Packing China & Breakables for Moving & Storage

Glassware on the Shelf

Follow the advice below to ensure your fragile china, glassware, pictures, and lamps arrive intact at your new address. Call us if you have any questions, or have our professionals do the packing for you.

China & Glassware

We recommend dish pack boxes.

Wrap all china and glassware individually in several sheets of packing paper. Start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and tucking in overlapping edges.

  • Use a generous amount of paper padding and cushioning for all china and glassware.
  • A double layer of newsprint serves well as outer wrapping.
  • Label boxes with room, contents, and “FRAGILE — THIS SIDE UP.”

Flat China & Flat Glassware

We recommend dish pack boxes.

Line the bottom of a packing box with cushioning material. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then into bundles of up to three pieces. Arrange bundled items in rows in the box.

  • Bundles should use two or more layers of newsprint.
  • Pack large and sturdy china and glass plates, platters, and other flat pieces in the lowest layer of a dish pack.
  • Pad each bundle with crushed paper, leaving no voids or unfilled spaces.
  • Add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier.
  • Horizontal cardboard dividers help to keep layers level.
  • Smaller plates, saucers, and shallow bowls can comprise a second layer. Wrap and pack them in the same way as larger items.


We recommend dish pack boxes.

If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper.

  • Place cups in a row on an upper layer, facing upside down on their rims.
  • Turn all handles in the same direction.
  • Top off the layer with wadded newsprint.

Even with a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack the cups upside down.

Silver & Flatware

We recommend dish pack boxes.

Enclose silver pieces in newsprint or plastic wrap to protect them from tarnishing.

  • Hollowware — including bowls, tea sets, and serving dishes — should be wrapped carefully and packed like china.
  • Loose flatware can be wrapped individually or in sets. Wrap them in paper, clear plastic, or small gift boxes secured with tape.
  • Even if silverware is in a chest, consider wrapping pieces individually and repositioning them in the chest. Or, fill all voids in the chest with newsprint to prevent shifting.
  • You can wrap the chest itself in a large, fluffy bath towel.

Figurines, Curios & Other Fragile Collectibles

We recommend dish pack boxes.

Protect all items with plenty of cushioning. Paper is cheap. Your collectibles, on the other hand, are irreplaceable.

  • First, wrap items in soft tissue paper, paper towels, or facial tissue.
  • Next, wrap them carefully in wadded and flattened newsprint or similar paper.
  • Wrap small mirrors, plaques, and pictures individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint.
  • A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass.
  • Place all flat items in the packing box upright and on edge.

Exceptionally Fragile Items

Call us at Walsh when it comes to packing exceptionally fragile items.

For insurance purposes, we should list items worth more than $100 per pound in the Items of Exceptional Value section of the bill of lading.

If an item is valuable and delicate, it might be best if we do the packing. The job may call for special materials and expertise.

Lamp Bases

  • Remove the light bulb and lamp harp.
  • Wrap the base, harp, and bulb separately in newsprint.
  • Place everything together in a box, filling all empty spaces with wadded paper.
  • Walsh Moving & Storage and some hardware stores carry telescopic lamp boxes for lamps that don’t fit in conventional boxes.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper! The ink will ruin the shade. Instead, carefully wrap shades in plain newsprint, or use several sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase, or a large lightweight towel.

  • Use a sturdy box at least two inches wider and taller than the biggest lamp shade.
  • Line the box with clean paper. Place a protective layer of crushed paper under the lampshade, but not around it.
  • You can nest a smaller lampshade inside a larger one, provided they don’t touch.
  • Silk shades are a special case. Only one per box to prevent damage to the silk fabric.
  • Don’t include other items in your lampshade boxes. This is no time to stretch your box budget.

Chandeliers & Leaded Glass Lampshades

We don’t encourage DIY packing of valuable chandeliers and leaded glass shades. Have us crate the items to their destination.

For an accurate quote, we’ll need the dimensions of each item. Also, should the chandelier be hung in a crate during transport?

Glass Table Tops, Marble Slabs, Large Mirrors, Paintings, Statues & Large Vases

Here, you won’t find proper packing material at your local box store (pun intended).

Custom-made boxes and crates are the order of the day. Save yourself frustration and heartache, and have the pros pack these easily damaged valuables.

For an accurate quote, we’ll need the dimensions of each item.

  • We’ll pack glass tabletops and mirrors in specialized glass or mirror boxes.
  • Marble should be crated.
  • Paper should never touch the surface of an oil painting.

Table Leaves

  • Transport table leaves in paper pads.
  • Taped the pads together in a bundle.
  • Never place tape on a wood surface.
  • Don’t use plastic wrap, which can trap moisture and damage wood.

Drapery & Curtains

  • Wardrobe boxes are ideal curtains and drapes.
  • Fold them lengthwise, place them over a padded hangar, pin them securely, and hang them in the wardrobe.
  • Another approach is to fold drapery and curtains down to size and pack them in boxes lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.


Leave area rugs on the floor. We’ll take it from there.

  • You may want to have your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They’ll return wrapped, rolled, and ready for shipping from the cleaners.
  • Area rugs should be loaded onto the truck last and unloaded first. This way, furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of them.

Upholstered Furniture

Walsh will shrink wrap large, upholstered furniture.

  • Talk to us beforehand about any leather items.
  • We’ll protect table corners with cardboard.
  • Consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.



Related Links


Share This