Your fine china has a special place in your heart. Maybe it is a family heirloom. Maybe it was given to you as a wedding gift, and every time you look at it, it brings back memories of one of the best days of your life.

However you received your china in the first place, it’s important to keep it safe if you decide to move. In this blog, we’ll share how to pack china for moving so that you can do just that. 

Let’s begin!

How to pack china for moving

Below is how to pack china for moving: 

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China is delicate and not something you want to pack without precautions in place (and the right supplies). To get started, you’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and a moving box or two, depending on how much china you have. You might also consider a dish pack box, which is often called one of the best boxes for moving fine china. 

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Wrap the plates and bowls

This is where the packing paper comes in handy. Wrap the china piece by piece, using a light hand as you go. You’ll want to put each plate on packing paper, with the eating side pointed toward the table. 

The paper should exceed the dimensions of the china. Next, use your fingers to fold the corners toward the inside of the plate. Once you do all four corners, tape the center point. 

When it comes to packing supplies, you’ll want to put the dish in the middle of a sheet of packing paper. As with the plates, you’ll bring each edge of the paper toward the middle of the bowl, but you’ll want to do one extra step: including a wad of packing paper inside of the bowl for safety purposes during transit. 

Tip: Wrapping multiple pieces of china in the same sheet of packing paper might feel like it will save you time. However, it can lead to your dishes breaking. Always go dish by dish when packing fine china so that everything stays safe. 

Table with cup and vase

Roll the cups in packing paper

What do we mean by this exactly? You’ll want to start wrapping the same way you do with plates: by setting the cup on packing paper on a table (specifically in one of the sheet’s four corners). 

Then, you’ll roll the cup from the top of the paper to the bottom, putting any remaining paper from the sheet inside of the cup. It’s truly that simple!

Put bubble wrap or packing paper in your box

This extra step is worth its weight in gold. Even though your china might be wrapped and ready for transit, you still have to put it in a moving box. 

What better way is there to secure that box than giving it extra durability with a layer of bubble wrap or packing paper at the base before putting a single dish inside? (Spoiler alert: there isn’t!)

Begin packing everything into boxes

The total number of boxes you need depends on the amount of china you have, plus the types of china. It’s usually a good idea to keep plates together, bowls together, and cups together, for instance. That means you might need three boxes if you have a small collection of each of those.

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Try not to add more than a dozen dishes in your moving box so that they’re less prone to break. You can also add packing paper or bubble wrap around the dishes to give more cushion during the big move.

How do you pack the dishes for moving? For plates, you’ll want to put them gently in the box facing upward, with bubble wrap between each plate. You can also line packing paper around the edges of the box and over the dishes before you tape the box closed. 

For bowls, you’ll want to pile them on top of one another, separating them with bubble wrap. Cups can be packed on their side, filled with–you guessed it–packing paper or bubble wrap. 

Mark the box as fragile

Once everything is secure in the box, and it has packing paper and/or bubble wrap along the walls of the inside, the bottom of the box, and the top of the box, it’s time to close the box with some good ole packing tape. 

Of course, you can’t forget to write “fragile” on the box with a marker and label it based on your specific labeling color coding system. (It’s recommended to choose a different-colored label for all rooms in a house when moving.) That’s all it takes!

More things to know about packing china and crystal for a move

We get all sorts of questions about moving with fine china and how to pack dishes for moving. Here are some common questions and answers:

What is the best way to wrap china for moving?

The methods we mentioned above are the proper ways to wrap china for a move. All in all, it comes down to using a fresh piece of packing paper (preferably white), doing each dish or cup one by one, and wrapping it with more than one sheet of packing paper. 

What size of box do you need to pack china?

It’s best to get a small or medium box anytime you’re packing something breakable. That includes fine china, meaning plates, bowls, and cups. 

Why? It’s all too easy to put too many things in a large box, which can cause the box to break when you least expect it. So, make things easy on yourself, and opt for a small or medium box for packing china dishes. 

How do you pack china and crystal for moving?

We covered above how to pack china for moving. Crystal is much the same. You will want to go piece by piece and use plenty of bubble wrap. 

One difference with packing crystal and other glassware is that you should put the crystal in cardboard before inserting it into the moving box. That way, there’s an extra layer of support in case things get a little rocky during the move. 

Can you put multiple types of china in the same box?

It’s possible to pack different china in one box if everything is wrapped well with packing paper and bubble wrap. However, don’t forget one of the biggest rules about packing boxes: heavy items go to the bottom of a box. 
That means that if you do decide to pack the dishes in the same box, you’ll want to put the plates at the bottom, then the bowls on top, and so forth. Otherwise, you could be in for quite a disaster by the time you arrive at your new home and go to unbox your china.

Good luck with your move 

At Bellhop, there’s nothing we want more than for our customers to have a smooth move. We hope this guide on how to pack china for moving helps out a little in the moving process and saves you some time and research. If you’re ready to get moving, our local and long-distance movers can be there in a jiffy. 

Ready to start the conversation? Find movers near you today. 

Nick Valentino