In the midst of full packing up your stuff and loading it, you can easily destroy or damage your dishes, opening yourself up to a lot of unnecessary expenses and frustration. Luckily, such incidents can be avoided by simply taking extra care when packing the dishes to ensure that they arrive at the destination intact. In this article, we are going to briefly explore how to pack for a move safe!
How to Pack Dishes for Moving: Packing Material
Let’s kick off our exploration with the types of packing material to choose when packing dishes. Your choice of packing material is very critical to ensure the safety of dishes, regardless of the type of dishes in question, whether fragile or not.
Space Fillers – Packing Paper & Packing Nuts
The biggest threat to the safety of your dishes is free space, sometimes referred to as “wiggle room”. Dishes can never fill in your packing container fully, there are bound to be those corners and gaps on the side or top, which remain unoccupied. Such spaces will allow your dishes to move or wiggle in transit, which is a sure way to break them. That space also reduces the effectiveness of any cushioning wrapping like bubble wrap.
Now, this is where space-filling packing material comes in handy. You can use either packing paper or even packing nuts to fill up that extra space and hold the dishes steady in one position during transit. Packing paper is, however, the best solution if you have it handy. It’s also quite affordable and can even be substituted with newsprint paper, so use as much as you can until you are satisfied that the dishes have no more room to wiggle.
If you are moving different types of dishes, remember that packing paper works best with fragile dishes such as china and glassware. Wrap each unit individually with a considerable layer of the paper and stuff the inside as well to make it even more resistant to impact damage. Other dish materials such as metal, plastic, and other composites require less paper but never overlook them because they too can suffer damage in transit.
This one is a bit obvious, however, some people often get tempted to use strings, ropes, and all sorts of alternatives to tie-up their containers. That is definitely a bad idea! Use proper packing tape to ensure a solid and unwavering hold. Other tying methods often leave slack on the container, which can easily give the dishes some freedom to wiggle, resulting in damage. Packing tape ensures that your tying positing holds firm all the way. It’s also a great way to get the packing paper to stay intact around individual items.
All your careful placing will surely be in vain if the container remains unmarked. Never overlook the labeling part for each box to ensure that everyone involved can clearly identify the contents and treat the container accordingly. If you don’t have proper labels, you can make your own with a marker or white paper stuck with packing tape. Be sure to label each box or container in several positions for visibility as well as clearly indicate which side goes up.
Dish boxes are a great way to pack your dishes. As suggested by their name, they are specifically designed to store dishes during transit. Their internal design properly cradles the contents and minimizes free movement. Their frame is also quite thick and sturdy as compared to regular boxes. This improves the shock-absorbing qualities of the box and cushions the contents from impact forces that would otherwise damage your fragile contents.
Dish boxes can, however, be a bit more expensive to procure for all your fragile dishes. If your budget can’t stretch that far, you can fashion a stronger box of your own. Simply line the insides of a regular box with cardboard material, then bubble wrap or paper padding. This will create a thicker layer which can absorb more impact forces than the bare box.
Best Way to Pack for Moving
Once all your material is in place, it’s time to get everything boxed up in preparation for the lifting muscles. Here are a few steps to help guide you through the packing process:
- Sort your fragile dishes by shape and size. Never mix different sizes of items e.g. china plates and mugs, unless well separated with a hard cardboard and packing paper.
- Prepare your container by ensuring it has no weak points. Thoroughly tape it together on the joints, especially at the bottom. China and glassware tend to be very heavy, which can easily cause the joints to rupture.
- Now, add the padding, ensuring a thick layer of more than 5 inches at the base where the dishes will rest. Remember to crumple up the paper instead of folding it.
- Once the box is ready, sit the dish on top of a flat sheet (or 3) of packing paper and then wrap it, following its shape. Use the packing tape to secure it in place once you’re satisfied with the paper padding.
- Stack the dishes in the box to its maximum, making sure you can close it properly without the box cover interfering with the dishes. Once full, fill in the extra spaces with more packing paper or even cloth until the stack cannot move in any direction.
- Before closing the box, add more packing paper on top, between the cover and the top-most dish. Afterward, use tape to seal it shut.
- Don’t forget to stick on the label somewhere easily visible, such as on top of the box. Remember also to mark which side should go up with a simple arrow pointing upwards on all sides of the box, preferably in red.
As we wind up, always pack the heaviest dishes on the bottom of the container for better weight distribution and easy handling. Also, keep the number of dishes in any box to the minimum for two reasons. Because boxes can rarely take heavy weights exceeding 45 pounds, so it might cave under the load. If something happens to the box, such as being hit hard or dropped, you will want to keep the damage to a minimum number of dishes. If all of the dishes are packed in one box, any damage will wipe all your china and glassware out! Lastly, enjoy the packing experience and bon voyage!