How To Pack Fragile Items For Moving

The ideal situation is to have all the original boxes for every one of your fragile possessions. There is no better box for your computer than the one it came in. However, holding on to all these boxes isn’t practical in most cases, so we have to purchase new ones that can safely protect our fragile belongings.

Finding the right box is just the first step. Packing is equally important and must be done right if you want all your fragiles to arrive in one piece.

Here are some tips for packing a variety of items so they’re well-protected when transported. Mark all these boxes “fragile” and “this side up” so you and/or the movers know how to handle them.
Mirrors And Artwork

Both can be packed in picture/mirror moving boxes and cushioned with packing paper to provide shock absorption. They should also also be wrapped either in bubble wrap or moving pads.


Kitchen boxes are ideal because they’re built specifically for dishes and glassware. Bubble wrap and packing paper work best for protecting dishes and other fragile items. Newspaper is messy and not worth the trouble in my opinion. Old clothes, towels, and blankets can be used for cushion.

Packing dishes can be done in several different ways, but they all accomplish the same objectives. Most recommend wrapping each dish with two sheets of paper, grouping 4-5 together, surrounding them with plenty of cushion, and stacking them vertically on their sides. The heaviest dishes should go on the bottom.

Leave some room at the top for packing paper. It’s important to have cushion here because other boxes may be stacked on top. Make sure that there is no space left in the boxes before taping. The same process can be used for smaller plates and bowls.


Place 2-3″ of packing paper on the bottom. Wrap each item individually, then in bundles of 3 with 2 sheets of paper. Large, heavy items go on the bottom, lighter items on top. Plates and saucers should be packed on their sides.


Start by setting the glass down at the edge of the paper or bubble wrap. Fold the end over the top of the glass and begin rolling it towards the other end. Tape can be used to secure the paper once it’s rolled up, but isn’t necessary if the ends are tucked in well.

Next, pack them vertically with the rim facing down. Place plenty of cushion around them so they stay upright. Boxes with cell dividers are great for tall glasses, wine glasses, and flutes. Even with dividers, the top and bottom should be padded. A sock can be placed at the bottom of each cell, if you’re looking for a cheap alternative to packing paper. Place a piece of cardboard or paper between each row.

Save money by buying used! Get your moving supplies from


Lamp box sets have one short box for the shade and one tall one for the base. To pack the lamp, start by removing shade, light bulb, and the harp. Wind the cord around the lamp and wrap in packing paper or bubble wrap. Wrap the bulb and harp separately, and place them with the shade. Cushion the bottom and sides. Other lightweight, fragile items may be placed with the lamp shade as well. Pack the lamp base in the other box.

Disassemble floor lamps when possible and pack into a box or wrap with moving pad.

Computers And Printers

All data on your computer should be backed up with an external hard drive or a service such as Carbonite. To keep the computer and printer in place, use foam inserts or packing peanuts. The original boxes come with foam inserts, so that would be ideal if you still have them around.

What matters most is that these items have plenty of cushion on all sides so they are kept in place. The only way they can really get damaged is if they bounce around inside the box.

Glass Doors and Tables

Glass doors (found on cabinets, furniture, etc.) and tables are best packed by having them crated by a moving company or specialty service. However, this can get costly, so you may want to consider doing this yourself.

To crate a piece of glass, get two pieces of cardboard slightly larger than the glass. Place the glass in between both pieces of cardboard while on the floor. Tape around the top, middle, and bottom so it’s well secured.

For added protection, take two pieces of masking tape and make an “X” on the glass. The corners of the mirror can be padded with cardboard as well. Bubble wrap or a furniture blanket can be used to cover the glass.

Leave the glass standing up against the wall until it’s loaded on moving day. It will be best protected if placed between two moving mattresses. You can cover the cardboard with a thick blanket for more support.


Wine is best stored in a temperature controlled environment, somewhere in the range of 40-65F, depending on the type. It should be stored in a dark, damp place with good ventilation. Vibration should be limited.

When wine is subjected to extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, it can accelerate deterioration. Consider paying for a wine transportation service if moving long-distance. Bottles with corks should be stored lying horizontally so the cork doesn’t dry out. This will also prevent air from entering. Bottles with screw tops can be stored horizontal or upright.

Small, fragile items

Wrap in bubble wrap and place into small boxes; cushion with packing peanuts or paper.

Protecting High-Value Inventory

This is different than high-value items because it includes objects that are bulky, often heavy, and may require crating services or special packing. This stuff will need to be transported in the moving van. Your moving coordinator will help you identify high-value inventory when your initial moving estimate is given.

Items worth more than $100 per pound are considered “high-value inventory” and must be verified by movers in order to receive proper valuation coverage. These items will be listed on the mover’s high-value inventory checklist, which also includes a description and appraised value of each item.

In the event of damage or a lost item, appraisals must be shown to the moving company in order to validate the claim.

Items may include:

  • antiques
  • china sets
  • museum quality pieces
  • crystal figurines
  • furs and fur coats
  • fine art
  • oriental rugs
  • rare books
  • silverware

One Response to How To Pack Fragile Items For Moving

  • Irene Wood says:

    Those tips are priceless!! My family is moving abroad and we are about to do the whole packing of the home. It is great to know how to do it in an appropriate way. Best regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>