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How to Pack Kitchen Items for a Move; Glasses, Dishes, Plates & More

Packing dishes, glasses, and plates for moving house is a big job and pretty much half of the packing process, with many movers preferring to do it themselves. If you can do it properly, you won’t need to worry about any broken expensive kitchen items during loading or transportation to your new home. 

In this detailed article, we will go through how to protect the different types of kitchenware by packing them with a lot of care and with suitable materials for the job. Your glasses, dishes, plates, and more will be kept secure with the help of the advice below.

How to pack plates for moving

This easy technique always works and is the most basic way to wrap a plate with paper. It is incredibly simple and comprehensive:

  • Ensure you have a flat and solid work surface to do the packing.
  • Cover it with packing paper or newspapers- gather papers that are wide enough for the plate you are going to pack. The size is right when there aren’t any areas of the plate that have been left exposed.
  • Position the plate in the centre of the paper sheet and gently fold one of the corners until the whole plate is covered.
  • Put another plate on top and cover it with one of the remaining edges- do this four times until the entire sheet is used to its full potential and all of the plates are completely covered with the paper.

Packing plates in moving boxes

The main rule is not to put plates flat inside cardboard boxes, always place them on their sides.

  • Use as much paper or other soft materials at the bottom of the box and on its sides.
  • Stack the plates together, putting one on top of another.
  • Lay the stacks of plates on their sides until the whole box is full.
  • Don’t leave any free space in the box, the plates should not be able to lean on their side.
  • If you find any gaps inside the moving box, fill the free space with some paper.
  • Label the top and bottom of the box after sealing it.
  • Add a fragile label and put the box to one side, it is ready to be loaded into the moving van later.

Packing plates in a dish barrel (a.k.a Dish-Pack)

A dish barrel is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to pack plates for moving house. Typically, a dish barrel has a capacity of roughly 5.6 cubic feet, which is ideal for accommodating all of your kitchenware inside. You can get your dish pack ready quickly by following the simple steps below.

Place heavier, solid items on the bottom of the dish box

Items like bakeware or frying pans are perfect for the job. Anything that has a higher density made of metal will provide a good foundation for the box, suitably preserving the items on top. Finish with packing paper on the top.

Use the middle part of the box for kitchen appliances and glassware which is thicker

Vases and beer mugs are just two examples of what can be placed in the middle layer of the dish box. If you want to have extra protection for the glassware, use a cell pack the size of the dish barrel.

Before putting on the top layer there should be some free space still

Pack this section with more free space and use towels, newspapers, or packing paper to fill it. Items like glassware, kitchen utensils, and plastic kitchen items would be a good fit for this layer of the dish box.

Get the dish barrel’s top layer ready for packing

Ensure the third layer is well finished with plenty of packing paper or bubble wrap to protect the items on the top. Whatever you put on top of the other three layers, double check that it is lighter than the items below. You should have the heavier things at the bottom and the lighter kitchenware progressively placed on top for efficient distributions of weight. If you are successful in this, the entire weight will be supported by the solid bottom and the fragile items on the top won’t be pushed down by anything.

Complete the dish barrel’s top with packing paper or bubble wrap and carefully seal it

Label the box if needed. If you are using a removal company, it is recommended that you label the box, so the movers know what is inside.

Packing plates with paper – useful tips for making the most of paper

No matter which guides you read about packing plates, you will almost always be advised to use packing paper and there’s a good reason for this. When it isn’t folded but instead crushed into a ball, packing paper can absorb shock just as well as any specialist material for the purpose.

The only difference is that packing paper is significantly cheaper. It is also thought to be not reusable which isn’t true, it’s just that a lot of people prefer not to store used packing paper in their homes. When you have finished your move and completely unpacked, don’t throw away your packing paper, you could reuse it later. Rather than disposing of it, try to utilise it for something else until you need to pack a mailbox or moving boxes for your next move.

Beneficial tips for using packing paper

  • More paper offers more protection but lowers the number of items you can pack.
  • It is one of the best materials to put in the bottom of moving boxes. Check the bottom is secured well enough with duct tape for support before adding the packing paper.
  • When packing kitchenware with paper, put it in one of the corners, then fold each corner one by one until the item is completely wrapped from all sides.
  • You can replace packing paper with paper from magazines or newspapers. Bubble wrap and towels can also make suitable replacements for packing paper.
  • After you have unpacked dishes and plates that had previously been packed with newspaper, wash them again to get rid of any ink marks.

