Imagine your perfect moving day.

Your moving crew is cheerful, professional, and quick. Your boxes are packed securely and delivered safely to your new home. There were no hidden fees or unexpected costs. It’s the best move you’ve ever had– so far.

As you begin to unpack your kitchen boxes (you did remember to label them, right?) your good mood begins to sour. Your favorite dishes are in pieces!

While it’s your moving company’s responsibility to handle fragile boxes delicately, you can help insure that items don’t break by packing them like the experts. Keep reading to learn how to pack dishes for a move.

Ask Your Movers

Don’t be afraid to ask us at ANC Movers for suggestions on how to pack your dishes. We know from experience what techniques work, and what packing strategies will result in chipped, cracked or broken dishes.

It can be a pain to find the right size boxes and the right packaging materials on your own. Often you’ll end up on Craigslist tracking down free boxes, or trying to find the right person to ask at your local grocery store. And you might still end up with boxes that aren’t up to the job.

Save yourself the hassle and ask your moving company! We’re a great resource for packing tools and equipment. We have access to the best boxes, high-quality tape, and packing paper.

At ANC Movers, for example, we get all our supplies in bulk so we can pass the savings along to you and we only provide you with brand new packing supplies. We never reuse cardboard boxes! Used boxes may be weakened and can put your possessions at risk!

Save the Newspaper for Fish & Chips

Most people who pack their own dishes use old newspapers to wrap their dishes. We don’t recommend that! Newsprint can leave stains on light colored dishes (and your hands!) that are hard to remove. Plus it can be bad for the environment.

Instead stop by an office supply store (or ask us!) and pick up a roll of white packaging paper.

Make sure to wrap dishes in two layers of paper. Paper’s cheaper than replacing broken dishes and the second layer offers extra protection to dishes with a delicate finish.

And if you’re using paper as padding in your boxes, don’t crumple it too tightly. You want it to have just a bit of give to it, so it protects your dishes throughout your move.

Pack the Box

When it comes to packing dishes in boxes, don’t overfill your boxes. Not only will they be too heavy to carry, your dishes won’t be well protected.

Instead, start by packing the bottom of each box with at least 6 inches of paper (remember, don’t crumple it too tight). Then pack your dishes into the center of the box, leaving a gap around the edges. But try to avoid leaving gaps between the dishes themselves.

Once you’ve got your box packed, fill in the open spaces around the edges with additional crumpled paper and finish it off with more paper on top of your dishes.

Seal your packing boxes with strong packaging tape (a tape gun will make this job easy), and then label each box with its contents as well as an arrow so you know which way the boxes should be carried. It’s also smart to write the box’s destination in your new home (e.g. kitchen for dishes, living room for DVDs, etc.).

If you can hear your dishes moving around inside the box and bumping into each other, you need to add more padding. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up with a few broken dishes.

Be Unconventional

When you’re packing dishes, it can pay to be a bit unconventional. You might think that stacking plates on top of each other is the best way to pack them. But that’s not the case! This can actually cause them to crack more easily.

Instead, wrap your plates in two layers of packing paper and put them into the box on edge, like they’re in the drying rack next to your sink.

You can use other unconventional packing techniques, like putting smaller breakable pieces inside of sturdier ones. For example, wrap shot glasses or teacups in packing paper and then place them inside of larger cups or bowls. Just don’t forget to fill all the empty spaces with crumpled packing paper.

Use Specialty Packaging Materials

If you’re not convinced that simply double-wrapping your dishes is going to do the trick, consider using specialized dish barrels with dish dividers or protective foam pouches. These are more expensive than the free boxes you’ll find on Craigslist or at your local grocery store. However, for valuable dishes like china or family heirlooms, they can be well worth the expense.

Leave it to Us

At ANC Movers, we’ve been packing dishes for over 15 years. If someone’s eaten off it, we’ve packed it. We offer flexible residential moving packages that let you pack as much or as little as you like.

Would you prefer to pack your own clothes, books or other less breakable items, but want to leave the fragile items, like your dishes to us? No problem!

Give us a call at (360) 992-8702 and we’ll tell you more about how we can make your move easier than you can even imagine.

Photo Credits: Sarah Korf, Jon S, Dave Matos, PROPublic.Resource.Org