How to Pack Plates for Moving
How to Pack Plates for Moving

If you’re packing and moving to a new home, you’ll need to know how to pack fragile dinnerware so that it arrives in one piece. So, when it comes to packing the kitchen, dishes, especially plates, must be neatly packed. Learn how to pack plates for moving and flatware to ensure they arrive safely at your new house with this simple step-by-step guide.

How to Pack Plates for Moving

The kitchen is particularly challenging when it comes to how to pack plates for moving. Not only are fragile objects should be avoided, but unlike the guest room, most people use their kitchens daily.

“The kitchen is always the last room we pack up and the first one we unpack,” says Janet Bernstein, owner of The Organizing Professionals, a moving company in the Philadelphia area. “The kitchen is always the most time-consuming. Packing usually takes at least eight hours.” What is the best strategy to deal with this fast-moving juggernaut? With a good strategy, professional advice, and plenty of packing paper. Here’s how to pack plates like an expert for moving.

Packing Dishes Materials

The easiest approach to packing of plates for moving is to gather all of the necessary moving supplies ahead of time. A dish box is one of the most important items for packing dishware. A dish box is a type of fragile moving box. The box is constructed with a double layer of cardboard in the walls and base, as opposed to the single layer used in most standard moving boxes.

This makes a dish box slightly more expensive than a standard moving box, but it is worth the extra expense to avoid breaking items during the move. When bringing a lot of drinkware or stemware, cell packs that fit inside the dish box are also useful accessories to have.

To pack the kitchen, you’ll need several medium-sized packing boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, labels, and markers, as well as a huge supply of packing paper for dishes or newspaper for wrapping goods.

While the newspaper is often used, packing paper is the preferred medium for packing. The ink on the newspaper readily smudges and can transfer to anything wrapped in it. The ink does not always leave a permanent stain, but there is no guarantee that a porous item will not absorb the ink. At the very least, having to scrub off newspaper ink after unpacking adds time to a task that most people would rather avoid.

Because antique glazes might react unexpectedly with newsprint ink, fine china should always be transported with sheets of clean packing paper.

How to Pack Plates for Moving

Many moving supply stores sell specially designed dish boxes. These are wonderful, but they are also more expensive. A basic box will suffice as long as you are attentive and pad generously.

  • First, place your dish in the center of a sheet of packing paper; pull the paper’s corners over the plate to tightly wrap it.
  • Repeat with three more plates of the same size.
  • Stack the four plates together, then flip the stack over on another sheet of packing paper and rewrap the entire bundle with tape.
  • Place the bundle in a small box, vertically stacking plates on a thick layer of packing paper. (When dishes are piled flat, they are more prone to break.) Add more bundles until the box is completely packed.
  • Stuff more packing paper into the top and all four sides, then tape shut. Boxes should be labeled “Fragile, This Side Up.”
  • Repeat the process for similar-sized bowls.

How to Pack Glasses

Before you think about how to pack glasses, think about the glasses themselves. This is an excellent time to go through your collection and sort out any items you want to donate, recycle, or dispose of, such as plastic cups or chipped or pitted glassware. If you’re using dish boxes with cell pack inserts, put them together before you start wrapping your drinkware. Otherwise, line the bottom of the box with crumpled packing paper and clean dish towels. Drinkware of comparable sizes and shapes should be grouped together.

  • Stuff crumpled packing paper into the interiors of mugs and glasses. Wrap the crumpled paper around the handles of the mugs and cups to create light padding.
  • Wrap each item in double sheets of packing paper or bubble wrap.
  • Arrange the glasses in rows, like items together to conserve space.
  • If there is enough space in the box, stack a second layer of items on top of the first, but make sure to add another layer of padding and fill any empty space in the box with extra paper or a soft cloth.
  • Tape the boxes closed and label them “Fragile” on the top and sides. Include a huge arrow to identify the box’s right side.

How to Pack Plates, Bowls, and Platters for Moving

When learning how to pack dishes for moving, plates and bowls are frequently the easiest items to start with. They are uniform, have no edges, and nest easily. They are also among the heaviest items, so it makes sense to pack them first. The methods for packing bowls for moving and packing plates are similar. Wrap each dish separately to avoid breakage.

  • Arrange all of the plates that are the same size together.
  • Spread out one or two pieces of packing paper on a flat surface.
  • Put the first plate in the middle.
  • Gather one corner of the paper and wrap it around the dish, tucking it in on the opposite side.
  • Repeat with the remaining three corners until the dish is completely covered.
  • Use one piece of tape to secure the bundle.
  • Place the covered dish on its side in the moving box you’ve prepared. Consider loading the box in the same way you would a dishwasher.
  • Repeat for all plates and bowls, ensuring that wrapped objects of the same size are grouped together to save space.

Platters and serving bowls should be wrapped in the same way as above, but with additional paper because they are larger. Pack these items separately from the dinnerware.

Don’t overfill your boxes. Rather than trying to fill each box to the brim with dishes, fill it with lighter kitchen items like towels.

How to Pack Pots and Pans

Glass lids should be removed from pots and pans and wrapped separately in packing paper and bubble wrap. Place everything in a small, well-padded box. Place them in the box on their ends, like plates, and then use more packing paper or towels to cushion around and between each lid.

