Packing Tips

How to Pack Dishes and Glasses When Moving

The most important thing when moving home is to ensure that your belongings are transported safely and securely! Packing them correctly and with care is the key to achieving this.

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Our Fantastic Services team has put together this handy guide to packing the most fragile items, like plates and crockery.

How to pack effectively for a move

No matter the item you’re about to pack, there are a few general rules to follow. Knowing these would make any packing day easygoing and maybe even fun.

Packing supplies

Shop for your packing supplies as if you are moving an entire army. Dedicate a day to just gathering what you need. It may sound like a time-waster, but our main objective is to reduce stress on the big day as much as possible. You will need double-wall, small boxes. That’s right, small. You’ll find out why in a bit. However, ensure they are bigger than the radius of your largest glassware. Additionally, you’ll need cell dividers for glasses, packing tape, bubble wrap, stretch wrap, packing paper, a marker or a stack of sticky labels. Or both.


Now, why do you need small boxes? Well, the experience of many people who moved properties has proven that if the item you are transporting is heavy, the box needs to be small. Dishes, glassware and anything ceramic or porcelain are heavy. If you put them in a large box, they will have space to jiggle and might break on the way resulting in a disaster.

Box limit

Even if you’re using small boxes, this doesn’t mean you can go overboard with overpacking the heaviest items. Every box has a limit, and it’s usually around 30 pounds. Have a scale nearby to measure your boxes before closing them. Never exceed the box limit. It’s not just bad for the box, but it’s going to be hard on your back as well.

Empty gaps

Once a box is full, it will probably have empty gaps around the edges. During transportation, your glassware might be unstable, thus increasing the chances of damage. To avoid this, fill the gaps with whatever you have. You might use packing supplies such as packing paper or bubble wrap. You can use crunched newspapers or an old piece of fabric for your household items.

Labels are crucial

Labels are important not just for your plate and glassware boxes but for all of your belongings. Once you close the box, you can quickly forget what is where, and unpacking would turn disorganized. That’s where labels come in. You can use a permanent marker to write on the box, or you can label by room and by item. You can even use a colour-code system if you have too many boxes. And, of course, don’t forget to label everything FRAGILE.

Boxes arrangement

When it’s time to load the packed boxes in the moving van, it’s tempting to pile them up one over the other to conserve space. The general rule is to place the heavier boxes on the bottom and the lighter boxes on top. However, boxes loaded with glassware are better left without anything stacked on top of them. They shouldn’t be placed on top of anything either since they might fall off and break.

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How to pack plates when moving

Here is the easiest way to pack plates by using nothing more than packing paper. Old newspapers will do the same job if you don’t have packing paper.

  • Prepare the box. Prepare the chosen box ahead of time. Leave it open and ready. Wrap its bottom and walls with several sheets of crumpled packing paper. You can also use a soft cloth for additional protection. Just make sure it’s not too thick so your plates will be able to fit.
  • Prepare a flat surface. Clear out your table and put the plates and packing supplies on it. If they’re too much, remove the plates from the table and leave the packing paper only.
  • Open a sheet of paper. The sheet of packing paper should be bigger than the largest radius of your plates to fully cover them. Have all sheets stacked one over the other, so they don’t take up too much space?
  • Wrap a plate. Place the plate in the centre of the unfolded sheet of paper. Then, gently fold the corners of the sheet around the plate. The sheet should be big enough to cover the whole plate, not just the ridges.
  • Pack a plate. Pick up the plate you just wrapped and place it in the prepared box on its side. This way, it will be protected during transportation.
  • Repeat. Do the same with all other plates of similar size until your cardboard box is completely full. If you choose a box with the right size, there shouldn’t be any wide gaps inside. If not, fill the gaps with soft cloths before you seal and label the box.

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How to pack cups and bowls for moving

Cups and bowls have different shapes, so logically, the packing technique will also be individual. Coffee cups usually come in a cardboard box with a cup separator inside. If you have kept that box, you can use it for your move. If not, here is how to pack them:

  1. Prepare the box

    Just like with the plates, prepare the box ahead of time by laying several sheets of crumpled packing paper or soft cloth on the bottom and walls. The box should be wide enough to contain about three rows of coffee cups and two rows of small bowls. Or, one large bowl.

  2. Pack a cup

    Use the same flat surface you used for the plates and wrap each cup with a sheet of packing paper until the ridges are covered completely. Don’t shove too much paper on the inside of the cup since other cups will be stacked into a bundle. For that, you might have to cut a smaller piece of paper.

