Tips for Protecting Glassware and Stemware on Long-Distance Moves

Tips for Protecting Glassware and Stemware on Long-Distance Moves

Stemware and other high-quality glassware make the perfect accessories for an elegant kitchen. The perfect stemware can elevate any dining, drinking, or hosting experience!

Whether you’re a wine lover or a collector of cocktail glasses, you know the value of protecting your finer glassware, especially during a move. Even a small accident can destroy your collection, adding unnecessary hassle and expense to your relocation. The further you move, the greater the odds of breakage in transit.

If you’re moving to a new home, condo, or apartment in a new city or state, please take the extra time to ensure your glassware arrives safe and ready to toast the first night in your new home. Below are some expert tips and tricks to protect your fragile items throughout a long-distance move.

Scissors, bubble wrap and tape

The Best Packing Materials for Glass

Before packing glassware into a box, make sure you have the proper packing material. High-quality packing materials can help ensure your items are safely secured for transit.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is a common choice for protecting fragile items but should be used with packing paper. Glassware rubbing against plastic wrap can cause friction that makes the glass more vulnerable. Wrap the items in packing paper first, then follow up with a layer or two of bubble wrap. This will provide the perfect amount of protection for your box of glassware. 

Clothes and Towels

Towels, clothes, and blankets offer a budget- and eco-friendly alternative to buying packing material. These everyday essentials provide excellent protection for glassware while reducing movement in the box. This method is also ideal for filling extra space and creating dividers between different layers of glassware and stemware.

Packing Paper

Packing paper is the go-to you’ll want to have on hand while packing. Wrap your glass and stemware tightly with several pieces of paper, secure the paper with packing tape, and add it to the box. Repeat the process until everything is packed away and ready for transit.

Avoid packing paper with ink or dye. Inks and dyes can rub off on glass and leave permanent stains on other items. Newspaper makes a less-than-ideal packing material for this reason.


If you have spare cardboard handy, consider using the scraps as dividers to separate glassware or as extra support to make your boxes more sturdy. Cardboard can also make an excellent protective barrier for fragile items: Simply wrap glassware with cardboard and secure it with packing tape. Next, use bubble wrap to protect the corners and provide additional cushion in the box. 

While you’re at it, give your boxes a good looking over. Glassware should only be packed in sturdy boxes that will keep their shape throughout your long-distance move.

Someone wrapping fragile glassware in wrapping paper

Packing and Loading Glassware and Stemware

Once you have your fragile items protected, it’s time to start packing! Stay organized and don’t rush — no one wants to deal with broken glass in the midst of a move. Follow the steps below to ensure your glassware is organized, safe, and secure for shipping.

Pack Similar Items in the Same Boxes 

If possible, keep glassware, wine glasses, flutes, and other delicates separate. Packing various fragile items in the same box can make the items less stable. If a box of delicate glassware has leftover space, fill it with additional bubble wrap or packing paper to provide a cushion and avoid excessive movement in transit.

Pack in Layers

Pack all glassware in layers. Pad each layer with bubble wrap, cardboard, or a towel. The layers will improve stability and make the boxes more sturdy.

Label the Boxes

Label all boxes with glass and stemware as FRAGILE. Keep fragile boxes together for later in the moving process. If necessary, add a THIS SIDE UP label to ensure boxes are loaded as intended.

Load with Care

As you load up the moving van, place fragile boxes on top of heavier ones. Always ensure the boxes are safe and secure and won’t fall during transit.

Hire Professional Help

Take your time packing fragile items. If you need additional assistance, consider partnering with a long-distance moving company. Professional movers have hands-on experience packing and loading fragile items, and top-rated moving companies are insured to protect you in the event of any breakage. Movers can even help unload and unpack your fragile items at your new home.

Boxes stacked with "fragile" sticker on them

How to Pack Wine Glasses Step-by-Step

Stemware can be tricky to pack. The shape and size of many wine glasses can make finding an efficient packing scheme difficult. The key is to focus on the most vulnerable part. The stem is the most fragile part of the glass, so you’ll want to ensure it’s secure. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to packing wine glasses:

  • Wrap the wine glass with a layer or two of packing paper or cardboard.
  • Secure the packing paper with packing tape.
  • Wrap the wine glass with a layer of bubble wrap, shirt, or towel.
  • Continue the process until all of your wine glasses are securely wrapped. 
  • Use a dishpack box designed for stemware. Cushion the bottom with packing paper.
  • Place glasses in the box vertically. Place cardboard over the lower layer to create a floor for the next layer.
  • Lightly stuff any extra space with crumpled packing paper.
  • Tape up the box and label it FRAGILE.
  • Keep FRAGILE boxes separate from other boxes or stack them on top of heavier boxes.

Above all, take your time during the packing process to ensure maximum protection for your favorite glassware and stemware. Don’t leave your packing until the night before and risk breaking something in a rush!

No matter how far you’re moving, there’s nothing like arriving at your new home and discovering all your favorite items are still in one piece. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy peace of mind throughout your relocation and have your favorite stemware ready to celebrate a successful move. Cheers!

If you’re looking for help staying organized during your move, check out the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners with all the checklists, tips, trackers, and logs to keep you on top of it all during this major transition.

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