Back to All

3 Tips How To Pack Fragile Items For Moving

While you should seriously consider having a professional moving company pack all of your items as you prepare for your relocation, we realize that level of service isn’t always in the budget. If you do choose to tackle the job yourself, please exercise extreme care when packing fragile items.

Here are several tips to help you avoid damage and frustration:

  • Save the Breakables For Last.

It’s often a good idea to wait to secure fragile items until just about everything else in your home has been packed, but make certain you get started early. Packing fragile items requires more care, of course, and as a result it can take a lot longer to pack these items. Many people who start by packing breakables soon find out time is their enemy. Before they know it, moving day has arrived and they still have most of their packing to do. Leave yourself plenty of time to make sure you can finish the entire job!

  • Use Plenty of Cushioning

Not only should you use bubble wrap or newsprint when wrapping your breakables, you should also line the bottom of the boxes holding the items. If you don’t have the budget for bubble wrap, try using a generous amount of tissue paper. This is an excellent alternative that costs a great deal less. Also, pack fragile items as tightly as you can into each box so there is less of a risk of them banging together during the move.

  • Use the Right Type of Box

You can take all the care in the world when packing fragile items, but that may not matter if they’re not placed in a sturdy box for the move. Use boxes known as “dish packs,” if possible. These have thicker cardboard and will do a better job of withstanding punctures and absorbing the shock of sudden movements. Talk with your mover about shipping instructions and special containers for valuable items.

  • Don’t Forget to Prepare for Unpacking

When packing fragile items, keep similar types of items together and label boxes appropriately. Attach labels onto your boxes to help remember where your valuables are during the unpacking process. Paper, corrugated fiberboard pads, loose fill (peanuts), foam, and inflatable air pouches may be able to be recycled after use, so make sure you have trash and recycling ready when you arrive.

  • Talk With An Expert

If you are working with a national moving company, they may have resources and personnel to help plan your move. From packing materials checklists to real-time advice from a moving professional, your moving company should be an ally and valuable resource with years of experience moving fragile items.

Handle With Care

  • Musical Instruments: Because many musical instruments are made from materials that are sensitive to temperature and humidity, they should always be stored and shipped in a hardshell case designed specifically for their shape, taking into account the changing conditions during the move.
  • Fine Works of Art: Moving pictures, frames, and sculptures can be a delicate process, and you should start by talking with your moving company about specialty moving. This is especially important for paintings, ceramics, or fragile sculptures.
  • Electronics: Flat-screen TVs, A/V equipment, and cameras require extra special care. Whenever possible, use the original box and shipping materials before packing items safely within padded boxes. Make sure you talk with your moving company about valuation options and specialty moving to see if either would be a great fit for you.
  • Hot Tubs & Home Add-Ons: If you’re set on taking your hot tub or home add-on with you, you will need to contact your mover for specific handling and shipping instructions. Because some of these items have large or unusual dimensions, and they may be quite valuable, it’s important to have a conversation about valuation options and specialty moving instructions.
  • China: Expensive plates and dishes need to be fitted tightly within boxes with plenty of padding. By limiting the amount of space between items with towels, blankets, and newsprint (newspaper can stain china), you can prevent chips or cracks from movement inside of the box.

Specialty Moving

If you are moving unique or valuable items with specific handling and delivery instructions, you may want to consider specialty moving services. Common household items that require specialty moving include musical instruments, fine works of art, grandfather clocks, priceless antiques, watercraft, hot tubs, and large (or expensive) electronics. Your specialty mover should be able to supply custom crates, high-quality packing materials, and an expert crew to make sure your most valuable possessions are shipped with care.


The best national moving companies offer multiple forms of valuation. Valuation provides peace of mind for your family while moving, and National Van Lines offers two forms of protection. Basic valuation, at $0.60 per pound, is offered at no additional charge and may be perfect for individuals without a large amount of valuable personal property. Full replacement coverage provides for the lesser of the repair or replacement cost and is based on the value of the items being moved.

If you have any questions, or you would like help packing fragile items, the professionals with National Van Lines are here to help. Contact us online or call us at 800-676-9270.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?