How To Pack Dishes & Fine China

When packing china and other fragile items for a long-distance move, United recommends using a dish pack. Dish packs are typically sturdier corrugated cartons of double-wall construction made for packing china, glassware and other fragile items less than 18 inches in size.

Packing Tips for Breakable Dishes

  1. Wrap and stack plates in bundles up to four and bowls in bundles of two to three. Wrap china separately before bundling.
  2. Wrap glasses and mugs individually.
  3. Wrap the stem of a wine glass with a folded sheet of paper before wrapping in packing paper.
  4. Wrap items with lids, such as teapots, in paper and then wrap in additional paper creating a bundle.
  5. Pack items in the dish pack lined with crumpled paper, beginning with the heaviest items first. Place bundles of plates and bowls on their side. Build layers separated with cardboard and use cell packs for glasses and stemware, as well as collectibles or other breakables.

Packing Dishes

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are typically used as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.

Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls can make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items. Depending on their weight, these might be used either as the bottom or middle layers. Wrap the same way as flat plates.

Packing Fine China

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually in clean paper. Using several sheets of paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newspaper serves well as an outer wrapping. A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is suggested for all china and glassware.

Packing Wine Glasses

Proper preparation and packing can minimize the risk of damage to wine glasses and wine spoilage. United Van Lines offers specially designed boxes to pack bottles and glassware.

Packing Bowls

Stand shallow bowls on edge in the carton and deeper ones (such as mixing bowls) nested, two or three together, upside down on their rims. Even when using a dish pack for china, wrap the cups individually, protecting handles with an extra layer of paper. Pack all cups upside down. If not using a dish pack or cells, wrap cups as previously described in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Complete the layer as for plates.

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