You Herd It Here

How to Pack Dishes and Glassware

By Tyranni Rineer, Certified Self Storage Manager

Moving can be stressful and one of the main things that might cause the stress is worrying about your dishes or glassware being shattered when you open those boxes. Here are a few tips to ensure that your breakables have the best chance of survival during the move.

Make sure the boxes you are using are sturdy enough to protect your items. It may be tempting to head over to the nearest grocery or beverage store and ask if they have boxes. This, however, isn’t the best of ideas. You have no way of knowing where those boxes may have been and what was packed in them previously. Little unwanted pests love to house themselves into the corrugation of boxes, especially ones that smell like food. Plus, these are boxes are usually designed to be broken down and only sturdy enough for one-time use. That means they will quickly degrade over a short period of time. Do you really want to put breakables into boxes that are designed to be easily broken? For these fragile items, it is best to invest in dish pack boxes, which are heavy duty and have a divided cell that fits inside the box to keep glass separated from each other and cushioned. These help withstand the pressure of being stacked with other boxes in a moving truck or even in a storage unit.

Once you have your boxes assembled and ready to go, you will want to create a cushion for the items going into the box. Take a bunch of packing paper and crinkle it up to line the bottom or corners of the box. This helps create a buffer or shock absorption for your belongings. We recommend that you wrap up your fragile dishes and glasses with packing paper or bubble wrap. Using newspaper can run the risk of the ink transferring onto your items and possibly even staining them. We offer plain, unprinted packing paper for sale in our retail shops, as well as the dish packs, glass packs and a variety of boxes designed specifically for storage.

Couple Packing DishesWhen packing plates, you want to first have a stack of packing paper laid out on a flat surface. You can wrap them individually or in small groups of two or three. To wrap them individually, start with two pieces of paper and starting at the corner of the paper and wrap it completely over the plate while folding in the edges, continuing to do so until you have the paper used up and then securely tape the end. To pack a small group of plates of the same size at a time, take three or four sheets of paper from the corner and fold it into the middle of the first plate. Place another plate on top of the triangle fold that you just made and then fold over the paper and place the third plate on top. Once you have three plates stacked, use the rest of the paper that wasn’t used to separate the plates to wrap around them and securely tape the end. You may also take two or three more sheets of paper to tape around the bundle for extra protection, especially if the plates are larger and the grouping process left some edges uncovered. When placing the plates into the box, always make sure to stack them vertically. This way if the box is dropped accidentally, the impact is affecting just the edges of the plates instead of the entire surface area, which can hopefully prevent them from shattering.

For glasses, start by stuffing one sheet of paper instead your glassware to fill up the empty space at the bottom. Then again, starting at the corner of your packing paper roll up the glass with two or three layers of paper tucking it in as you go, which fills in the rest of the inside of the glass. If you are packing stemware, you may repeat this step two or three times to ensure the safety of the stem. You can also wrap the stem separately first as an added layer of protection. When packing the glasses into the box, also store these standing up to create less impact if the box is mishandled.

When packing your boxes with dishware, remember to place your heaviest and most sturdy items at the bottom of the box and work your way up to the lightest and most delicate. As you are packing up the box crumble up more paper and stuff the paper everywhere there are holes or gaps, as you want as little movement and as much extra cushion as possible. As you did on the bottom of the box you will want to repeat with the top of the box and have a crumbled-up layer of paper covering the top as another buffer against impact. If you go to move the box and you hear any clinking, you need to add more paper. You can never have too much protection! It is best to only use small boxes for glasses and dishes. The smaller the box, the less movement between the items, and the lighter the box will be when packed full. Dishware can get very heavy if you pack too much of it inside one box, so pay attention and do a lift check here and there as you stack your dishes higher and higher.

Using these tips should hopefully help you breathe a little easier knowing you did all that you can to protect your dishes and glasses during your move. If you have any questions about packing your dishes and glasses safely for the move, you can contact us or reach out to any of our knowledgeable property managers. And, if you are ready to start using self storage for your move, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7.