Best Way To Pack Fragile Items For Moving | Glass, Plates & More

One of the most essential long term self-storage tips is knowing how to deal with fragile items when moving. But in terms of the best way to pack fragile items for moving, what are the best packing materials for fragile items, and how should different items be packed?

Best packing materials for fragile items

In terms of the best packing materials for fragile items, the most important thing to remember is to invest in high-quality boxes and packing materials. You may save money by reusing old boxes, but they will probably exhibit some wear and tear and won’t necessarily protect your belongings — particularly fragile items.

Other supplies you’ll need are scissors, packing tape and plenty of bubble wrap. If you decide to use packing paper, make sure it is professional packing paper, not newspaper. Newspapers can leave stains and ink marks on fragile items, particularly those made from porcelain.

Packing fragile items for moving

When it comes to packing fragile items for moving, there are a number of key steps:

  • Choose a box appropriate to the items — for precious, fragile items, smaller boxes may be a better option.
  • Strengthen the bottom surface of each box with several layers of packing tape to ensure items don’t fall through the bottom of the box.
  • Create a sturdy base in each box by lining boxes with bubble wrap or professional packing paper. This will give fragile items a soft, cushioned base and protect them during the moving process.
  • Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap and secure them with packing tape. Avoid wrapping multiple items together as they can rub together, causing imperfections or even breaking. You should also place thicker wrapping around any thin areas of your fragile items, such as the stems on wine glasses and the arms on vases.
  • Put the heaviest items at the bottom of the box, then use plenty of packing paper, bubble wrap or packing peanuts to fill up the empty spaces in your boxes. Empty spaces allow movement and increase the chance of damage. You can also use blankets, towels or other soft materials to pad fragile items.
  • Don’t overpack boxes as it will increase the chance of damage and breakages.
  • Clearly mark boxes as “fragile” — you should do this on all sides of the box. It’s also worth marking boxes with an arrow to indicate which way up the box should be placed in the removalist van.

Fragile packing tape

Another option to consider is investing in fragile packing tape that is pre-printed with the word “fragile”. This will ensure removalists are aware of which boxes they need to take extra care with. It will also help you quickly identify boxes you may want to move yourself.

Packing specific items

Different types of fragile items require different packing techniques. Some examples are:

Glasses

In terms of how to store glass long-term, firstly wash and dry glassware thoroughly and at least 24 hours before packing as moist items will attract mould. Grime will also settle on dirty glassware over time, making it difficult to clean when it comes time to use it again.

When it comes to wrapping glassware, start with a flat, clean surface and then lay down a sheet of bubble wrap. If wrapping bowls or glasses, stuff the hollow parts with clean packing paper first, which will absorb any residual moisture. Then carefully wrap bubble wrap around them and secure it with packing tape.

Thin or vulnerable parts of glassware like handles and stems should get extra attention. You should also separate very fragile items like wine glasses to prevent contact with other items. Sturdier and larger items like glass tumblers and mugs can be stacked into each other by placing smaller items into larger ones with a layer of packing paper between them.

Once everything is packed, bundle fragile items together with an additional layer of bubble wrap, then secure them all together with packing tape. Once packed in the box, fill any spaces with packing paper, bubble wrap or packing peanuts, then mark the box as “fragile”.

Lamps

When it comes to packing lamps, choose a box that will accommodate your tallest lamp. Remove the bulb and lampshade and wrap the cord around the lamp’s base and secure it so it won’t unravel. Avoid using packing tape as it may stick to the lamp and cause damage. Instead, tuck the plug end into the wrapped cord.

Spread out a large length of bubble wrap on a flat, clean surface. Place the lamp on its side in the middle of the bubble wrap, roll it up and secure it with tape. Fold over the edges of the bubble wrap to secure the bottom of the lamp, then do the same with the top of the lamp. The lamp should now be completely covered. Once your lamps are packed, pad out the box with bubble wrap, packing paper or packing peanuts, then mark the box as “fragile”.

Plates and bowls

When packing your plates, make sure they are clean and dry and then wrap each of them in bubble wrap and tape them individually. Then place them one by one in your moving box, but vertically not horizontally. This reduces the surface area and lessens the chances of them being damaged. There are also boxes specifically designed for the transportation of plates called “dish packs”. They have thicker walls so they can offer better protection.

Bowls can be stacked together separated by bubble wrap. Simply place the first bowl in the centre of the bubble wrap, fold one corner of the bubble wrap over the bowl until the inside of the bowl is covered then stack the next bowl on top.

Once you’ve finished packing, pad out the box with packing peanuts, bubble wrap or packing paper, then mark the box as “fragile”.

Mirrors

Start by taping an “X” onto the mirror’s surface using packing tape, which can help the glass from shattering. If the mirror does suffer any damage, the “X” will prevent any damage to the frame, so you can replace the glass instead of the entire mirror if needed.

It’s vital you also protect the frame of your mirror correctly. Corner protectors are ideal for this, particularly if you have a mirror with a right angle frame. If your mirror has curved edges, use bubble wrap to protect the edges.

Cover the mirror’s surface with a layer of cardboard and then affix it with packing tape. For extra protection, add a layer of styrofoam on top of the cardboard and then wrap the entire bundle in bubble wrap. Label the package as “fragile”. Ensure your removalist knows the mirror needs to be kept upright with nothing stacked on top of it while it is in transit.

Vases

Some glass vases are incredibly delicate and can actually be scratched by tiny particles already present during the move. Before wrapping your vases, make sure they are empty and thoroughly clean and dry. Fill the vase with packing paper which will improve its structural integrity as well as protecting the inside from any scratches.

Lay the vase flat and to one side on top of a sheet of bubble wrap. Tape the near side of the bubble wrap to the vase and roll the vase across the bubble wrap to completely cover the outside edges. Tape the other edge of the bubble wrap to prevent it from unwrapping. Place your vase into the box with the base of it pointing towards the bottom of the box. Once you’ve finished packing, pad out the box with packing peanuts, bubble wrap or packing paper, then mark the box as “fragile”.

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