How to Pack Fragile Items for Moving

Things You'll Need

  • Medium size plastic storage box(s)
  • Newspaper or brown packing paper
  • Shredded paper
  • Paper shredder
  • Small storage containers such as food containers
  • Egg cartons
  • Notebook
  • Ink pen

Packing breakable items for moving is a time consuming process though it is necessary. Knowing how to properly pack grandma's priceless china or your collection of crystal figurines could be the difference between everything arriving to the destination in one piece or in hundreds of small pieces. Read on to learn how to pack fragile items for moving.

How to Pack China for Moving

Purchase the items you will need to complete this project. A medium size plastic storage container can be purchased from your local super center or home center for less than $10. While you can pack your fragile items in a standard cardboard box this is not recommended. Fragile items such as china may be too heavy to move in a traditional box. There is a chance that the bottom could fall out leaving the pieces of priceless dinnerware in the middle of the driveway. Purchase a storage box that has handles which will make it easier to carry. If these boxes get bumped during them move they are less likely to be damaged than a cardboard box.

Shred paper in preparation for packing. Any junk mail or paper that you don't want to tote to the new location can be shredded to use for packing material. As you paper begins to pile up place it in a garbage bag in the back of the closet. When you are ready to start packing you will have enough material to pack several boxes. Also save your newspapers. If packing fine china you will want to avoid newsprint because of the tendency to fade and leave marks on your china however you can purchase a large roll of brown paper for packing. It's always good to have some of both handy when packing.

Line the bottom of the storage box with balled up newspaper or a few inches of shredded paper. This will act as a cushion for the bottom of the box and will help to keep the items from breaking if the box is dropped.

Start with the flat items such as plates and saucers first. Wrap each in newspaper or brown packing paper. Stack them on top of each other in the bottom of the storage box. The paper will keep the pieces of china from hitting together during the moving process helping to eliminate the chance of breakage. As you pack each item be sure to notate what is being put in each box. A notebook is a great way to keep track so that you don't leave any smaller items in the box.

Surround the items in the box with shredded paper. This will keep the items from knocking against the sides of the box. The idea is to pack the box as tightly as possible so that there is no room for any movement to occur.

Wrap glassware such as wine goblets in newspaper or brown packing paper and lay them on their sides in the top of the box. Pack them as tightly as possible. Finish off the box with a layer of shredded paper and secure the lid.

How to Pack Crystal Figurines for Moving

Complete Steps 1 through 3 as outlined above. Regardless of what fragile items you are packing you should always start your boxes that contain breakable items in the same manner.

Place small figurines that have many protruding parts (such as ears or tails on small animal figurines) in the individual sections of an egg carton. Be sure to test for height to make sure nothing will be broken when the lid is closed.

Place items that are too tall to be packed an egg carton but too small to be packed individually in small storage containers. Reusable kitchen storage containers work great for this. Place several in a container lined with shredded paper and cover with additional paper to keep from breaking.

Wrap larger items in brown packing paper or newspaper. Place these items in the box first. If you are layering items be sure to place a layer of shredded paper between each section to avoid the pieces from hitting together.

Place smaller more fragile items such as those in the small storage containers and in egg cartons in the top of the box. Cover with additional shredded paper.


  • Instead of allowing the moving company to load these boxes in the moving van pack them in your personal vehicle. Label your boxes carefully so that you can easily tell what is in each box quickly. This will make unpacking easier. Have help when carrying these boxes. Sometimes these boxes can be extremely heavy and will require the help of an additional person.


  • Never pack smaller saucers on top of larger plates. This may cause damage. Pack heavier items that are less likely to get broken in the bottom of the box and smaller more lightweight items near the top of the box. Avoid back injury when moving by hiring a moving company and using a dolly to move heavy items. Do not allow your newsprint to become wet. This will cause it to fade onto your items.