Pots and pans should be nested according to size. Place a cushion of paper or bubble wrap between each pan to protect the surfaces, then stack the stacks in a medium or large box large enough to hold them.

When considering how to pack pots and pans, keep in mind that cast iron and nonstick cookware require a little more care than conventional cookware. Cast iron cookware should be dispersed across the boxes of pots and pans you are packing, rather than concentrated in one box due to its weight. Place the cast-iron cookware at the bottom of the box, protected with a towel or bubble wrap, and put other items on top of it.

Before placing nonstick pans in a box, they should be individually wrapped in paper and bubble wrap. To avoid the surface being scratched by other items in the box, pack these objects with the surface side facing down and near the top of the box.

Fill in any holes with extra paper or dishcloths, just like you would with any other moving box, to keep the pots and pans from moving around too much.

Additional Tips on How to pack plates for moving

  • Do not rush to pack. Give sufficient time to complete the task thoroughly.
  • Make a list of all the necessary kitchen items you’ll need right before the move and leave them out of the initial packing. Even as you pack the rest of the kitchen and home, you’ll need a place setting for each family member and cleaning supplies. On the day you leave, combine these items into one essential box. This will also save you time when unpacking in your new house.
  • Fill in all of the blank areas in the boxes. As much packing paper as feasible should be used. Towels, blankets, and even socks can be used to cushion items and cover gaps.
  • Fill the boxes all the way to the top. Lighter products, such as plastic or melamine, can be utilized to fill up space in boxes where heavy breakables have been packed in a single layer.
  • Keep your box weights under 40 pounds. Overweight boxes are more prone to be dropped.
  • Load dish boxes carefully onto the moving vehicle. Make sure that the heavier boxes are near the bottom. Secure box stacks and make sure that larger items put near them do not shift and crush the dish boxes during delivery.

When you have a good plan, figuring out how to pack plates for moving becomes a little easier. Start the packing process early enough to determine the best technique to pack your plates for moving. Gather the necessary moving supplies and carefully pack your plates, pots, and pans.

How do you pack plates without breaking them?

Here are some things to keep in mind when you learn how to pack plates for moving:

  • Pack heavier items first.
  • Stack dishes vertically at all times.
  • Use towels instead of packing paper to save money.
  • Cushion everything and fill each box 
  • Mark each box with “fragile” and “this way up.”
  • Gently place dish cartons in the moving truck.

Should you pack dishes vertically or horizontally?

Pack plates vertically rather than horizontally to make them less likely to break. On the bottom of the box, place at least two layers of crumpled packing paper. In between each plate, place a layer of bubble wrap, cardboard, or foam.

Should you wrap plates when moving?

Yes. Wrap and box each dish. Stack a stack of packing paper or newsprint on your workstation.

What should you not let movers pack?

The following objects should not be packed when moving:

  • Gasoline.
  • Oxygen bottles.
  • Lighter fluid.
  • Matches.
  • Propane cylinders.
  • Nail polish remover.
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Fireworks 

What should you not pack before moving?

What NOT to Pack When Moving

  • Nail paint, remover, and aerosols are examples of beauty products (think hair spray or deodorants)
  • Cleaning supplies: cleaning chemicals and ammonia.
  • Garden Chemicals: Fertilizer and Poisons (such as weed killer)
  • Garage Chemicals: Car Batteries, Motor Oil. 
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and lamp oils are examples of miscellaneous household items.

Why pack plates vertically?

Packing plates vertically relieves pressure on the susceptible, thinner china in the center of the plate (especially at the bottom of a big stack), making them less prone to break during your move.

What size box is best for packing dishes?

Small boxes (16 x 12 x 12 inches or 1.5 cubic feet): The best boxes for moving books, small boxes are also perfect for packing DVDs, magazines, collectibles, canned food, small appliances, glassware, and dishes.

Can you use bubble wrap to pack dishes?

Yes, bubble wrap can be used, but it takes significantly more space than thin foam sheets.


While plates and glassware can shatter during a move, if you follow these pro-moving tips on how to pack plates for moving, you can reduce the likelihood of this happening. Remember to use crumpled paper as cushioning when loading wrapped dishware into cartons, and never stack things. Also, if your dishware collection includes family heirlooms, pack them individually and transport them yourself to guarantee that they arrive at your new home undamaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why pack plates vertically?

Pack your plates vertically rather than stacking them on top of one another! Packing in this manner relieves strain on the delicate, thinner china in the middle of the plate (especially those at the bottom of a large stack), making them less likely to be damaged by the bumps and jostles of your move.

Can you use clothes as packing material?

Although it is convenient to arrive at your new home and unpack your belongings directly into your closet, clothes can save you a lot of money on packing materials. If you don’t want to wash or iron everything, try stuffing breakables between bulky items like sweaters or scarves.

What kind of packaging should you avoid?

Here are six kinds of food packaging you should avoid right immediately.

  • Plastic water bottles.
  • Black plastic food trays.
  • Individually wrapped fruit and vegetables.
  • Food pouches.
  • Pizza boxes.
  • Coffee pods and capsules.

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