How to Properly Pack Breakable Items

Packing Breakable Items

A move to a new home is usually an exciting adventure that requires considerable planning.  Not all moves include the services of professional packers.  When residents do the packing themselves, one of the most time-consuming activities is securing breakable items.  Whether an item is a priceless piece of china or a child’s first piece of art, packing it correctly will help it arrive at its destination intact. 

Getting Started

Packing preparation starts long before a vehicle shows up to load items.  Planning should include a list of items needed for safe packing of breakable items. Here is a basic list:

  • Plastic storage boxes, medium size, with handles
  • Brown packing paper or newspaper
  • Shredder
  • Shredded paper
  • Small storage containers
  • Egg cartons
  • Notepad
  • Pen or pencil
  • Several sizes of cardboard boxes

It might be necessary to purchase some items, such as plastic storage boxes.  Junk mail or newspaper inserts can accumulate into shredded paper.

How to Pack China

Although fragile, a piece of china might weigh too much for a traditional box.  A plastic storage box is less likely to undergo damage than a cardboard container is.  A box with handles is easier to carry. 

Avoiding newsprint is important, since it might fade and deposit marks on fine china.  A better bet is brown packing paper.  However, balled-up newspaper is useful for lining the bottom of the storage box.

Beginning with flat items such as plates, the proper way to pack is to wrap each piece of china with brown packing paper.  Once the flat pieces are stacked in the box, surrounding them with shredded paper protects them from striking each other.  Tight packing leaves no room for movement.

The next layer should be pieces of glassware, individually wrapped with packing paper and placed on their sides.  The final layer should be shredded paper.

Packing Fragile Figurines

Items such as figurines with parts that stick out, such as angel wings or animal tails, are more difficult to pack properly.  Such items can fit nicely into each section of an egg carton. 

Anything that’s too tall for an egg carton yet not large enough for its own box can go into a small storage container.  Lining the container with shredded paper provides protection.

Larger items should be wrapped in newspaper or brown packing paper with a layer of shredding between each piece so that objects won’t strike each other.  Small storage containers and egg cartons fit at the top of the box before closing it.

More Special-handling Tips

Following some special tips about breakable items creates an easier move.  Placing them in a personal vehicle often provides more protection than transporting them in a moving van.  The basic premise of packing is placing heavier and sturdier items at the bottom of a box.  When packing odd-shaped pieces such as fragile lamps, consider placing a pillow on top for added protection.

Overpacking creates a bulging box.  That's a no-no.  It’s also important to avoid getting newsprint wet, which could cause it to fade onto items.

Always label each box FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP wherever necessary and keep a separate list in a notebook of each container’s contents.  One way to do this is to number the containers. 

Certain items require extra-special handling.  The best packing containers for a wine collection are wooden boxes.  Artwork or antiques might require a moving van that’s climate-controlled or custom-designed crates.  

Home electronics present packing challenges.  The best way to secure a personal computer is in its original box, with all parts individually covered with bubble wrap.  It’s possible to purchase a TV box to pack a television.  Disconnected cables go inside a plastic bag placed in the box along with the remote control.

When properly packed, breakable items have a good chance of reaching their destination in one piece.  For additional tips about making your move go more smoothly, take the time to contact a local real estate professional.

Anthony Gilbert is the owner of The RealFX Group. Anthony specializes in real estate, real estate marketing, managing the team and achieving set goals.