As you can imagine, packing fragile items when moving to another home is rather different than packing clothes, or books for that matter. Your evening dress won’t break if you accidentally drop it, and neither will a book from your collection. However, dropping a breakable item on the floor is never a good idea, is it?
If you have made the informed decision to pack up your things on your own, then you’re bound to reach the kitchen at some stage in your packing marathon. And when you do, you’ll probably find yourself rather nervous when it comes to packing all the breakable items there.
So, this is where our useful packing guides come in. Now that we have already covered extensively the issue of packing kitchen plates for a move, now it’s time to take a closer look at the best way to pack glassware.
Read on to learn how to pack glasses for moving: from the sorting process and the required packing materials to the special packing tips and techniques that will keep your glassware protected and safe during the house move.
Get packing supplies for packing glasses for moving
Packing glassware for a move is impossible without the use of proper packing materials. The main idea, of course, is to make sure your kitchen glassware, including stemmed glassware and crystal glassware, will be sufficiently padded with the help of packing paper and bubble wrap, and then sufficiently shielded from any harmful external factors.
What to use to pack glasses? Before you get down to packing glasses for a move, here are the packing supplies you will need to secure in advance so that you won’t have to interrupt the packing process unnecessarily.
- Boxes for packing glasses. Kitchen glasses are best packed in cardboard boxes with thicker walls and sturdier cardboard. These are the same containers that are used for packing kitchen plates and are called dish boxes (aka dish barrels or dish packs). Basically, the thicker cardboard adds that extra protection for your glassware pieces. Considering the high moving costs and the cost of the rest of the packing materials, you may not be willing to invest in such special dish boxes, and that is understandable. The good news is that regular cardboard boxes will also do fine as long as you prepare them properly prior to filling them.
- Paper for packing glasses. Packing glasses for a move is a delicate task that will require the right approach for it to be successful. Make sure you purchase enough sheets of soft packing paper as the initial layer of protection for your breakables. Newsprint is NOT suitable for packing glasses – it tends to leave nasty ink stains – but you can still use newspapers to fill in any remaining space inside the boxes after they have been packed.
- Bubble wrap. Bubble wrap will usually serve as a second layer of protection for your glassware, so you’re strongly recommended to get a few rolls. Don’t worry if you purchase more bubble wrap than you end up needing for protecting your kitchen glasses because that famous plastic material will be in great demand throughout the home packing task.
- Packing tape. Get a few rolls of good-quality packing tape to be able to reinforce the packing boxes, keep the wrapped-up glasses from unwrapping during the move, and seal the cardboard boxes the minute they get filled with protected glassware.
- Markers. Prepare one single black marker or a set of colored marker pens for labeling the dish packs once you’ve packed them.
Useful info: Where to get free moving boxes
Sort your glasses before packing
Before we get to the steps that describe how to pack glasses when moving, there is something that you must do even if it seems that you don’t have any time for it – that is, to sort out your glassware pieces prior to packing them.
The thing is that whenever you choose to pack items that have not been sorted out first, you run the risk of wasting MORE time for their safe packing, wasting MORE money for their transportation, and wasting MORE space for storing them in the new home. Put simply, it’ll be a packing mistake not to go through your collection of glassware and inspect each piece carefully before you’re ready to pack glasses in a box.
Make things easier for you! Go through your glasses, one by one, and set aside any pieces that are not worth the time, money and space to be packed properly and then transported all the way to the new address. Such pieces include but at not limited to cracked, chipped, and stained glasses that are good for only one thing – recycling.
On the other hand, some slightly damaged glasses can happen to have sentimental value for you, so you may choose to take them with despite their apparent defects. Thus said, you still shouldn’t think twice about getting rid of inexpensive sets of glassware that have no special meaning to you whatsoever.
Read also: How to get rid of things when moving
How to pack glasses for moving: Step-by-step packing guide
Find below the best way to pack glasses when moving regardless of whether those glassware items have stems (stemware) or not. We’ll pay special attention to packing wine glasses because of their extremely delicate stems – the connecting parts of stemware pieces where they usually get broken in two.
Hopefully, you will have prepared by now the required packing materials and will have also inspected and sorted all the glass breakables in your kitchen. And if that is the case, then let’s start packing those glasses.
Step #1: Reinforce. Use packing tape to reinforce the bottom of each cardboard box you plan to use for storing glassware during the move. Do this even when you’re using brand new packing boxes, including specialized dish boxes.
