Packing glassware and fine china – tips and hacks

Packing paper, an important suppy when packing glassware and fine china

During the moving process, packing fragile items is a special task that needs to be handled with care. Of course, this is also the case with packing glassware and fine china, since both are very fragile. And it can be hard having to deal with all the moving stress and finally arrive at your new home, only to realize that your favorite china is broken. Or that you don’t have your wonderful wine glasses out of which you wanted to drink wine with your new neighbors. Luckily, there’s a way to prevent this from happening, and here, you’ll find out how.

Preparation for packing glassware and fine china

When packing glassware and fine china, it’s important to do it on soft work-space. You can use cushions for this, but it’s better to work on a flat surface. So choose blankets or carpets, and lay them down on the floor. This way, you’ll prevent these fragile items from falling down and breaking. So, put all of these items on the floor and you can begin wrapping them up. But, what to use as a wrapping material?

Holiday table with glassware and china
Follow these tips when packing glassware and fine china.

Materials to use

You should use special materials when packing glassware and fine china. Since regular moving supplies won’t be enough, you need to get wrapping material, as well as special boxes and bins. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can save money by picking the right packing option.

Wrapping materials

In order to prevent breaking your fragile items, you need quality wrapping material. But, there are several different kinds of these, and here are some of them:

Packing paper – the most common of all the wrapping material, since everybody has it. You can even use newspapers for this, but the ink might stain your items. Also, you can use scrunched-up paper for filling up the empty spaces within the box.

Plastic/Foam sheets – might be even softer than paper

Packing peanuts – It’s not a wrapping material per se, but it should be used combined with wrapping materials. It’s used for filling up the empty spaces and preventing the fragile items from moving around.

Packing foam – great for filling up the voids, as long as you apply it evenly inside the box.

Also, consider using styrofoam corner protectors for storing your plates inside the box. But, it’s important to find the right size.


When using the boxes, you shouldn’t use a too big nor too small box. For example, the box you should use for these items is called dish barrel or dish pack barrel. They can carry 10 lbs max. And you can use sturdy cardboard boxes. But, if you want to use a really safe and eco-friendly option, you can get your bins at Capital City Bins. There’s nothing better for packing glassware and fine china.

Packing the items

After you have the right packing supplies, you can start wrapping up your fragile items. Use a sheet of wrapping material, large enough for your fragile item. Wrap up the whole item and fold the corners on the inside to prevent unwrapping. Wrap up each item separately and use a generous amount of wrapping material. With bowls or glasses, use packing peanuts or packing paper to fill up the empty space. Do not pack them inside of each other. With plates, place them face down on the bottom of the box.

Wine glasses on a table.
Wrap up the stems of the wine glasses separately.

One by one

Each of your items requires special time and care, so this is what you should do:

  • When wrapping up the plates, you shouldn’t stack more than 4 plates in a bundle.
  • With bowls, don’t stack more than 3 bowls in the bundle. Don’t use the empty space of the bowl for putting the other bowl inside. Instead, fill it with wrapping material.
  • The stems of glassware should be wrapped up separately, before wrapping up the whole glass.
  • Likewise, with the odd-shaped items, such as mugs or cups, wrap up the handles separately.
  • Lids and items that come on parts should have all the parts wrapped up and stored separately.

In the end, check if there’s something moving inside the box. If it’s moving, pack it again, and put more of the soft material inside.

Be careful

It’s important not to place your item immediately on the bottom of the box. But, use soft material first. And be careful that your item doesn’t touch the wall of the box. Actually, leave the space of about 1 inch from all sides of the box and fill it with the soft material. The item should be in direct contact only with packing peanuts or other soft material. That means that these items should definitely not be in contact with each other. Also, use duct tape to prevent the items from moving around, but don’t use it directly on the item.

Old china bowl
Place the item on the wrapping material and wrap it up, before you pack it inside the box

Double boxes

When you’re done packing a box, use a lot of duct tape to prevent it from opening. But is that enough? Well, there is something else to do, as this box might only be your inner box. Which means that you should pack it inside one more box, an outer box. You should pack the inner box as a fragile item itself. That means using the soft materials inside and preventing the contact with the side of the outer box. This way, you can be sure that your item is safely packed.

Take your time

You might want to rush through the process of packing glassware and fine china in order to get everything done. And that’s especially if you’re moving on short notice. But you mustn’t do this if you want to avoid seeing your items broken. Be patient and take the necessary time. Then, when you start unpacking, you’ll see your items have arrived safe and sound. It’ll be all worth it.


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