How to Pack Dishes for Moving

wrapping up dishes and bowls for moving

 The Spruce

If you're packing and moving to another house, you'll need to know how to pack fragile dinnerware to ensure it gets to your new home in one piece. So when it comes to packing the kitchen, dishes, including plates, need to be packed properly. Find out how with this easy step-by-step guide to packing dishes and flatware to ensure they safely arrive at your new home.

Packing Supply List

  • Several sturdy medium-sized boxes, new or used
  • Packing paper or newsprint (if you use newsprint or newspapers to pack, you'll have to wash the dishes well after you unpack to remove any ink that transferred to the dishes)
  • Packing tape
  • Marker for labelling

Prepare the Boxes

  • Whether you're packing with a used box or a new one, you should also reinforce the bottom with packing tape. Add a couple of layers of tape then test the bottom by pushing on it with your hand.
  • Take the packing paper or newsprint and ball up several sheets into wads of paper. You'll use this to line the bottom and top of the box.
  • Choose a medium-size box that you've reinforced and add the wadded up paper making sure they cover the bottom. You could also use bubble wrap, but bubble wrap is expensive and difficult to recycle.

Wrap Each Dish

  • Place a stack of packing paper or newsprint on your work surface. The sheets should be large enough to accommodate the dishes you need to pack.
  • Place the first dish in the center of the top sheet and fold one corner of the sheet over the plate until it's completely covered.
  • Take the next dish and place it on top of the first one. Wrap the remaining three corners of the plain newsprint sheet over the second dish.
  • Secure the newsprint with packing tape.
wrapping dishes one at a time with packing paper
The Spruce

Box Up the Dishes

  • Place the two dishes in the box of the box on their sides. Plates should never be packed flat as this can lead to breaking. If the box encounters any force, plates on their edge can sustain a lot more pressure than if they're laid flat on the bottom of the box.
  • Continue wrapping and placing the dishes in the box until the box is tightly packed as shown in the picture.
  • If there is room remaining in the box, place linens or towels on top of the dishes or use more balled up wads of paper to fill the gaps before sealing the box. Secure the box closed with strong packing tape.
  • Mark the box as fragile, list the items on the outside and their location, such as "kitchen" or "dining room."

Load Boxes in the Truck

If you're renting a moving truck, instead of hiring movers, make sure you know how to load the boxes on the truck to prevent any breakage.

  • Boxes marked as fragile should be packed on the floor of the truck rather than high on top of other items.
  • You should pack fragile boxes beneath large pieces of furniture such as desks or tables or secure them in cabinets whose doors you can fasten closed. This way boxes won't shift during the move.

Additional Packing Tips

  • Place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
  • If you don't have a lot of packing paper or bubble wrap, use linens or towels as cushioning.
  • The box you use shouldn't be too big. Remember, the maximum weight should be 50 lbs maximum.