Whether you’re getting ready to move to a new home or simply packing up some belongings to put into storage, it’s important to take special care when packing glass, mirrors, and other fragile items. Proper packing methods can mean the difference between preserving your belongings and finding them cracked when you unpack.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the best methods for packing and storing your most precious and breakable possessions.
How to Pack Fragile Items
To pack your fragile items, you’ll need quality packing supplies like small, sturdy boxes (packing too much into a large box can result in boxes being too heavy), packing tape, painter’s tape, flexible cardboard pieces, a permanent magic marker, and plenty of packing material. Ideally, you should have the following: bubble wrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, or old tee-shirts.)
Take your time packing fragile items. If you rush, you’re more likely to wrap things improperly. Here are some tips for specific items:
- For plates, wrap each plate in bubble wrap. For fine china, insert a foam layer or cardboard between each plate. Tape the packing materials in place and store plates on their sides to reduce the chance of breakage.
- For glasses and fine glassware, wrap each individual piece in newspaper, bunching some up to put inside the glass as well. Secure the paper with tape. Layer heavy glasses on the bottom of boxes. Then, cover them with pliable cardboard, and place lighter items on top. Use this same method for vases and hollow collectible items.
- For mirrors and other large, flat items such as framed artwork and photographs, begin by placing painter’s tape on the surface of the glass in a star pattern to help absorb shocks and prevent cracking. You should then cushion the corners of the mirror or glass item with foam and wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap secured with packing tape. Smaller mirrors and flat glass items should be wrapped the same way and placed in corrugated mirror boxes. Group pieces by size for shipping.
- Irregularly shaped items or items with sharp edges should not be packed in bubble wrap. Instead, wrap them in paper and use plenty of cushioning around them.
Label all boxes clearly with the word “Fragile” and make sure to indicate the top of the box as well. Fill in empty spaces in the boxes with extra paper or old tee-shirts, but be careful not to over pack them. If you’re packing the moving truck, place all fragile items carefully and make sure to secure them for transport.
How to Store Fragile Items
Packing fragile items properly is the key to storing them properly, but here are a few specific things to keep in mind:
- Always store plates and other flat items on their sides. This reduces the potential that a large surface area will crack.
- Do not stack heavy items on top of fragile items. Even if the boxes are well-packed, having weight on top of them may cause stress fractures and other damage.
- Always store mirrors, pictures, and other large, flat items made of glass upright – never place anything on top of them. If you must, steady them with boxes or furniture to ensure that they won’t fall.
If you follow these steps, you can be sure that your glassware and other fragile items will survive your move and their time in storage without breaking.