If you are fortunate enough to have Grandma’s china, you will want to put a lot of extra care into packing it all up for your move. If it was just a collection of nice plates and bowls, you would probably half-heartedly pack it and hope that nothing breaks, but in the back of your mind you will know it can easily be replaced. This is not an option with Grandma’s china. Once it is gone, it’s gone for good. Unless Grandma personally gave it to you as a gift, there is a good chance you inherited it at her passing, so it is extra special. You might not even use it for fear of something happening to it. Well, you might be a little stressed about movers handling it, but if you pack it right, it should make it to your destination all in one piece.
The Common Way
Select a box that will hold about 10 pounds. You do not want an overly heavy box yet you also do not want to only half fill a large box, or items are more likely to move around. Boxes from small appliances, copy paper, liquor, and beer are ideal. This will also ensure that the china will not end up with large boxes stacked on top.
Most people will place packing peanuts in the bottom of the box. Wrap each individual piece with white paper. It is important that no two pieces are able to touch, or they can scratch or chip. Some prefer to wrap each piece in bubble wrap.
When you load plates in the box, they should be placed on their side, as they are stronger packed in this position. If needed, you can make spacers by cutting cardboard pieces and sliding them in the box between items. Also, heavier items should be on the bottom. Leave the top portion of the box for lighter pieces. Fill in any open space in the box using packing peanuts or scrunched up newspaper. Mark the box with the word “FRAGILE” on at least two sides and the top, so the movers can quickly identify it at a glance.
The Frugal Way
If you are moving on a budget you might not want to squeeze the white paper, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap into your expense fund. However, you still want to make sure Grandma’s china arrives safely. This actually is a possibility!
Rather than placing peanuts in the bottom of the box, create a thick layer of cushioning by using a soft sweatshirt or sweater. Now, rather than wrapping each piece in paper, use a t-shirt, tank top, pillowcase, etc. You will still want to pack plates on their side, and you can still cut cardboard to create dividers, if you choose. When the box is filled, use balls of socks, rolled up baby clothes, or other similar items to fill in all the empty space. Once again, mark the box as fragile, and make sure you specify if one end needs to be up at all times.
If you are really nervous about handling the china, and you have the extra money, hire professionals to take care of it for you. They will use packing supplies they trust, and considering they do this every day you can be pretty confident in their packing abilities.