What materials do you need to pack plates?

You don’t need a lot of things to prepare a dish box ready to be moved. Have a look at the list of essentials but think about expanding it as long as you need anything else:     

  • At least one dish barrel
  • A cell divider (when glasses are packed)
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Duct tape
  • Markers for labelling the boxes

Size of the box you need for packing glasses

You can pack glasses in any type of cardboard box, but it is advisable that you do it in a specialised box for glasses. This is just a normal moving box but with a separator (or divider) which lessens the friction between each glass.

The standard size of a cardboard moving box is 355 x 355 x 355mm for the medium-sized boxes and around 457 x 457 x 457mm for the big ones. You need to take extra care to not exceed a weight of over 20kg when packing a box for moving as it is not designed to hold much higher than this.

How to pack ceramic plates for moving

Packing ceramic plates should not cause you any trouble. Before doing this though, it is recommended that you get more informed about why plates made of this material are fragile. Gaining a better insight into this will help you take better care of anything ceramic.

Ceramic items are brittle but extremely firm. You won’t see any deformations on the materials before it is too late. When too much pressure is added onto a ceramic surface it doesn’t alter its form until it gets totally damaged. Some of the main properties of ceramics are:

  • High strength
  • Toughness
  • Hardness
  • Wear resistance
  • Non-magnetic
  • Static
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Low thermal conductivity

The particles inside ceramic material cannot move as easily as they do in metal. This is due to the specifications of the ionic and covalent bonding mechanism, making you unable to spot any deformations. When they are damaged, ceramics rarely get successfully repaired.

Bubble wrap is a good option for packing ceramics, the air inside the bubble can absorb the pressure from external forces. Hence, the pressure won’t be transferred to the ceramic plates. Wrap each plate with bubble wrap and finish with duct tape, then stack each on top of one another inside the box.

Packing china dishes for moving

Many households have china dishes of some kind. They are visually attractive on a table and add a unique feeling of comfort when the whole family gathers around. They can have significant sentimental value so moving them to your new home safely is important. Fortunately, it is fairly straightforward to pack your china dishes before moving out, just follow these tips:

  • Prepare the bottom of your moving box with a lot of crumpled packing paper.
  • Put your bigger china dishes at the bottom, it is firmer and will be able to hold a heavy load and protect what is on top in case there is enough packing material to lessen the pressure.
  • Make bundles of 3-4 dishes each packed separately, then secure it with more packing material on one side.
  • Keep filling the box with bundles of china dishes. Carry on reducing the weight of the bundles until you get to the top side of the box.
  • Fill in any gaps before sealing the box with duct tape.
  • Wrap each big dish on its own instead of creating a stack.

How to pack kitchenware for storage

When packing your dishes for storage, you should consider the fact that they will stay in a cardboard or plastic container, potentially for an extended period of time. Humidity or cold temperatures might cause problems if the dishes are made of a material that is not resistant to different weather conditions. Below are some key tips if you want to store your dishes yourself.

  • If you are using cardboard boxes, add extra support to the edges and around the corners of the box – you can use duct tape for this task.
  • Gather a small stack of plates and put it on its side with the bottom of the plates looking at the side walls of the box – this will help you minimise the free space and the stacks will remain stable throughout transit and lifting.
  • Place heavier dishes at the bottom of the box
  • Make a good level of padding with packing paper or newspapers
  • Label the boxes and add the date that they were put into storage – if there are products that have an expiry date inside, you should take them out, so they don’t get spoiled in storage.
  • Be strategic in placing the boxes inside the storage container- leave boxes with essential items near the entrance of the storage area in case you need to unseal the container. You won’t need to take everything out to gain access to the storage.

Best way to pack dishes for long-distance move

The main principles of successfully packing dishes for a long-distance move are already discussed earlier in this article when we explored how to pack plates in a dish barrel. A regular mistake that is made during a lot of large-scale moves at a longer distance is that some households decide to cut costs on moving boxes. Used moving boxes can be scruffy and worn out to such a degree that they could present a risk to your items. If the bottom falls through, you will end up with a lot of broken kitchenware which isn’t a good start to your new chapter in a new home. 

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