Packing Fragile Items like Electronics, Dishes, Etc.

What to Pack Last (You’re Almost Done!)

With two weeks to go and a big lifestyle change on the horizon, you might be feeling emotional. But you’ll be relaxing in your new home before you know it. At this point, you’ve already learned how to start packing the nitty gritty, lesser-used spaces of your home. Now’s the time to tackle the areas of your home you use the most. The next two weeks will fly by, so let’s get packing.

Reminder: download and print our Week 2 Checklist to stay organized while you pack.

Download Week 2 Checklist

Packing Electronics and Your Home Office

Getting back to business after your move is important, especially if you work from home. Here’s how to pack your computer and laptop:

Desktop computer

How to Pack a Desktop Computer


Before packing your computer, back up your data and remove flash drives, devices or discs. Find a box that fits your computer snugly, then shut it down and wipe the exterior clean.

Packing Your Desktop Computer and Monitor

  • Layer the bottom of the box with several layers of packing paper or packing peanuts.
  • Wrap the tower and/or monitor in several layers of bubble wrap.
  • Tape protective layer securely without taping to the computer itself.
  • Place the tower upright inside the box first.
  • Layer bubble wrap or packing paper on top of the tower.
  • Place the monitor upright on top of the tower. Face the screen toward an inside wall of the box.

Packing Computer Cables and Accessories

  • Take a picture of the cables connected to the back of the computer for easy setup.
  • Unplug cables connected to the tower and monitor. Neatly fold each cable.
  • Put the cables together in a large plastic bag.
  • Wrap the mouse, keyboard, modem, speakers, webcam and router separately in packing paper.
  • Place in box with tower and monitor.
  • Fill spaces inside the box with wadded newspaper or packing peanuts to prevent shifting during the move.
  • Tape box securely and label for the office. List contents.

How to Pack a Laptop

We recommend moving laptops, tablets and other mobile devices with you in a backpack or purse rather than the moving truck. In either case, packing your laptop securely is important. Throwing your device in its protective sleeve is a nice first step. But that alone will not ensure complete protection.

  • Wrap your laptop in several layers of bubble wrap, covering each corner.
  • Pack the computer on its side in the moving box. Do not pack flat.
  • Fill the sides and any gaps with wadded packing paper to prevent any movement.
  • Wrap the charger neatly in packing paper. Place in box with laptop.
  • Tape box securely shut and label for the office. List contents.

How to Pack Books

  • Find a sturdy box. Books get heavy.
  • Line the box with packing paper.
  • Alternate bound edges with each layer.
  • Fill gaps with wadded newspaper.
  • Tape box securely shut and label for the office or library. List contents.

Tip: Wrap photo albums, leather-bound volumes or other books of sentimental value individually. Separate each book with cardboard to keep their spines straight during the move.

Packing Fragile Items in Your Kitchen

With gadgets and gizmos aplenty, the kitchen is one of the trickiest rooms to pack. Take it one cabinet at a time. From packing waffle irons to wine glasses, learn how to avoid breaking your kitchenware.

“Look at the new space with a critical eye. What do you have room for in the new space? If you’re moving to a smaller space, only take what will fit. Be wary of large appliances that are rarely used (bread maker, ice cream maker). Don’t take them if you can part with them.”

Barbara Reich,

Professional Organizer, Resourceful Consultants

How to Pack Dishes for Moving

Before packing your dishes, invest in some sturdy paper plates to carry you through the next few mealtimes. Follow these tips to keep your dining set safe for the move.

  • Cushion the bottom of a large box with a layer of packing peanuts or wadded newspaper.
  • Wrap each plate individually with newspaper.
  • Load plates into the box on their sides. Never lay flat.
  • Place a layer of crumpled newsprint down before starting a new layer.
  • Tape and label the box “Fragile: Kitchen.” List contents.

How to Pack Pots and Pans

Let’s start in the kitchen with packing pots and pans. These tend to be the easiest items to pack in the kitchen, as they are usually the most durable, but here’s a few useful tips.

  • Prepare a box with newspaper or packing peanuts at the bottom.
  • Stack pots or pans inside each other wherever possible with layers of newspaper in between.
  • Wrap the entire set in bubble wrap or newspaper and tape together.
  • Pack the stacked pots or pans inside the box.
  • Wrap glass lids separately with bubble wrap. Place on top of pots and pans.
  • Fill empty areas with packing peanuts or wadded newspaper.
  • Tape and label box “Kitchen.” List contents.

How to Pack Coffee Mugs

Nobody wants to see a crack in their favorite mug. Here’s how to keep your coffee cup collection ready for the next pot of joe.

  • Fill the bottom of the box with a layer of wadded newspaper.
  • Wrap each mug individually with newspaper.
  • Stuff crumpled newspaper inside of the mug for reinforcement.
  • Place mugs face down for stacking.
  • Layer with newspaper before beginning second row.
  • Fill empty areas with packing peanuts or wadded newspaper.
  • Tape and label box “Fragile: Kitchen.” List contents.

How to Pack Kitchen Appliances

From microwaves and toasters to blenders and mixers, the kitchen is home to appliances of all shapes and sizes. Begin by deciding which appliances you actually use and which to toss.

  • Clean your appliances and disassemble.
  • Pack heavier appliances in their own box.
  • Layer packing peanuts or newspaper to cushion the bottom of a large box.
  • Wrap a few sheets of newspaper around the appliance and seal with tape.
  • Wrap any removable accessories and box together.
  • Use bubble wrap for fragile accessories like glass microwave trays, coffee pots or removable blender blades.
  • Fill empty space with packing peanuts or newspaper.
  • Tape and label the box for the “Kitchen.” List contents.

