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There are unique challenges when packing china, dishware, and fragile items. This how-to guide gives tips for properly packing these items in order to avoid damage. Things to consider include the weight of the items, the shape of the items, and the packing materials to use. There are special boxes to use for these items, which are stronger.

Use Plenty of Packing Materials

Hot Tip! Use packing paper rather than newspaper because the ink will come off and make a mess when using newspaper.

Have plenty of packing materials available that include lighter tissue paper, heavier wrapping paper, and sheets of paper. Professional packers may also use Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap as alternatives to paper. Packing tape is useful to hold the paper in place when wrapped around an item and to seal the boxes when full.

Distribute the Weight for Best Results

Hot Tip! Use a dish box for extra support and place heavier items on the bottom.

Put a protective layer of crumpled paper in the bottom of a box to get it ready to fill it. Heavier items are then individually wrapped and put into the box first. After that, lighter items are wrapped and placed above the heavier ones. Be sure to think about the overall weight and not fill one box with too many heavy things that makes it difficult to carry.

Special Boxes and Wrapping Styles for Dishware

Hot Tip! The proper way to pack stemware, mugs, and cups includes using boxes designed for glassware. Pack these items with the rims down and face the handles all towards one direction.

Use special “dish pack” boxes that are sturdier than regular boxes. Line the bottom with crumpled paper. Wrap mugs, cups, glasses, and stemware separately. Use a folded piece of sheet paper to wrap around the stems of wine glasses. Use plenty of crumpled paper around items to make sure there is no open space.

Use cardboard dividers to separate each item. Separate layers by putting some crushed paper on top of the lower layer and use horizontal cardboard to make a level space for each new layer. Stack similar items in each layer.

Sturdy plates can be wrapped as bundles of up to four plates. Sturdy bowls can be wrapped in bundles of two or three. Delicate china plates and bowls need to be wrapped separately. Wrap the lid of a teapot and the teapot itself separately and then wrap the two of them together to make a bundle. Fill the top layer of the box with crumpled paper before sealing it.

Dealing with Unusual Items

Hot Tip! Use tissue paper as a base to wrap around odd-shaped items.

For very fragile things, make a bundle first that completely surrounds the item with soft tissue paper and then surround this with sturdy paper. Use extra crumbled paper in the box at the bottom, along the sides, and to fill up the top, in order to make a cushion that holds the bundle in the center of the box away from its walls or separated from other items by cardboard dividers.

One Last Tip

When packing and storing fine china, dishes, bowls, glassware, and other fragile items, it is important to take the time necessary to wrap everything carefully. This extra care is needed in order to avoid the disappointment of things being broken. Use the right kind of boxes, along with plenty of packing materials, and store them according to the best practices to have a good result.

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