Packing dishes and fine china for moving can cause anxiety because you want to protect your dishes so they don’t break. It can be irritating to end up with four dinner plates and three salad plates because one broke during a move. Broken fine china might even break your heart since it is often passed down as an heirloom or given on special occasions.

You must know how to pack china and dishes for moving to prevent them from breaking. This guide reviews the steps for packing delicate china and dishes so you can be confident you are doing everything possible to keep them safe.

Steps for Packing Dishes and Fine China

Packing dishes is fairly straightforward but requires a few steps and some planning. Following these steps can ensure your dishes are packed properly and safely:

1. Gather All Supplies and Materials

Packing dishes only requires a few materials, such as:

  • Moving boxes or dish packs
  • Packing tape
  • Packaging material or cushioning
  • Packing paper
  • A black permanent marker

Prep work is essential to streamline the packing process. If you have a lot of dishes to wrap, you can enlist the help of family and friends. Designating jobs to others can make the process more efficient. For instance, someone can wrap the dishes while someone else prepares the fine china packing boxes. You can form an assembly line to smoothly transition from one task to the next.

Before you can form the assembly line or start packing, you need a workstation. Clean your work area and create sections for each type of dish you’re packing. If others are helping you pack, separate sections to let someone work on plates while another person works on bowls.

Related: Packing Tips for Your Next Move: A Room-by-Room Checklist

2. Cut Packing Paper to the Correct Sizes

Different types of dishes require various sizes of packing paper. You need to cut and organize the paper by size. Each sheet should be large enough to cover all sides of the dishes. Cutting these sheets in advance will save you time and materials. Instead of measuring and cutting the piece before packing each dish, you can wrap them and move on.

If your china or dishes are old, fragile or expensive, use bubble wrap instead of packing paper. Cushioned packaging material provides an extra layer to protect your plates.

3. Wrap Fine China and Dish Plates

You wrap dishes and fine china differently because fine china is more fragile than other plates. To wrap more durable plates, you:

  • Place a plate face-down on a sheet of packing paper.
  • Pull the corners of the paper over the plate.
  • Bunch the paper together at the center to create a seal.
  • Secure the paper with packing tape, if necessary.
  • Repeat the process for three more plates.
  • Stack the wrapped plates together.
  • Turn the pile of stacked plates upside down.
  • Place the stack on another sheet of paper.
  • Wrap the bundle.
  • Secure it with packing tape.

For fine china, it’s essential to wrap each dish separately to prevent them from breaking or scuffing. To wrap fine china plates, follow the same steps above, but don’t bundle them together.

4. Wrap Drinkware Using a Rolling Technique

Packing vases, cups and stemware are not the same as wrapping plates. To wrap drinkware, you:

  • Lay a piece of drinkware in the corner of the packing paper sheet.
  • Roll the drinkware down the length of the packing paper.
  • Stuff the excess paper at the top into the glass.
  • Twist the extra paper on the bottom.
  • Wrap the twisted end of the paper around the base.

5. Wrap Bowls and Teacups

To wrap bowls and teacups, you:

  • Place the dish face-up in the center of the packing paper.
  • Fold each corner of packing paper into the center of the bowl or cup.
  • Crumple an extra sheet of paper into a ball.
  • Place the ball in the opening of the dish for padding.

6. Add Packing Paper and Materials Inside the Boxes

You want to add a layer of cushion inside the moving boxes for more support. To start, line the bottom of your box with cushioned packaging material, like peanuts or packing paper. The goal is to have a few inches of padding on all sides of the box to prevent the dishes from moving around.

Ensure you select different boxes for each type of dish. Depending on the number of dishes you have, you may need multiple boxes for plates or bowls. Your dishes will be safer if you pack them in smaller boxes and use a generous amount of packing material.

7. Pack Each Box

You can buy special moving boxes for dishes called dish packs that have sections for dishware. If you use these boxes, fill the space around each dish with packing material. This prevents the dishes from moving. When using regular boxes, you want small or medium-sized ones. They should fit six to 12 plates.

Don’t use large boxes for packing dishes because they will be heavy, and you are more likely to drop them. You want to keep similar items together when packing. Here are some tips for packing different types of dishes:

  • Plates: Place a plate face-up in the box and put a layer of packaging wrap over it. Continue stacking the other plates this way until the box is mostly full. Stuff the sides and top of the box with packing material.
  • Drinkware: Place glassware on its side with a bit of space between each glass. Stuff the spaces with packing material.
  • Bowls: Stack the bowls vertically, but leave enough room for packing material at the sides of the box. If you add more than one layer of bowls, place a sheet of packaging wrap between them.

8. Seal and Label the Boxes

There must be a couple of inches of packing material on the sides and top of the box — you can never have too much. Ensure you densely pack the material so nothing inside the box can move. Finish packing by sealing your box with packing tape and labeling it with a black permanent marker.

Contact David McCarthy Moving to Handle Your Dishes With Care

Moving can be stressful when you have to worry about your dishes breaking, but it doesn’t have to be. David McCarthy Moving can help take the stress out of your move, so you can kick back and enjoy the ride. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to handle your items safely and carefully. Your dishes will arrive at your new home in the same condition you left them in.

We’ve helped people with office and commerciallong-distance and residential moves. Our services include various professional packing options for those who want to do it themselves or would rather not do it at all. Contact us for a free quote or to inquire about our moving services.


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