  3. Wrap a bowl

    Use the same flat surface you used for the plates and wrap each cup with a sheet of packing paper until the ridges are covered completely. Don’t shove too much paper on the inside of the cup since other cups will be stacked into a bundle. For that, you might have to cut a smaller piece of paper.

  4. Place in the box

    Both cups and bowls should be placed upright and stacked together one over the other. Don’t stack any more than 3 or 4 dishes at a time. Three rows of cups, two rows of bowls, or one large bowl should be easy enough to fit in a single box.

  5. Seal box

    Since you’re packing dishes of different shapes and sizes in one box, there might be more gaps than with the plates. Make sure to fill them up with crumpled paper or other unusable soft clothes. Seal with packing tape and label.

How to pack glasses when moving

You must be extra careful when packing fragile items such as glasses and cups when moving kitchen items. Here are some easy steps for packing your glassware to ensure that all of it arrives in one piece.

How to pack juice glasses for moving

Juice glasses come in different varieties, but all in all, they don’t differ that much about the space they would take up in a box. They’re easy to pack. In fact, the most specific thing about them is that you’ll have to count a bit.

  • Prepare the box. Lay a soft cloth on the bottom to act as a cushion. Juice glasses are tall, so you won’t be able to stack them like coffee cups.
  • Wrap the glasses. Wrap each glass individually in packing paper. Feel free to shove as much packing paper inside it as you wish since you won’t be putting anything on top.
  • Place it in the box. Place the wrapped glasses in no more than four rows. Any more, and it might become too heavy and dangerous. They should fit just right along with the soft cloth inside.
  • Fill the free space. You don’t have to worry about gaps between the juice glasses since their shape leaves minimal free space. However, it’s very possible that the box is taller than the glasses’ height. If you have a separator, place it on top and stack something light over it so you can close the box securely. Things like folded clothes would bring some additional stability.
  • Seal the box. Wrap it with packing tape. Don’t forget to label and state that the box carries something fragile.
If you have a tall box with a separator, refrain from placing another four rows of juice glasses on top of the first ones. Not only would it become too heavy, but also unstable during transportation.

How to pack wine glasses for moving

Wine glasses are tricky since their shape is extremely fragile. They often get broken during transportation. You would benefit greatly if you saved the original box they came in. It’s just the right size and has the right cells, keeping them stable and secure. If you didn’t save it, here is how you can wrap wine glasses with your packing supplies.

  • Prepare the box. Lay crumbled packing paper or soft cloth on the bottom and walls of the box. Wine glasses typically come in sets of two or six. It’s preferable to use the box for them only and nothing else. Take into consideration the space they would take.
  • Wrap each glass individually. Cut a piece of bubble wrap and wrap it around the stem of the glass until there is no gap between the stand and the container. Secure with a piece of packing tape. Then, wrap the whole piece with packing paper, secure the ridges and seal with tape. Repeat the same for each glass and place them in the box.
  • Secure the box. Fill the gaps in the box with crumpled paper and cover it with a light soft cloth. Seal the box with packing tape to reinforce it. Label and make sure to place it in a safe spot in the moving van. When wrapping with tape, be careful not to wrap the glass too tightly, or it might break in your hand.
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How to pack beer glasses and mugs when moving

Beer mugs are heavier than standard glassware, which poses a problem for cardboard boxes. If you have more than two beer mugs, we suggest that you use a plastic box instead.

  • Prepare the plastic box. If you have six beer mugs, the plastic box should have space for all of them. Look for a smaller one. Reinforce the outside of the box with packing tape for extra security. Add a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom and wrap the inner walls too. Secure the bubble wrap with packing tape to keep it in place.
  • Wrap each beer glass individually. Fill the inside of the mug and wrap it with packing paper. Secure with packing tape until it’s fully protected.
  • Place it in the box. Place each wrapped mug inside the box, bottoms first. If your box is the right size, you won’t have to fill in any gaps.
  • If you have gaps, fill them. If you have a big box, refrain from putting more things along with the beer mugs. Instead, spread the rows away from the middle of the box at relatively equal spaces and fill the gaps with soft clothes. If there’s a gap above the beer mugs, fold a light soft cloth on top of them.
  • Seal the box. Once everything is packed, close the plastic box and secure it with packing tape. Label. Shake the box gently to see if the mugs inside are moving. If they are, you’ll have to open it and fill in more gaps. Repeat this test until you’re certain they won’t be moving around during transportation.

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