How to Safely Pack Glass for Moving

If you thought moving flat screen TVs was tricky, you’re in for a bigger hassle when it’s time to pack up all your glassware for a move.

At least flat screens are always flat! Glassware can come in all kinds of shapes, and they’re all fragile and some of the easiest items to break on a move. So yes, it’s going to take a little extra time and care to properly pack your glass items, but it can still be done fairly easily and inexpensively. Here are some key tips to remember:

Never Let Glass Touch Glass

This is a big one. You’re going to be packing most of your glass items into the same boxes, but you need to make sure they don’t touch each other because that’s one of the easiest ways to cause breakage. Luckily, it’s not hard to do this, and it’s also very cheap: All you need is cardboard and newspaper.

The Materials You’ll Need

Your first line of defense are the usual cardboard boxes you’ve been putting all your other stuff in for the big move, but that’s just the beginning.

You can buy specially made ‘dish paper’ at packing stores, but the stacks of newspaper you already have will do just fine. For dishes, put a couple layers of paper between each plate, and for cups and vases, put crumpled-up wads of paper between each object.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

For objects you know are going to be more fragile, you can cut up any extra cardboard you have to create dividing walls inside each box. That will make sure you don’t get any glass-on-glass contact. You can usually get sturdy cardboard boxes with dividers already inside them for free if you ask politely at places like liquor stores that receive their stock in such containers and would otherwise just throw them out for recycling. Or, if you want, you can order specially made glass divider boxes.

The Flat and the Skinny

Large flat panes of glass, like the kind you might find on top of a coffee table, and narrow glass that can easily snap, like the stems of wine glasses or delicate figurines, are special items that deserve special attention.

This is the time to beef up your protection from scavenged paper and cardboard to real bubble wrap. Go ahead and buy a roll, it’s insurance worth having.

For flat glass, a couple of layers of bubble wrap is a good idea, followed by very careful placement in your moving vehicle—sandwiched between two mattresses is a nice option.

Delicate, narrow areas need the most attention. Wrap paper and bubble wrap around the entire object until it is fairly even on all sides; that means packing a lot of extra material in the narrow section. You should end up with something that looks a bit like an egg made of crumpled paper and bubble wrap. You can then pack your ‘eggs’ into a box somewhat tightly, making sure there is not enough room for them to bounce into each other—you may even want to tape the ‘eggs’ together into one unit. You can just tape the packing material, no need to get sticky tape on your glassware. The most delicate pieces may need as much as three inches of extra material around each item.


It’s a lot of extra detail compared to loading up books or Tupperware, but it’s better than opening a box full of broken glass at your new home. Take a look at our selection of glass and dish packing supplies, and if you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-818-8449 and the College Muscle Movers of Minneapolis will do our best to help you out.