Packing fragile items for your move requires lots of care and special attention. We all have that special set of delicate china, a family heirloom, glassware, or oddly-shaped ceramic figurine that we want to keep safe when moving. Broken items are one of the things that people fear most about moving. If you’re packing on your own, it can be a bit difficult to know exactly how to prep your most fragile possessions so they stay intact. For most people, our delicate pieces also tend to have more sentimental value. In cases like this, it can be even more devastating if they are damaged.
Don’t forget, your items will have a very bumpy ride in the back of a moving truck. That’s why it’s crucial to have the correct supplies in order to keep them intact during the trip. Want to know the best way to prepare easily broken items for your move? Read on for expert tips we’ve learned in over 30 years of moving fragile objects for thousands of clients.
Key Supplies You’ll Need to Pack Delicate Items
It may not seem like a big deal, but having the right supplies is vital for keeping your fragile things safe during a move. Your delicate items risk real damage if you don’t have enough supplies, or have the wrong ones. Here are the basic packing supplies you need. (Luckily, there aren’t that many, and most of them are reusable)
Must-have packing supplies that you’ll need for fragile pieces:
- Packing paper (get lots more than you think you need)
- Bubble wrap
- Brown paper tape
Optional (but helpful) packing supplies for fragile items:
- Pliable cardboard box dividers
- Picture boxes
- Blankets or towels
- Cushion paper or kraft paper (at moving supply or hobby stores)
Double-Wrap Items With Paper and Bubble Wrap
Keeping your fragile items protected begins with wrapping and packing them properly. Moving is a lot of, well, movement. Your delicate items are at risk for suffering damage from the motions of wrapping and packing, plus the wobbling and rattling that happens as your movers carry and load boxes into the truck. Not to mention, your things need to survive the drive to each location. Potholes, aggressive drivers, or even long periods in hot weather can affect whether your fragile belongings stay whole.
That said, you’ll want to go above and beyond when packing delicate items to make sure they’re secure. The trick here is double-wrapping. Do it with each fragile item—especially glassware, mirrors, lamp bases, or oddly-shaped pieces.
Simple 3-Step Process to Double-Wrapping Delicate Items:
- Wrap each item in two layers of bubble or plastic wrap. Use paper for glassware.
- Then, wrap in two layers of packing paper.
- Finally, seal the layers with a little bit of tape.
This method ensures that your fragile items stay securely wrapped during the entire moving process and don’t break when they’re loaded, unloaded, or in transit.
Use Packing Paper as a Cushion Inside Boxes
While you’re packing, try to fill up as much space as possible within each box marked “Fragile”. That’s where all that extra packing paper will come in handy—especially if you have wine glasses! Below are some handy, professional tips on how to do this.
How To Pack Glassware & Correctly Fill Spaces in Moving Boxes:
- Crinkle up pieces of paper into thick wads & add to the bottom of the box before any items go in.
- Stuff spaces with crumpled kraft paper, packing paper, or thicker cushion foam paper
- Fill up all empty spaces with paper, not just the corners.
- Packing glassware or wine glasses? Definitely stuff some paper inside the bowl after wrapping the body of the glass.
- Wrap paper around the edge of the wine glass bowl, too, for good measure.
- After all delicate glass is in the box, add another thick layer of crumpled paper on top.
Want to make sure your fragile items don’t get crushed from above? Top off the paper wad with chipboard before closing the box (it’s much thicker than cardboard)!
Master Your Move Tip: Avoid using newspaper! It may seem like an easy fix, but the ink will stain your wine glasses or fine china. Soaking and washing dishes is the last thing you want to do after unpacking from your move.
Pack Dishware & Picture Frames With Extra Reinforcement
Have wine glasses, dishes, or picture frames that you need to move? Consider getting moving boxes that are specifically designed for them. Dishware boxes are made with reinforced bottoms so that your heavy-but-fragile items won’t break through when the box is lifted by movers. You can also wrap dishes with clean bath towels or layer cardboard dividers between each piece. Don’t have any cardboard dish dividers? No problem. Simply cut off the opening flaps on older, thinner boxes and use them as dividers.
To properly pack wine glasses or wine bottles for moving, you may want to locate the original box, or purchase a wine glass storage box. Preferably, something made in thick plastic or anything else sturdy. Either way, make sure these wine glass boxes have dividers and a strong lid.
Boxes used for picture frames or mirrors are reinforced on the sides and often come with corner guards (whether foam or thick paper) to protect the ends and fill space in the box. Don't have time to get boxes for canvas prints or framed pictures? Break out your old blankets instead. Your pictures and mirrors will be fine if you wrap and tape them securely enough.
Label Your Boxes On All Sides
Ensure that your movers know that your box contains fragile items and should be treated as such. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you want your fragile boxes to stand out when movers are deciding how to load the truck. The best way is to label it on all sides. Got a red marker? Even better! As movers are glancing around your room, these boxes will be easy to identify if they’re properly and conspicuously labeled. To help you unpack more efficiently, also list the contents on the outside of the box
These tips may seem simple but they make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your delicate possessions safe during your move. If your items have sentimental value (and you don’t want to take any chances), you can also transport your delicate pieces to your new place ahead of time. You can also choose to transport only those items in your own vehicle on the day of the move.
P.S. Don’t want to deal with packing fragile items at all? Our professional packers have plenty of experience and would love to assist you. They can even unpack your delicates and organize them at your new spot!