How to Pack Wine Glasses for Moving Without Shattering a Stem

The wine glass is a work of art.

Its design originated in medieval Venice back when the city was famous for its glassware. The thin stem is designed to draw body heat away from the bowl, keeping the wine temperature consistent. Meanwhile, the wide bowl leading into a narrow lip exposes the liquid stream to oxygen and directs it either across the tongue or towards the cheeks.

When combined with crystal clear glass, this design is stunning–though notoriously brittle and fragile. Wine glasses have been known to shatter from relatively light pressure, with moving being the cause of many early ends. Thankfully, the moving experts at HW moving have prepared a step by step guide for keeping these heirlooms alive and kicking through many more moves.

How to Pack Wine Glasses for Moving: Wrapping & Packing Materials

All in all, this project shouldn’t cost you too much. You’ll need a handful of household items and some readily available moving supplies.

Those include:

  • Box: Any medium-to-large moving box will do, but some are better suited. If available, we recommend double-layered boxes, which reinforce the sides outside pressure from smashing glasses together. You can also find specially-made “dishpack” boxes, tall boxes perfectly sized for wine glasses.
  • Packing Paper: You’ll need regular packing paper for this job; newspaper ink tends to stain, unfortunately.
  • Tape: Scotch tape for wrapping, xx tape for sealing boxes
  • Scissors
  • Bubble wrap
  • Glue

What’s the Best Way to Pack Wine Glasses for Moving

We often get asked about the best way to pack fragile items for moving like wine glasses. We find the following four-step process will help ensure your covered against the most common sources of breakage:

  1. Reinforce your box(es)
  2. Clear off a clean space for a dedicated packing station
  3. Wrap your glasses with three-to-five layers of wrapping paper
  4. Carefully arrange and pack your glasses—horizontally or vertically

1. Prepare Your Box(es) for Packing Wine Glasses

Boxes undergo a surprising amount of stress during most moves. As such, warding off the most common cause of breakage entails strengthening your boxes’ structural integrity.


  • Reinforce with glue: Boxes are usually constructed of a single sheet of cardboard, with two flaps glued or stapled together. You can further enhance the structural integrity of your box by filling in any visible gaps in your box’s glue/staple job. Try to lightly separate the layers to establish how much “give” it has, then fill any open spaces with glue.
  • Vertical strength: Use cardboard inserts to strengthen your box vertically–look for inserts designed to prop up each corner to prevent flattening or collapse.
  • Bottom flap: We’ve found that people tend to worry about the top flap much more than the bottom, which actually experiences the most pressure. Reinforce by taping a t shape from the center of the bottom flap out.

2. Create a Packing Station for Packing Wine Glasses

When it comes to fragile and easily scuffed materials, a little prep goes a long way. Create a clean and clutter-free packing station by clearing off a diner table—or any smooth surface large enough to fit(xx) your stack of wrapping paper, unfolded.

Place your materials where you can easily access them; if there’s not enough space on your surface, leave them on a chair next to your packing station.

Now’s also a great time to cut off sections of scotch tape to help us wrap. Cut off as many one-inch long segments as you need and stick them on your table’s edge for easy access.

3. How to Wrap Wine Glasses for Moving

Wrapping helps protect the surface of your wine glasses, as well as keeping them undamaged from cracks and splits.

If you’re no arts and crafts master, follow these steps:

  • Inspect the glass for moisture or debris (clean and set aside if you notice any).
  • Place in the center, lying on its side, with the mug’s top and bottom aligned with the two opposite corners of your wrapping paper.
  • Take a few sheets from your paper pile. Take one corner, and fold it over the mug lengthways(We recommend wrapping each wine glass for moving with three to five layers).
  • Fold the excess paper into the glass’ opening to make it sturdier Repeat three times with the remaining corners

Once layered, seal your wrap job with a slip of your pre-cut tape, and voila! Snug as a bug in a rug.

4. How to Pack Wine Glasses for Moving

The right packing procedure depends on the materials you collected (If you have a cut-out insert, that’s your best bet for this part).

That said, packing wine glasses into moving boxes is the easiest step.

You could of course stack attack your wine glasses vertically, separating each layer with two cardboard inserts. This shape is best achieved by a line pack wine pack, as those boxes will help maintain the vertical pressure. However, we found that corner cardboard inserts offered by many moving companies, set in each of the boxes for corners, act as stabilizing pillars.

Otherwise, you could stack them horizontally—interlaced, with the stem stacked next to lip like so.

You’ll be able to fit more wine glasses in each box with this method, and they’ll be better protected against falling damage through reduced empty space.

A Little Protection for Your Prized Possessions

It’s not easy making things last. Whether our prized possessions meet their end due to  accidents, nature, or plain bad luck, it happens in the blink of an eye. But, with a little preparation– and some elbow grease–you can ensure your treasured wine glasses stick around for the long haul.

HuberWilmot Moving & Storage’s vetted and qualified relocation specialists are experts in ensuring the longevity of your most valuable possessions, providing clients with award-winning service, and ensuring a safe, secure, and efficient move. Request a residential move quote today.