How to Pack Glasses When Moving

packing supplies and glasses

The Spruce / Michele Lee 

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

When preparing to move kitchen items, you need to be extra careful when packing fragile items such as glasses and cups. There are a few easy steps you can take when packing your glassware to ensure each one arrives at your new home in one piece.

For glasses and other glassware, use a medium-sized box rather than a large box, which may get too heavy and awkward to move. You'll also need packing paper, newsprint, towels, or other soft material—anything that can be easily wrapped around each glass or set of glasses. You can use bubble-wrap, but remember that it's hard to recycle and expensive to buy. Other materials that are free work just as well. If you decide to use old newspapers, be aware that you'll have to wash the glasses after they arrive at your new home to get rid of the black ink.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Marker

Materials

  • Medium-sized boxes
  • Packing paper, newsprint, old towels, or bubble wrap
  • Packing tape

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Box

    If you're using paper, whether it's packing paper or newsprint, crumple up several sheets, enough 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 or sheets, 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 your stack of paper or towels on the table or counter. Take one glass or mug and place it in one corner of the stack of paper or towels 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 Identical Glasses Two-at-a-Time

    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. Follow the above instructions, and once you've used half the paper sheet and the first glass is fully wrapped and protected, add the second glass next to it and continue wrapping, stuffing the paper ends into the second glass's opening.

    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. 

    Place the glass or set of glasses into the box on top of the crumpled paper or stacked towels. 

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

    Keep wrapping your glasses into single or double packages and place them one on top of another. Make sure heavy; larger glasses are on the bottom and lighter glasses on top.

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

    For glasses that have a fragile stem such as wine glasses, you can follow the steps above, but as you start to wrap the glass, make sure you wrap the stem first. Use half a sheet to wrap the stem, then place it on the stack of paper and start rolling. This ensures that the most fragile part of the glass is well protected. Also, you should only wrap one stemmed glass at a time rather than two, and 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

    Make sure you don't stuff the box full and that you leave room at the top for extra packing material. Make sure that the amount of crumpled paper that you added to the bottom of the box is the same amount that you add to the top. Or if you're using towels or other materials, leave enough room to add a thick layer 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. Always mark the box as "fragile" 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 

Other Packing Tips

  • Ask a wine store or specialty liquor store if they can give you some divided boxes, which will provide extra protection for your glassware.
  • If you pack stacks of glasses in a box with other fragile items, make sure the glasses are put in last, on top of the other items.
  • Don't over-pack the box; however, make sure there isn't space where glasses can shift about. Extra space should be filled with rolled-up newspaper or bubble wrap.