How to Pack Dishes and Glassware

Moving home is an exciting landmark event in anyone’s life. The moment when you arrive in your new home, unpack and have a celebratory drink is something to be savored, and you will never forget your first meal, even if it is a carpet picnic of cereal and candy bars.

However, if your glassware and dishes haven’t been packed properly, you may find yourself with only chipped glasses to drink out of, and cracked bowls to serve your cereal in.

By following these simple guidelines on how to pack dishes and glassware, you can rest easy in the knowledge that all your breakables will arrive intact.

How to Pack Dishes & Glassware: The Essential Materials

Before packing can start, you need to have all the right moving supplies at your fingertips:

  • Boxes:  Make sure they are sturdy. If they are flat-packed, ensure you assemble them according to the manufacturer’s instructions and securely tape the base for reinforcement.
  • Parcel tape.
  • Packing paper: It is possible to buy paper specifically for this purpose but you may prefer to use recycled newsprint. Be aware, if you do choose this more eco-friendly option, you will have to wash all items after unpacking.


organizing for storage

How to Pack Dishes & Glassware: The Essential Steps

1. Get Organized

Line up all your packing materials, so everything is within easy reach. If you are moving with your family, get them involved.  By creating a production line with your loved ones, the process can be both fun and more efficient.

2. Wrapping

Before putting anything in the box, make a bed of paper in the bottom of it. Don’t be neat about it – crumple it up!  By doing this you create a shock absorbing base.


Wrap each item individually using the “tuck and roll” method:

  • Lay the item on the top of the stack of wrapping paper.
  • Using one sheet, tuck some paper into the opening of the glass or cup to provide cushioning.
  • Fold each end of the paper up and over it and then roll.
  • Continue folding and tucking the edges of the paper as you roll, until the whole sheet has been used.
  • Use as many sheets as is necessary to ensure that each part of the item has several layers of paper protecting it.
  • Be particularly vigilant with stemmed glassware. For delicate items such as this, it is worth reinforcing the paper with a layer of bubble wrap.


Again, wrap each item individually.

Once wrapped, create small stacks of same-sized plates, ready to be lifted in the boxes.

3. Packing

  • Don’t mix your boxes. If items fit snuggly together, they are less likely to break. Pack drink ware with drink ware and dishes with dishes.
  • The golden rule for boxing your breakables is to put the heaviest items at the bottom of the box, such as glass trays and sturdy mugs. Reserve the top half of the box for more delicate items.
  • If you hear any clinking as you are packing, you have not used enough paper. Add another layer around the offending items.
  • It is important to completely fill each box, so there is no space left for your items to move around.  If there are any gaps, pack them with more paper or foam peanuts and leave a 3″ gap at the top of the box to put another layer of cushioning before sealing. This can either be another layer of crumpled paper, or you could use lightweight, non-breakable items, such as dish towels or table linen.
  • Use packing tape to ensure that each box is securely sealed.
  • Label each box clearly on all sides, including the top. Then, once the boxes have been moved and stacked up, you will be able to see where everything it at a glance.

Now is not the time to be economical with your paper usage. Remember, paper can be recycled but your valuables can’t be replaced.

Whether you are ready to move into your new forever home or temporarily placing your belongings in a secure storage unit, by following these guidelines, you can trust that your breakables will arrive safely.