Last Updated on January 13, 2021 by Kari-Ann Ryan
Because you have relocated several times since you left your parents’ home, you know all the basics about packing and moving. You know that you should not wait until the last week to begin preparations. You also know to leave a change-of-address form with the postal service. Nor does an experienced mover like yourself proceed without professional assistance.
However, with this most recent move, you have run into a few complications. You’ve never had to move fragile items like china before. You may have bought this china yourself, or it may have come from your grandmother as an heirloom, but it still needs protection either way. You just don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, we have a guide for you. Read through the outline of what you should not do below.
1. Do not put cups and glasses on their sides.
Teacups and glasses stay the most secure when you set them upside down. Their construction allows them to support vertical weight in this position. However, if you place them on their sides, you expose their weakest surfaces. The stems on your glassware could snap, or the entire glass or cup could shatter if you place the box too hard or if you pack the dishes too close together.
Keep your teacups and glassware whole by setting them upside down instead.
2. Do not lay plates, bowls, and serving dishes flat.
You may assume that if you want to keep your plates and other serving dishes safe, they need to sit flat, just as they would on a table. However, this position puts a lot of strain on the dishes’ edges, especially if many dishes sit in the same box, or if other items-even relatively light ones-sit on top of this box. The dishes on the bottom could shatter and leave you with an incomplete china set.
To avoid this problem, set your serving dishes, including plates and bowls, on their edges when you pack them. This position allows all of the dishes to share the strain. However, you must still avoid putting heavy items on the top of the box.
3. Do not set dishes directly against each other.
You want all your china to fit in the same box, so you decide to pack it without any padding between pieces. However, your dishes could scrape against each other, or a heavy impact could shatter them. So, if you want to keep your china safe, you need to put a layer of padding around every dish. Use towels, scarves, or foam to protect each piece.
4. Do not leave anything with a hollow center empty.
Some pieces of china, like bowls, teacups, glasses, goblets, and more, have hollow centers. These hollow spaces are more fragile than the rest of the dish. As a result, they need extra support if you want them to survive the move. Put padding and packing materials into the hollow center-but do not stuff it to bursting. Just add enough material that it will reinforce the dish.
5. Do not fail to put padding around the outsides of the box.
Even cardboard boxes have stiff edges that could damage your china. Add extra padding around every box’s exterior so your dishes have something soft to absorb falls and blows. The padding should line the bottom, sides, and top of the box just in case it falls in an awkward position. Additionally, if you can’t fit this protective layer on one box, consider moving some of your china to a different box.
6. Do not leave space between all your dishes.
Your dishes should not have any room to shift or otherwise move. Movement causes force that could lead to chipped or shattered dishes. Therefore, when you pack your dishes, use additional peanuts, foam, or other materials to keep everything stationary.
However, do not pack everything so tightly that the box or padding puts pressure on your dishes. Rather, make sure everything fits snugly and comfortably without moving around.
7. Do not store your china in regular cardboard boxes.
Those cardboard fruit boxes you took from the grocery store can’t adequately protect your china. If you must use cardboard, make sure you choose boxes with thick, stiff constructions. Better yet, if your budget gives you room for another container option, go with sturdy wood or plastic instead. These materials absorb force better, and they won’t let any environmental factors harm your china either.
8. Do not stack other boxes on top of your china.
Unless you put your china in the world’s strongest box, you should not stack anything other than light fabrics on top of it. The weight from anything else could cause damage. So, if at all possible, put your china on the top of the stack and secure it there-you don’t want it to fall either.
When you follow the information above, you don’t have to worry about broken china. For more tips on how to move the items that matter to you most, browse through the rest of our moving blog.
Professional Packing Services
Should you move forward with the help of a mover, professional packing services can save a lot of time while protecting fragile items. All supplies and materials will be included within the services and your items will be packed efficiently to save on down time. They will also be delivered safely to your new home and unpacked according to the designated room.
When working with Mid-West Moving & Storage, we take extra steps of caution when packing your belongings. Carefully wrapping each piece of china in a box, we can ensure your belongings are fully protected throughout the move.