How to Pack China and Glassware

Pack dishes in a dishpacks. A dishpack is sturdier than a typical packing box and is used for fragile items such as dishes and collectibles.

  1. Wrap and stack plates in bundles up to 4 and bowls in bundles of 2 to 3. Wrap china separately before bundling.
  2. Wrap glasses and mugs individually.
  3. Wrap the stem of a wineglass with a folded sheet of paper before wrapping in packing paper.
  4. Wrap items with lids, such as teapots in paper and then wrap in additional paper creating a bundle.
  5. Pack items in the dishpack lined with crumpled paper, beginning with the heaviest items first. Place bundles of plates and bowls on their side. Build layers separated with cardboard and use cellpacks for glasses and stemware, as well as collectibles or other breakables.

Use a Dish Pack Box to Ensure Safe Transit

When packing for a long distance move, we recommend using a dish pack — an exceptionally sturdy corrugated carton of double-wall construction — for china, glassware and other fragile items less than 18 inches in size. Unless cartons of similar strength and construction are available, you might want to purchase several dish packs from your United agent.

Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually in clean paper. Using several sheets of paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. A double layer of newspaper serves well as an outer wrapping. A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware.

Flat china and glassware

Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack.

Place cushioning material in the bottom of a carton. Wrap each piece individually, then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of newspaper. Place these bundled items in the carton in a row on edge.

Surround each bundle with crushed paper, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces. Add two or three inches of crushed paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Horizontal cardboard dividers can be helpful in keeping layers level.

Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls can make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items.

Bowls and odd-shaped items

Depending on their weight, these might be used either as the bottom or middle layers. Wrap the same way as flat plates.

Stand shallow bowls (soup plates, etc.) on edge in the carton and deep ones (such as mixing bowls) nested two or three together, upside down on their rims.

Wrap sugar bowl lids in tissue, turning them upside down on top of the bowl. Then, wrap both together in clean paper followed by an outer double layer of newspaper. Wrap cream pitchers in clean paper and then a double outer wrapping. Place sugar bowls, cream pitchers, sauce containers and similar pieces upright in the carton. Complete the layer as for plates.

Even when using a dish pack and mini-cells for china, wrap cups individually, protecting handles with an extra layer of paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

If not using a dish pack or cells, wrap cups as previously described in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Complete the layer as for plates.