How to Pack Glassware and Dishes When Moving

It’s a well-known fact that moving house is no walk in the park. Often considered one of the most stressful common life experiences, relocating everything you own can be at best a pain, and at worst downright exasperating.

One of the trickiest categories of objects to move is glassware and dishes, the frustratingly fragile backbone of your kitchen, and an essential element to any dining set-up. From beautiful champagne coupes to ornate serving bowls, heirloom teacups to artisanal vases — this is a collection that you don’t want to see harmed in transit.

In this article we’ll go over some simple guidelines for packing glass and ceramics. While moving is unlikely to ever be a complete cinch, these tips will make packing delicate items significantly less anxiety-inducing, allowing you to enjoy the first meal in your new home on pristine, unbroken tableware.

How to Pack Dishes for Moving

One of the easiest and most important tweaks to make to your plan for packing dishes is to start with medium- or smaller-sized boxes. While a large box will theoretically give you more bang for your buck when it comes to packing in the maximum amount of items, ceramics and glassware are heavy, which will result in an unwieldy container that is awkward and difficult to move (and thus more likely to be dropped, bumped, or set down with too much force).

Using smaller boxes means that you or your movers will be able to move them with ease and care, upping your chances of keeping your tableware intact. Stuff the bottom of the boxes with packing paper, newsprint, or towels to create a soft environment with lots of cushioning.

When it comes to packing dishware, start with the heaviest pieces at the bottom of the box, and then work up to the lighter ones as you approach the top. You can think of it as a bit like bagging groceries — if the heavier plates or bowls are sitting on top of your daintier objects, one shift or knock could cause them to press down and cause breakage. You should also stack dishes vertically to minimize damage in transit.

How to Wrap Glasses for Moving

The first order of business when it comes to packing glasses is rolling them in paper. Do this on a flat, clean surface. Take a piece of paper or a towel or napkin and place the glass or mug that you’re wrapping on the material at an angle. As you roll the piece, stuff the ends of the paper or towel inside of the vessel’s opening until the entire surface is covered and the wrap job seems snug. If you have several same-sized cups or glasses, you can roll two of them into the same wrapper to save packaging material; just start folding the second one into the same piece of paper once the first cup is fully ensconced.

Looking for an indicator for whether your glassware is swaddled thoroughly enough? A rule of thumb is that you should not be able to feel any of the glass or cup’s edges through the covering.

When it comes to figuring out how to pack wine glasses, you can wrap them in the same way described above — just be sure that you wrap the stem first using a half sheet or smaller napkin.

How to Pack Glasses for Moving

The best way to pack glasses into your box is the same as with dishes — heaviest on the bottom, lightest and most delicate at the top. While you should avoid dangerously overpacking your boxes, try to make sure that there is not a surplus of space at the top, which will encourage the glasses to stir and roll around within the container. One of our favorite hacks for how to pack glass cups is to visit your local wine or specialty liquor store and ask if they can give or sell you some divided boxes (the kind that bottles of wine, beer, or spirits come packaged in). These will hold everything in place more effectively than a regular cardboard crate.

How to Pack Glass Vases for Moving

Vases are beautiful and functional accents for any space, and will immediately make your new residence feel like a stylish home. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the trickier household items to pack, being designed for style and not necessarily durability. Paper or fabric might not be enough for a fragile vase, so invest in some bubble wrap, which is usually available at your local craft or shipping store.

Once you’ve got it, lay a sheet of bubble wrap on the floor, set the vase gently on top of it, then roll it across until it’s completely covered. Seal the tops and bottoms of the wrap with packing tape, and make sure that any protruding details are completely enclosed. Put it through the same litmus test you used for your plates and cups: You should not be able to feel any edges beneath the layer if the vase is swathed thickly enough.

It’s still necessary to pack the container with crumpled paper, napkins, towels, or packing peanuts at the bottom. The goal is always to make every surface the vase may come into contact with as soft and low impact as possible. These measures can greatly reduce the likelihood of scratches or cracks.

How to Pack Glassware Into a Truck or Vehicle

One of the most often overlooked factors when it comes to packing dishes and glasses is the actual loading in and out of the moving vehicle. While it seems like a simple enough element of the process, it’s perhaps the biggest culprit in terms of causing damage.

Firstly, always mark your boxes with “FRAGILE” and “THIS SIDE UP” in a dark, clearly visible permanent marker. When you’re moving out of a house or apartment, chances are you will end up packing tons of similar-looking boxes, so adding obvious indicators to packages that should be handled with particular care is one of the easiest and most effective ways to preserve your breakable wares. Stow these boxes in the vehicle snugly, without excess space for them to shift around or fall over. Ideally, you’ll place the boxes containing your glassware and dishware at the base level of any stacks, placing boxes filled with lighter items (like bedding or down jackets) on top of them.

If you’re planning to keep your possessions in a storage unit for a while, the same rules apply. Although you don’t have to worry about the motion of a car or truck in a storage unit, stack your boxes with the same care and attention you would if you were loading them into a van.

Moving Is a Snap With Our Team at Stor-It

Hopefully, these tips and instructions can give you some peace of mind as you embark on the moving process. Our team here at Stor-It can help you with all your packing supply needs — including providing you with specialty dish and glass packs if you’re looking to take your packing measures to the next level.

If you’re going the aforementioned storage route to fill gaps in the timeline of your move (or account for a downsized space), Stor-It is also Idaho’s first and largest go-to source for flexible self storage. With 16 locations in the Treasure Valley and beyond, we can get you set up with a place to confidently keep your precious things while you figure out the rest. No matter the circumstances or speed of your move, being careful and conscious of best practices is a surefire way to make the experience less hectic — you’ve got this!

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