Best Way to Pack Wine Glasses

Pack stemware the right way to make the first toast in your new home a happy one. First, find celled boxes, if possible. These will especially come in handy if you’re also planning to move your wine collection. You can find celled boxes in liquor stores, wineries or moving supply stores.

  • Wrap the stem with a piece of newspaper.
  • Gently stuff the bulb with crumpled newspaper for reinforcement.
  • Wrap the entire glass in two layers of newspaper.
  • Pack each wine glass on its base inside a separate cell.
  • Pad empty spaces with wadded newspaper.
  • Once full, make sure that nothing rattles.
  • Tape and label the box “Fragile: Kitchen.” List contents.

Packing Your Living Room

The reality of the move will probably set in once the family photos, artwork and other personal touches start coming down. If you’ve already packed photos away to stage your home, take this time to make sure the rest of your favorite mementos stay safe during the move.

Packing Your TV and Home Entertainment System

Most people wait until the last second to pack their TV and home theater components to avoid missing their favorite show. But it’s smart to plan ahead to prevent damage and avoid leaving something important behind.

  • Take a photo of the back of your TV’s component inputs to make it easier to set up in your new home.
  • Unplug cables and gather neatly. Tape and label with painter’s tape or masking tape.
  • Place cables with remotes in a separate labeled box.
  • Clean your TV with a soft, dry cloth before packing.
  • Wrap TV in a moving blanket or pack in original box.
  • Wrap DVD players, speakers and other equipment in bubble wrap and box.

How to Pack Pictures and Artwork

Wrap large portraits or prints in moving blankets. For small or medium-sized glass frames or pieces of art:

  • Prepare a box with wadded newspaper at the bottom.
  • Wrap each picture frame or piece of artwork with a base layer of newspaper.
  • Wrap each piece with a second layer of bubble wrap.
  • Place items in the box, filling in spaces with peanuts or wadded newspaper.
  • Be careful not to overfill. Glass frames are heavy.
  • Tape the box closed and label appropriately with fragile stickers.

How to Pack Candles

Sort out your mostly melted or deformed candles. Either toss or recycle candles and their glass containers. When packing for long distance moves, consider putting this box in your air-conditioned car instead of the moving van to keep them from melting together.

  • Gather all candles in your home to be packed in one box.
  • Wrap glass jars in newspaper and bubble wrap.
  • Wrap larger wax candles individually with old towels or cleaning rags.
  • Wrap votives or skinny candles individually with tissue paper or wax paper.
  • Wrap candelabras or heavier candle sticks individually with bubble wrap.
  • Place into one box and label “Candles.”

Packing Pillows, Cushions and Curtains

The family room is home to a variety of fabric items that are often overlooked. To keep them all clean and safe through the move, invest in some strong trash bags and storage bins.

  • Fill a trash bag or storage bin with throw pillows and blankets.
  • Wrap couch or chair cushions in labeled trash bags to keep them clean during the move.
  • Remove and wash curtains. Fold and pack in storage bins.
  • Disassemble curtain rods. Bag and label screws. Pack with curtains.

“Many people think they are completely packed but come moving day are last- minute stuffing items into boxes. This increases moving time and in turn can increase your estimate costs.”

Joe Devost,

Operations Field Manager, You Move Me

Packing Your Bedroom

Every bedroom is unique. Whether you have a bed full of throw pillows or a dresser layered with jewelry, packing your room can be a challenge. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to pack your closet. Follow these tips to make packing your bedroom easier.

Packing Your Sheets and Bedding

  • Wash and fold extra sheet sets.
  • Wash comforters, quilts and blankets.
  • Pack in storage bins to avoid wrinkles.
  • Label bin for the bedroom.

To prepare for your first night:

  • Put aside a set of sheets, blankets and pillows for move in day.
  • Pack in a clear bin and label for bedroom.
  • Plan to move this bin yourself.

How to Pack Clothes

We all have a few pairs of jeans that we dream of fitting into again one day, along with some nostalgic T-shirts and a mountain of hangers from the dry cleaners - and that’s just ONE closet. To lug it all or not to lug it all, that is the question.

“Pack only what you use and love. No need to spend extra money on packers and movers to pack and move things you will likely not use at your new home. Save time and your sanity by donating any unloved or unused belongings BEFORE you move!”

Laurie Martin,

Certified Professional Organizer, Simplicity Organizers

Hacks for Packing Clothing and Accessories

  • Keep clothing folded in dresser. Tape drawers closed and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Roll clothes instead of folding to maximize space.
  • Slide clothes on hangers directly into garbage bags, instead of wardrobe boxes.
  • Use egg cartons to pack delicate jewelry like rings, necklaces and earrings.
  • Stuff shoes and wrap with tissue paper before boxing to avoid misshapen shoes or scuffs.
  • Feed necklaces through straws to avoid tangles.
  • Group chunky necklaces together with toilet paper rolls.

Packing Tips for the Laundry Room

  • Use, donate or responsibly dispose of chemicals like liquid laundry detergent or bleach before your move.
  • Use laundry baskets or hampers to hold laundry room accessories.
  • Wrap your ironing board with moving blankets.
  • Wrap iron with bubble wrap and pack in a small box.
  • Tape sewing kits securely and pack in a small box cushioned with wadded newspaper.

Now that you’ve packed up most of your home, we’re approaching the final countdown. Next week, we’ll prepare you for the big day and outline everything you’ll need for your moving essentials box.