Packing breakables is a common enough activity in the moving process, but with the risk of destroying your valuables it’s important that you do things right. Protecting items like glassware, plates and pottery are the first steps in packing up the house. Fragile items are found in a variety of places throughout the home and protecting these things requires patience, a little preparation, and some basic know-how.



Provide yourself with enough time to do the job properly. Starting early you prevents the possibility that you’ll damage your things in the process by working under pressure. This is a tip that can easily be applied to any moving job. Because most moves are expected to be done within a day, having the necessary boxes ticked early-on is important to a smooth transition.

What you’ll need

Packing fragile items will require good quality cardboard boxes of medium and small sizes. Look for boxes with slotted inserts that you can pack glasses and cups into. Then raid your junk drawer for a felt marker, box cutter and packing tape, while also picking a supply of packing paper and bubble wrap from your local post office.

Clear Some Space

This can be done on the floor or on the counter, so long as you have enough room to work with. Wherever the job gets done, make sure you’ll have enough space to both wrap the breakables and put them away into boxes. And it certainly won’t hurt to put a good playlist on while you’re at it.


Glass and Ceramics

Packing kitchenware and ornamental pottery will require medium or small boxes. Pack your things as to allow for as little wiggle room as possible. Dish barrel boxes are great for keeping dishes from moving around in the box because of their adjustable slotted inserts. If your boxes aren’t so fancy, you can line the bottom with a couple layers of packing paper and then proceed to wrap every dish. After each plate is stacked, you can use crumpled bits of paper to cushion the sides. Using bubble wrap is a much safer alternative, but is more expensive.

No Broken Glass

Cups and glassware can be easily stacked inside a dish barrel. If you’re using a normal cardboard box, wrap them normally with paper and place them right side up. If you stack these items be sure to place the heavier items at the bottom of the box to ensure the weight is distributed equally.

Mirrors and Plate Glass

When it comes to packing sheets of glass (like those found in coffee tables or mirrors) you can start by sticking painter’s tape across the surface of the object until you’ve formed a star-like design. Do this to help the glasses’ integrity while absorbing shock in transit. Stick foam to the corners (or edges if there are no corners) of the item and wrap with bubble wrap.

Money Saving Options?

You can save money on supplies by wrapping your glasses and dishes with towels or newsprint. Cutting corners can seem like an efficient way to get the job done, but know that there are risks. Using towels are certainly tempting for those who want to pack both their dish towels and cups at the same time. Just know that the dishes are more likely to slip with less friction from the material. Newsprint is also a cheaper option for those who need to protect their breakables, but with that option you risk rubbing ink off onto the goods.


Traveling With Fragile Goods

In an ideal world, moving your breakables would be a task best done at one’s leisure. The truth is, most moving experiences are one-day excursions that have you scrambling to get things done before the sun goes down. It’s because of this that your boxes of fragile things come out damaged. If you’re worried about this happening to you, consider hiring a moving company to take your things for you. We recommend this option if you’re short on helping hands come moving day, or if you’re simply looking for peace of mind this upcoming move.

Labeling Your Boxes

It’s important that you know which things are in which boxes when you’re stacking boxes in the back of your truck. often what happens in circumstances where goods are damaged is that boxes of fragile items are placed at the bottom of a stack, or underneath something heavy. If you’re using movers, it’s important that they know the contents of the box they’re carrying. This is all to say, remember to label the boxes of things that contain fragile goods.