How to Pack Glassware and China

How to Pack GlasswareMy friend texted me in a panic yesterday. Like a lot of people who move house for the first time, packing has become a daunting task. She loves her things, and she doesn’t want anything to break, so packing fragile items, such as glassware, is stressing her out.

Fortunately, I’m here to tell her – and everyone else – that packing up the kitchen doesn’t have to be so scary. There are ways to pack your items so that they are as safe as possible for the journey. Keep reading to learn how the experts do it.

First, moving company packers use a dish pack – an exceptionally sturdy corrugated box with double-wall construction – for china, glassware and other fragile items less than 18 inches in size. Unless boxes of similar strength and construction are available, you can purchase several dish packs from a local moving company. Also, if you have any original boxes, use them. They are built specifically for your items.

Once you have your boxes, it’s time to start packing.


  • Place a layer of cushioning material, such as newspaper, in the bottom of the box.
  • Wrap all pieced of china and glassware individually in clear paper. Using several sheets of paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newspaper serves well as an outer wrapping. A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware. Label cartons “FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.”
  • Place the wrapped glassware upside down in the box, using crumpled paper to pad around each item.


  • Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.
  • Place cushioning material in the bottom of the box. Wrap each piece individually, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the box in a row on their edges.
  • Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add 2-3 inches of crushed 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 can make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as the larger items.


  • Even when using a dish pack and mini-cells for china, wrap cups individually, protecting handles with an extra layer of paper. Then, pack cups upside down.
  • If not using a dish pack or cells, wrap cups as previously described 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. Complete the layer as for plates.

I plan on sharing all of our moving and packing tips on this blog over time. If you are moving soon, however, be sure to check out our moving guide and packing guide for tips and advice on packing for moving.

Do you have any tips for packing glassware and china? Please share below.