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Packing Dishes for Moving

Let’s face it. Even if you’re having movers come pack and move you…moving is the worst. And there literally is no room more awful to pack than the dreaded kitchen.

packing dishes for moving

But knowing how to pack dishes for moving the right way (yes, there is a right way), and having supplies on hand, can make this otherwise painful process wildly easier. If you’re planning a move, get ahead of the game by making sure you have all the supplies you need and a game plan for the best way to pack dishes with Paper Mart’s How to Pack Dishes guide. Read on, as we cover:

  • Packing Supplies for Moving
  • 5 Steps to Packing Dishes
  • Packing Bowls & Plates
  • Packing Glassware

Before you even start packing dishes for moving, it’s worth it to pre-order your supplies so you have everything on hand. Paper Mart is your one stop shop for everything you need to quickly, efficiently and safely pack dishes before your big move.

You’ll Need

Step 1 – Choose and Assemble Moving Boxes

Moving boxes aren’t like just any other cardboard box. Especially if you’re using them for dishes, the extra construction and thicker walls of heavy duty corrugated boxes will help protect your fragile dishes and other kitchenware to ensure everything makes it safely to its new home.

Sometimes, bigger is better, but when you’re wrapping and packing breakable dishes, you don’t want boxes that are too big. The more you fill a box up, the heavier it will be – and with breakables, a heavy box will just increase the chance of damage.

To assemble your box, make sure you completely seal the bottom middle seam and both sides of the box. Don’t skimp on the tape…you want to tape the box securely so it won’t break open or cave in once packed.

Step 2 – Cushion the Moving Box

Providing at least a 6” protective layer or cushion with filler (packing paper, bubble wrap, etc) will help keep your dishes safe until they’re moved, washed and lovingly placed in their new cabinet-home. If you’re packing very fragile dishes, you could use a combination of crumpled packing paper and a layer of bubble wrap at the bottom for added reinforcement.

Whatever filler you decide to use, make sure you completely line the bottom of the box before you start adding your dishes. That protective layer at the bottom will help cushion dishes just in case a box is accidentally dropped or set down sharply.

Step 3 – Securely Wrap the Dish

Be sure to completely wrap each dish individually before you stack anything in the box. Multiple layers around a dish is best.

Lay your packing paper flat on a sturdy surface, and put one dish in the middle of the sheet. Wrap all the way around, at least one layer, and secure the ends of the paper with tape. Now your dish is ready to go into the box. More on the best way to fit your dishes into the box below…

Step 4 – Stack the Wrapped Dishes

You may want to add an extra layer of bubble wrap or a couple layers of paper every 4 to 6 dishes. Once the box is nearly full, use balls of packing paper, fabric (kitchen towels and oven mitts are great for this!) or extra bubble wrap or peanuts to fill the space at the top of the box. Remember to put the heavier items at the bottom, and lighter items like glassware at the top of the box.

If you’re finished packing your box, and you’ve added filler at the top and around any sides where gaps of space may be, close the box and tape it securely. Be sure to label your box so you’re not wondering where everything is at the other end of the move.

Step 5 – Tape and Label the Moving Box

Tape the top of the box along the center seam and again on the open sides of the box. Add stickers that state the box has “Fragile Contents,” or that say “This Way Up.”

How to Pack Plates & Bowls for Moving

While you technically can wrap and pack bowls and plates bundled together, we don’t recommend it. Individually wrapping each type of dish, and stacking the same style dish together is the safest bet.

First you want to lay the packing paper flat on a table or counter. Place one dish or bowl in the center of the paper, and gently fold each corner of the paper into the center, taping all four corners where they meet.

Rather than stacking dishes one on top of another flat in the box, the best way to pack dishes is to place them vertically, just like you do when you’re loading a dishwasher. You only want to do one layer of this – once the bottom of the box is full, move on to another box. Leave the top half of the box empty until you have several light-weight items to fill the rest of the box.

How to Pack Glassware & Mugs for Moving

While a bit more fragile and time consuming to wrap, once you have your technique down on how to pack glasses, you can breeze through your glassware and mugs in no time. Fill the inside of a cup, glass or mug with crumpled paper, then use two sheets together to wrap them completely. Lay the glassware at one corner on top of the two sheets, and diagonally roll the glass across the paper. As you roll, fold in the extra paper at the top and bottom for added support.

If you’re wrapping items that are thick and not quite as fragile, you can wrap two items with the same sheet. Just stop rolling at the center, then wrap another one (same style, shape and size) from the opposite corner, until the two meet at the middle.

Gently place your wrapped glassware into the box, cushion with more crumpled paper for added protection, and tape the full box shut. Label with the contents and be sure to add your “Fragile” stickers.

Get Dish Packing Supplies at Paper Mart!

Whether you’re wrapping a huge kitchen with multiple sets of dishes, or you’ve only got service for four, knowing how to pack dishes, bowls and glassware, the most breakable of your possessions, will help make sure you are unpacking dishes and glassware that are still in perfect condition.

Browse our full selection and get all your packing and moving supplies from Paper Mart today. From moving boxes, to cushioning supplies, to tape and labels, we’ve got everything you need to make the move and settle into your new digs!


  1. Ken Franks December 31, 2020

    Do you guys have small little paper trays, like your eco boxes?

    • Gabrielle at Paper Mart January 4, 2021

      Hi Ken! Thanks for asking! We offer a variety of food boxes made of eco-friendly materials. At this time we do not have small paper trays. However, we’re always trying to improve our product offerings and feedback like this is an important part of that process. Hope this helps out! For more personalized help, please feel free to give us a call at 800.745.8800, ext. 2.

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