Keeping Your Breakables Safe: How to Pack Fragile Goods for Storage

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Keeping Your Breakables Safe: How to Pack Fragile Goods for Storage

When you’re preparing to store your cherished possessions, perhaps during a house move, redecoration, or simply decluttering, ensuring the safety of your breakables is paramount. Fragile items require special care and attention to ensure they remain intact. This guide will offer practical and effective steps to safely pack and store your fragile goods.

Prepare in Advance

Starting any project requires a bit of groundwork, and packing fragile items is no different. Preparation is the key. By getting your materials in order beforehand, you can ensure a smoother packing process. Essential packing materials include:

  • Bubble wrap: A popular choice for many, bubble wrap provides an excellent cushion, preventing items from knocking against each other and absorbing any external shocks.
  • Packing paper: Soft, thin, and flexible, this offers a buffer to avoid scratches on delicate surfaces and can also be used to fill empty spaces.
  • Sturdy boxes: It might sound basic, but investing in high-quality boxes can be the difference between an intact item and a broken one. Ensure your boxes can withstand weight without buckling.
  • Tape: Not all tapes are created equal. Look for strong adhesive tape that can keep your boxes sealed tight throughout their storage journey.
  • Markers: Clearly labelling your boxes will make unpacking or accessing your items later much easier. Get bold, waterproof markers for this task.

Choose the Right Box

Many believe ‘the bigger, the better’ when choosing boxes. However, when packing fragile items, this can be a perilous myth. Opting for smaller boxes ensures items stay snug and minimises their movement. It’s also crucial that the boxes be sturdy; the last thing you want is the base giving way. Check for previous signs of wear or damage, and if you spot any, retire that box from the fragile items team.

Cushion the Base

Think of this step as creating a soft bed for your items. Before you introduce any item into its box, ensure you’ve laid out a generous layer of cushioning at the bottom. This protective layer, whether it’s crumpled packing paper or a sheet of bubble wrap, ensures the items aren’t directly sitting on a hard surface, reducing the risk of shock damage.

Wrap Each Item Individually

Imagine each of your fragile items wearing a protective suit. This suit, made of bubble wrap, prevents them from knocking into their neighbours and getting damaged. As you wrap each item, take your time. Secure the wrap with tape, but be cautious to avoid placing adhesive directly on the item. Residue can be challenging to remove and might damage certain materials.

Use Packing Paper for Extra Protection

Once an item is cocooned in bubble wrap, give it another protective layer with packing paper. This is especially useful for items with intricate designs or surfaces prone to scratching. Gently wrap and fold the paper around the item, ensuring every inch is covered. The combination of bubble wrap and packing paper offers dual-layer protection, ensuring even the most delicate items remain safe.

Fill Gaps

Any empty space within a packed box is a potential hazard zone. The more space items have to move, the greater the risk they’ll shift, collide, and possibly break during transportation. Fill these voids meticulously. Using crumpled packing paper, foam peanuts, or extra bubble wrap can ensure that there’s absolutely no room for unwanted movement inside the box.

Stack Smartly

Packing a box is a bit like playing Tetris but with higher stakes. When introducing items into the box, always remember: heavy at the bottom, light at the top. This arrangement ensures the lighter items aren’t bearing unnecessary weight, reducing the risk of breakage. For specific items, like plates, an upright vertical position is more favourable than a flat stack, reducing pressure and potential cracking.

Seal and Label

The final touch to your packing process is sealing the deal. Once you’ve ensured that a box is packed securely, tape it up. But don’t stop there. Labelling is your guiding light when it comes to unpacking or accessing items later. Clearly write “Fragile” in bold, easy-to-spot letters, and also jot down a brief description of the contents, such as “Glassware” or “Porcelain Figurines”. If there’s a specific orientation for the box, indicate this with arrows.


Ensuring the safety of your fragile possessions during packing and storage shouldn’t be a source of sleepless nights. With the right resources, a touch of patience, and methodical care, your cherished items can remain in pristine condition. 

At Hills Self Storage, we understand the significance of your valuables, which is why our facilities are designed with optimal storage conditions in mind. Dry, pest-free, with a stable temperature—our units are the sanctuary your belongings deserve. Combine our state-of-the-art storage solutions with these expert packing tips, and you can be confident that your items are in the best hands. For more information about our services or to reserve a space, feel free to reach out to us.


Is bubble wrap the best choice for all fragile items?

Bubble wrap is a versatile and effective cushioning material suitable for many fragile items. However, for items with intricate details or uneven surfaces, combining bubble wrap with soft packing paper or foam can provide more comprehensive protection.

How can I ensure that filled boxes aren’t too heavy to lift?

While packing, it’s essential to frequently lift and gauge the weight of the box. Distribute the weight evenly and ensure boxes are manageable to carry without straining. If a box becomes too heavy, consider splitting the contents into two separate containers.

How do I know if I’ve used enough padding inside the box?

A good rule of thumb is that when the box is sealed, you shouldn’t hear or feel any items moving or shifting inside when gently shaken. If you do, it’s a sign that you need to add more padding to fill the gaps.

Is it necessary to label the orientation of the boxes?

While labelling a box as “Fragile” is vital, indicating the box’s correct orientation (e.g., “This Way Up” arrows) is also crucial, especially for items that could be damaged if stored or moved on their side or upside down.

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