If you have an upcoming move, you’re likely sorting through your belongings and finding the best way to securely pack them. Packing dishes for moving is one aspect of your move that may give you pause. Whether you’re packing up your delicate dinnerware or your everyday dishes, it can be stressful to find the right method to safely transport such fragile belongings.

Are you afraid that your wedding day champagne glasses might shatter during a move? Does the thought of breaking your cat mug cause unnerving anxiety? Moving to a new home should be a fun and exciting time for you and everyone involved. Alliance Moving and Storage is here to help. Below, we provide a breakdown of how to pack your dishes the right way, categorizing eight types of dishes from most fragile to least.

What to Do Before You Start Packing

The best way to pack dishes starts with the right preparation! Here are some steps to follow before you begin the packing process.

#1 Purge Items You Don’t Need

Start by going through your kitchen items and getting rid of dishes and glassware that you no longer need or use. By getting rid of items from the jump, you are ensuring that you only move with the dishes that you use, freeing up space for other items that you’ll need for the move. Consider donating the items that you no longer use to Goodwill or another organization that could put them to good use. In addition to saving yourself time, you can also save on space and materials by getting rid of unused plates, bowls, and glassware.

#2 Take Note of Your Inventory

Once you’ve gone through the plates and glassware that you don’t need, you should take an inventory of the leftover items that you’re planning to move. Ideally, you’ll take the time to take photos of the dishes and glassware that you’re packing before you put them into boxes. Make a note of how many of each item you have. For example, write down that you have 12 dinner plates, 10 bowls, 12 salad plates, etc.

Carefully taking an inventory check and taking photos beforehand can help you determine if anything was damaged or missing during the move. You never know when this documentation may come in handy on the other side of the moving process.

#3 Confirm Your Insurance Options

Before moving dishes into the boxes, consider looking into your insurance and liability options. It may not seem worth it for items such as plates and glassware, but all licensed moving companies offer Released Value Protection. This insurance will pay 60 cents per pound per item in the case that something becomes broken or missing during a move. In some cases, you may also be able to opt for more comprehensive coverage that’s referred to as Full Value Protection. This means that the mover is responsible for the current value of the goods being moved. If you will not be using a moving company, you can seek insurance coverage through a third-party provider.

#4 Keep Some Plates Separated to Use Before Moving

If you’re packing your dishes well before you move, make sure that you set aside a few plates, bowls, cups, and silverware so you can use them leading up to the move. Don’t forget to set aside the proper tape and packing materials to wrap up these final items when moving day arrives. As an alternative, you can also buy paper bowls and plates to use in the final days during your move.

#5 Gather Your Moving Supplies

The best way to pack dishes is with the right supplies. Without the correct supplies, you risk your fragile and expensive items becoming damaged in the move. As you compile the supplies for your dishware, make sure to compile the right supplies, all of which we will outline below. Typically, people have the most success using small or medium moving boxes for their dishes.

What Are the Best Packing Materials You Will Need?

Packing dishes

The best moving supplies for your dishes will prevent them from becoming damaged in the move. Usually, you don’t need to worry about extra space in the box with other items. But when it comes to packing dishes, packing paper will be your friend! It can help fill the small gaps in the box and prevent movement.

In addition to plenty of packing paper, here are the supplies you’ll need for the best way to pack kitchen dishes:

  • Dish boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Medium-sized boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Labels
  • Markers

While some people opt for a newspaper instead of packing paper, be careful of the stains that the ink can cause. It has a tendency to rub off on the glassware and can be difficult to remove.

5 Steps How to Pack Dishes for a Move

If you’re wondering about a step-by-step breakdown on how to wrap dishes for moving, here’s everything you need to know.

#1 Compile Your Supplies Beforehand

Before you do anything, make sure that you’ve compiled all of your necessary supplies in one place. If you can find a dish box, that is the best option in terms of safely transporting your items. Dish boxes are designed with two layers of cardboard inside of the walls and the base (versus regular moving boxes that only have one layer of cardboard).

Although dish boxes are slightly more expensive than traditional boxes, they are more durable and will give you peace of mind. Once you have your supplies, make sure that you have an open space for the following steps.

#2 Pad Boxes & Start Wrapping

Next, you’ll want to fill the bottom of the box with a layer of crumpled packing paper. Then, take the dishes that you’re packing and wrap each one individually in packing paper. Lay the sheet of packing paper out flat and place the item near one corner. Carefully roll it diagonally in the paper and tuck in the ends as your roll.

#3 Strategize Your Placement

Place each item in a box next to one another, leaving the heavier items at the bottom of the box and the lighter items on top. Don’t make the box too heavy as heavy boxes are more prone to being dropped or mishandled altogether.

#4 Fill Excess Space

Make sure that you fill any excess space in the box with crumpled wrapping paper or bubble wrap. You can also fill these holes with kitchen towels that you were planning to pack anyway.

#5 Seal and Label the Box

Once the box has been properly packed, make sure to seal it with plenty of packing tape. Use a marker or box label to write “fragile” on both the top and the side of the box. If possible, label what is inside of each box to make the unpacking process easier.

How to Pack Antique China and Porcelain Tea Sets

Packing dishes for moving

For those keen on preserving fine, delicate dishes, pay special attention to packing your china and porcelain tea sets. During the moving process, someone may not be as careful when handling boxes and cause the contents inside to shift around. With delicate dishes, even the slightest bump can cause irreparable damage.

One of the best resources to have when packing such fragile items is dish pack boxes. These cardboard boxes are specifically designed to fit different plates, teapots, teacups, bowls, or glasses in a single box using cardboard partitions. Be careful not to over-stuff your boxes as you want to leave room to carefully layer bubble wrap and packing paper.

