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Safe Storage: How to Pack Dishes and Glasses for Moving

how to pack dishes

You suddenly sit bolt upright in the middle of the night. The sweat is pouring down your face – you’re having the same moving house nightmare again. You open a box marked ‘Dishes’ and find that all your tableware has been reduced to a pile of rubble…

OK, maybe we’re exaggerating a little, but breakages in transit are no fun. It can be seriously depressing to see a family heirloom or your wedding china get cracked on the road.

So how can you make sure all your dishes arrive in great condition? Simply follow our handy guide on how to pack dishes and glasses for moving!

Buy the Right Supplies

Whether you’re moving house or taking items to your storage unit, it pays to get the right supplies first.

Think about how dishes, stemware, and glasses come packaged from the manufacturer. They are usually in heavy-duty, double-walled boxes. They have cell packs that fit inside that divide the space up into safe areas.

This is a sensible route to go for your move. You can buy dish boxes online. Make sure you have enough by doing a thorough inventory of all your dishes and glasses before you place your order.

While you’re there, make sure to pick up some:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Small and medium moving boxes
  • Packing paper

You can substitute packing paper with newspaper but be warned. The ink on the newspaper can smudge and even permanently damage your dishes. Don’t take a risk for delicate items.

Create a Production Line

Set up a safe, sturdy place that’s dedicated to packing dishes. This might be a large section of counter space that’s free from clutter. A dining table can work well.

Clear the area of small children and animals. While they’ll want to help, it’d be safer to get them to pack their soft toys. Glasses and dishes can easily shatter and cause harm if not handled carefully.

Rather than getting all your dishes out at once, do them bit by bit. Keeping them in safe storage in the cupboard for as long as possible will reduce the risk of breakages during packing.

Packing Dishes

Assemble the box, taking care to make sure the seams are well sealed with packing tape. Now create a buffer, by putting some folded bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper in the bottom of the box.

Take matching dishes and wrap them individually with wrapping paper or bubble wrap. Do this by making a parcel. Wrap the dish from the edge of the paper or bubble wrap, folding it over and tucking in the sides.

Put the largest and heaviest items at the bottom of the box and lighter items on top.

Dish Packing Pitfalls

There are a couple of pitfalls to avoid. First, gaps in the box. Any gaps make it likely that items will shift and break in transit.

Fill all gaps using anything soft you have to hand. Packing paper and bubble wrap work, but they’re expensive. Think dish towels and napkins if possible.

The second danger is overfilling your box. If the box is too heavy, it’s more likely that someone will drop it. Get it to your new home or self-storage unit in one piece by keeping boxes to a manageable weight.

Finally, get out your sharpie and mark the box ‘FRAGILE’ in a large block script. Write this on all sides and the top.  of the box. Also, make a note of the destination, e.g. Kitchen, so the movers take it to the right room.

Packing Stemware

Stemware, such as wine glasses and champagne flutes, are easy to pack when you know how.

Choose a small or medium-sized box. Never pack wine glasses in a large box, as they’re more likely to get dropped and broken.

Now wrap every glass individually. Bubble wrap will give them the most protection. Unlike with dishes, don’t put any scrunched-up paper or bubble wrap at the bottom of the box.

Once wrapped, arrange them as tightly as possible in the box. If there are any gaps, fill them in with paper or bubble wrap. Mark the box as ‘FRAGILE’, marking the contents and destination for easy unpacking!

Packing Serving Dishes

When thinking about how to pack dishes for moving, serving dishes are probably some of the most awkward items to pack.

They usually come in different shapes and sizes. Start by arranging them, not by design, but by size. This may mean matching up items from different sets to move them safely.

Then wrap items individually, and stack them safely in boxes according to their size. Again, avoid large boxes and beware of making the boxes too heavy.

Also, don’t be tempted to pack dishes, stemware, drinking glasses, and serving dishes together. This will increase the likelihood of breakages. Keep them separate and make sure each box is tightly packed.

The Alternative – Hire a Moving Company

Many people hire a moving company to get them from A to B on moving day. But did you know that some will come and pack up your home for you?

It’s good to get a quote, especially if work and family life means that your time for packing is super limited!

Top Tip – Pack an Essentials Box

On moving day, you don’t want to have to rummage through multiple boxes to find plates for your takeout. Put together an essentials box. This should contain a plate for every family member, some silverware, and some napkins.

Put that box in your car on moving day and you’re good to go.

The Takeaway: How to Pack Dishes

Our guide on how to pack dishes has shown that a little planning pays off. Take stock of what you have and order enough supplies to transport them safely. Take time to wrap each item carefully and follow the packing tips for moving outlined above.

If you follow the guide, you should arrive with no breakages and tears at the other end!

Has your house move made you realize you have more stuff than you thought? Ideal Storage is the answer. We provide safe self-storage options in Kingston, WA for short or long-term rental.

Call us at 360-900-9762 to find out how we can help!