Packing Fragile Items Like a Pro: How To Not Piss Off Your Wife

If you are planning a move and have absolutely no clue how to not break every delicate item in your home, this article is for you. Read on to learn how to pack fragile items like a total professional.

Packing Fragile Items Like a Pro: How To Not Piss Off Your Wife

You know that super special glass vase your great aunt gave your mom back in the day? Or that extra china set you’ve been hating on for years? Maybe it's the breakable giant giraffe statue your brother brought back from Zanzibar… Whatever fragile item it is, don’t worry, there is a proper moving solution for it all. 

“Happy wife, happy life.” Don’t break your wife’s china set, or you’ll likely find yourself sleeping on the couch in the new home.

If you are like me and my friends, and you also hate breakable items, this is the article for you. No matter how simple you live your life, you are still likely to have tons of breakable goods in your home that you’ll need to move. 

Let's learn together the best way to make sure they end up in one piece at their destination.

How To Get Started Without Breaking Anything

1. Preparation is everything

With the proper steps taken in precaution of your breakables, you can move, worry-free about those glass, delicate items. Let's begin by making sure you have everything you need on hand to make your move, carefully.

Start with lots of cartons or plastic bins, tape rolls, permanent markers, bubble wrap, towels and sheets, and lots of patience and you’re already off to a good start. 

Make sure you have enough of the bubble wrap and tape to not have to be stingy with it when using a lot of the material wrapping fragile items.

Know which items you have that are extra fragile and plan to pack them properly. You can even take them out and put them aside to keep things streamlined even if they aren’t from the same room or category.

2. Wrap every fragile item separately without giving up

It can be tedious and repetitive, but don’t get lazy and start wrapping items together. Each breakable needs its own bubble wrap, towel area, or padding material.

The second you start getting lazy like I have, and only putting one bubble wrap layer between glass plates is the moment you know you won’t have a full plate set when you arrive. 

3. Use special “fragile boxes” if you can

There are special boxes made with extra padding for exactly this reason to keep your goods safe. Ask your mover (or just check off the box on iMoving) saying how many fragile boxes you need and we’ll hook you up with whatever you need. These fragile special boxes are designed with dividers and foam to help keep things under wraps, literally. 

4. Make sure to put a layer of padding on the bottom of boxes as well

This easily forgotten spot for padding is a sure fire way to end up with broken goods. Make sure to add extra padding at the corners which usually take in a lot of pressure as movers tend to lift boxes from the corner areas.

The extra layer on the bottom of your cartons with breakables is important as the boxes will likely be moved around a lot by you and the movers and are likely to be jolted in the moving truck. Think of this layer of padding as your safety layer. 

5. Fill the void

No, we aren't talking about the black hole in your heart that your ex-girlfriend left you with, but rather the empty spaces between fragile items in your cardboard boxes.

When you have empty space, the items you might have packed well with extra bubble wrap then have room to roll around and get broken. Don’t play with fate here like you did in your last relationship. 

6. Heavy items go in the box first

As is in life, the heaviest items should be dealt with first and foremost. Make sure each item that you load into your cartons goes by weight and size.

Put the heaviest items in the bottom of the box and work your way up. As well, the former rule works here as well, there should be no gaps between items or they will likely roll around and break. 

7. Layer after layer like a good chocolate cake

Everyone knows good things come in small packages. Just kidding also the big cartons are alright as well, as long as you layer your items. Make sure to have layers of towels, sheets or whatever padding material you choose in between layers of fragile goods.

I personally used my surfing wetsuits a few times as stretchy thick padding material between breakable mirrors. Feel free to get creative here and use your yoga mats, towels, pillow and more.

8. It’s not rocket science- write “FRAGILE” 

Don’t overthink it and don’t think you can write the word “fragile” too many times. It’s better to write this on every damn side and angle of the box than it is to break that giant ugly glass giraffe statue, so yes, write it one more time.

If it’s not clearly marked, your movers might think it’s just another box of clothing and not pay extra attention when lifting it and putting it down.


iMoving has a perfect list of vetted movers in your area that are not just talented and experienced with fragile items, but also with other strange specialty items such as baby grand pianos, statue collections, and other eclectic items strangers need to move from state to state.

We agree that honesty is the most important quality trait a mover should have. No matter the pricing differences or reviews, nothing is more important than honesty and transparency.

iMoving created a vetted list of movers and has a dedicated team that all day show up to their desk in the office just to read through personal reviews, and check accident records, insurance claims, and other boring documents of our movers on the marketplace.

It’s important you know what to check and why or you may end up paying more to get out of a scam.

Start with your personalized inventory list to understand the items you have and their quality stage. From there you should be able to estimate how many drawers of smaller items and similar things will require their own boxes.

Your move is able to bring you a first load of movers and you can always request more later or buy them on your own at your local hardware store. As a rule of thumb, always take 15-20 more than you think so that you don’t end up over stuffing your boxes.

First things first, you’ll need all the items out and packed up. Don’t even try cleaning room by room as you pack or you’ll end up exhausting yourself and cleaning the same place twice.

Things get dirty from boxes and tape. Embrace it and once fully packed up, stack your cartons in a central place that allows you to Dyson and mop all the floors.

Wipe down common surfaces such as countertops and the insides of drawers. You can always hire a cleaning crew post-move if you don’t have time and energy.

Your furry friends are the most important family member sometimes yet don’t have a say in the move. Prepare them by booking a doggy sitter or doggy day care for the day of the move so that you aren’t stressed about them getting lost while things are astray.

When you first arrive at your new home and they are brought home, make sure their corner of the house is prepared with their food and water dishes, bed and toys in one central area.

Your pets need to feel they have their safe space since their surroundings have now changed, so they don’t get stressed out. Try to stay home with them in the beginning while they get used to the spot, and take them for long walks exploring the new neighborhood streets so they can find their favorite new poop spot.

Wrapping things up (literally)

When you follow these simple but smart packing steps for fragile items, your items are likely to arrive just fine. It’s important to take the extra time wrapping each fragile piece to ensure your favorite belongings arrive in one piece and not 387 pieces at your new home.

Rachel Kaplan

Rachel has spent the last few years writing for moving companies while actually moving across the globe. After many years of moving between many states in the US, she moved abroad to try the remote work life. She’s a pro at moving all her things with her dog and hundreds of plants. Thankfully she’s a minimalist so moves aren’t too much of an issue.

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