The dining room is often one of the least frequently used rooms in a home, which makes it a great place to start packing for your upcoming move. Packing your dining room first will get some of the bulkiest pieces of furniture out of the way, leaving you with more room to maneuver and store your boxes as you pack up other spaces.
Dining room furniture often has sentimental value, and can also represent a fairly significant financial investment. It’s not an overly difficult room to pack, but this furniture will require some special consideration, especially if you’re moving fragile dishware or stemware or have antique furniture. Keep reading to get our tips for how to pack dining room chairs, tables, and other furniture.
Start by decluttering
Decluttering is always the best way to start packing a space. Go through every drawer and space in your buffet, hutch, and sideboard, and sort through every shelf of your china cabinet to determine what you will move, what you will donate or sell, and what you will toss.
If you are downsizing, you may also need to consider getting rid of some larger pieces of furniture, including your dining room set.
Once you’ve decluttered, you can move on to your breakable items, such as any fine china or crystal stemware that is stored in your dining room. This gets these fragile and valuable items safely out of the way so you don’t have to worry about breakage while you pack up the rest of the room.
Get our tips for packing china and stemware in our guide to packing your kitchen.
After you’ve packed any breakables, move on to items that sit on tables, cabinets, and rugs. This includes things like lamp bases, lamp shades, and artwork.
Check out our guide to packing your living room for tips on packing these items.
Dining room furniture
Even basic dining room sets require some extra consideration to prevent scratches and damage. These general guidelines for packing dining room furniture can help you get started:
- Empty all drawers and compartments, then secure drawers and doors with masking tape to ensure they don’t open in transit. Don’t apply tape directly to a wood or glass surface. Tape can damage the finish, leave a sticky residue, or peel paint.
- Take apart what you can. Disassembling chairs and tables makes them easier to transport and fit on your moving truck. Take pictures as you disassemble your dining room furniture to help you remember how to reassemble it in your new home.
- Take pictures from all angles before you pack. In addition to helping you reassemble furniture, photos also provide proof of condition if your furniture gets damaged in transit and you need to make a claim against your moving insurance.
- If you are moving a chandelier, your best bet is to have your moving company or shipping service pack it up for you. They are professionals who will know how to properly disconnect and pack up this fragile, often valuable piece.
Keep reading for our tips on packing individual pieces, including how to pack dining room chairs, tables, and china cabinets.
Dining room table
Your dining room table is most likely the largest piece of furniture you’ll have to pack in your dining room. Tables often include multiple components that will need to be packed separately:
- Table leaves should be removed and wrapped separately in towels, linens, or moving blankets.
- Legs should be removed and wrapped individually, if possible. Secure them to the underside of your tabletop for transport.
- Table corners can be protected using special corner protectors, or corrugated cardboard.
- Any screws, nuts, or bolts should be sealed in a plastic bag and taped to the underside of the table.
How you pack your tabletop will depend on what its made of:
- Apply strips of masking tape (masking tape won’t leave sticky residue on glass surfaces) in different directions across the glass surface to add strength and keep glass shards together if your tabletop does break in transit. The tape will also help prevent injury when unpacking.
- Wrap your tabletop in moving blankets, then a layer of bubble wrap. Moving blankets will prevent the bubbles from leaving an impression on the glass.
- Place the wrapped tabletop in a telescopic box. The box should be as close as possible in size to your tabletop to prevent movement. If you are unable to purchase a telescoping box, you can also create your own.
- Label your glass tabletop “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE”.
- Consider applying wax to wood tabletops before wrapping in moving blankets to help protect the surface from damage.
- If your table separates to make room for additional leaves, apply a couple of lengths of duct tape to the bottom of the table so it doesn’t separate in transit.
- Lower table leaves for drop-side tables and secure them in place using masking tape to keep them stable.
- Wrap your wooden tabletop in moving blankets. Take care to ensure the blankets cover the table’s edges and corners, as these areas are especially susceptible to damage.
- Shrink wrap your wrapped tabletop. Don’t apply plastic directly against the wood - this can cause moisture to form, which can damage the wood’s surface.
- Remove chair legs. Store nuts, screws, and bolts in a resealable bag attached to the piece you removed them from.
- Wrap legs in packing paper before shrink or bubble wrapping to protect wood from moisture.
- Wrap any extensions, bars, or rails in protective padding - these areas are most prone to damage. Then wrap the body of the chair in packing paper before shrink or bubble wrapping.
- Empty your china cabinet of dishware and pack according to our tips.
- Secure doors and drawers with zip ties or bungee cords. Tape may damage the wood surface, especially for antique china cabinets.
- Adhere cardboard to any glass or mirror panels before wrapping your china cabinet.
- Wrap the entire piece in moving blankets. Tape blankets in place, then shrink wrap.
If your dining room furniture is antique or heirloom, it’s best to work with a moving or shipping company that specializes in these items.
Shipping Your Furniture
Shipping your dining room furniture with a professional shipping company is ideal for long distance or interstate moves. Not only does it save you the heavy lifting, but having professionals help safely and securely pack your furniture can also alleviate the stress of preparing your stuff properly for its journey.