Woman Packing Dinnerware

It probably comes as no surprise that plates and dishes are some of the most commonly broken items in a move. Keeping dishes safe is simple, however. With the right supplies and technique, you’ll be able to safely pack your plates and glasses for their journey to your new home.

 Before You Start Packing

Kitchen items require more time and care than your other belongings, so they’re generally the last items packed before a move. Buy more boxes and materials than you think you’ll need. That way you won’t be caught short when the moving van arrives.

  • Consider Buying a Dish Barrel. A specialized box made with an extra layer of cardboard. It also has individual compartments for your plates and dishes, to prevent them from being jostled during the move.  
  • Avoid Duct Tape & Masking Tape. Because they don’t adhere well to cardboard. Use packing tape instead. It not only has a stronger adhesive, but it’s also more resistant to bumps, jolts, and temperature fluctuations.  
  • Don’t Use Bubble Wrap. Packing paper is just as effective. It’s also easier to use, less bulky, and more flexible.  
  • Don’t Use Newspapers. The ink tends to rub off on your plates and glasses. Not to mention some dishes are so porous they’ll actually absorb the ink and become discolored. White packing paper works best.   
  • Tape Boxes Securely. Make doubly sure your boxes don’t fall apart by adding a few extra strips of tape. When you’re taping up the bottom seam, make sure the tape extends a few inches up the side of the box. Then wrap another layer around the side, so it crosses over the tape strips, forming a “T.” It’ll ensure the tape stays in place during the move.  

Packing Plates & Glasses

The most effective way to wrap dishes is to place them in the center of a sheet of packing paper and fold the sides up around the edges.

For glasses and mugs, you’ll want to stuff the excess paper down inside. If there’s not enough paper to fill it completely, ball up some extra and stuff it in as well. Don’t leave handles and stems exposed, even if it means using extra paper. A few other tips:

  1. Create a Bed at the Bottom of the Box. Place a layer of crumpled packing paper on the bottom of each box, to protect it from sudden jolts.
  2. The heaviest Items Go on the Bottom. Heavy items like serving plates, Pyrex dishes, and stoneware are more durable. Placing them at the base of the box prevents their weight from damaging items below.
  3. Stack Plates & Bowls Vertically. Dishes bounce more when they’re laid flat. Stacking them vertically minimizes movement and keeps them safer.
  4. Stack Glasses Horizontally. Placing glasses horizontally minimizes their weight on them. Place an extra layer of packing paper between each row of glasses to keep them from damaging each other. If you can hear them “clink,” there’s not enough paper between them.
  5. Double Wrap Wine Glasses. Because they’re lighter, wine glasses require extra protection. Make sure the insides are filled and they’re protected by two layers of packing paper. Crystal glasses may require three.
  6. Fill Up Empty Space. You don’t want plates and dishes shifting during your move, so add extra packing paper along the sides of the box and in the corners.
  7. Don’t Overpack. If a box is hard to lift, then it’s too heavy. Heavy boxes are more likely to be dropped or mishandled.

While packing, don’t fill the box all the way to the top. Leave about three inches and add another layer of crumpled paper as a cushion. If you can depress the top of the box, there isn’t enough padding.

National Relocation


Established in Santa Barbara in 1918, Hazelwood Allied is a full service relocation company providing national relocation and international moves for residential and commercial clients. Known as “The Careful Movers,” Hazelwood Allied is a Santa Barbara moving company with a strong track record for thorough and careful approaches to residential moves and commercial moves. Follow the Facebook page for exclusive offers and moving tips. Call 800-541-5958 for a free moving estimate.

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