Packing Lamps and Paintings

During the moving process, people are often concerned about possible damage to paintings, lamps, and glass items. Don’t worry! Today we’ll talk a little bit about what you can do keep paintings and lamps unscathed. (For glass, see previous posts.)


Artwork, mirrors, and pictures should be packed in mirror or picture boxes, unless they are very small. Small flat pieces can be carefully wrapped and stacked in other boxes (Muscle Boxes keep things safer than cardboard). You’ll also want corner protectors to put on everything, so that frames or corners of canvas don’t get scuffed.

You can pick up these specialty boxes from a home supply store (Lowe’s, Menards, Home Depot) or get them right from the source: that’s College Muscle Movers, in our case. We can even offer packing services that will help ensure your stuff gets packed safely.

  • Prepare a picture box for the artwork by layering the bottom with packing paper.
  • Wrap each individual artwork, then wrap them in Bubble Wrap®.
  • Fill any loose space in the box with something to pad it. Typically, wadded up newsprint is used, but light blankets or bubble wrap will work well too.
  • If two boxes are needed for the glass top then put the second box on top of the other by telescoping them together and fill spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.


For most lamps, you’ll want to purchase individually sized boxes for each lamp. Extra tall boxes can be purchased through one of the stores listed above, or from CMM. Measure all your lamps first and buy boxes that will accommodate the tallest lamp.

  • Take the lampshade off and set it aside to pack separately.
  • Be sure to also remove any lightbulbs and metal framing wire around the lamp itself. It’s always best to remove anything that can be easily shattered or bent.
  • Lampshades should be individually packed in an appropriately sized box, unless they can be safely stacked atop one another in one box.
  • Make sure there is something padding the bottom of the box before you put the lampshades in. This is another great time to use our Muscle Boxes: lampshades are very delicate, and it doesn’t take much pressure to dent them.
  • Secure any loose power cords around the lamp and then wrap it all up with blank newsprint paper or bubble wrap. Again, if you don’t have this stuff or you’ve run out, you can use blankets or sheets in a pinch.
  • Label your boxes well (this goes for everything, especially fragile items) and be sure to let your movers know if they are moving a box with a lamp. Knowledge is power; communicating with your movers will help ensure that they can keep the boxes safe in transit.

One last thing: paintings and lamps come in all shapes and sizes, so:


If you have an oversized painting or lamp, try to let your movers know in advance so that they can plan accordingly. Sometimes disassembly or special equipment will make your curiously sized work of art a breeze to move, but only if the movers know in advance!