Just looking at a china cabinet can leave you feeling tense. All of those delicate items just waiting to break at even the slightest rattle or shake. The worry of breakage is even worse when preparing for a move. One careless step and you risk some of your most valuable items being shattered into thousands of sharp, dangerous pieces. Not only that, but your china cabinet itself is breakable too and can suffer major damage during the moving process.
Luckily, there are ways to tackle the fragile process of moving your china cabinet and all of the precious items inside with no cracks, chips or broken pieces. So let out those worried breaths and steady those shaky hands, and check out the following tips.
Before you can begin the process of packing your china cabinet, you will need to gather all of the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of all of the must-haves:
Dish boxes. To provide the best protection to your breakables, you will need to invest in dish boxes. While similar to typical moving boxes, dish boxes are better for breakables because they are made of a double layer of thick corrugated cardboard. They can also be found with specific slots to provide extra protection around each individual dish. If you are unable to find boxes specifically designed for dishes, you can still use regular moving boxes, but just be sure to include extra padding to compensate for the weaker protection of their single-layered cardboard walls.
Bubble wrap. The air-filled sacks bubble wrap provides is a must-have supply when packing breakables. For delicate items, like china, it will ensure the ultimate protection needed to keep everything safe during the moving process.
Steps to Pack Your China and Breakables
Now that you have the necessary packing supplies, follow these steps to pack your fine china when moving house.
Step 1: Reinforce the bottoms and sides of dish/moving boxes with quality, heavy-duty packing tape. Breakables, like fine china, can become very heavy when packed together. Providing your boxes with extra security is a vital step to ensure your boxes – and the contents inside – won’t break.
Step 2: Layer wads of crumpled paper on the bottom of your boxes before filling them up.
Step 3: Position one fine china plate – or other items – in the middle of several sheets of packing paper. Two or three sheets should suffice. One by one, pull the corner of the sheet stack over the plate until it ends up completely covered. Secure paper edges with packing tape.
Step 4: Using a single sheet of bubble wrap, use the same method as the previous step to wrap your item. Secure with packing tape.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for each individual piece of chinaware from your china cabinet.
Step 6: When all items are properly wrapped, you can place them inside their designated boxes. For plates, place them in boxes on their edges. Stacking them flat can cause damage to those plates on the bottom due to too much weight bearing down on them.
Step 7: When your box is unable to fit anymore pieces of chinaware, fill any remaining spaces inside the box with packing paper or newspaper. You can also use bubble wrap or old, clean pieces of clothing. The goal here is to make sure nothing moves inside the box during your move. To check, give each box a gentle shake. If you feel, or hear, movement inside, add more padding materials before sealing the lid.
Step 8: Use words like “BREAKABLE”, “FRAGILE”, and “CHINAWARE” to label the top and sides of each box.
Steps to Prepare Your China Cabinet for a Move
Packing the contents of your china cabinet is just the first half of the moving process. The second half is to get the china cabinet itself ready for the big move. China cabinets are very fragile. This being said, the best way to move them is to hire experienced professionals who will do a great job of safely packing and transporting your china cabinet in a way that only experts know how. If hiring a professional mover isn’t in your budget, however, the following steps will help you move your china cabinet safely and efficiently.
Step 1: Empty Contents. Before you can even think about preparing your china cabinet for a move, the first step is to empty all of its contents. (If you skipped the step-by-step guide above on how to pack items from your china cabinet, scroll up!)
Step 2: Handle Glass with Care. Once your cabinet is completely empty, you will need to focus on its glass elements. If your china cabinet contains fragile glass doors and shelves, for instance – as most do – it is crucial to handle these areas with particular care.
Glass Doors. During a bumpy, jostling move, the doors of your china cabinet are bound to swing open – a problem that can lead to damage and even injury to those moving it. The best way to secure doors, especially those made of glass, is by removing them and packing them separately. Remove all doors one by one, slowly and carefully. Then, wrap each door in thick packing paper, followed by a layer of bubble wrap. The final protection step is to wrap doors in furniture blankets and secure them with packing tape. *Be sure to keep all screws, hinges and other small parts in a sealed plastic bag – and don’t forget to label it!
Glass Shelves. Just as you removed the glass doors to your china cabinet, you will also want to remove any glass shelves. Using extra caution, take each shelf out of the cabinet one at a time. Then, wrap them in packing paper and cover them with several sheets of bubble wrap. Be sure to take the same final packing precaution as you did with the doors, and wrap shelves in a final layer of thick furniture blankets. Old, clean blankets you already own will also work.
Step 3: One-Piece or Two-Piece Cabinet? Does your china cabinet have one piece or two? If it is a two-piece china cabinet, it will have two
sections – an upper section where china is displayed, and a lower section with drawers for storage. If there are two sections, be sure to separate them for better packing and protection during your move.
Step 4: Wrap Cabinet in Furniture Blankets. When all pieces – including drawers – have been removed, wrap the entire cabinet in furniture blankets. Be sure all areas are fully
Step 5: Secure Cabinet Legs. If your china cabinet has legs, they are highly susceptible to damage during transportation. To protect these protruding parts, wrap them in thick blankets or multiple sheets of bubble wrap, then use plenty of tape to secure them. Even better, if the legs of your china cabinet can be removed, take them off and pack them accordingly.
Step 6: Move Your China Cabinet.The final step of moving your china cabinet is both tricky and risky. You have to be able to lift it and also know how to use proper moving equipment to move it. An appliance dolly is the best tool to move your china cabinet without damage or injury to those moving it. Make sure the cabinet is adequately secured and immobilized on the dolly with rope or straps before trying to move it.