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Hands packing up breakable, fragile glassware and wrapping it into wrapping bubble wrap. Preparation to move to new home.

How To Pack Fragile Items (2024 Guide) 

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Default Author Icon Written by Shane Sentelle Updated 05/03/2024

Moving day can be stressful, especially when it comes to packing your cherished fragile items. Packing your fragile items doesn’t need to be a daunting task, though. In this guide, we offer tips on how to pack your fragile items safely while you prepare for your move. We cover everything from choosing the correct box to correct taping techniques and more.

Want a visual tutorial on packing dishes and glasses? Check out the video below.

Packing Breakable Items for a Move

When packing breakable items, always use durable supplies to ensure boxes don’t break, tape remains secure, and bubble wrap protects your delicate items. Read our additional packing tips below for simple but effective ways to keep your stuff from breaking.

Choose the Correct Box

The type of moving box you use while packing is important, and small boxes are frequently the best choice for packing fragile objects. Small boxes are easy to carry and restrict item movement that might happen in a larger box. Ensure your box is thick and has built-in handles, and add an extra layer of tape underneath for more protection. Label these boxes with a “Fragile” sticker. 

Restrict Movement

Empty space in a box allows fragile items to shift, crack, and break. To restrict movement within a box, stuff empty areas with crumpled paper, clothing, and other cushioning. 

Use a Soft Layer To Pad Items

Wrap your breakables in bubble wrap and packing paper. For further protection, line the sides and bottom of the cardboard box interior with bubble wrap and add an extra layer on top before sealing the box. You can also pad the bottom of the box with packing peanuts. 

Put the Heaviest Items on the Bottom

If your box is too top-heavy, it can topple over during transport. Placing your heavier items on the bottom of a box will help protect your fragile items and keep the box balanced during transport. 

Don’t Skimp on Tape

Packing tape can be as important as bubble wrap when packing fragile objects. Securing bubble wrap with tape will ensure the protective layers around your fragile items remain in place and don’t slip. You can also tape your boxes along the seams to reinforce the boxes’ edges. 

Fill Hollow Items

Hollow items such as vases, glasses, jars, and bowls are especially vulnerable to damage. Fill these items with paper, tissues, socks, or bubble wrap to reinforce structural integrity. Tape the opening of your hollow object to ensure any filler remains inside, and then wrap the object in packing paper or bubble wrap.

Label Your Boxes Correctly

Label boxes and containers clearly and descriptively so that anyone helping you move can identify which boxes contain fragile items. Keep these boxes separate from the rest to ensure they don’t get confused with boxes that are filled with durable items.

Packing Tips for Specific Fragile Items

Here’s how to pack different types of items so they’re protected during transport. 

Electronics: Pack fragile electronics, such as TVs or computer monitors, in their original boxes. If you don’t have the original packaging, wrap your items in bubble wrap, cover them in a moving blanket, and secure them with a cord, rope, or heavy-duty tape.
Framed artwork and photos: Wrap picture frames and artwork in a layer of bubble wrap. Lay packing paper on a table or the ground, place your frame face down, and wrap it again, securing the frame with packing tape. Pack frames and artwork in heavy-duty boxes.
Glassware: Fill fragile drinkware with packing paper, socks, or another filler, and wrap it in a layer of bubble wrap. Stack your glassware together in a box and fill any empty spaces with cushioning. You can also invest in specialty boxes with inserts that keep each glass separate during transport.
Lamps: Disassemble the lamp, store the hardware in a plastic bag, and tie the wire with a cord or twist tie. Wrap the prongs in bubble wrap, and surround the entire lamp in packing paper or bubble wrap.
Lampshades: Pack smaller lampshades inside bigger ones, and fill the inside of the top lampshade with packing paper to reinforce its structural integrity. Pad a moving box with bubble wrap or packing paper and place each lampshade upside-down in the box. 
Plates: Line your box with cushioning, wrap plates and china in bubble wrap, and place each plate on its side in the box. You can also invest in dish packs for extra protection.
Vases: Use packing paper to fill in a vase’s hollow space and wrap it in bubble wrap. Keep your delicate vases, ceramics, and other breakables in a sturdy box padded with extra cushioning.

Our Conclusion

Packing and moving your fragile items can be nerve-racking, but if you properly prepare, you can keep your prized possessions safe. Remember to stock up on plenty of bubble wrap, and when in doubt, use more. Consider hiring a moving company if you’re not confident in your ability to protect your fragile items. Reputable and experienced movers know how to pack everything, including your delicate objects.

FAQ About How To Pack Fragile Items

What is the best packing material for fragile items?

The best packing material for fragile items is bubble wrap. You can use bubble wrap to protect electronics, glassware, and more before packing them.

How do you pack fragile items without bubble wrap?

To pack fragile items without bubble wrap, surround the items with packing paper, packing peanuts, and newspapers. You can also use blankets, towels, and clothing to protect your breakable items.

How do you pack a vase?

You can pack a vase by stuffing it with newspaper, tissues, socks, or packing paper and then wrapping it in bubble wrap.

How do you pack fragile items for storage?

You can pack fragile items for storage by wrapping your items in bubble wrap, securing them with packing tape, and using cardboard dividers between objects. Fill empty spaces in the box with styrofoam peanuts, and choose a climate-controlled facility so that humidity and temperature shifts don’t cause items to break or crack.

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