How to Pack China and Glassware

Use Dish Pack Boxes to Prevent Breakage

You will need: 

1) Strong, double-wall corrugated cartons designed specifically to protect fragile china and glassware. You can purchase these “dish packs” from your Mayflower agent. (Dish packs also work well for fragile collectibles less than 18 inches in size).

2) Unprinted news wrap for packing.

General packing strategy: 

Each piece should be wrapped individually, with clean news wrap. Take several sheets of paper at a time, wrap them around the item starting from a corner, continuing diagonally, tucking in edges as you go. Then, add another layer or two of news wrap to serve as an outer wrapping. This should provide a sufficient baseline of protection between each piece. 

Be as generous as possible with crumpled news wrap and paper cushioning around all fragile items, including china and glassware.

Layering flat items:

Prepare the entire bottom of your box with crumpled news wrap. 

The bottom portion of your box is best suited for platters and other large china and glass plates. 

Wrap large dishes individually in news wrap, and then bundle with one or two other individually-wrapped dishes of similar size. Secure your bundle with two or more sheets of news wrap. Put this bundle in one of the rows on the edge of the box or dish pack.

Repeat this process, being careful to leave no unfilled spaces around the bundles. Add more crushed paper on top of the bundle to create a protective platform for the next layer. 

Next, you can pack saucers, smaller plates and shallow bowls. Wrap and pack this layer the same way you did the bottom. Proceed until the box is fully packed, with each layer consisting of items lighter and smaller than those below it.


Layering bowls:

Bowls may serve as bottom or middle layers, depending on their size. They may be wrapped the same way as you did the other pieces. 

Large bowls (think mixing bowls) can be nested in groups of two to three, upside down. Shallow bowls (think cereal or soup bowls) can be stood up on edge in the dish pack.

Sugar bowls:

Lids should be wrapped in tissue. The lid can then be inverted on top of the sugar bowl. Take the sugar bowl and the inverted lid and wrap them together in news wrap, topping it off with another double layer of news wrap.


Cream pitchers: 

Wrap pitchers in clean news wrap, topped off with another double layer of news wrap.

When packing items such as sugar bowls, cream pitchers and other smaller pieces of china and tea sets, they should be placed together upright in the box. Complete the layering process to the top as described for plates.


Cups should be wrapped individually, with handles protected by additional news wrap. Cups should be packed upside down.

If using a cell divider in one of Mayflower's dish packs, your cups are done at this point. Otherwise, wrap cups with an additional layer of news wrap and place them upside down on an upper layer, completing the process as described for plates. Be sure that all cup handles face the same direction.

You can find additional information about packing here: 

  • Packing 101
  • Official moving checklist

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