How to Pack Fragile Items for Moving

Couple packing fragile items in bubblewrap for moving
Image source: antoniodiaz /

Moving house can get very hectic, especially when you don’t have time to pack all your stuff. And, if that’s not enough, the fragile items need their own special wrap so they can arrive at your destination in one piece. Packing fragile items is one of the hardest parts of moving luckily we have experts who share tips on how to safely pack such items.

Keep reading to see how to pack fragile items safely…

The 7 golden rules of packing

No matter what you’re packing, there are a few very important rules you should always follow, so there are no accidents on the way.

  • You never have enough packing supplies. Get as much as possible packing materials: all box sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, stretch wrap, blankets, packing paper, etc.
  • Do not overpack! Boxes shouldn’t exceed the limit of 25-30 pounds. This is especially important when packing books inside cardboard boxes or other heavy items. It’s not just bad for the box, but it’s going to be hard on your back as well.
  • Fill empty gaps in the boxes using old newspapers, packing papers, or just old rags. This will keep them from clattering around.
  • Always label the boxes. This way you can know what is where. You can choose between several methods of labeling moving boxes to see which one would suit your style of packing best.
  • Use double-wall boxes for heavier items. Double-tape the bottom of the boxes.
  • Place small packages inside a larger outer box.
  • The heavier the item, the smaller the box.
  • Pack items per room – bathroom stuff, bedroom stuff, kitchen stuff, etc should be packed together.

Tools and packing materials you’ll need

  • Boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Dish and glass packers
  • Markers
  • Newspaper or packing paper
  • Packing peanuts
  • Plastic furniture covers
  • Tape
  • Towels 
  • Scissors
  • Label maker

How to pack plates, glasses, cups, and bowls

Packing dishes and glasses for moving house
Image license:CC BY-SA 4.0 / Image Owner: Fantastic Removals

Fragile glass or porcelain plates should be packed in small, or mostly medium-size boxes. To start packing, you need packing paper or cloth towels. If you’re looking to save money on packing materials, you can even use your own dishes and towels to pack your plates. This way you’re saving on packing paper and on several boxes as you’ll be putting two things together. 

  • Layer the bottom of the box with several layers of paper or towels.
  • Take a single piece of packing paper, preferably something big and place it on the table.
  • Put down the first plate. Wrap and add the next plate on top of the packed one. Layer with paper and continue this process until the plates finish.
  • Fold the edges around the plate, until you have a wrapped piece, like a present.
  • Put them in the box vertically. When packing into the box, the plates should be on their sides. This is to avoid breakage. Repeat until you fill the box.
  • Fill the gaps with paper or anything you can find.
  • Close and label the box.
  • If you happen to get really big sheets of paper, you can try using one sheet on two plates. This will both save you materials and provide some extra protection.
  • Glasses should be individually wrapped and also placed vertically inside the box. Fill in the gaps as well.
  • Place heavier and larger items at the bottom of the box.

The tricky thing is to wrap wine glasses – first wrap a piece of paper around the stem of the glass, then fill the inside with another piece of paper and then wrap it in another piece of paper just like the rest of your glasses and mugs. This is the safest way to keep such glasses safe during a move. 

If you happen to get really big sheets of paper, you can try using one sheet on two plates. This will both save you materials and provide some extra protection.

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Check also:

How to Pack Dishes and Glasses for a Move

How to pack books

Moving to Norway from the UK

How to pack lamps

For lampshades, it’s more appropriate to use bubble wrap, but it won’t hurt to arm yourself with some more packing paper as well. For this, you need extra tall boxes. Lamp sizes are different, so you might have to measure to make sure this is the box for you.

