Tips for Packing Your Tea Cups for a Move

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How to Pack Your Tea Cups

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Delicate and elegant, china tea cups are often of both monetary and sentimental value. Unlike sturdier coffee mugs, tea cups are typically displayed in a breakfront and used much less frequently--you may only bring them out for special occasions. Usually treasured family heirlooms or cherished wedding gifts, you will want to ensure that they arrive in your home new safely.

Have the right materials

To properly and effectively pack and transport your fragile tea cups, you should obtain the correct packing materials. A cell box--a cardboard box with individual compartments to keep glass items from banging together in transit--can be effective, but they are often designed for carrying stemware and will not be the correct size. You can make your own cell box by cutting strips of cardboard, placing them inside your box at measured intervals to fit your cups and notching them to create a grid--but a regular, sturdy cardboard box can also work just fine. Just be sure the box is not too large--you will want to pack the cups in a box only slightly larger than its contents. The more negative space inside the carton, the more chance the tea cups have of rattling around inside and shattering.

You will need bubble wrap to wrap your tea cups, and either packing paper, news paper or packing peanuts to cushion your box. Last, you will need some packing tape to seal your box and a marker to label the contents. You can obtain these materials from any moving supply retailer--shop for them now at

Packing your tea cups

  • Tape the box bottom. Before beginning, reinforce the bottom seal of your box with packing tape to ensure that it doesn't collapse while being carried or loaded onto your truck.
  • Cushion the box. Fill the bottom of your box with crumpled packing paper, newspaper, or packing peanuts. If you are using a cell box, place a ball of paper at the bottom of each individual cell.
  • Stuff the cups. Ball up some bubble wrap (or packing paper if you choose) and place it inside the tea cup. This will support the negative space in the cup and protect it from shattering with the slightest impact. You should also wedge some bubble wrap or packing paper between the cup's handle and the body of the cup as well to prevent the handle from cracking off of the cup.
  • Wrap the cups. Next, place your tea cup face-up on a square piece of bubble wrap or packing paper cut to size (just larger than the cup.). Tip: You should refrain from using newsprint directly on the cup to avoid any unsightly ink smudges. Fold the paper or bubble wrap around the cup so that it covers its surface completely, and fold the edges inside of the cup. If you are using packing paper, you should wrap the cup with several layers for added protection. Secure the wrap with packing tape to hold it in place during transit.
  • Pack the cups. Set each wrapped cup inside the box, making sure to fill any empty space will more crumpled paper or packing peanuts. The idea is to keep your tea cups as stationary as possible so they are unable to shift, bang into one another, crack, chip or shatter during your move. Surround each cup with filler, and cover the entire contents with a layer or two of packing paper.
  • Tape and label your box. Once your cups are packed, close the flaps of your box, lift it, and very carefully shake it. If you can hear the cups move inside, you will need to add more filler. After you have ensured that your cups will not budge, seal the flaps securely with packing tape. Label the box with its contents and destination, and be sure to mark it "Fragile" and "This Side Up" with an arrow indicating the direction you wish the box to be carried and set down.
Get more information about packing china, glassware, and even a china cabinet at!

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on April 9, 2013 - Moving Expert
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