Moving your fragile household items can be a bit of a balancing act. Knowing how to pack and protect each item requires skill and attentiveness, and if you own a lot of delicate stuff, the packing process can also require a considerable chunk of your valuable time.

At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we offer full packing services for both residential and commercial moves. If you’re not comfortable packing your delicate items, we’re more than happy to take that job off your hands. Our expertise and years of training can give you peace of mind knowing your precious things are properly packed and well-protected throughout your move.

If you prefer to pack your thing on your own, we’re still here to help! Read on to learn our best tips for packing common fragile household items.

Line All Boxes With Protective Material

Lots of jostling can happen while your fragile things are in transport, so it’s in your best interest to place plenty of cushioning material inside each box. First and foremost, place a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom of each box. This will help absorb vibrations from the moving truck while your things are on the road.

You may also want to line the sides of your boxes with bubble wrap to keep your belongings snug and safe, especially if you’re packing highly valuable items. Always place a layer of bubble wrap on top of the items in each box before you close the flaps and secure them with tape.

Ceramic or Glass Plates

One of the biggest no-nos of packing plates is stacking them on top of one another like pancakes. Horizontal stacking places excessive weight and pressure on the center of each plate, especially those toward the bottom of the stack. Even with cushioning material between each plate, one bump in the truck can damage almost all of the plates in such a stack.

For better weight distribution, you’ll want to pack plates vertically in small or medium boxes. Separate the plates with a layer of bubble wrap to prevent them from jostling in transport. If you want extra protection, consider purchasing plate-specific packing boxes at your local home improvement or moving supply store.


Glasses are often hard to stack due to their many shapes and sizes. Therefore, if you wrap your glass cups, do so with packing paper. Fill each glass cup with crumpled paper to eliminate any open space if you do plan to stack them. Use plenty of packing paper or bubble wrap to separate the glasses both side to side and top to bottom.


Never pack a lamp with the lampshade attached to the base! It’s far too easy for the shade to suffer damage in transport when it’s packed that way, and it’s also difficult to pack an intact lamp securely inside a moving box. Instead, you’ll want to remove the lampshade and lightbulb and pack the base of the lamp separately from the shade.

Here’s how to pack the lampshade:

  • Be sure your hands are clean to avoid staining the shade with oils or dirt.
  • Wrap the shade in plain packing paper — avoid using newspaper as the ink can easily rub off — and wrap the lightbulb in plenty of bubble wrap.
  • Place the shade right-side-up in its own small moving box and place the bulb inside the shade to keep it from moving around too much.
  • When you’re done situating the shades, be sure you can close the flaps completely and tape them securely shut.
  • You may be able to get two smaller shades in a single small or medium box, depending on their size.

Here’s how to pack the base of the lamp:

  • Roll out a piece of bubble wrap that’s large enough to cover the entire base.
  • Place the lamp base on its side, wrap it up, and secure the bubble wrap with tape.
  • If you’re preparing for a long-distance move, use two layers of bubble wrap, both secured with tape.
  • Place the lamp base vertically inside a small or medium box, and if you can’t fit another wrapped base in there, stuff the open space with packing paper or peanuts.

When you’re finished packing each box, mark each one with a large FRAGILE on the top and sides. When you load the boxes in the moving truck, do your best to avoid placing anything on top of them. 

Picture Frames

You should individually wrap large picture frames that are too big to go into a box. We recommend wrapping them in bubble wrap or padded paper. Medium or small picture frames should go into a box. You should place them vertically into the box and separate them with plenty of padding. Make sure that picture frames go on top of a stack. Otherwise, the weight could crush them.


Like other items in which glass is a key component, you should always stand mirrors up. Wrap them at least twice in bubble wrap. For added protection for your valuable mirrors, we suggest that you place them between two soft mattresses. You'll need to make sure that there is a snug fit between the mattresses so that the mirror can't slide out as the moving truck is accelerating or braking.

Electronic Devices

When you’re packing electronics, the first thing you’ll want to do is take a photo of each item that has multiple cords and connectors. That photo will allow you to reassemble each item quickly when you arrive at your new home since you’ll have a clear picture of where everything is supposed to go.

From there, you’ll want to disconnect cords, and if your items have screws that hold pieces together, it’s typically best to disassemble them to reduce the risk of breakage during transport. Like other fragile items, electronic devices need lots of protective packing material, so be sure to cushion them heavily with bubble wrap or packing paper.

Place cords and connectors in small bags and secure those bags to the back of each device with tape. This will keep everything organized and together, so you’re not searching around for the parts you need when it comes time to reassemble your things.

For a more in-depth breakdown of how to pack these sensitive devices, check out Best Practices for Safely Packing Electronics.

More Packing Tips From Ace

For more helpful do-it-yourself packing tips, you’ll definitely want to check out the following guides:

Need a Dependable Residential Moving Company in Minneapolis?

At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we specialize in residential and commercial moving for homeowners and businesses in Rochester and Minneapolis, Minnesota. We offer everything you need for a complete moving experience including truck and equipment rental, crating and storage, and full packing services. With Ace Midwest Moving, you can feel confident that your moving day will go smoothly and safely.

To learn more, get an estimate, or schedule a move date, call us at 763-755-2045 or contact us online, and we’ll be in touch.