Because dishware is prone to chipping and cracking, you need to pack it with extra care. Fine china requires even more TLC because it can be expensive or impossible to replace. And when it has sentimental value, like the family china passed down from your great-grandmother, it’s especially painful to see this beautiful dinnerware get damaged.

Moving Supplies You’ll Need to Pack your Dishware and China

  • Small and medium heavy-duty moving boxes
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Pieces of heavy cardboard the same size as the box
  • Utility knife
  • Permanent black marker

Steps for Packing Dishware and China for a Move

1. Establish a clear, clean packing station

A dining table makes an excellent space for packing dishes and china. You’ll want all of your supplies available. If the table is small, place your packing supplies in a box and put the box on a chair next to the table to free up space.

2. Group same-sized items together before packing:

Stack each category of dishware such as dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, and so forth. This step will enable you to save space in each box and pack more efficiently. Check the dishwasher or drying rack before you start packing to make sure nothing gets left out.

3. Prepare the box

Heavy-duty boxes are specially designed for dishes and other items that need extra protection. Prepare one box at a time as you pack. Seal the bottom seam of the box with at least two layers of packing tape to ensure the base is sufficiently strong. Place a thick layer of tightly crumpled packing paper in the box. Avoid using newspaper – the ink will rub off and stain your china.

4. Wrap

Wrap each dish individually in packing paper. Place a stack of packing paper on the table. Set the plate or bowl at the corner of the paper near you. Pull the paper over the plate and roll the plate into the remainder of the paper, tucking in the sides as you go. When you get to the opposite corner of the paper, secure with tape.

5. Place the dishware in a box

Put the wrapped dishes on their edges in the box, so they stand up vertically. The heaviest items go in first. Keep the dishes at least two inches from the sides of the box by filling in this space with crushed paper.

6. Add another stack

Place a piece of heavy cardboard on the first layer. Now add more plates or bowls, on their edges, over the cardboard. Fill the sides around the stack with crumpled paper. Continue layering, using lighter items in each layer, until the stacks are about two inches from the top of the box. Then fill any empty space with more crumpled paper.

7. Seal and label the box

Tape the box closed and label the contents ‘china’ or ‘plates and bowls’ plus the destination, ‘kitchen.’ Write ‘fragile’ on all sides and the top of the box.

8. How to pack valuable china

Place the wrapped china in a heavy-duty medium size moving box following steps 3 – 7 above. Then, using a large, heavy-duty box, place a thick layer of crushed packing paper in the bottom. Place the medium size box of packed china in the large box and fill all the air space with plenty of cushioning on all sides and the top. Seal and label the box with ‘china’ plus the room destination — also, label as ‘fragile’ on all sides and the top of the box.