Believe it or not, about 40 million people move to new homes and cities in the United States each year. And though they all move for different reasons, they all have one thing in common: the need to pack their belongings safely.

Though packing books, clothes, and other non-breakable items is relatively simple, packing glassware and breakables is a bit more challenging.

That’s not to say it’s impossible. You just need to be a bit more careful when loading things up.

Here are a few simple tips to help you pack glasses, dishes, and other fragile items easily.

Find the Right Box

Before you can start getting your glassware and breakables ready for the move, you need to find something to put them in. And finding the right box for your breakables can take a bit of work.

You want to choose a box that’s large enough to accommodate both your glassware and the padding materials. But you also need the box to be small enough that you can move it easily.

Though your movers will handle the heavy lifting, you’ll want to reposition the box throughout the packing process.

The box should also be strong and sturdy. For most people, it’s best to buy a new box just for the purpose instead of reusing one you’ve had in the garage for a few months. The sides need to be stiff and support any loads that might end up on top of the box during transit.

Go to a Grocery Store

If you’re moving on a budget and need to get as many free boxes as possible, consider heading to your local grocery store or liquor store. These boxes get used once and are often still in good enough condition to handle a move.

Ideally, you’ll be able to get a divided box, like those used for bottles of wine. The dividers help cushion your glassware and keep it from moving around inside the box once it’s packed.

Pack Each Item Individually

It’s tempting to group things together to speed up the packing process. But when it comes to your glassware and fragile items, doing so isn’t the best idea.

Packing items together puts additional pressure on their fragile materials. If something jostles the box or the items clink together just right, you could end up with a bunch of broken glass.

Instead, pack each item into the box individually. This means padding each breakable item thoroughly on its own before loading it into the box. This will reduce the risk of breakage and keeps your fragile items in good condition during transit, whether it’s across town or across the country.

Start with Paper

Padding breakable items should always start with one of the simplest packing materials available: paper. And you don’t even have to buy dedicated packing paper. You just need a good stack of newspapers.

Start by crumpling a few sheets and covering the bottom of the box in paper. This will give your breakables something soft to sit on.

Then, wrap each breakable item in a few sheets of paper. For glasses, vases, and other round items, roll them up in a few sheets, taking the time to tuck the excess paper around the item.

If you’re packing flat breakables like saucers, plates, and decorative knickknacks, fold the sheets around the item. Keep in mind you’ll want to make sure the top and bottom of the items get covered equally.

Fill Empty Spaces

Once the outside of the item gets wrapped in paper, fill any openings with crumpled up balls of paper. This will give additional strength to the breakable items and reduces the risk of the glass cracking or breaking.

Use Bubble Wrap

Paper is a great place to start, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to truly protect your fragile items. You’ll want to use bubble wrap to add an extra layer of cushioning around the paper.

For small items, use a wrap with smaller bubbles. This will make it easier to wrap the plastic around the item. For larger breakables, large bubble wrap will be fine.

Secure the bubble wrap with a little tape. Avoid taping the entire seam down as it will make it hard to get the glassware out of the bubble wrap. If you have to use scissors to get the bubble wrap off, you risk scratching your glassware.

Load the Box Correctly

Once you’ve wrapped and cushioned your glassware and breakables, you’re ready to load the box.

Place heavier items on the bottom of the box and secure them in place with additional crumpled paper or air cushions. Then, add the lighter items on top. Doing this will help reduce the risk of breakage and helps keep the box light enough that you’ll be able to lift it easily.

If you’re packing up an entire set of glasses, mugs, and drinkware, pack like with like. This will make it easier to unpack once the boxes get to your new home.

Avoid Overloading the Box

Take care to leave room at the top of the box for additional cushioning and padding. Crumpled up paper, layers of bubble wrap, and even kitchen towels can all help cushion the top of the box.

Keep in mind you’ll still want to label the box as “fragile.” Otherwise, heavier boxes may end up on top of it during transit. And once you take delivery, you could end up with a box full of broken items.

Packing Glassware Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

When it comes to packing glassware, it’s easy to overthink things. But keeping your breakable items safe in-transit is easier than you might think.

Take the time to thoroughly pad each item and pack them securely in each box you use. And let your movers know which boxes need a little extra care and attention.

Just make sure you hire the right team to get your stuff where it needs to go safely. Contact us today for more information and see how our residential moving experts can take the stress out of your upcoming move.