As an added precautionary measure, keep the box’s weight in mind. You don’t want to strain yourself while carrying a heavy box of fragile antiques! Finally, label the boxes fragile, and describe the contents inside.

How to Pack Wine Glasses, Champagne Flutes & Pint Glasses

Depending on the thickness of glass-forming your champagne flutes, wine, and pint glasses, you can simply utilize the dish pack boxes, similar to packing china and porcelain sets. However, you can also opt for an additional packing method.

Begin saving old newspapers, coupon booklets, towels, and thin bubble wrap. When packing, snugly wrap the glasses and flutes in one or two layers of newspaper, towels, or bubble wrap and proceed to pack them into the dish packing boxes. The extra layers of protection will help keep your glasses in one piece while moving. In the event of breakage, however, this step will prevent innumerable shattered glass pieces from filling your box.

How to Pack Coffee Mugs and Other Drinking Cups

As these items are usually less fragile than wine glasses, using the dish pack boxes is recommended but not required. If you decide to forgo the dish pack boxes, you can wrap your mugs and drinking cups in either packing paper, towels, or bubble wrap before carefully laying them in a box or bin.

If you wish to stack mugs on top of one another and pack several rows, be sure to efficiently add a few layers of bubble wrap or towels between each row and fill the remaining empty spaces with packing peanuts. As an additional precaution, shake your box back and forth a little to test that your items are securely packed. Remember, ceramic mugs and glassware can weigh down a box. Therefore, keep an eye on how many items you pack inside to ensure a safe lifting weight.

How to Pack Ceramic Plates and Bowls

We would hate for a ceramic plate or bowl to break during your move and ruin your perfect set. Therefore, be sure to carefully wrap each plate and bowl in a layer of bubble wrap before stacking it in a box. Also, using packing peanuts or additional bubble wrap to fill in the sides of the box will prevent unnecessary shifting during your move. Again, keep the box at a tolerable weight to prevent injuries when lifting!

How to Pack Waffle Makers, Mixers, Toasters, Tea Kettles, and Coffee Pots

Have you thrown away the boxes from which these awkwardly shaped appliances originally came? If so, you still have another packing solution. If possible, try to find boxes similar in dimension to your waffle makers, mixers, toasters, tea kettles, and coffee pots.

Place each item in its box and secure it in place with bubble wrap, towels, or packing paper, filling the rest of the box with bubble wrap, packing paper, or packing peanuts to prevent shifting. With the growing number of boxes packed, be sure to continue labeling each box with the contents inside.

How to Pack Silverware, Small Cooking Gadgets, and Serving Spoons

Best way to pack dishes

Luckily, since these items are smaller in size, you have a few options when packing them. To keep your silverware organized, consider tying together your spoons and forks with a rubber band or string.

Make sure to carefully pack silverware to ensure its precious metal material and sharp edges don’t cause damage during the move. Here’s how you can protect your silver from tarnish and abrasion:

  • Wrap it in groups or bundles
  • Place the bundles in a silverware tray
  • Use paper to wrap the tray and tape it shut
  • Mark the top of the tray
  • Carefully pack it in a box with other kitchen items

When it comes to small cooking gadgets and serving spoons, make sure to start by wrapping the power cord with wrapping paper to prevent scratches. From there, follow these steps:

  • Wrap the entire appliance in a paper pad and tape the paper pad in place
  • Use crumpled packing paper to line the bottom of the box and pack the appliance
  • Fill any gaps with crumpled paper
  • Seal and label the box

Serving spoons can carefully be wrapped in packing paper and sealed with tape. Gently place them in a box and ensure they don’t have room to move around while inside. With your knives, carefully pack and tape them with bubble wrap and ensure that the blades will not puncture your box.

How to Pack Plastic Tupperware

Luckily, plastic Tupperware and dishes are some of the least breakable items in your kitchen. As a result, packing your Tupperware can be done in one of two ways. First, you can pack and organize them in a single box without the use of bubble wrap or newspaper. However, to serve a dual purpose, you can use your Tupperware to help pack other items in your home. From silverware to office supplies, Tupperware is perfect for keeping loose items in one place while moving.

How to Pack Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups, and Baby Silverware

If you are a parent of an infant or toddler, you may have a large supply of sippy cups, bottles, baby plates, and silverware. When moving, it’s best to keep all your baby items in the same box, especially since most baby products are not made with fragile materials.

Therefore, you may wrap each item individually with paper or bubble wrap if preferred, but it’s not necessary. Keep in mind that you should keep one or two sets of bottles, sippy cups, and silverware in a separate bag so you can feed your baby while moving!

Bonus Dish Packing Tips

We’ve included some bonus tips on the best way to pack dishes. In addition to purchasing enough packing paper, here are some other tips to make the packing process easier:

  • Always pack heavier items first
  • Stack dishes vertically instead of horizontally
  • Use towels to reduce how much packing paper you need
  • Cushion as much as possible and ensure all spaces in the box are filled
  • Label dish boxes as “fragile” and “this way up” to avoid damage
  • Gently put dish boxes in the moving truck
  • Don’t overfill boxes as they shouldn’t weigh more than 45 pounds
  • Fill all boxes to the top

Let the Professionals Take Care of Your Dishes, Moving, and Other Items!

Sometimes, balancing your life with work, family, and other responsibilities can be too much. If packing your home could not have come at a worse time, we are here to help! At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are devoted to helping you through any part of the moving process. From offering packing and disassembly services to transport, storage, and unpacking, our professionals are ready to help. Are you ready to pass the packing on to us? Contact our team today to receive a free quote for our services!