  • First and foremost, disassemble the lamps as much as you can and keep their parts together.
  • Remove everything that can be removed – the bulb, the shade, the cords.
  • Reinforce the bottom of the box with packing tape.
  • Do not be shy with the tape, and make the bottom as firm as possible.
  • Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the empty box.
  • Wrap the base of the lamp with bubble wrap.
  • Roll the bubble wrap around the sides and secure with tape. Then, fold the top and bottom of the bubble wrap and secure it with tape again.
  • Place the lamp in the box base down.
  • Fill the gaps with cloth or packing paper, do not put anything else that’s fragile inside.

How to pack framed pictures/mirrors

Removals professional packing a framed picture
Image license:CC BY-SA 4.0 / Image Owner: Fantastic Removals

For these, you need to use lots of packing paper, bubble wrap and tape.

  • Wrap each item with bubble wrap and tape them well.
  • Take each picture frame, or mirror and wrap it three times in the shape of a six-pointed star. This will keep the glass from shifting from the frame and avoid breakage.
  • Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box. Ask your moving company about special boxes for mirrors
  • and paintings, some companies offer such options.
  • Wrap pieces in packing paper or bubble wrap.

  • Fill the gaps, use packing paper or other unneeded clothes.

Do not mix plates and picture frames in one box. It will only make labelling more confusing and make your unpacking lengthier.

How to pack irregularly shaped items

With irregularly shaped objects, for example, an abstract statue, it’s important to designate the most vulnerable parts, and start from there.

  • Use the bubble wrap.
  • Just like we did with the fragile lamp, you need to make sure every part of your sculpture is covered with at least two layers of bubble wrap. Secure it well with packing tape.
  • Make your own box.
  • Here, we need to be creative, just like the artist who made that irregularly shaped figure. Place your sculpture on a piece of cardboard. Place another piece of cardboard on top and have more cardboard pieces waiting just in case. Bend the cardboard enough to cover all of your sculpture and wrap it very tightly in packing tape.
  • Label the new box, FRAGILE.
  • Or simply use open crates to transport your packed irregularly shaped objects.
  • To pack electronics, using their original boxes is the safest method.

Boxes Labelling tips 

  • Label boxes with the room they belong to. 
  • Write “This side up” and an arrow to point to which side of the box should be facing up.
  • If you have the time, you can also try and write down some of the contents of the box on it so you can easily find what you need when it’s time to unpack.
  • You can use a colouring system to separate the boxes based on the room they’re are for. It’s easier to load them onto the moving van and to unload them in the right room just by scanning the boxes. 
  • Label multiple sides of the boxes. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the best packing material for fragile items?

Some of the best materials you can use for packing fragile items are: bubble wrap, Styrofoam packing peanuts, foam sheets, and even blankets or towels. 

Where can I get packing materials from?

To be safe with your packing, especially for breakable items, you should find sturdy boxes and quality packing paper, bubble wrap, etc. However, you can also use your towels, clothes and bed linen even to pack items. You can also get some stuff from your local stores – cardboard boxes, crates, etc. But if you hire a moving company, they will probably offer you quality packing materials. 

Is bubble wrap or dish foam better?

Ddish foam comes in precut sheets that are harder to work with while bubble wrap is very easy to use. For some items such as picture frames, or mirrors, dish foam might be a better option though.

DIY vs Hiring Professional Packing Service

Many people choose to pack everything on their own and they do a good job at it, while some people end up damaging their belongings because of their lack of knowledge or use of improper materials. You can also turn to professional packers if you’re short on time or if you have too many household items to pack and need help. At Fantastic Removals, we can help with packing and even deliver you quality packing materials and boxes. 


Moving doesn’t have to be accompanied by the stress of breaking something you love. Knowing how to pack fragile items for moving is the first step to give yourself peace of mind. Or, simply rely on professional packers – that’s a reliable option too.

We hope this post helps you do your packing safely if you’re eager to do so. We’ve gathered professional tips as well as tips from customers to give you a detailed list of packing tips. Good luck!

Check also:

How to Pack Like a Pro

Packing Hacks for a Stress-free Moving

Where to Get Free Boxes for Packing

What to Do with Empty Boxes after Unpacking

Unpacking Tips and Tricks

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