The best way to pack fragile items in 5 easy steps

If you're planning to move soon, learn how to pack fragile items or hire a Tasker to help you out.

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Moving out is hard—not just emotionally, but logistically. Especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff you need to bring with you. From hauling big pieces of furniture to transporting heavy appliances, you have to figure out the soundest way to move everything from point A to point B.

Moving gets even more complicated when you consider all the mirrors, vases, and glassware you own. These things need to be packed with loads of care. If you’re afraid of breaking a fragile package or two, don’t worry! Read the rest of this article to learn how to pack fragile items.

What do I need when packing fragile items for moving?

  • Moving boxes (Double-walled, size small)

  • Marker

  • Scissors

  • Bubble wrap

  • Packing tape

  • Packing peanuts

  • Packing paper

  • Old newspapers

  • Box dividers (Optional)

How to pack fragile items for moving

Step 1: Prepare your box

woman preparing to put a vase in a box

The first thing you need to pack any item is the correct box. Use a newly bought or lightly-used moving box. A small-sized box is recommended for fragile packing, as medium or large ones will add too much free space.

Next, you’ll have to assemble it. Seal its bottom side, then use the packaging tape to secure the seams, flaps, and corners. Use multiple strips of tape to ensure the bottom doesn’t accidentally open later.

After taping the box, line the base with either bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or crumpled balls of old newspapers. Ensure the lining is at least a couple of inches thick to soften the blow in case the box is accidentally dropped.

Step 2: Wrap each item with protective material 

mug being wrapped in bubble wrap

  • Glasses: The best way to pack glasses for moving is to wrap them in bubble or packing paper. First, place the glass in the center of a square sheet of either material. Cover everything by tucking the corners of the sheet into the glass. Finally, insert a crumpled ball of newspaper inside.  

If you’re packing wine glasses, carefully wrap the stems with a few layers of bubble wrap. Then, tape the padding into place. After, cover the rest of the glass with packing paper using the same method as with ordinary glass.

  • Mugs and cups: First, use bubble wrap or packing paper to wrap around the handles and tape them down. Then, cover the rest of the mug with the same material by placing it on a square sheet and tucking the corners into it. After, place a crumpled ball of newspaper inside.  

  • Vases: Similar to packing a glass, you’ll want to wrap your vase in either bubble wrap or packing paper. Place it in the center of a large square sheet of the material and tuck the corners inside. Once done, fill the vase up to the brim with crumpled balls of newspaper or packing peanuts.  

  • Mirrors and glass picture frames: When packing mirrors and glass picture frames, you must completely cover them with bubble wrap. Place the item in the middle of a sheet and fold it inside several layers. After, tape the loose ends of the bubble wrap and the item’s edges so the padding doesn’t come undone. 

  • Glass furniture: To pack glass furniture, you must first detach the glass components from each piece. Then, wrap the glass components with several layers of packing tape in crosswise and lengthwise rows. Finally, place the glass between two pieces of cardboard and apply tape around the entire thing until firmly in place. 

Step 3: Place items inside the box 

plate being placed inside a moving box

After wrapping your items with protective material, it’s finally time to pack them up. Pack the items from heaviest to lightest while limiting the weight of the box to no more than 30 lbs. Mugs and glasses should be placed rim-side down and, if possible, within box dividers. Use cardboard sheets between each layer to avoid stacking them directly atop one another. 

For flat items (e.g., mirrors and glass frames), place them inside the box vertically. This ensures they won’t slide off each other when carried or in transit. Insert crumpled paper or packing peanuts between rows of items, so they don’t move around. Additionally, leave some extra space on top of the items. 

Step 4: Fill in the extra space 

woman filling extra space in a box with packing popcorn

With your items firmly in place, look for areas in the box with extra space. Using crumpled paper or packing peanuts, fill all these spaces in. Lastly, add a few layers of bubble wrap on top of the items to cushion the upper side of the box. 

Step 5: Close and seal the box 

person closing and sealing a moving box

Once no free space is left in the box, it’s time to seal it. Using the packaging tape, close the box and tape over the seams, flaps, and corners. After, use a marker to label the box as “Fragile.” This lets you and the movers know to handle the package carefully. 

Make a hassle-free move with good fragile packing 

Though dealing with fragile items can be stressful, nobody wants to move into their new home with shattered glassware. You must take all the necessary precautions to ensure nothing delicate breaks!

Don’t let the thought of a fragile package overwhelm you. It’s no problem if you would rather have someone else pack. Post a task on Airtasker and hire professional packers and movers instead for all your moving and packing needs! 

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FAQs on packing fragile items

Ideally, you’ll want to use bubble wrap to pack breakable items. While you might need more than one layer for maximum protection, it cushions your fragile packages better than most materials. 

Though it’s recommended that you use bubble wrap for fragile packages, you can also use other packing materials. Packing peanuts, old newspapers, and even towels are readily available substitutes. Foam and honeycomb kraft paper can also be used but may be harder to find.

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