How to Pack Glasses When Moving

Best Wrapping Materials and Moving Hacks for Fragile Items

packing supplies and glasses

The Spruce / Michele Lee 

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0 to $20

Whether you're moving to another city, out of your state, or even just across town, different belongings in your home require special care to ensure they arrive at your new place without damage. While you might choose to throw a tag sale and get rid of things you'd rather not move, most items in your kitchen usually make the journey with you. That's especially true of things like drinking glasses that you'll need as soon as you move in.

Learning how to pack fragile items properly doesn't take long at all, and it helps ensure your delicate glassware and ceramic mugs make it to your new home in one piece. Below, discover the best ways to pack glasses, mugs, and cups to protect these kitchen necessities on moving day.

Before You Begin

Choosing Boxes

It's helpful to look for gently-used boxes and packing materials. Boxes can be used over and over again. For mugs and glassware, use a medium-sized box rather than a large box, which may get too heavy and awkward to move. A divided box with a cell pack inside can be helpful, but it's not required.

Before packing, look closely at the boxes you'll be using. Make sure the bottom is taped firmly shut. The last thing you want is to carefully pack your delicate glassware only to watch it fall to the floor when the bottom of the box fails to hold.


Ask for boxes at liquor stores. These tend to be sturdier than most and can stand up to a lot of jostling during the move without damaging the items inside.

Packing Materials

To pack fragile items, look for packing paper, newspaper, bubble wrap, or another soft material—anything that can be easily wrapped around each glass or set of glasses. You can also use hand towels if you don't have these materials.

Remember that bubble wrap is hard to recycle and expensive to buy. Other materials that are free work just as well. If you use old newspapers, be aware that they might leave smudges, so you'll have to wash the glasses after they arrive at your new home to eliminate the black ink.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Marker
  • Scissors


  • Medium-sized boxes
  • Packing paper, newspaper, old towels, or bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Box dividers (optional)


How to Pack Glasses When Moving

Glasses should be packed with the heaviest items on the bottom and the lightest items on top. Wrap every individual glass in packing paper or bubble wrap before securing it in the box. Additional packing material should be added below and above the wrapped glasses for extra cushion.

  1. Prepare the Box

    If you're using packing paper or newspaper, crumple up enough sheets to cover the bottom of the box. Crumpling the paper will provide enough cushioning to protect the glasses from hitting the bottom, and it will protect the glasses if the box is accidentally dropped.

    If you're using towels, make sure you have a thick enough layer on the bottom to protect the contents from bumps.

    person crumpling packing paper
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  2. Wrap Big, Heavy Glasses

    Always wrap and pack the biggest, heaviest glasses first. You'll be placing these on the bottom of the box with lighter glasses on top.

    Using a flat, clean surface, lay out your stack of paper or towels. Take one glass or mug and place it in one corner of the packing material at an angle. Start to roll the glass or mug, and as it rolls, stuff the ends of the paper or towel into the opening of the glass. Wrap until the glass is completely covered.

    person wrapping each glass one at a time
    The Spruce / Michele Lee  
  3. Wrap Stackable and Similar Glasses

    Sort glasses, cups, and mugs into groups of similar sizes. Use scissors to cut packing paper or bubble wrap sheets in half for smaller items.

    If you have large sheets of paper, you can save packaging materials by wrapping two glasses in one sheet. This works best if the glasses are the same size.

    • Glasses of the same size: Follow the above instructions. Once you've used half of the paper sheet and the first glass is wrapped, add the second glass next to it and continue wrapping. Stuff the paper ends into the opening.
    • Stackable glasses: Place a thin sheet of packing paper inside the first glass, then nest another glass inside of it. You can nest multiple glasses this way. Wrap the entire stack in packing materials and tuck the ends inside the top glass.
    person wrapping a second glass next to the first one
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  4. Box Up the First Layer

    Now that your glass or glasses are wrapped, fold over the ends at the bottom of the glass, creating a nice tight package.

    You shouldn't be able to feel the cup's edges at this point. If you can, you may need to wrap another layer of paper depending on whether the glass has a handle or a large lip. 

    a box of wrapped glasses
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  5. Fill the Box

    Place the wrapped items in the box with large, heavy glasses on the bottom and lighter glasses on top. If you're using a box with dividers, they should slip easily into the small spaces. Add in a little packing material to help ensure a snug fit and prevent jostling when moving the box around.

    If there are no dividers, place the wrapped glasses neatly in rows. Use more packing paper or bubble wrap between each item to help prevent breakage.


    If you have plastic cups, you can pack wrapped glassware inside of them. Some fragile items may be the perfect size to slip into larger cups or tumblers. This provides an extra layer of protection against shock during the move.

    person adding extra packing paper to the top of the box
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  6. Wrap Wine Glasses

    Pack wine glasses for moving by wrapping the stem first. Use half a sheet to wrap the stem, then place it on the stack of paper and start rolling the rest of the glass. This ensures that the most fragile part is well protected.

    Only wrap one stemmed glass at a time. These glasses should always be packed in the box last, leaving lots of room for extra cushioning at the top of the box.

    person wrapping up a champagne flute
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  7. Cushion the Top

    Leave room at the top of the box for packing material. Once the box is almost full, add crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap.

    Aim to add the same amount of packing material to the top as you added to the bottom. If you're using towels or other materials, ensure there is room for a thick layer of cushion on top.

    person making sure to leave space at the top of the moving box
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  8. Check and Seal the Box

    Before you seal the box closed, gently shake it back and forth. You shouldn't be able to hear any glass clicking or feel much shifting of its contents. 

    Once you're happy with the packing, seal the box closed with packing tape and label it, noting what's inside and which room it belongs in. Mark the box as "Fragile: glassware" so that the movers know to be careful when handling it.

    person taping up a moving box
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
    person writing "fragile" on a moving box
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  • What should you wrap glasses in when moving?

    Packing paper and bubble wrap are both very effective materials for packing glassware and other fragile items. You can also use a combination of these by wrapping the item in packing paper, then securing bubble wrap around it with tape.

  • How do you pack glasses for moving without paper?

    If you don't have packing paper when packing glasses, you can use towels, newspaper, or bubble wrap. When opting for towels, choose smaller varieties like hand towels to wrap each glass individually.

  • Should glasses be packed upside down?

    You can pack glasses face-up or upside down depending on which way they fit best into the box.