Handle with Care — Tips for Packing Your Most Fragile Items

Created January 6, 2015

Whether it is your antique mirror you inherited from your great-grandmother or a set of china teacups you got on your wedding day, you need to take special care with your most fragile items when packing for a move or storage. While you will handle those items with care, you cannot necessarily trust your friends, family, or moving company to do the same, so you need to pack your precious possessions as carefully as possible.

Tips for Packing Fragile Items

China and Dishes — Pack china and dishes in boxes with plenty of cushioning material in the bottom. Wrap your pieces individually, placing the larger pieces on the bottom and the smaller pieces on top. Use packing paper to fill the spaces between items and add 2 to 3 inches of crushed paper at the top of the box before closing it.

Glassware — Wrap all of your glasses individually in packing paper and place smaller items inside larger items with a layer of crushed paper between to cushion them. Use small or medium-sized boxes for your glassware and line the bottom with plenty of packing paper or Bubble Wrap.
Lamps/Shades — When possible, box up your lampshades with the flat side down and wrap them with plenty of paper. Lamp bases can be packed with packing paper or Bubble Wrap and placed in a large box if extra security is needed.
Pictures/Mirrors — Framed pictures and mirrors should be wrapped individually in paper or Bubble Wrap and stored in small or medium-sized boxes. If the frames are larger than 8 inches, place them in a box standing up with plenty of paper between each item. For very large framed items, over 3 feet, wrap the item in a moving blanket then with plastic wrap to keep the blanket in place.
Specialty/Oddly Shaped Items — When packing oddly shaped or specialty items, you need to consider which parts of the item are most likely to break. If the piece has a handle or another protruding element, wrap it in Bubble Wrap and secure it with tape. For extra security, place the item on a piece of cardboard then cover it with another piece and bend the edges together the enclose the item, then tape the cardboard in place.
When packing your most fragile items, you should feel free to use a little creative license. If you don’t have a lot of packing paper or newspaper on hand, use old towels, table linens, or small blankets. Make sure to use tape or plastic wrap to secure the wrappings on your fragile items, and make sure to label the boxes so anyone handling them knows to use extra caution.