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Packing glasses in a cardboard box for a move.

8 Tips on How to Pack Glasses for Moving

A woman is packing her glasses for her upcoming move.
An isometric illustration of a woman packing boxes.

Are you and your family about to take on the rigorous task of moving? The hardest part of the process isn’t turning on utilities at your new home or getting your things from point A to point B. Wait, do you even know how to pack glasses for moving?

If you’re like most homeowners, you have countless glasses that you need to move safely. Something as simple as forgetting to write fragile on the box could cause all the cups in your collection to arrive at your new home in shards. Check out this step-by-step guide to learn everything you need to know.

Bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and a sturdy box.
Bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and a sturdy box.

1. Gather Your Packing Materials

Before you can start putting your glasses in boxes, there are a few supplies you’ll have to pick up. To pack your cups safely, grab bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and sturdy boxes that can hold heavy objects.


When it comes to boxes, no regular cardboard one will do. Go with ones with double-wall corrugation. You can also use boxes with cell packs.

Cell pack boxes have an individual slot for each glass to fit into. As far as where to buy boxes for moving, in most cases, you can get them for free at your local liquor store. Some pharmacies and grocery stores have them as well.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap will act as a shield between your glasses and the box. Wrap each glass in bubble wrap.

When stacking glasses, top off each layer with bubble wrap to provide extra protection.

Packing Paper

Packing paper acts as a shock absorber. It will prevent shattering when faced with sudden movements in the moving truck.

Before wrapping your glasses in bubble wrap, fill them with packing paper. If you can’t get your hands on it, you can also use newspapers or even old clothes (provided they’re made out of soft materials).

Packing Tape and Markers

Once you’ve packed your boxes, you’ll need to seal them with packing tape. That’s its primary purpose anyway. You can also use it to reinforce your boxes. Before filling the box, flip it over and line the outside bottom edges with the tape.

Once you’ve packed your boxes, use a marker to write FRAGILE on the side. If you have specific handling instructions that you want our movers to adhere to, you can include those as well.

A woman inspects her glasses for any signs of chips.
A woman inspects her glasses for any signs of chips.

2. Preparing Your Glasses and Box

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to prepare your glasses for transport. Run them through the dishwasher or wash them by hand to remove any dirt and grease. If you don’t, they’ll be more prone to breakage.

Inspect your glasses for any signs of chips. Damaged cups could break inside the box and endanger your other china.

Once your glasses are clean, you’ll need to get your boxes ready. Tape up the bottoms and add a thick layer of paper on the bottom to provide cushion. You can also use a towel.

A man is packing his glasses for his move.
A man is packing his glasses for his move.

3. Packing Your Glasses

You’ll pack each of your glasses differently, depending on what type they are. Your heavy glasses should always go at the bottom of your boxes.

Some are designed to be stacked on top of each other. You also have to be careful with your mugs, wine glasses, and shot glasses.

Heavy Glasses

Start off with your largest and heaviest glassware. Fill them with packing paper and wrap them in bubble wrap before placing them at the bottom of the box.

From there, you’ll move on to your lighter glasses and so on and so forth until the box is full.

Packing Stackable Cups

Some cups are designed to stack on top of each other. To prepare these for moving, place a piece of packing paper inside the first one. Gently nest the next one inside.

You can do this with several glasses, but be careful not to stack the tower too high. Wrap your stacks in packing paper. You can secure the paper in place by tucking the ends into the top cup.


Take your coffee mug and fill it with packing paper. From there, lay the cup on its side and place it on a large piece of packing paper. Roll it until it’s completely covered.

When you’re rolling your mug, be sure to be careful with the handle. They tend to break off.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses can be a bit tricky to pack because the stem makes them so delicate. The trick is to provide plenty of stability. Fill each one full of packing paper.

Wrap the glasses, making sure to be extra careful with the stem. You can tape the paper to ensure it doesn’t unravel during the move. As is the case with all your glasses, line the bottom of your box with some cushion.

