Packing for a move is always a challenge in itself, but few rooms present as much a challenge as the kitchen. The fragility of the items that warrant special attention is what makes the kitchen a notoriously difficult room to pack.
When you’re dealing with antique dishes, the stakes are even higher. It is painful to lose a plate from your regular dinnerware, but losing a piece of your vintage china is an entirely different feeling. A sinking feeling.
Antique dishes are not only valuable, but they’re not the easiest to replace, especially when we are talking brands like Lenox, Welmar and the lot who do not mass-produce.
More than that, there is also the uniqueness of the kitchen as a room. Bar the bathroom (which isn’t much work as far as packing goes) the kitchen is a room most people use on a daily basis.
Matter of fact, it is the last room to be packed and the first you will unpack when you get to your new digs. For families especially, this is one of the rooms that will eat up the most hours.
Unless you’re planning to hire expert New York movers to do it professionally for you, the best way to approach the kitchen when packing is to have a clear plan, some bit of expertise, and of course – plenty of packing paper!
Important Points When Packing Antique Dishes
Items like antiques can always be packed a few weeks before moving day as they’re not used on a regular.
That said, this is something you want to include in your plan when creating your moving checklist. This allows you to determine when exactly you will be doing the packing while also allowing you sufficient time to gather the required moving supplies in advance.
It is also important to note that if you intend to hire a moving company, the mover will not be liable for any damage to your antique items should any accidents happen on transit. Your antiques will only be insurable if the mover does the packing themselves.
Even then, you will need special moving insurance beyond the default coverage offered by moving companies. This is something you need to discuss with the mover in advance so they can advise you accordingly.
It never hurts to create an inventory of all your antiques. You can even go one further and create a polaroid of each item to make notes of any imperfections, if any.
As far as the actual packing goes, as mentioned, you will need superior packing methods to ensure your valuable dishes arrive at their new home without any chips, scratches, or breakage.
Due to their delicate nature, we would recommend setting up a dedicated space to pack your vintage china from.
You can make use of a large empty dining room table or an open floor area. A clean and clear space devoid of any other items works best as it gives you enough room to work.
In addition to the uncluttered space, make sure the area you are working from makes for a soft surface. A carpet can do, as can clean blankets. The idea is to provide a padded work surface to protect the dishes.
Once you have your soft workspace set up, place all items in front of you so it’s easier to see what you are working with.
Take a sheet of packing paper and place it flat on your soft workspace. Tissue paper is a good alternative. This sheet should completely cover the item so it needs to be large enough.
Take your plates, place them face down on your working surface, and proceed to wrap each one completely. Fold the corners of the packing paper inward and use tape to secure them in place.
In the case of cups and bowls, first get some packing or tissue paper and crumple it inside each item. Then do the same as the plates, wrapping each piece with the paper completely, before folding the corners inward and using tape to secure them.
Get a large piece of bubble wrap and lay it flat on your work surface.
Take your vintage plates and place them face down in the middle of the bubble wrap. Cover them with the bubble wrap completely, again, folding the corners inward and using tape to secure.
Do the same for mugs and bowls, using the bubble wrap to wrap them completely and use tape to secure the corners.
You also need to protect the delicate handles in the case of the cups. You can achieve this by cutting a strip of bubble wrap (about 4 to 6 inches wide) and placing it around each cup’s handle. Tape the wrap too so that it doesn’t come off.
With the wrapping done, next you need to place your antique dishes in their respective moving boxes.
Sturdy cardboard boxes work best, and they should be just big enough to fit the items snugly. You don’t want too big a box as the dishes will keep moving around, which is a recipe for chaos.
Take each wrapped plate and place it face up in the bottom of your cardboard box which you have padded with packing paper, stacking them carefully.
Avoid placing the bowls inside each other, or the cups, if they’re large enough.
Instead, lay out the cups side by side at the bottom of your sturdy box and do the same for the bowls. Next, take a generous amount of packing paper and use it to cover your precious items at the top.
If they are wrapped properly, you can add another layer of cups on top of the other after covering the first layer of cups with packing paper – provided there is room inside the box.
Once your antique dishes are inside their moving boxes, use packing paper to fill any voids inside so the inside of the box is compact to reduce the items from shaking or moving about during transit.
Then finish up by securing the box with a generous amount of heavy tape.