Professional packers use a dish pack -- an exceptionally sturdy corrugated box of double- wall construction — for china, glassware and other fragile items less than 18 inches in size.
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 unprinted paper serves well as an outer wrapping. A generous amount of paper padding and cushioning is required for all china and glassware. Just to be sage, Label boxes, "FRAGILE — THIS SIDE UP."
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 box. Wrap each piece individually then wrap up to three in a bundle with a double layer of unprinted paper. Place these bundled items in the box 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 box 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 unprinted paper. 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 box. 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.
Because air causes silver to tarnish, all silver pieces should be enclosed completely in clean tissue paper or plastic wrap. Holloware — including bowls, tea sets and serving dishes — should be wrapped carefully as fragile items and packed like china.
Loose flatware may be wrapped either individually or in sets, and in clear plastic or tissue.
If silverware is in a chest, you still might want to wrap the pieces individually and reposition them in the chest. Or, fill in all empty spaces in the chest with tissue paper or paper towels. Wrap the chest with a large bath towel.
FIGURINES AND OTHER DELICATE ITEMS
Wrap first in tissue paper, paper towels or facial tissue. Then, wrap carefully in unprinted paper that has been crushed and flattened out. Be sure the items are well-protected with plenty of cushioning.
Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should be wrapped individually in tissue paper. A bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and padding for glass. Place items on edge in a box.
Most Professionals use Bubble wrap (plastic with bubbles) for exceptionally fragile items. If an item is extremely valuable as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection.
After removing the light bulb and lamp harp, wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in unprinted paper. (Use paper pads for large lamps.) Place them together in a box, filling spaces with crushed paper. More than one well-cushioned lamp may be packed in a box.
Wrap each shade in three or four sheets of tissue paper, a pillowcase or a large lightweight towel.
To allow for movement, use a sturdy box at least two inches larger all around than the largest shade. Line it with clean paper, using crushed paper under the lamp shade to create a protective layer, but not around the shade. A small shade can be nested inside a large one, if you are sure they will not touch. Only one silk shade should be placed in a box to avoid stretching the silk.
Do not pack other items with shades. Label boxes "LAMP SHADES — FRAGILE."
Pack them either flat or with the spine touching the bottom of the box. Do not pack with spine facing up, as glue can break away from the binder. Pack books of the same general size together.
Expensively bound volumes or those of special sentimental value should be individually wrapped before packing.
Because books are heavy, be sure to use small boxes specifically designated for books.
Family photographs, videos, slides and negatives should be packed in separate boxes rather than being combined with other household items.
Protect framed photos with padding and cushioning, standing them on edge in a box. Label boxes clearly for easy identification.
If possible, carry irreplaceable items with you to destination.
COMPACT DISCS, TAPES AND RECORDS (VINYL)
Remove these items from the stereo or storage cabinet. Keep in mind records are heavy and should be packed in small boxes.
If records are not in jackets, wrap individually in tissue paper, unprinted paper or bubble wrap to protect them from being scratched.
Stand compact discs and records on edge, never flat, on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with a large, hardcover book or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper. Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark "FRAGILE."
Cassette tapes should be placed in the protective plastic box in which they came, if possible, and then wrapped individually in crumpled paper. Place individual tapes either vertically or horizontally on a couple of layers of crushed paper.
Clothing left on hangers and placed in wardrobe boxes will arrive at destination wrinkle-free. One will hold about two feet of compressed clothing on hangers.
If wardrobe boxes are not used, each garment should be removed from its hanger, folded and placed in a suitcase or a box lined with clean paper.
Hats may be left in hatboxes and placed in a large box. Or, stuff the crown of each hat with crumpled tissue paper; wrap tissue loosely around the outside and place in a box lined with clean paper, with the heavier hats on the bottom. Don't pack anything else with hats. Label the box "FRAGILE."
Footwear may be left in shoeboxes and placed in a large box. Or, wrap each shoe individually and then in pairs. Footwear should be cushioned to avoid damage to heels or ornaments. Don't pack heavy items on top of shoes.
It is recommended that you take your furs with you rather than having them moved on the truck.
LINEN AND BEDDING
Blankets, sheets, tablecloths, towels, pillowcases and other linens may be protected by a large plastic bag and packed in a box that has been lined with clean paper.
Wrap your most prized linens in tissue. Also, linens and bedding are good for cushioningor padding many types of items.
Special mattress covers in various sizes are available. Pillows may be placed in bureau drawers or packed in boxes.
DRAPERIES AND CURTAINS
Draperies and curtains may be folded and packed in boxes lined with clean paper or bubble wrap.
Pre-move preparation is required for many major appliances. Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment -- or have your agent send someone out who is authorized to perform this service.
Items such as clocks, small radios and other small appliances should be wrapped individually and packed in a reinforced electronics box cushioned with crushed paper.
Small clocks, radios and similar items can be packed in the same box with linens or as extra items with lamp bases. Make sure cords are wrapped so as not to scratch or otherwise damage items.
Steam irons should be emptied of all water, wrapped and placed in the cushioned bottom of a box.
Remove all batteries from small appliances before packing.
Home computers, microwave ovens and stereo systems require special care to ensure they arrive at destination safely.
Please use a reinforced electronics box that provides increased protection for sensitive and expensive electronic equipment.
If you saved the original boxes and packing materials in which these items arrived, it is best to repack using those materials. Should you not have these materials, you might want to contact a store selling your particular item and ask if discarded packing materials are available.
Long-handled garden tools, as well as brooms and mops, should be bundled together securely. Attachments should be removed from power tools and packed separately.
Hand tools may be left in tool boxes and the spaces filled with crushed paper, or they may be packed according to general packing rules. Always use small boxes because tools usually are heavy.
Take only food items you are sure will travel well. Do not take anything perishable. In the winter months, do not take anything subject to freezing.
Open boxes of dried or powdered foods such as rice, macaroni and cereals should be sealed with tape. Small containers of herbs and spices, condiments, bouillon cubes, gelatin, flavorings, etc. should be placed together in a small box before packing in a large box. Cover holes of shaker-type containers and seal with tape.
Since canned goods are heavy, the amount placed in one box should be limited.
GLASS TABLE TOPS, MARBLE SLABS, LARGE MIRRORS, PAINTINGS, STATUES AND LARGE VASES
All are easily damaged. Glass might shatter, and marble slabs can crack at veins. Paper never should be permitted to touch the surface of an oil painting.
It's best to consult with a moving professional about custom-made boxes and crates for items of this kind.