Cassidy's Moving and Storage
How to Pack Your Dishes and Glasses
Whether you have a set of your grandmother’s china or an everyday set of dishes from Ikea, you don’t want them to break while moving. Here are some great tips that will help ensure that everything’s in one piece when you open that box in your new home.
Remember, take your time and be gentle, especially with delicate items.
1. Getting Started
- Invest in proper china cartons for all dishes. These dish boxes have two layers of cardboard, are sturdier than regular boxes, and are made to support the weight of dishes.
- Collect your dishes, supplies and boxes together in your work area, ideally a table top. Use an old blanket and/or some cardboard to protect the table.
- For supplies, you’ll need packing paper, packing tape, a marker, plus bubble wrap if you’re using it. Only use newsprint if you’re prepared to wash everything after unpacking; the newsprint definitely rubs off. Additional white tissue paper is handy for around handles of cups and stems of stemware as it’s easier to manipulate. When it comes to tape, use packing tape and not other kinds of tape (like duct tape), as these won’t hold cardboard as well.
- Make sure the bottom of the box is well secured with packing tape before you start.
- Pad the bottom of the box with a thick layer of crumpled packing paper balls. You’re creating a layer that will absorb the impact of any bumps in the road while your dishes are in transit.
- A little music can help make the work more enjoyable.
Keep in mind that boxes shouldn’t weigh more than 50 pounds each, and you may want to have fewer lighter boxes that will be easier to move and will have more padding for your dishes.
While packing, use these two overall concepts:
- Lots of padding
- Packing tightly so nothing shifts.
2. Plates and Bowls
- Place a plate in the centre of your stack of paper, and then fold several layers of paper up around it. Do the same for two more plates, stacking them. Ensure there’s lots of paper between each one to protect the finish. Wrap the stack as a whole in another few layers of paper.
- The same method will work with bowls.
- Most people pack their dishes flat, but they’re actually more likely to break that way. Place them on their edges in your box.
- Pack the largest items on the bottom layer, and then add a nice thick layer of crushed paper balls between layers.
If you don’t have enough dishes of every size to make a layer, try and balance things out as much as possible. You don’t want to create a box that is heavier on one side than the other, or you’ll increase the chance someone will drop it. Anyone who has moved an old cathode-ray television will know what this is like!
3. Glasses and Stemware
- To wrap a glass, place it lying down it in the corner of a sheet of wrapping paper. You’ll be rolling it diagonally in one or more sheets of paper, continuously folding in the sides to provide a protective cushion. Do a second layer.
- For stemware, wrap as you would a normal glass, but as you roll and tuck in the sides of the paper, crush it around the stem to protect it. For delicate or expensive stemware, protect the fragile stem by crushing some paper into a wide roll, and wrap the roll around the stem, and then wrapping the entire glass.
- Glassware should be placed upside down (on their rims) in your box – they’re actually stronger this way. Never lay them flat.
- Don’t pack heavier items on top of glassware.
Cassidy’s partner United Van Lines has a great video that will show you how this looks:
4. Cups and Teapots
- For coffee cups and tea cups, wrap the handles, gently stuff the centre, and then wrap the entire cup as you would a glass, described above.
- For tea pots, roll up some paper or bubble wrap and then wind it around the handle. Do the same for the spout, and place balls of paper around the spout to build up a supporting layer. Then wrap the entire tea pot in extra paper to create one large ball. Taping the package together is a good idea. You’ll be wrapping the lid separately.
5. Delicate Items
- For items you absolutely can’t risk losing, pack them in a small carton, and place it in a larger carton that has been padded with crushed paper on all sides.
- For extra security on delicate items, consider using bubble wrap. There’s more cost, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind. The bubble wrap can be used again to mail parcels – or your next move!
6. Layering and Finishing Up
- Add a thick layer of crushed paper between any layers.
- If there are any spaces in the carton, especially corners, fill them with crushed paper to prevent the contents from shifting around.
- Add crushed paper to the top before sealing the carton. The top flaps should be level with the top sides of the box. If they fold in too much you risk crushing the contents when boxes are stacked.
- Don’t forget to label your box with a good marker. List the contents and add a label from the room so your helpers don’t need to guess where it belongs. Make sure the words “fragile” and “this side up” can easily be seen from all sides.
- You shouldn’t hear any noises or feel any shift of weight when you move the box.
Remember, if you can’t replace an item, pack it with extra care. You can never tell when accidental dropping or pothole-filled roads will have an impact.
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