How to Pack Fragile Things for Moving & Storage

Glassware on the Shelf

To make sure your fragile items make it to your new home, follow the advice below to pack most of your fragile items.

China & Glassware

Preferably use dishpak cartons. Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually. Use several sheets of packing paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges.

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

Flat China & Flat Glassware

Preferably use dishpak cartons. Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually with clean paper, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newsprint. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge

  • Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.
  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave 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 can be helpful in keeping layers level.
  • Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.


Preferably use dishpak cartons. If not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

Silver & Flatware

Preferably use dishpak cartons. To protect silver pieces from tarnishing, they should be completely enclosed in newsprint or plastic wrap.

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

Figurines, Curios & Other Delicate Items

Preferably use dishpak cartons. Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.

  • Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out.
  • Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped 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 flat items on edge in a carton.

Exceptionally Fragile Items

Consult with Walsh on the packing of exceptionally fragile items. Items with values exceeding $100 per pound need to be listed on the Items of Exceptional Value section of the bill of lading to receive proper valuation coverage. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.

Lamp Bases

After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in packing paper. Place them together in a carton, filling all empty spaces with wadded paper. Special lamp cartons are available at Walsh.

Lamp Shades

Never wrap lamp shades in newspaper, as the ink will soil the shade. Instead, carefully wrap each shade with packing paper (available at Walsh) or use three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase, or a large lightweight towel.

  • Use a sturdy carton at least two inches bigger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade.
  • A smaller shade may be nested inside a larger one, provided they do not touch.
  • Only one silk shade should be placed in the carton to avoid stretching the silk.
  • Do not pack other items with shades.

Chandeliers & Leaded Glass Shades

Have Walsh crate large leaded or other glass lamp shades or chandeliers. When calling for a quote, make sure you have the dimensions and know if the chandelier must be hung in the crate.

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

It’s best to consult with Walsh about custom-made cartons and crates for items of this kind. When calling, please have the dimensions of these pieces to get an accurate quote. Most glass tabletops, and mirrors can be packed in glass/mirror cartons. Marble should be crated. Paper should never be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.

Table Leaves

Table leaves are best transported in paper pads, then taped to hold the padding in place. (Note: never place tape on the surface of wood.) Don’t use plastic wrap, as moisture may get trapped and damage wood.

Drapery & Curtains

Wardrobe cartons are ideal for moving curtains and drapes. Fold them lengthwise, place over a padded hangar, pin them securely, and hang them in the wardrobe. Draperies and curtains also may be folded and packed in cartons lined with clean paper or plastic wrap.


Leave area rugs on the floor, Walsh will handle them from there.

  • You may want to consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned before your move — you’ll get them back from the cleaners wrapped, rolled and ready for shipping.
  • Area rugs should be loaded last and unloaded first so the furniture coming off the truck can go right on top of the rug.

Upholstered Furniture

Walsh will shrink wrap large, upholstered furniture.

  • Talk to Walsh beforehand about any leather items.
  • Table corners can be protected with cardboard.
  • Consider packing couch pillows in large boxes.



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