From packing china dishes to boxing up crystal glassware, these delicate and oh-so-fragile items deserve the utmost attention when moving to a new home. Not only are they monetarily valuable, but they may be sentimentally significant as well. Whether it’s vintage china plates from your grandmother or crystal champagne flutes from your wedding, the last thing you want is for these treasures to break during the moving process.
For moving valuable items, we highly recommend hiring a specialised moving company to handle the packing and transportation. However, we know this isn’t always possible. If you’ve decided to pack and move your china, crystal and other fragile glassware on your own, you’ll need to take certain steps to keep your items from breaking. If you do decide to enlist professionals to help, you’ll still need to take important precautions to protect your belongings.
Moving supplies can make or break (literally) your move, so make sure to invest in the right ones
Below, we’ve included directions, materials and tips for successfully packing china and crystal. Best of luck and happy moving! Here is our 3 Step guide to packing:
Finally some more tips for packing china and crystal glassware. Here's our 5 Hacks to assist.
Step One: Before You Pack
While moving to a new home is certainly a chaotic time, it’s important to keep fragile china and breakable glassware top of mind before packing even begins. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.
Make note of all inventory
Before the packing begins, start making note of all of your valuable glassware and dinnerware inventory. You can do so by taking photographs and writing down exactly what you have. If any of your crystal glassware or china dinnerware already has scratches or chips, make note of these imperfections as well. This inventory list will make it easier to file a claim against your moving company, if they happen to damage or lose your items. It will also make it easier to file a claim with your homeowners insurance in case they break during the move.
Look into insurance options
Speaking of insurance, it’s important that you consider all of your options. Those moving without professional movers will need to look into their homeowners insurance policy to see what exactly it covers and (more importantly!) doesn’t cover. While many policies cover belongings while they are inside the home, they may not cover items while on the truck. If this is the case, you should consider purchasing an additional moving insurance policy from an insurance company.
Many of these moving insurance policies cover goods for a period of up to 90 days while in transit or storage. In addition to considering outside insurance, those hiring a professional moving company should ask about their valuation coverage options. All moving companies should offer different levels of liability including a basic Released Value Protection option and a more comprehensive Full Value Protection option.
For more information on moving insurance, read our previous Blog 'Why Do I Need Move Insurance'.
Invest in the right moving supplies
Moving supplies can make or break (literally) your move, so make sure to invest in the right ones. Supplies to consider purchasing for packing china and crystal include: quality corrugated boxes for glassware, cellular dividers, foam pouch inserts, cushioning material, packing tape, newspaper or packing paper, a sharpie marker and items for padding, such as blankets or pillows.
Step Two: How to Pack
Ready to pack your crystal and fragile glassware? Here are a few steps to follow.
Assemble corrugated moving boxes
Make sure that all corrugated boxes are sturdy enough to handle the move. Separate the boxes into two categories: plates and glassware.
Place cellular, cardboard dividers inside the boxes
Place these partitions inside the boxes where you intend to put your glassware. Once inserted inside the box, these dividers will provide a great way to separate and protect all of your fragile crystal glasses.
Wrap glassware items in protective cushioning
When packing glassware (think: highball glasses, wine glasses, flutes, mugs and coupes), wrap and secure each item with a protective layer, such as bubbled cushioning or foam pouch inserts. Stuff packing paper inside the glassware’s opening as well for extra protection.
Fill empty spaces with protective cushioning
Once you’ve inserted each individual piece of glassware inside of a partition, fill in the surrounding space with extra cushioning to prevent items from shifting while on the road.
Wrap dinnerware in protective cushioning
When packing fine china, such as porcelain plates and bowls, wrap each item individually in either packing paper and/or several layers of bubbled cushioning. Secure with packing tape.
Add a protective layer at the bottom of the box
Before you begin packing dishware, first line the bottom of your corrugated boxes with a layer of protective cushioning.
Larger items are packed first
Place larger, heavier china plates and dishware on the bottom of each box. Having these first tier items on the bottom will prevent them from crushing your smaller items.
Place medium items on top of large items
Once heavier pieces are placed inside of a box. Begin stacking medium-weight china on top. Each item in the second tier should also be surrounded by padding and cushioning. These items may include small bowls and salad plates.
Lightweight items are packed last
Third tier items should consist of your lightweight china, such as saucers, tea cups or flatware. Once packed inside the box securely, you should surround any void or empty space with extra padding, such as blankets or packing paper.
Step Three: After You Pack
Packed everything inside your boxes? Here’s what to do after you pack.
Label all boxes
After packing up the boxes, take a sharpie marker and label each box as clearly as possible. Make sure to write “FRAGILE” with an indication of which side should be facing up (for example: “FRAGILE! THIS SIDE UP ↑”). Each box should also be labeled according to its corresponding room and contents, so that you and the movers will know exactly where to place the box when unloading.
Place inventory list inside boxes
If you have the time, place a piece of paper inside each box with a list of its contents. This will make it easier to find things after you move.
Make sure your belongings are packed securely
Pick up the box and gently shake it around. If you notice anything moving, you’ll need to stuff the box with more protective padding. This will help everything stay in place while your belongings are in transit.
Secure boxes with packing tape
Finally, tape and secure all boxes. Make sure that all openings are closed and taped up to prevent items from falling out of the boxes during the move.
5 More Hacks for Packing China & Crystal Glassware
Looking for more tips for packing china and crystal glassware? Check out these 5 hacks for protecting your items during a move.
Purchase a dish pack partition pack for your boxes. These cardboard partition kits are specifically designed to protect dishes and glassware.
If stacking china dishware inside of a box, place a cardboard cutout on top of each dish horizontally. This will help protect each layer and/or tier of items inside the box.
Use medium to small size boxes to pack fragile items. By doing this, you’ll avoid over-packing large boxes. Placing too many heavy items inside of one box only increases the chance that the box will break. When you have a large box, it can be tempting to fill it to the top with belongings. Unfortunately, this can lead to broken and damaged items.
Keep valuables with you at all times during a move. If hiring professional movers, it may be a good idea to keep anything that’s highly sentimental or valuable with you in your car at all times (just in case!).
Fill empty box space with soft pillows or blankets. If you’re looking to save money, use existing bath towels and pillows to stuff your boxes. This will prevent items from breaking while in transit and will keep them in place at all times.
Ready to move?
Of course, the best way to move crystal, china and other valuable items is to hire professionals for the job. Fortunately, C2C Movers can offer this packing service as part of your moving home package. Check out ALL of our services on offer here.