As anyone who has said an involuntary goodbye to a few plates or glasses during a move will tell you, glassware and crockery like to be handled with a bit of TLC.

Encasing everything in wasteful layers of bubblewrap or packing paper isn’t the only answer. If you want your breakables to store and travel well, it’s all in the preparation.

Below are some pro techniques to take note of, or if you just want the highlights: Clean them, cushion them, stack them on their sides, and try not to disturb them.

Get Them Squeaky Clean

From tea sets and serving bowls to vases and stemware (that’s wine glasses to you and me), start by getting your fragile items ship-shape with a good cleaning.

Cleaning Dishes

Cleaning Glass

Our favourite household saviour, the humble old vinegar, steals the show again (what a showoff!). Get your glassware shining brighter than Lucius Malfoy’s hair with these steps:

  • Fill a bowl (or corrosion-resistant sink) with distilled white vinegar.
  • Place your glassware into the bowl.
  • Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. Use this time to do a crossword puzzle or make a pet rock. Do not use this time to knit a jumper for your cat. It’s not enough time.
  • Remove your glassware, rinse, and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.

Cleaning Crockery

Keep that vinegar handy – your crockery will love you for it. You can even banish dark stains on your favourite teacups with this trick up your sleeve.

  • Put 1 tablespoon of bicarb in the bottom of the mug or teacup.
  • Fill with ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup water.
  • Leave to soak for 2 hours. Now you can knit that jumper for you cat.
  • Rinse with water or gently scrub if the stain is super stubborn.
  • Try not to resent your cat for being utterly uninterested in the jumper.

Keep Them Protected

Don’t go packing your fragile glassware and crockery into boxes willy-nilly. These delicate items need all the love they can get, so give it to them by using the right materials.

Packing Plates

The secret tip here is to stack your plates, saucers and bowls on their sides. Don’t ask why. It just works better.

  • Wrap each item individually in tissue paper, packing paper or bubble wrap.
  • Use glass socks on stemware for added protection.
  • Place plates, saucers and bowls on their sides in boxes, with foam sheets or bubblewrap on the bottom for cushioning.
  • Add poly foam between each crockery item to avoid banging and clanging.
  • Fill any excess space in the box with packing paper so things can’t move about.
  • Label your boxes “Fragile” or use “Fragile” tape.

Store Them Safely

Now that your glassware and crockery is wrapped up more safely than a newborn, it’s time to get them into your storage unit.

Fragile Box

Follow these steps to keep your glassware and crockery safe and avoid breakage:

  • Place boxes on a steady, flat surface. Use good boxes. Crumpled ones will not do.
  • Don’t place any heavy items on top of your fragile boxes.
  • Avoid stacking your boxes too high. This can deform them, which could cause an avalanche.
  • Keep your glassware and crockery at the back of your storage unit if you don’t plan to use them any time soon. This way, you won’t need to disturb them to access your other things.

By taking some precautions and extra care, you can keep your glassware and crockery in top condition while in storage (and avoid wasting a night at home with your cat and the super glue). Storing furniture too? Get it ready the right way with this post.

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