Dish packs are those collections of foam sleeves and cardboard dividers that are supposed to keep your dishes and glasses safe during a move. They are somewhat intuitive to use; no doubt you can already tell that dishes go in those foam sleeves, and each divider space holds a glass or mug. But just throwing your dishes in the dish pack will give you only minimal protection. Here's how to really get the most out of that cardboard-and-foam kit.
Spaces in and Around Glasses
When you link together and expand the cardboard dividers, each space should hold only one glass or mug, well wrapped in butcher paper (also called moving paper or packing paper). But in addition to that, crumple up some more packing paper or newspaper, or even bubble wrap if you have it, and stuff that into the opening of the cup or glass. Place the item in the space in the divider, and then stuff more packing paper or bubble wrap into the spaces around the item. Don't give the item a lot of room to move in because that could make it easier for the item to break. You want everything to be very well padded.
Don't Skimp on Dish Sleeves
Use one dish sleeve for each plate and bowl. Do not combine any dishes inside one sleeve. The dishes can scratch each other as they jostle and clatter in moving. Use one sleeve for one item, wrap each full sleeve with more packing paper, and again, place lots of bubble wrap or packing paper in the spaces around the items once they're in the box.
Believe it or not, plates and bowls need to go on their sides. There are two reasons for not stacking them as you would inside a cabinet. One is that it's easier to fill the spaces left by smaller dishes that way. The other is that the pressure from having other boxes on top of the dish box -- even light boxes -- can break the edges of plates and bowls despite the padding.
Top and Bottom Padding
Add several wads of crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts to the bottom and top of each box. When you first put the box together, place the paper or wrap in an even layer on the bottom; then add the dishes or glasses. Once those are in, put bubble wrap in the spaces on top and along the sides, or pour in a bunch of packing peanuts and then finish off with a layer of bubble wrap.
Another option for top and side padding is extra kitchen linens. Pack your dish towels and extra dish sponges (unused! Throw away used ones before you move) in those crevices.
Don't be surprised if you need more than one dish pack for all of your dishes. If you feel like the dishes somehow aren't protected enough, contact the moving company or box supplier and find out if they have additional advice.
Talk to a mover, like Elite Truck Rental, for more help.