This is just a precautionary measure, and skipping this step does not necessarily mean that any of the boxes will break, it only means that it might. Nevertheless, why risk it when you can stay comfortably on the safe side of things?
Step #2: Insulate. Crumple a few sheets of newspaper and place it on the bottom of each dish box to create an insulation layer that should be able to absorb any big shocks or vibrations during transportation. A few sheets of bubble wrap will also do a good job in forming a soft protective layer on the bottom of the box, but it’s the costlier method of the two because bubble wrap costs money while newspapers are virtually free.
Step #3: Lay it out. Take the stack of soft packing paper and lay them out on a flat surface, preferably the kitchen table. If the table is unavailable at that moment, then you can set up the temporary glassware packing station on the room floor. Make sure the paper for packing glasses is perfectly clean.
Step #4: Wrap it up. Take a kitchen glass and position it in the very center of the stack of packing paper. Take two sheets from one corner and tuck them inside the glass piece, then do the same with the other corner that faces the open part of the glass. Finally, pull the opposite two paper corners over the glassware piece to cover completely the breakable item.
Step #5: Tape it up. The moment you have formed a paper bundle out of the glassware piece, you will need to use a bit of tape to keep it all together during the transportation phase.
Step #6: Gauge it up. When packing glasses for a move, it’s important to keep track of the (sentimental) value of the pieces you’re wrapping up. For example, if you’re protecting regular glasses (drinking glasses) that have no stems, then you won’t normally need to add bubble wrap as a final protective layer. However, if you’re packing stemware for a moving (wine glasses) or the individual glasses have sentimental value for you, then you must use bubble wrap to make sure those valuable glasses reach the new home in one piece.
Must-read: The best packing tips for moving
Step #7: Bubble wrap it. To pack delicate stemware or pack valuable glasses for moving (usually crystal glassware), use bubble wrap for extra protection. For stemware pieces, place a thick piece of the bubbly material over the entire length of the stem, use tape to fix it in place, and finally cover the entire breakable item in one additional layer of bubble wrap that comes over the paper one.
Step #8: Box it up. How you arrange the packed glasses into the cardboard boxes matters more than you think. All your packing efforts could be in vain if you fail to follow a few basic rules of packing glasses in a box. First of all, make sure the bottom of the box is well-insulated as described in Step #2. Secondly, make sure you arrange the wrapped glass pieces tightly one next to the other, with minimum space between them. And finally, if you’re going for a second row after you’ve packed up the bottom one, place a few sheets of bubble wrap between the rows for additional insulation and padded protection.
Step #9: Pad it. What is the best way to pack glasses for moving? The best way is the safest way, of course. Once you’ve arranged all the glassware into a box, use pieces of paper (newspaper is fine too) or sheets of bubble wrap you won’t need to fill in any spaces inside the moving container. The main goal is to immobilize the content of the cardboard box so that nothing shifts inside during the haul.
Step #10: Test it out. You’ve been following the safest way to pack glasses but you need to test the result of your packing efforts before you close the box. To do that, lift the box slightly off the ground and then shake it gently to get a feel of how well the glasses have been padded inside. Should you feel even the slightest movement inside the container, use more paper to fix it.
Step #11: Seal it up. When the shake-it test is complete and successful, close the flaps of the box but make sure the lid of the box can be shut comfortably without pressing too much on the breakable content inside. Use packing tape to seal the box containing all delicate glasses, and wine glasses, and crystal glasses – effectively, all the kitchen glasses you own and which you have decided to move to the new home’s kitchen.
Step #12: Label it. When you’re ready packing a box full of breakable kitchen glasses, it’s time to label that box properly so that 1) it gets delivered to the kitchen in the new house or apartment, and 2) whoever handles it understands that the content inside is fragile. Take your black marker and write KITCHEN GLASSES on at least 2 sides of each box, then mark HANDLE WITH CARE and FRAGILE either with the same black marker pen or with a red one – usually, it’s the better option as the letters will stand out more.
The 12 steps above describe the best way to pack glasses when moving house. It’s important to keep in mind that packing up your kitchen, and particularly all the fragile items in it can take a long time to complete – time that you may not have prior to your move-out day. Remember that professional packers will pack up all your glassware quickly and safely, so it’s definitely worth checking out how much professional packing services will cost.
See also: How to pack dishes for moving