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At first glance, packing a kitchen for a move may not seem that difficult–especially if yours is nice and clean. There’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. But once the shelves, cupboards, and drawers are opened, you’ll find a lot of items of different sizes and uses. Knowing how to pack kitchen items suddenly seems a little harder.

Glasses, plates, and other fragile items need extra care. Pots and pans should be easy enough, but those handles get in the way and the lids don’t stack very well. And what about all of those smaller kitchen appliances? A simple job has turned into an engineering nightmare.

How to Pack Kitchen Items

A little bit of patience and planning (and a whole lot of packing material) will help keep you organized and make sure everything stays in one piece during the move. Here are some tips on how to pack kitchen items to help you out.

  • Dishes
  • Glasses
  • Pots/Pans
  • Silverware/Utensils
  • Food items
  • Small Appliances
  • Other Items

You’ll also need plenty of packing boxes and packing materials, such as packing paper or bubble wrap. The kitchen is one area where extra care is required. After all, a box full of clothes won’t get damaged if you take a speed bump too fast, but a box of glasses might.


Packing dishes is pretty straightforward, although we suggest a slight twist–a 90-degree twist. Instead of placing them laying down, turn the dishes so they are on their side. Similar to how you load plates and bowls into a dishwasher, just make sure the boxes are full enough that everything stays vertical.

Of course, you still need to wrap each piece in packing paper. Another thing to consider is the weight of your dishes. While there are boxes specifically made for dishes, a heavy box is hard to lift no matter how it’s packed. If you have fine china, dinner party, and everyday place settings, pack each separately.


No matter if you’re a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person, all glasses need extra attention. We recommend investing in boxes specifically made for glasses. With little dividers that can be placed within the box (think of a case of wine or 12-pack of beer), these will keep glasses somewhat stable during the move.

There still needs to be padding in each little compartment to keep the glasses from moving too much. Also, place the glasses top down to improve their stability, this includes stemware. Smaller glasses can be individually wrapped and stacked if need be. Just make sure the box doesn’t get too heavy.

And save the beer and wine for when you’re done with the packing.


Your heavy-duty pots and pans still need a soft touch. You don’t want to damage the cooking surface – or the other contents in the box. You may just stack them at home, but when packing, there should be a layer of packing paper between each piece.

Take care with the lids as well, especially if they are glass. You may consider packing them separately or with the plates. As always, keep an eye on the weight of the box – especially with those cast-iron beauties. You may want to double up on the packing tape on the bottom of the box.


Silverware doesn’t need quite the attention as other items on the list. But that doesn’t mean you can just empty the silverware tray into a box and call it good. Take the time to wrap the silverware together to keep it secure, or even wrap up the tray itself. Wrapping all spatulas, wood spoons, and whisks together makes for quick unpacking.

Cutlery needs some care to make sure the sharp edges and pointy tips are protected. Both so they don’t break off and you don’t cut yourself when unpacking. Label these boxes clearly to give yourself a heads-up.


For many, the perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer is an afterthought. With local moving, there isn’t much concern – just pack it up and away you go. For longer moves, those chicken thighs or a half gallon of milk may not survive the trip. Instead of throwing it all out – or finding friends or family members that want a half-eaten package of hot dogs – consider packing a cooler.

With enough ice, the food should be able to survive a day or two and you’ll have something to cook up when you get to your destination. Most condiments can make the trip without being kept cool and veggies can go a couple of days. Even some freezer items can help keep things cool.

No matter what you do, though, some food will need to be sacrificed. Except for the ice cream – go ahead and finish that off. Pantry and cupboard food is no issue of course. Cereal boxes, vegetable oil, and Tupperware containers can be packed in boxes, just make sure the lids are secured.

Countertop canisters should be individually wrapped to protect their finish. Take extra care of glass canisters – nothing ruins a moving experience like opening a box full of broken glass and sugar. You may want to consider packing these items by themselves in small boxes with lots of padding.


Appliances can be tricky. You don’t want to have to carry out each appliance on its own. But it’ll take a big box to handle a toaster, blender, mixer, coffee maker, and any other doo-dads you bought while watching late-night tv. Consider breaking down appliances when you can and use plenty of packing material.

Pack the glass pieces – like the mixer jar or French press – as you would a very large glass. Or put a single appliance in a box and fill it in with odds and ends. If you still have the original box for the waffle maker, use it: it will make for easier loading by itself or inside a larger box. That large, heavy mixer will do well on its own all wrapped up, but the bowl and attachments can be put in a box.

Other Items

All that’s left are odds and ends, like plastic wrap, dish towels, tin foil, plastic bags, and so on. A few of these items (towels and bags) can be used as packing materials and the rest will fill nooks and crannies in other boxes. Or they can all be piled into a separate box–everything is relatively light so you don’t need to worry about the weight of the box.

Kitchen packing for a move can be a big undertaking. If you’re overwhelmed – or need to move in a hurry – consider calling full-service professional movers. Smooth Move People have been packing kitchens (and living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and more) for decades and know how to keep everything safe and sound. If you need help with your move–contact us today.

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