the grey-white packing paper you can buy from a professional moving company and box stores is similar to newspaper. However, printed newspaper will rub off ink on your fingers and on the items you wrap in it.

Either option is great, or you could use a combination of the two. But these are the two best options to use.

4. Ensure moving boxes are properly padded

It’s important to use your eyes when you’re packing. If you can see a spot of glass or ceramic peeking out from the packing paper, you need more packing paper. But the best way to tell if your packing paper is just a little thin is to listen. If a glass clinks or a coffee mug thumps when you put it in the box, you need to add more padding around it. Clinking and thumping are indications that the items are making enough contact to possibly break during the move.

5. Eliminate gaps in boxes with paper

The goal whenever you’re packing a moving box with fragile items in it is to pack it as tightly as possible. And this isn’t just because you want to use fewer moving boxes. It’s also because a tightly-packed moving box is one where the items inside won’t move around too much. When items can slide around, they’re more likely to break. So be sure to fill in any gaps in the box with crumpled paper or packing peanuts.

6. Wrap each small item separately

When you’re packing cups and bowls that are very breakable, it’s not enough to just nestle them into crumpled paper bits. Instead, you need to wrap all of these items separately. Start by stuffing a corner of packing paper inside the bowl or cup, and then wrap around and around until the whole items is wrapped thoroughly. Add a second piece of paper, if necessary.

7. Alternate plates with paper plates

When you’re buying your packing supplies, pick up a stack of thick paper plates. To pack plates, place a ceramic or porcelain plate on the bottom of a padded box. Then put a paper plate on top of it. Place another good plate on top of that. Alternate until you’re close to the top of the box. This is a great way to ensure that your plates are properly padded. Plus, you can use those paper plates while you settle into your new home.

8. Pack heavy to light

As you pack each box, start with the heaviest items on the bottom of the box. Then, work your way up to the lighter, more delicate items. That way, the box will stay upright more easily, and the fragile items won’t be crushed by your sturdy tumblers and coffee mugs. Boxes packed this way are just easier for the moving crew to move.