Place a layer of packing paper between the glasses to stop them from knocking together in the moving truck. It’s wise to also add a few layers of paper or bubble wrap on top of the glasses. The idea is to pack the box as tightly as possible.

Shot Glasses

Unlike wine glasses, shot glasses are easy to pack. They’re tiny and made with thicker glass, so they’re not as prone to breakage. You don’t have to wrap every single one individually.

You can stack them and wrap them with bubble wrap or a t-shirt to keep them secure. As long as you do this and make sure the box is filled with plenty of padding, they shouldn’t break.


Crystal glasses are about as fragile as it gets, so you’ll want to be extra careful when packing them. The wrapping process works the same way. Fill each one with packing paper and wrap it in bubble wrap.

Place as much cushioning as possible inside the box and place a cardboard divider between each one to prevent them from bumping together.

Cardboard boxes with properly packed glasses inside.
Cardboard boxes with properly packed glasses inside.

4. Fill the Moving Box

When wrapping your cups, it’s important that you’re not able to feel any of the edges. If you can, you’ll need to add another layer of packing paper.

Once your cups are wrapped, place them inside the box according to the type of glass they are. Again, heavier ones go on the bottom, and the lighter ones go on top.

You can put dividers between each or use packing paper to prevent them from moving around.

A cardboard box with wine glasses in it.
A cardboard box with wine glasses in it.

5. Pack Your Wine Glasses Last

When packing wine glasses, wrap them as instructed above. They should always go in the box last.

You’ll want to add a nice layer of cushion on top of them before closing and taping the box.

A man is adding a thin cushion to the top of his packed boxes for extra padding.
A man is adding a thin cushion to the top of his packed boxes for extra padding.

6. Add Cushion to the Top

Don’t fill the box to the top. You need to leave plenty of room for cushion. Add the same amount of paper to the top of the box that you did at the bottom.

You can put a towel on top for extra security, but leave enough room for a layer of paper as well.

A stack of well sealed boxes.
A stack of well-sealed boxes.

7. Seal the Box

Before sealing your box, give it a little shake. If you can hear any clinking around, that’s a good indicator that you need to add more cushion. The cups shouldn’t be able to move.

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve put in enough paper, seal the box with your packing tape and clearly label it as FRAGILE. Again, if you want our movers to handle your boxes in a particular way, you can jot down detailed instructions.

A moving box with too many items in it.
A moving box with too many items in it.

8. Avoid Common Mistakes

Now that we’ve told you what you should do to successfully pack your boxes, it’s time to talk about what you shouldn’t do.

Again, cushion is of the utmost importance. If they’re allowed to touch each other, they’ll crack and break.

You should avoid overpacking the boxes. If you fill them too full, they will be difficult to carry. You risk dropping them and breaking your cups.

The next step is choosing the right boxes. If they’re too large or too small, that will increase the chances of damage occurring.

When you’re done packing your boxes, always label them as FRAGILE. This will inform our movers that they contain glass.

Some glassware is made with separable pieces. Disassemble these and wrap the pieces individually. It will make things easier on you, and your cups will be less prone to breakage.

Two professional movers loading boxes into a moving truck.
Two professional movers loading boxes into a moving truck.

How to Pack Glasses for Moving Without Breaking a Single One

One of the hardest parts of moving is packing your things. Glasses are notoriously fragile. If you don’t know how to pack them for moving by stuffing the box with plenty of paper, you risk them breaking.

The number one way to ensure your cups make it from point A to point B without a single chip or crack is to hire the right movers. At Parkview Moving Co., we provide our customers with the best movers in Ottawa. Go here to check out our list of services.

Ready to Experience the Parkview Moving Co. Difference?

Whether you are moving across Ottawa or across the country, you are in good hands when you choose the team at Parkview Moving Co. Contact our local moving company in Ottawa today for a free quote on all our moving services.

Or call 613.425.0020 to book your free in-home estimate.

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