How to Pack Floor Lamps for Moving

How To Pack Floor Lamps For Moving

Most floor lamps are both functional and decorative. Some are antique treasures, and others, especially those from office stores, are more practical and used for reading or office work. So, really, the floor lamps in your home are a matter of decorative flair or a bright lighting setup to help you do detailed work without challenging your eyesight.

Floor lamps come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. After all, they have height—and, therefore, space to branch out, as some do. Also, some have paper, plastic, or fabric shades that need separate packaging, while others have relatively sturdy built-in shades.

Since most of us would have at least one-floor lamp for moving, we’re about to discuss how to do it properly.

How to Pack a Floor Lamp for Moving

Floor Lamp and Assorted Furniture

As with packing lamps for moving generally, the first step in packing a floor lamp for moving is to remove the bulb and shade if the latter is also fragile or easily damaged. These should travel separately, in their own box.

Pack the lightbulb(s) first, assuming you want to keep them with the shade.

I recommend packing them individually in bubble wrap or another good shock-absorbing material.

Nest the packed bulb inside the shade, surrounded by crumpled packing paper. Then, surround the lampshade with more crumpled paper until it doesn’t budge. Don’t pack anything else in the box. Instead, close and tape the packing box you’re using and put a “Fragile” label on the outside.

Also indicate the contents and number it “e.g., [type] floor lamp, box 1” or something similar to distinguish it from any other floor lamps.

The second step is packing the rest of the lamp. So if all parts are metal, wood, or another relatively durable material, dismantle the lamp and start wrapping its various components in packing paper or bubble wrap. Or consider using packing blankets or heavy-duty cling wrap if you want to move a wood or metal floor lamp without taking it apart.

Once wrapped, they can either stand up or lie flat. Just be sure they’re well anchored.

Some floor lamps have multiple parts, such as multiple stem segments that can be unscrewed and screwed back together.

Lamp bases are often separate from the stem and have an electrical cord that runs through a hollow stem. Besides the stem or stem parts, some lamps (e.g., tree lamps) come with multiple light fixtures that need individual wrapping, whether detachable or permanently attached (bulbs removed, of course).

Finding the Right Box to Pack a Floor Lamp

As mentioned, you can disassemble many modern lamps for moving and would fit in any medium-sized moving box.

But suppose you have a floor lamp with a solid stem and made of a material like wood or metal that can be scratched, gouged, or dented. Then it would help if you shopped for a box specially designed for packing a floor lamp. These boxes run about 12”x12”x48” or 12”x12”x60” and open at the top on one side.

A word to the wise: If you have the space to store the box your floor lamp came in (and it’s still in good condition), you could save yourself the need to buy a pricier new one.

What if You’re Moving a Floor Lamp with Fragile Parts?

Top of Floor Lamp

Some floor lamps (especially older ones) have fancy glass parts at the top.

For example, we have an antique brass floor lamp with a decorative ornamental piece permanently attached at the top of the stem and a hurricane lamp-type glass surrounding the bulb fixture. While the base and stem would hold up well enough during a move, we would be concerned about the two glass pieces, especially the hurricane lamp glass.

Those who own antique lamps with glass shades, decorations, or other pieces should wrap them in the most protective material.

For instance, you can use expandable foam, multiple sheets of bubble wrap, and crumpled packing paper surrounding the item(s) inside the piece (if applicable) and throughout every cubic inch of the moving box. For even better results, ship the part(s), insured, through a reliable shipping company.

Lighting Types

There are three basic lighting typesOpens in a new tab. used in most floor lamps:

  • Ambient – diffuses light evenly throughout the area where it’s placed.
  • Task – directs light to a specific area like a desk or reading chair.
  • Uplight – directs light upwards. It is then evenly and softly reflected downwards from the ceiling.

If your lighting requires special bulbs that might not be readily available at your destination, pack one or two for the move.

Now That You Know How to Pack Your Floor Lamp for Moving

For the most part, floor lamps aren’t much harder to pack for a move than any other lamps. They have roughly the same features but are about 1½ to twice the size of most table lamps. Fortunately, standing them up, well-padded, in the corner of a moving truck or packing them in a tall, narrow box can fill vacant spaces that other items could not and save some space.

We believe an even better benefit to moving floor lamps, though, is that when you arrive in your new house or apartment, all you need to do is unbox the floor lamp(s), unpack the light bulb(s), do any reassembling, and begin the rest of your unpacking. Even if you only have a single floor lamp, moving it from room to room makes it easy to provide the lighting to get the job done.

And who knows? You might decide your floor lamp adds so much convenience to your life and distinctiveness to your décor that you might want to go out and shop for more!


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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