China cabinets are super elegant and very beautiful pieces of furniture that introduce unrivaled levels of charm and coziness into our homes. In addition to their captivating look and design, such cabinets often display one of the most fragile and exquisite items we own – from magnificent fine chinaware and crystal glassware to priceless heirlooms and expensive collector’s items.
Still, all the prized belongings found on display inside a china cabinet have one thing in common – they are extremely fragile and may break to pieces unless handled with utmost care. And that is why, when the times comes for you to move your household items to a new home altogether, one of the more challenging tasks you’ll need to complete prior to moving day will be to pack your china cabinet safely for the upcoming local or long distance move.
The best way to pack a china cabinet for moving is to use the best packing practices of protecting the highly breakable chinaware, heirlooms and collectibles inside it, and then wrapping up the furniture piece itself when you’re getting ready to move to another home.
What to do before packing a china cabinet
Before you start packing up your china cabinet for moving, there are just a couple of simple steps to follow to get ready for the relatively tough packing job ahead of you. Failure to complete these preliminary steps will result in lost time and unpleasant interruptions of the packing process, which in turn will lead to even more lost time.
Step 1. Inspect the content of your china cabinet
Empty your china cabinet of all items on display or in storage inside the furniture, and arrange carefully those breakables on a table. It’s time to finally take a closer look at what your china cabinet holds and to decide if all the fragile items are worth packing and moving at all. After all, some of the pieces you own may have lost their sentimental or monetary value over the years – not very likely to happen but still a possibility.
Step 2. Get hold of quality china packing supplies
It’s important to prepare the required packing materials in advance so that you don’t end up losing precious time when you find yourself right in the middle of packing your china cabinet for a move. Of course, you’re going to need plenty of soft packing paper and a few rolls of Bubble wrap but the cardboard boxes you intend to use will make a difference too. If possible, get yourself dish boxes – cardboard containers that offer better overall protection thanks to their thicker double walls.
See also: What packing supplies do I need?
How to pack china for moving
Once you’ve set aside the china cabinet items you’re not going to pack and move and the moment you’ve managed to gather the necessary packing materials, it’s time to go through the major steps of packing china and crystal when moving house. And the best way to pack china for moving is…
- Use quality tape to strengthen the bottom side of each cardboard box – this is a precautionary measure regardless of the condition of your moving boxes.
- Place one or two layers of bubble wrap on the inside bottom of each container to serve as effective cushions while your breakables are on the road.
- Place each fragile piece from the china cabinet – a fine china plate, a cup or a bowl, crystal glassware or other valuable yet delicate items – onto the stack of white packing paper, and cover it up completely with at least a couple of paper sheets.
- Secure each bundle with tape but make sure no part of the tape comes into contact with the fragile items.
- For utmost protection, place a final layer of bubble wrap over the paper bundle and fix it in place with tape, again.
- To pack all the pieces of fine china and glassware you own, repeat the packing steps above and remember this simple rule: the more valuable and/or fragile a piece is, the more padding protection it will require.
- Arrange carefully the wrapped fragile pieces into the dish packs by placing the heavier ones first. China plates should be arranged on their edges.
- If you must go for a second row, separate the two rows with a few thick layers of bubble wrap to eliminate highly unwanted direct contact among the packed breakables.
- When ready with one box, fill in any remaining space inside with wads of newspapers until the box content is 100% immobile. Shake the box gently to determine if anything inside may still be moving or not.
- Remember to label all boxes properly: FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE, BREAKABLES INSIDE, etc. Use a red marker to draw the attention of whoever is going to handle it later, even if it’s just you.
How to wrap a china cabinet for moving
Once you’ve emptied the china cabinet and packed its content /see above/, it’s time to protect the furniture piece itself. The following several steps will show you how to pack a china cabinet for moving:
- Standard china cabinets are two-piece ones with two distinctive sections – the display section with all the glass elements (shelves, doors, etc.) and the storage section underneath it. If your china cabinet can be disassembled, then don’t hesitate to do it – either yourself or get professional assistance.
- Slowly and cautiously, remove the glass shelves from the cabinet. Use protective gloves and do it one by one, then place each glass shelf directly onto a thick blanket. Place sheets of bubble wrap or large pieces of thick cardboard over the glass elements and wrap them up with the protective blankets.
- Similarly to step 2, remove and protect the glass doors of your china cabinet as well. If you decide not to disassemble the doors, then use stretch tape or pieces of rope to fix them in place and prevent them from opening accidentally during transport.
- Finally, use as many professional furniture blankets as needed to cover the entire surface of the 1-piece furniture or the 2 disassembled furniture pieces. Use packing tape to keep the blankets in place.
Important info: How to pack fragile items for moving
How to move a china cabinet
Once you’re completely ready with the delicate task of packing your china cabinet for shipping, it’s important to know that the best way to move a china cabinet is to hire professional movers to do it for you. Surely, you don’t want your beautiful furniture piece to be damaged during the actual transportation, and you surely don’t want to see any of its valuable and expensive content ruined either. Professional furniture movers are your best and safest option, so you’d better contact them to get a price estimate for the job.
Must-read: How much does it cost to hire movers? /sample prices/
Thus said, it’s still possible to move a china cabinet by yourself (it’s a challenging yet feasible task) but we’ll cover that topic in one of our next moving tips. In the meantime, take a quick look at the rest of our unique packing tips.