How to Pack Basic Household Items from Jay's, your Calgary Movers

How to Pack – read this before you start!

  • Pack one room at a time; it makes it easier to unpack.
  • Begin packing well ahead of the move, pack a couple of cartons each day.
  • Always pack heavy items toward the bottom of the box and light items up top, and try to keep the weight of each box below 50 pounds; it makes moving them much easier.
  • Make sure you have sufficient "filler" material on hand, and when in doubt, use more.
  • Check that the bottom of each carton is taped and secured and able to hold the weight of the contents.
  • Mark each box with a room and brief description of the contents once packed.
  • Remember — the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.

Packing Methods

After choosing and preparing your work area, you can begin packing. Here are some recommended packing methods for specific items:


Packing Dishware Steps

  1. Select a medium-sized carton (or a mover-provided dishpack) and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper.
  2. With packing paper stacked neatly in place on the work table, center one plate on the paper. Grasp a corner of several sheets and pull the paper over the plate until the plate is completely covered.
  3. Stack a second plate on the first and, moving clockwise, grasp another corner of several sheets and pull them over the second plate.
  4. Stack a third plate. Grasp the remaining two corners and fold using two sheets, one corner at a time over the plate.
  5. Turn the wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your paper.
  6. Re-wrap the entire bundle. Start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle; cover the bundle with the next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth. (Non-fragile plates may be packed five or six to a bundle.)
  7. Seal the bundle with packing tape.
  8. Place the bundle of dishware in a medium-sized box (or dishpack) so that the plates are standing on edge.

This technique is useful for wrapping all saucers, bread and butter dishes and stackable dishware. When packing smaller dishes, you may stack them in greater quantities.


  1. Position one cup 6 to 8 inches from one of the corners of your packing paper.
  2. Pull the nearest corner of the paper up and over the cup.
  3. Nest a second cup directly on top, with the handle to the left (the second cup should "nest" itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cup).
  4. Pull the two side corners up and over one at a time and tuck the corners inside the top cup.
  5. Hold the bottom and top cups in position and roll the cups to the remaining corner. (Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.)
  6. Place cups in a vertical position, lips down, near the top of the box. Do not stack heavy items on top of the cups.

Delicate cups, such as your fine china, should be wrapped singly and antique glass or china should also be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.

Glasses and Stemware

  1. Before wrapping, stuff glassware and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper.
  2. Lay glass or stemware on the corner of the packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull the sides of the packing paper up and over the glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls may be used for added protection.
  3. Glasses and stemware should be placed toward the top of the box. Heavier items (dishware, pitchers, etc.) should be placed toward the bottom. Very delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in a vertical position, lips down — not on their sides.

Use a generous amount of crumpled packing paper as you pack each layer of the box to ensure a snug fit. Cartons containing fragile items must be clearly marked “Fragile”.

Need more info about packing various items?

Click for packing items common to many households

Understanding how to pack basic household items properly will help ensure that your belongings arrive at your new home undamaged. If you would rather Jay’s Moving Calgary take on the job of packing, we can, just ask!

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