How to pack fragile items

How to pack fragile items

packing fragile items

Everybody knows, including those who have never moved, the difficulty one faces when moving fragile items. Not only can they break, but they may be valuable.

Some people have collections with bone china cups, others have crystal glasses from their parents and grandparents. There are some basic steps you can follow to avoid opening a box full of broken stuff.

Start by choosing the right boxes. If you are hiring a moving company, ask them to provide you with dish boxes. Dish boxes are specifically designed for dishware so they are double sided and strong. There are boxes with separate sections- those are for glasses.

You need to pick some packing materials as well. Again, if you are using a full service moving company they will be able to provide you with the appropriate supplies. If you are not using movers, Ebay is always a great place to look for packing materials. Order them at least a week before so you’re sure everything is there for the packing day. Here is a basic list of everything you would need. If you come up with anything that you may find helpful but is not on the list, add it to your list.

  • Bubble wrap/loads of it/
  • Packing tape with 'Fragile' sign on it
  • Paper/loads of it/
  • Boxes
  • Scissors
  • Labels

Now that you have everything it’s time for action. First thing you should do is make an inventory list of everything you have. Separate them into categories such as: bone china, wine glasses, champagne glasses, ceramic plates, stoneware plates, etc. Categorize them as it suits you because you know best what sort of dishes and glassware you have and how to best organize them. Take pictures of everything. That will help you when you’re doing the unpacking and you will notice easily if something is missing.

How to pack


If you are using a full service moving company you will be provided with a box for glassware upon request. The glassware boxes are divided inside into individual cells.

Wrap each glass with paper, bubble wrap and tape so the packing doesn’t fall off. Put each glass into its own cell. Make sure they don’t move too much, which means that they should be sealed well.

Add paper do the top of the box. Close it and put packing tape all over the box so it doesn’t open. Add the fragile tape or if you don’t have one, you can write ‘Fragile’ with markers all over the box so you or your movers know exactly what is in the box and that it has to be handled with care.

packing glasses

How to pack


Packing plates is similar to packing glassware. You will need paper and bubble wrap to individually wrap each plate.

You can put them on top of each other only make sure that there is plenty of paper/bubble wrap/clothing between them. Plates tend to be heavy so don’t fill the whole dish box with plates to the top.

Try to mix things up a little bit so you achieve balance and the box doesn’t break as well as your favorite set of plates.

How to pack

Bone China

Following the guide from packing plates and glasses, use the same packing materials and techniques as before.

Divide the plates from the cups etc. so there is order. Put plates together with plates and cups with cups. Separate them with loads of paper, bubble wrap and tape.

Try to cover everything because the plate may not break but it can chip, which is even worse than breaking it. Don’t put more than 5-6 plates on top of each other because they tend to be heavy.

packing bone china

How to pack


Some lamp shades are easier to handle but there are some very delicate. Regardless of the material they are made from, lamp shades should be covered with bubble wrap.

They should then be placed in a box surrounded with plenty of paper. Try to avoid putting too many things as it may damage the shades.

packing lamp shades

How to pack

big fragile items

Some items such as mirrors and big frames don’t fit in ordinary boxes.

Therefore, you have to pack them using blankets. Ask your moving company for the right packing materials to avoid your disappointment when you find out that because of inappropriate packing your favorite mirror is broken.

Wrap it tight with bubble wrap and secure it with tape. Use as much bubble wrap as possible. It won’t damage it if you wrap it twice or three times, it will only increase the chances of a safe journey. After you have wrapped it well with bubble wrap and tape, continue covering it with blankets. Cover it well and use more tape. Put some ‘Fragile’ tape as well so it is clear what is underneath.

All boxes that contain fragile items should be taped well and labeled accordingly to ensure their safe journey. Put ‘Fragile’ tape all over the boxes. Last but not least let the people moving the boxes know which boxes should be taken extra care of, especially if there is your favorite china tea set.

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