table setting with wine glasses

Glass is one of the most beautiful and functional materials you can find around your home. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most fragile. Anyone who has ever tried to move a large piece of glass understands how important it is to treat it very carefully, with the proper attention. If you’re planning to move to a new home — whether it’s on the other side of town or across the country — being able to move glass items is crucial. Yet packing and preparing items such as mirrors, glass-top tables and decorative art may seem to be one of your biggest challenges.

No one wants to arrive at a new house only to learn that a large and delicate piece of furniture or artwork was shattered during the move. Not only does it create a big mess to clean when you should be getting settled, but it also means losing something that could cost a lot to replace. Even with the help of professional movers, it’s a good idea for homeowners to understand the best way to package and secure any item containing or made of glass. Safe packing techniques can help make an already-stressful time less so and could prevent you from having to sweep hazardous shards from your new floors.

Packing Glassware

Most likely, the smallest and most plentiful glass items you have can be found in the kitchen. Although your first instinct may be to smother drinking glasses and dishes in bubble wrap, professionals caution against it. That’s because this packaging material takes up too much room.

Instead, loosely stuff packing paper or newspaper into each item and crumple the excess around the outside of it. This creates enough pockets of air to cushion them without the added bulk of bubble wrap. Seal the bottom of a tall box with a lot of packing tape — you don’t want everything to come crashing through the bottom when it is lifted — then stack your dishes inside. These items will be heavy, so be careful when carrying the box, or leave it to the professionals.

Packing Glass-Top Tables

Tables with mirrored or transparent tops can make an elegant addition to your living room, but they might present a problem when it’s time to move. However, it could be easier than you think as long as you approach it with some forethought. The key to successfully moving this type of furniture is to remove the glass tabletop and treat it as a separate object, if possible. In some cases, you may be able to lift it out, but it may be held in place with brackets that need to be unscrewed.

Once you remove it, the top of the table should be wrapped in moving blankets. Try to have at least two layers of blankets around it. Next, surround the entire package with bubble wrap, making sure not to tape directly to the surface of the tabletop. Finally, slide it into a cardboard picture box, or make your own by flattening an appliance carton or moving box and taping one end closed.

When loading it into the truck or van, keep the piece on its side. This will give the glass a better chance of surviving the stresses it will experience during transit. If possible, strap the package directly against the wall of the vehicle, and keep hard and heavy items away from it.

Packing Mirrors and Picture Frames

To make matters easier, small mirrors and picture frames can be packed together — as long as you take some precautions first. Using artist’s tape or painter’s tape, make an “X” over the glass inset. Cut a piece of cardboard that is a bit larger than the glass and secure it to the frame with the same tape. Wrap this in bubble wrap or packing paper. Then, line the bottom of a box with packing paper or foam sheets and slide each piece into it so that the frames are standing upright. If there is extra space between items, stuff paper in the gaps to keep them from moving around during the trip.

Larger objects should be prepared in much the same way but must be placed in their own boxes. If you don’t have one big enough to hold a mirror or particularly bulky picture frame, you can make one by flattening a large box.

No matter what you’re transporting, always mark the boxes containing glass objects with “GLASS” or “FRAGILE.” For flat glass items, write “DO NOT LAY FLAT” on both sides to prevent them from being broken. It can be easy to lose track of what is in which carton when you’re moving, and that can lead to a lot of headaches.

Few things are as nerve-wracking as transporting delicate objects, no matter how far you’re moving. Protecting glass when you’re relocating may take a few extra steps, but the end result may be a safe and successful move.

Author bio: Daniel Snow serves as Operations Manager for Glass.com®. Snow is also a contributing editor. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from George Mason University and has a background in the real estate industry. After high school, Snow even worked at a family-owned glass shop for a short period and is an Auto Glass Safety Council certified installer.

Finding Help with Moving Professionals

We hope you found this blog post on How To Safely Transport Glass Items During A Move useful. Be sure to check out our post on 10 Main Tips on How to Handle Moving Your Lamps for more great tips!

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