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Packing is one of the biggest tasks of moving to a new home or apartment. Tossing items into a packing box with little forethought might seem the easiest option, but it will only cause frustration when unpacking. And when it comes to how to pack dishes, you don’t want to end up with a bunch of broken plates.

It is important to pack dishes for moving and other fragile items properly, so they are left intact during transit in the moving truck, car, or whatever vehicle you’re using. Packing glasses, bowls, cookware, and more safely is one part of how to pack dishes, and proper placement in the truck is the other.

How to Pack Dishes

Having a plan will make packing dishes go that much faster. Here are the steps you should follow to make quick work of your dishes and keep them safe during the move.

  • Gather packing materials
  • Stage plates, bowls, glasses, and other dishes
  • Hold out dishes you’ll need for the final few days
  • Prepare boxes
  • Wrap dishes
  • Load boxes
  • Load boxes onto the truck

Gather packing materials

Packing dishes need a little more attention than toys, clothes, and other housewares because of their fragility. As such, you’ll need some specific materials. Obviously you’ll need boxes and packing tape, but you’ll also need bubble wrap, packing paper, or other materials to cushion the dishes and glasses.

There are also boxes specifically designed for plates, bowls, and so on. They have thicker sides to add a little more protection. In some cases, they may even come with cushion packs that fit perfectly in the box to place in between dishes. But ordinary cardboard boxes will work just fine, too.

Stage plates, bowls, glasses, and other dishes

Get everything out of the cupboards and place them on a flat surface so you have an idea of what you’re working with. You’ll be able to group similar dishes together while keeping an eye on odd pieces that may be able to fill in some spaces.

Hold out dishes you’ll need for the final few days

Packing is stressful enough without waiting until the last second to pack everything up. As you gradually start packing dishes, leave out a few settings so you have something to eat on and drink with once everything else is packed up. Or you could invest in some paper plates and plastic silverware–or just eat out a lot.

Prepare boxes

Whether you have specially designed dish boxes or normal moving boxes, you’ll want to make sure any box used for dishes is reinforced along the bottom. Don’t be stingy with the packing tape here–dishes can be heavy! Label all boxes as dishes or fragile so they’re easy to identify when loading and unloading.

Unfold the boxes, close the bottom, and tape away. Line the bottom of the boxes with a few inches of crumpled paper. We recommend using small or medium-sized boxes for your dishes so there’s no wasted room. As we said, dishes are heavy, and loading up a large box may make it too heavy to lift.

Wrap dishes

Wrap each dish individually–this includes plates, cooking ware, and glassware individually to avoid breaking any dishes during the moving process. Pull out some packing paper and fold one corner of the paper under the dish. Then bring the packing paper diagonally over the plate and wrap it under the plate. Then crinkle the sides around the edge of the plates, bowls, and other flatware.

For glasses, wrap packing paper around the sides and fold the edges into the glass opening. This will add a buffer for stacking glasses. Do the same for mugs, wine glasses, and other stemware. These may need a little extra paper for cushion, or a lot of cushions once you load them into the boxes.

Load boxes

After wrapping the dishes, it’s time to start loading up the boxes. Flat plates should be placed on their sides as if you were storing vinyl records. This keeps the plates from bouncing up and down on each other if you hit a pothole and speed bump a little too fast. Make sure the bottom of the box is completely covered on the bottom with crumpled paper.

Make sure to add crumpled paper, hand towels, or even folder socks to fill in gaps so there is no shifting when the boxes are moved. Keep heavier items on the bottom of the boxes so they can provide a base for other smaller, lighter items. Delicate glasses and plates should get plenty of cushioning.

Load boxes onto the truck

The boxes can be placed near each other in the moving vehicle, but we don’t recommend stacking the boxes too high or at all. One sharp turn can send the boxes flying! Make sure they are packed in tight (but not too tight) with other items to keep them from sliding around at all.

How to Pack Dishes: Work With The Pros!

Need an extra hand for your upcoming move? Our team at Smooth Move People will help get everything packed, loaded, and delivered to your new space. We have decades of experience wrapping, loading, and unloading dish boxes and other fragile items. Moving is stressful even without the extra work of packing everything–let us handle the heavy lifting!

We’ve moved people across town, across the river, and even across the country. If you have a move coming up, schedule with us and we’ll come up with a plan. We offer the lowest prices in Oregon and offer built-in insurance with many of our moves. So contact us today and see how we can help.

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