Packing up a kitchen for a move can feel like a dare. As in, I dare you to move the entire kitchen without breaking anything.
The two most common breakable items are glasses and plates. We’ve previously covered how to properly pack glasses. Now we have two great methods for packing plates so that they all arrive intact.
The method you want to use depends on the shape and thickness of your plates.
Plates break when the forces put on that plate make the weakest part of the plate fail.
The two main factors to consider are the thickness of your plates and the possible points of failure.
Points of Failure on a Plate
The points of failure on a plate come down to how deep your plate is.
Let’s take a look at two popular styles of dishware, both from Corelle.
Corelle LivingWare Day Dream 10.25″ Dinner Plate
Notice the soft edge just inside of the design? This indicates that the entire plate, essentially, with the exception of the rim is touching the table.
Corelle Boutique Emma Jane 8.5″ Plate
This plate has a deeper inset than the plate above. Stacking a bunch of plates like these is a recipe for breaking a few.
Technique 1: Use a 5 Gallon Bucket
Here’s what to do when you’re packing plates. Grab a few clean 5 gallon paint buckets. If you don’t have any, you can get them at any hardware store for $2.85 at Home Depot. Packing your plates in a 5 gallon buckets (with lids) ensures that if tons of things get stacked on it, it won’t collapse and break all of your plates. They also have handles making carrying them much easier. As a bonus, you can use your kitchen towels as packing material. Start by covering the bottom of the bucket with kitchen towels. Place a plate and then a dishtowel. Alternate plates and dishtowels until you’re out of dishes or until you to the top of the bucket. If you need more than one bucket, just be sure to put a towel in the top before putting on the lid and to pack things securely but not so tight that the slightest move might break something.
Technique 2: Pack ‘Em Sideways
The biggest trick here is to find a box that fits your plates. you’ll want extra room on either side for padding.
Once you build the box, put a towel, bubble wrap, or some other padding on the bottom of the box. Stack plates and alternate with moving paper. If you don’t have that, newsprint will work fine. Then take the plates and put them in sideways so that they’re resting on their edges instead of being stacked on top of each other.
Add packing material to the top and close the box. Mark the box as FRAGILE and make sure heavy boxes are not stacked on top.
Caveats: Use Common Sense
The biggest thing to remember when packing plates is that if you’re looking at things and it crosses your mind that either of these techniques would result in breakage for your particular situation, then don’t use them. But for most applications, one of these two methods will make packing plates a great deal easier and will result in fully intact plates on the other side of your move.