Packing lamps for moving is fairly straightforward – you only need to follow a few safety rules when packing those fragile and breakable sources of light and things will be quite alright when you arrive in your new home.
In addition to the added fragility, another challenge when packing lamps for a move is that table lamps, floor lamps and even chandeliers have odd and irregular shapes, so their proper and safe packing will require a bit more effort from you.
How to pack lamps and lampshades for moving?
Remember that it’s imperative that all the lamps you have decided to take with you survive the local or cross-country move without any damage. Follow these step-by-step instructions and tips for packing lamps when moving house.
What you’ll need to pack lamps and lampshades for a move
- Packing boxes. If you somehow keep the original packaging that your lamps came in when you purchased them, then you’ve already done half the job. In case you don’t keep those boxes, then you should find cardboard boxes that are big enough to fit the lamps, especially the lampshades. Getting your hands on free moving boxes might do the trick, but you may be better off measuring your lamps and purchasing some of the boxes straight from a local moving company to make sure even your tallest lamps will fit inside.
- Packing paper. Always use clean, soft and white packing paper to pack lamps when moving. Unless you use newspapers as padding and filling materials, you should avoid the usage of newsprint because it can leave nasty ink stains.
- Bubble wrap or foam. Bubble wrap is often regarded as the best protective material when packing fragile items for a move, so make sure you purchase several rolls from a local mover or a home depot store.
- Packing tape. Never place tape directly onto the delicate finish of a lamp base or on any of the other lamp components.
- A marker pen. It’s important to label your boxes because those labels will draw attention to the fragile nature of the packed items inside the boxes.
How to pack lamps when moving
- Prepare the boxes. Use high-quality tape to reinforce the bottom of each cardboard box in which you plan to pack lamps and lampshades. To stay on the safe side, do it even if you have purchased your moving boxes brand new. Then, place crumpled paper (newspaper is fine too) on the inside bottom of each container so that that cushioning layer can absorb any harmful bumps or accidental hits along the way.
- Remove the lampshade. Depending on the model, brand, and design of your lamp, there will be various ways to remove the lampshade – you may need to unscrew the finial to do that or you may just need to lift up the lampshade to set it free.
- Remove the harp. Some table or floor lamps have harps – “U”-shaped metal or plastic frames that hold the shades in place. Remove the harp from the lamp and set it aside for now.
- Unscrew the light bulb. Light bulbs are extremely fragile and the chance is good that they won’t survive the relocation trip. Still, light bulbs cost money so it’s unwise to just throw them away while they are still perfectly usable. Again, use their original packaging should you happen to still have them around. If not, wrap the bulbs in bubble wrap and place them carefully inside a special box that will only contain very breakable items.
- Coil up the cable. The cord of the lamp must be well secured so that it won’t cause any accidents. Bundle the cable around the lamp base and use a cable tie to keep it in place. Do not use tape as it can damage the paint or the outer coating of the base.
- Wrap the lamp base and the harp. Set the lamp base in the middle of a large piece of bubble wrap, then slowly roll the lamp in the protective material, and finally tape it. Again, be careful not to use tape directly onto the lamp base surface for fear of damaging the delicate surface. As a result, the lamp should be entirely covered in bubble wrap. Do the same with the lamp harp.
- Box the lamp base. Carefully, place the already protected lamp base upright into the box, with its base down. You can easily arrange several lamp bases in the same box, one base next to the other, as long as they are not touching directly. Use crumpled paper to keep them out of contact. It’s always a good idea to keep the different parts of the lamp together for easier and quicker installation after the move. The only exception to this is the lampshade – shades will be safer in separate boxes because of their fragility and larger sizes.
- Fill in the gaps. Whenever you pack fragile items for moving, you must always make sure there are no empty spaces inside the cardboard boxes. Insert crushed paper or utilize old pieces of clothing between the arranged lamp elements to ensure that nothing is shifting inside or touching. If there are any gaps, then the breakables – despite being already wrapped in packing paper and bubble wrap – may get into contact with one another during the transportation.
- Tape and label the box. Close the lids, tape the box and write the content and the destination room on at least two sides. Don’t forget to mark the box as FRAGILE.
See also: How to pack a chandelier for moving
How to pack lampshades when moving
- Wrap and box the lampshade. Use two sheets of paper around the lampshade as the initial layer, then finish the protective task with a few sheets of bubble wrap. If there are multiple lampshades, see if they can be nested inside each other to save both space and time. Isolate nested lampshades with sheets of bubble wrap.
- Protect the lampshades. Keep in mind that if a delicate lampshade gets damaged along the way, then the corresponding lamp becomes pretty much unusable unless you purchase a replacement lampshade for the same model. Make your life easier by not skimping on essential padding materials when packing lamps for moving.
- Immobilize the shades. The same safety concept is applied when you pack lampshades for shipping – try to achieve a state of perfect immobilization inside the container for a safe, headache-free household move. Again, fill in any empty spaces inside the box using crumpled packing paper or newsprint.
- Label the box. Close up the box or boxes containing lampshades and write EXTREMELY FRAGILE with big red letters.
Lampshades are usually lightweight and very delicate, so make sure nothing is placed on top of the shades-filled boxes during transport.
Find out more: How to pack fragile items for moving