China and fine glassware can make it safely through a typhoon if it is properly packed – as proved by the recent discovery of a 16th-century shipwreck holding over 700,000 intact pieces of Ming porcelain!
Stock your packing station with tissue paper, newsprint sheets, bubble wrap, china barrels (double walled, sturdy cardboard boxes), cell boxes (they have built-in cardboard dividers for glasses and bottles), a tape gun, and a permanent marker. Line each box’s floor with balls of crumpled newsprint.
Stemmed and handled wares. Make twists of tissue paper to wind around stems and handles. Be generous. Then wrap 2 to 4 newsprint sheets (2 if using a cell box) around the entire item. If it’s especially fragile, use bubble wrap. Now put it into the box standing on its base. Fill the bottom layer of the box with the tallest pieces. Don’t let them touch any box walls – pad the interior box walls with wadded newsprint.
Tip: double-boxing gives peace of mind for your most precious and fragile treasures. Find a box that can nestle inside a bigger one with about an inch to spare on sides, bottom, and top. Line the bottom of the bigger box with crumpled newsprint that compresses to about an inch’s thickness and put the smaller box inside. Now insert wadded paper down the four sides so that the smaller box can’t budge and make sure there is enough room at the top that, when the inner box has been carefully filled and taped shut, there will be room to stuff an inch of wadded paper between the two boxes.
Plates and bowls. Take 3 to 4 plates that are the same size. Put the first down on the middle of your stack of newsprint sheets and fold 2 sheets over it. Now put the second plate on top of the padded first plate and fold 2 sheets over it. Repeat with 2 more plates and then fold and tuck all the edges around the group of plates. Use tape to hold the paper together and put the wrapped plates, standing on their edges, into your padded china barrel. Once all the relatively straight-sided items are wrapped and packed, repeat the process with bowls, nesting them inside of each other and stacking on edge. Fill empty space at the top of the barrel with wadded paper.
If you remembered to make sure that all six sides of the box have been padded and you can pick up a box, shake it, and nothing shifts inside, then you have packed like moving pro and your heirloom china should arrive safely at your new home.