The Organized Life

How to Pack Dishes for a Move

After moving day, there are few worse sights than fragile dishware smashed into pieces. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to pack dishes before you start moving, to preserve your plates for dinner in your new home!

“If people aren’t trained on proper packing techniques – no matter how many times they’ve moved – there’s a good chance they’ll over pack and under wrap,” said Amy Smith of 3D Organizing.

Smith helps dozens of clients downsize and move every year, and she knows a thing or two about packing dishes securely so they make it through moving day. Keep reading for her tried-and-true packing tips, and to read more from another professional organizer, to upgrade your packing skills!

How to Pack Dishes Before a Move

Create a layer of bubble-wrapped plates at the bottom of every box of china, to create a strong base for the rest of the dishes, said Michelle Garb of Free Your Space Professional Organizing.

“Begin with packing your thicker or bigger dishes,” she said. “Start with the dinner plates, then salad plates and finally bowls.”

Make sure you fill each box of fragile items all the way up, to avoid any chance that they’ll move around and break during a move.

“Make balls of paper, or as I call them ‘paper cigars,’ and stuff them into every open space in the box,” said Smith. “There should be no sound coming from the box when you move it around.”

You can find special dishware packing kits at your local Public Storage if you want to invest in even more protection for your favorite dish sets!

How to Pack Bowls When Moving

Bowls may seem like a tricky houseware to pack. Our experts suggest using packing paper to fill hollow spaces.

“Packing paper is a lot less expensive than bubble wrap, so use it generously,” said Garb.

She recommends placing bowls in the middle of three stacked sheets of packing paper and wrapping the paper up and around the bowl, so the ends meet in the middle of the dish (pictured above).

“Finish wrapping the bowl by putting the ends of the packing paper inside the bowl, so then you have a buffer for the next bowl to go on top,” Garb added.

Make sure to wrap bowls and dishes tight, so they don’t shift around in the packing paper, said Smith.

“Even when moving professionals say ‘use a lot of paper,’ clients typically still don’t use enough,” she said. “Keep in mind that packing paper is inexpensive and recyclable, so use a lot of it.”

Move Fragile Glassware with Extra Box Padding

Buy thick moving boxes and pad them well when moving dishware to a new home to protect your fragile items.

“Make sure the bottom of the box is very secure, and line the box with a couple layers of bubble wrap,” said Garb.

And don’t skimp on the tape after the box is full!

“I add two or three strands across the bottom of a box before I tape the outside edges around four to five times all the way across the center,” said Garb. “It never hurts to add a few pieces going crisscross across the box, so it’s really secure.”

You also want to choose durable tape to keep boxes intact, especially if boxes will be in storage, said Smith.

“Wrap your tape around the entire box so it sticks to itself. It will create a strong hold,” she said.

And don’t forget to tape all of the boxes edges, if you’re planning to keep them in a storage space, she added. You want to protect them from the elements.

Before packing up your moving truck, both experts recommend writing the contents of each box on the outside. This way you will be able to find what you need in your kitchen with ease.