4 Ways To Pack Dishes For Moving

Dishes are a general name for tableware (including cutlery and crockery) used to prepare, serve, and eat meals.

Let’s teach you how to pack your dishes without breaking stuff.

What is discussed in this article: Packing materials for dishes, the procedure for packing dishes, ways to pack dishes for moving, how to pack dishes without paper, and tips to pack dishes for moving.

Packing Materials for Dishes

Just as “tighter is better” when packing wine bottles for moving, you need a full box when packing dishes. A snug box prevents chips and cracks from bumps and vibrations during transit.

Check out a list of essentials below:

There’s no “newspaper” on our list because newsprint causes stains that don’t come off even after washing.

We opt for a dish box as your [safer] first option when moving dishes. They’re designed to hold and protect cherished fragile kitchenware.

We’ve got you covered if you don’t have a dish box.

Related: How to Pack a Kitchen for Moving 

Procedure for Packing Dishes

Please, read on for tips on packing dishes for moving. Cleaning up shards is no fun.

Prepare Moving Boxes

Here’s how to prepare a box for moving:

  1. Get a sturdy box and tape it up real good.
  2. Line the box’s bottom with enough crumpled paper to form a five-inch cushion.
  3. Line the insides of the box with thick clothing.

Note: Never overload a box of dishes! Except you want to waste the time you’ve used in careful packing.

Wrap and Pack the Dishes

  1. Place a piece of packing paper on a flat surface—a chair or bed preferably.
  2. Wrap packing paper in and around the dish in a suitable way for each plate.
  3. Hold the paper in place with enough tape.
  4. Wrap and pack the heaviest pieces first to evenly distribute the weight.
  5. Load every dish item into boxes.

Tip: Keep the weight of each box under 45 pounds.

Seal the Box

When arranging your dishes into the box, leave a few inches free for extra protection. Remember, we’ve protected the bottom; it’s time to secure the top.

  1. Stuff ample amounts of crumpled paper and a few pieces of clothing in the top of the box.
  2. Close the box and tape its flaps.
  3. Use a marker to note the ‘TOP’ of the box; label the box ‘FRAGILE’ and ‘Kitchen: Dishes.’

Now, let’s start packing each tableware.

Related: How to Pack Pots and Pans for Moving

Ways to Pack Dishes for Moving

How to Pack Pots and Pans

All cookware is susceptible to dents, and you need to learn how to pack them the right way.

Place the item in a piece of packing paper and wrap it one edge at a time. Repeat the process with multiple packing sheets.

You can reinforce pots and pans by placing crumpled packing paper in them or, better still, placing smaller wrapped dishes (except glasses, they’re packed differently).

Tip: Don’t place pots and pans in boxes to create space for more dishes.

How to Pack Bowls and Plates

What’s the #1 rule for packing dishes for moving? Never pack dishes together without some form of cushion in-between.

There are two proven ways to pack bowls and plates for moving:

Method 1

Follow these steps:

  1. Lay a packing paper on a flat surface and place the plate in the center.
  2. Wrap each side of the plate, so the packing paper meets in the middle of the plate.
  3. Secure the paper in place with tape.
  4. Arrange each plate vertically.
  5. Repeat the steps for all the plates. 

Method 2

The safest method of packing dishes for moving:

The plastic and cushioned frame of coolers are famous for keeping food warm. But its structure can also protect your dishes from impact and elements. 

  1. Purchase a sizable cooler from a store for household items.
  2. Pack and wrap each item with packing paper.
  3. Place the heaviest items in the cooler.
  4. Line the insides of the cooler with one piece of thick clothing.
  5. Arrange the dishes in the cooler and cover them with the lid. 

Although you’ll need an extra hand, it’s two times easier to move a cooler. Also, you don’t need to use extra padding on top of the plates. Cool, right! 

How to Pack Cups, Mugs, and Glasses

Cups and mugs are dishes that take plenty of packing paper.

Put plenty of packing paper inside the glass and all around the outside. For mugs, stick packing paper inside of the handle.

  • Fill the dishes with packing paper.
  • Wrap with 1-2 sheets of packing paper.
  • Just as you wrap knives for moving, start from one corner of the packing paper and wrap the dishes.
  • You can also stack cups and mugs inside one another if they’re large enough.

You can wrap them individually or in bundles like you’ll wrap knives.

How to Pack Fragile Dishes⁉️

You can invest in special dish-packing kits if you’ve got more fragile items or breakables of sentimental value.

Dish pack boxes have cardboard structures inside that make it easy to separate and store your dishes. They usually come with foam envelopes that provide extra padding.

How to Pack Dishes for Moving Without Paper

One con of using packing paper is the amount of time spent wrapping and tearing paper. (Not to mention the cost of paper needed for all your dishes.)

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We’ll help you save time and money (for purchases and the waste bill).

Things you’ll need:

  • Clothes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam or paper plates
  • Scotch tape

Here are two methods to help you pack dishes without paper:


In place of paper, wrap your tableware in fabric. Clothing items such as towels, sheets, and socks work just fine, and they can cover up any free space and prevent dishes from rattling against one another. You’ll need enough articles to protect your breakables.

Bubble Wrap

You can purchase bubble wrap from moving companies. They’re affordable and disposable.

Wrap your dishes in 2-3 bubble wrap sheets and secure the material with scotch tape.

Styrofoam or Paper Plates

Styrofoam is an expanded polystyrene foam used in packaging dishes, especially mugs and kitchenware.

Wrap your dishes in styrofoam or paper plates larger than your dishes to cover the edges.

Related: How to Pack a Box for Moving

Tips on How to Pack Dishes

  1. Pack heavier items first.
  2. Use cardboard to act as dividers in every five plates.
  3. Wrap dishes with at least two sheets of packing paper.
  4. Pack plates, cups, and mugs in large pots to save space.
  5. Like you’re stacking plates in a dishwasher or books on a shelf, always stack dishes vertically.
  6. Cut down on packing paper by using towels.
  7. Label every box “FRAGILE” and “TOP.”
  8. When moving, place breakables in a separate part of the truck or car, away from all other furniture and belongings. 
  9. Place the plates in a box and stuff packing materials in crevices and corners around your dishes.
  10. Shake the box gently to make sure the dishes can’t move much.

Note: Don’t forget to pack dishes for moving day, except if you plan on eating out for the first few days. Please pack a few dishes in a suitcase if you prefer homemade food.

Now that you know how best to pack dishes for moving, pick your preferred method and work.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below. We appreciate it!

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