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How to Pack Basic Household Items

How to Pack – read this before you start!

  • Pack one room at a time; it helps when you need to unpack.
  • Starting well ahead of the move, pack a couple of boxes every day.
  • Always pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items up top. If you keep the weight of each box below 50pounds, it makes moving them much easier.
  • Be sure to have plenty of "filler" material available, and when in doubt, use more.
  • Make sure the bottoms of all moving cartons are taped and secured and can hold the weight of the contents.
  • Mark each box with a room and briefly describe the box contents once packed.
  • Remember — the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.

Packing Methods

Once you have selected a room and prepared your work area, you can begin packing. Here are some basic recommendations for packing specific items:

Packing Dishware

Packing Dishware Steps

  1. Select a medium-sized carton (or a mover-provided dishpack) and line the bottom with crumpled packing paper.
  2. With packing paper stacked neatly in place on your work table, center one plate on the paper. Grasp a corner of several sheets and pull the paper over the plate until the plate is completely covered.
  3. Stack a second plate on the first and, moving clockwise, grasp another corner of several sheets and pull them over the second plate.
  4. Stack a third plate. Grasp the remaining two corners and fold using two sheets, one corner at a time over the plate.
  5. Turn the wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your paper.
  6. Re-wrap the entire bundle. Start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle; cover the bundle with the next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth. (Non-fragile plates may be packed five or six to a bundle.)
  7. Seal the bundle with packing tape and place it in a medium-sized moving box (or dishpack) so that the plates are standing on edge.

This wrapping technique is useful with all of your saucers, bread and butter dishes and other stackable dishware. If packing smaller dishes, you may stack them in greater quantities.


  1. Position one cup 6 to 8 inches from one of the corners of your packing paper.
  2. Pull the nearest corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  3. Nest a second cup directly on top, with the handle to the left (the second cup should "nest" itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cup).
  4. Pull the two side corners up and over one at a time and tuck the corners inside the top cup.
  5. Hold the bottom and top cups in position and roll the cups to the remaining corner. (Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.)
  6. Place cups in a vertical position, lips down, near the top of the box. Do not stack heavy items on top of your cups.

Delicate cups (your fine china, for example) should be wrapped singly. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time also.

Glasses and Stemware

  1. Before wrapping, stuff your glassware and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper.
  2. Lay your glass or stemware on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls may be used for added protection.
  3. Glasses and stemware should be placed toward the top of the box. Heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom. Very delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in a vertical position, lips down — not on their sides.

Use plenty of crumpled packing paper to assure a snug fit as you pack each layer of the box. Moving boxes containing fragile items should be clearly marked “Fragile”.

Need more info about packing various items?

Click for more about packing items

Understanding how to pack basic household items properly will help prevent damage during transport of your shipment. If you would rather have Jay’s take on the job of packing, we can, just ask us!

“Thank you very much for all your help with our move. The day went smoothly and without incident. We were very happy with the movers that we had (the two brothers) and would recommend Jay's Moving to all of our friends. Actually we met the people moving in next door to us and told them all about your company.” - Russ

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