Sometimes, it feels like the possessions that we value most are the most fragile. Antique plates, fine china, old photographs, artwork, family heirlooms; these types of items are usually so important to us, but also exasperatingly breakable and will, undoubtedly, cause you more than a few grey hairs when moving. Your fragile items can be protected during the move, but you need to pack smart and have the right material on-hand for packing.

The first thing to do is to set aside one particular day when you will take care of all the fragile and precious items. Consider doing it a few weeks before the move; doing it on moving day will mean that you may rush through it and potentially break things. Take your time – slow and steady. Next, gather all of your packing materials. You will need the standards: reinforced boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, newspapers (for padding), packing peanuts, and markers to write clearly on boxes. Other unconventional packing items could include old clothes, blankets, quilts, and pillows. Anything soft that can offer a cushion will work fine. Remember: people aren’t mind readers and your movers won’t know things are fragile unless you make it clear. Communication is very important. Write “FRAGILE-BREAKABLES” in big, bold letters with black permanent marker on all sides of the box. For extra protection, consider a colour-scheme that shows items market with a bright red sticker, for example, are fragile. Also, verbally inform your movers as to which boxes contain fragile items. The more people know, the more careful they will be.

Here are a few packing tips for more common fragile items:


Plates are the most common fragile item because everybody has them. Special containers called dish boxes can be purchased for a move. A dish box is made of durable cardboard and is specifically designed to hold dishes during a move. Another option is to tightly wrap each dish with bubble wrap or packing paper and tape, store them in a box (horizontally or vertically), and fill that box with padding (old clothes, newspaper). Make sure the plates are secure and won’t move around, but be careful not to over-pack them.


Wrap each glass with packing paper or bubble wrap and place them into a box that has been padded with old clothes or newspaper. Put packing peanuts in the gaps between glasses to avoid them clinking together.

Fine china

Antique china can be packed the same way as plates and glassware: wrapped in paper and bubble wrap and carefully placed in a secure box. If your item is old or particularly expensive, consider moving the box yourself (in your car, for example), as opposed to putting it on the truck.


Mirrors can be safely packed in a number of ways. One option is to purchase mirror corrugated boxes when moving. Like dish boxes, they are specifically designed to protect mirrors from breaking during a move. If this is not an option, then place strong tape across the mirror multiple times in different directions. This will absorb vibrations that may crack it. Finally, wrap it in bubble wrap or a padded moving blanket, if your professional movers provide this option. These same methods can be used for moving artwork.

Vases & Ceramics

For vases and ceramics, wrap each individual piece in packing paper and bubble wrap. Be sure to put packing paper (or newspaper) inside the actual vase or ceramic. Place them neatly and securely in a box padded with old clothes.

No matter how well you pack your fragile items, their safety will rely on the skill of your professional movers – which is why you want the best. At Five Star Movers, we have been successfully moving fragile items for over twenty years – take a look at our Packing Tips Board for more insight and tricks. Family owned and operated, Five Star Movers services Toronto, Brampton, and Oakville and reaches destinations across the entire province of Ontario. Unsure of your packing ability? Let us do it for you – we offer disassembly/re-assembly and storage services, too! Contact us today for a free quote!