Moving can be completely destructive to your glassware and fragile items, and many of these are irreplaceable (like my beloved Mos Eisley Cantina pilsner glass), and you’ll hurt for a long time if they get broken. Taking care in packing will help ensure that you don’t have to suffer that pain.
Here are some basic tips for packing your glass and fragile items. These really apply to all packing, too.
Allow Plenty of Time: Packing your glassware and fragile items is not something to be rushed. You need time and space free from chaos to do this right. Start packing these items as soon as possible. Your ornamental fragile items should be the first things you pack.
Get the Proper Supplies: It may seem prudent to try to just use as many things as you have lying around the house as possible. After all, those towels have to be moved, too, right? But if you try to use things you find around the house, you will likely end up with more trouble, which can range from the mess and nuisance of newsprint to the possibility of broken items.
Reinforce Boxes: The boxes you’re using may be glued, taped, or stapled already, but don’t trust them. Instead, reinforce them with your own quality, new packing tape. At the very least, use an “H” on the bottom to secure all seams. Some people like to do a full square on the bottom with a layered “X” in it.
Pack Valuable Items Separately: If something is in a box with something else, it’s more likely it’ll get broken. Putting valuables in their own boxes makes it less likely that something else that’s not as well packed will come loose and lead to breakage.
Packing Specific Items
Plates: It’s tempting to put plates in flat, but in this arrangement, the bottom plate will have all the weight of the other plates on it. Packing plates on their side means that each plate has only its own weight to deal with. The same thing goes for bowls. Put generous padding on the bottom, top, and sides. Fill all space with crumpled paper to ensure they don’t have space to move.
Glasses: Glasses should be packed together with others of their own size and shape. Fill the center of the glass with paper, and wrap them outside with bubble wrap. Stand them upright and add extra crumpled paper to stabilize them as necessary. You can pack multiple levels, but put the largest ones on the bottom and make sure to pad generously between layers.
Lamp Shades: These seem like such a waste to pack, but if you’re not prepared to throw them out and buy new ones, it’s worth it to go through the trouble. These should be packed individually with their flat side down and plenty of padding around them to avoid breakage.
Irregular Glass Items: Every family has a few of these china bowls, knickknacks, and whatnot that are both valuable and a pain. If you really don’t want them to get broken, make sure you pack them in a double layer, with bubble-wrap first, followed by a wrapping of flexible cardboard. If the item is a very irregular shape, it’s not a bad idea to wrap it in more than one layer of bubble wrap until you achieve a regular shape that you can then wrap in cardboard.
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