How to Pack Lamps For Moving (Bulbs, Shades & Base)

How to Pack Lamps for Moving

Moving can already seem like an impossible task. Your home has boxes everywhere, there are strict deadlines, and you cannot exactly remember how you fit that massive couch through the doorway in the first place.

The stress is mounting. Then, you notice perhaps one of the clunkiest items that will also need to be packed and moved with everything else, and you probably have three to seven of them.


That’s right. Lamps are never first on the list of what to worry about when it comes to moving. Whether they are short, tall, cheap, or expensive – all your lamps do not always fit in a box, and they have components that can easily break, like bulbs or lampshades.

How do you pack lamps for moving? If you are moving to a new house or apartment in the near future, you might be wondering about the best process that limits the risk of light bulbs breaking and lampshades bending.

Even if you hire movers, there might still be some disassembly and preparation required.

Keep reading for valuable tips on how to wrap and move them efficiently. Whether you are moving across town or across the countryOpens in a new tab., this guide has you covered!

Table of Contents

Group All of Your Lamps in One Place

Gather Your Lamps Together

Most projects seem much easier when you split work into various batched tasks. Do the same for your move and have a space dedicated just for the lamps.

First of all, how many lamps do you have? Count them, collect them, and place all of them in one room or area.

Now that all of the lamps are in the same place, you can gauge how to best move forward when it does come time to pack them into the truck or moving vanOpens in a new tab..

Remove Each Light Bulb and Organize

Identify which lamps have the same or similar types of bulbs, if they do at all.

Take separate containers and use them to hold different types of bulbs. Group them by type of bulb or by their lamp.

Label The Boxes

Now, label each container by bulb or lamp type. For example, write “incandescent bulbs for bedroom floor lamps” or “fluorescent bulbs for living room table lamps.” The more specific you can be, the better! Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

Label the container to show the number of bulbs as well.

Wrap Each Light Bulb

Now you have all of the bulbs arranged by type and the containers labeled, wrap them in soft packing materials like plain packing paper or packing peanuts to keep them safe.

The soft material will add an extra layer of padding to keep those lights safe and shining.

Depending on the type of move, you may want to keep the bulbs with you in your car if you are driving a separate vehicle.

This level of organization will impress the friends you bribed with pizzaOpens in a new tab. or even the most wizened professional movers. Expect to be thanked.

When unpacking commences, it will be easy to find the correct bulbs to get all of your lamps up and running again in your new place.

How To Pack Lampshades

Packing Lamps
Lamp shades can in all different shapes, sizes and materials. You may have to adjust your packing style for each one differently as well.

The bulbs are breakable, but packing lampshades can be just as challenging because they can be quite fragile as well. Pack them carefully.

Lamp shades come in all different shapes, sizes and materials. You may have to adjust your packing style for each one accordingly.

Some lamp shades might even have glass pieces or tassels dangling on them, while others can be large, old, and ornate. Naturally, you will want to prevent damage as much as possible by packing them well.

First, remove each lampshade from every lamp base. This activity could involve removing screws. Have a container (and a label) ready for them. Nothing gets lost faster during the moving process than loose screws.

If the size of the lampshades makes it possible, try stacking more than one shade on top of each other and putting them in the same moving box to save space.

Next, wrap the lamp shades in cloth material, towels, or packing paper. It is not advised to use newspaper or any other kind of paper with ink to wrap the lampshades.

Once you wrap the lampshades in soft packing material, put them in a moving box, topside up.

Ideally, you want to find a box that is just big enough for the lamp shades to fit comfortably. Extra space will allow the shades to jostle and all that moving around inside the moving box can lead to them getting damaged.

Fill in any empty space with extra bubble wrap or packing paper to secure the lamp shades in place.

Label the box contents, which lamps the shades correspond with, and mark that it is fragile.

Packing the Lamp Bases

Floor Lamp Base

After you finish all of that, the final items to pack are the bases of the lamps, which might be the most straightforward or most difficult depending on your moving situation.

In general, if there is no disassembly required, tall bases (like a floor lamp) can be either stood up and secured in a moving truck or laid flat. Wrap them properly with packing paper so they don’t get dinged and then find a secure location inside the truck where they won’t move around. Use a bungee cord if necessary to hold it in place.

Get the cords out of the way by winding up each one and holding them in place with a strong rubber band or packing tape. This little trick of securing cords with a simple piece of tape will save you from potentially dangerous situations like walking up or down stairs with a cord dangling by your feet.

Since the end of a tall lamp base can be pointy and potentially damage another one of your possessions, cover the end of the base in a towel or cloth, fastening it with packing tape.

You can wrap smaller lamp bases in a towel, cloth, or packing paper and put them in moving boxes.


Some of your lamps might be from a chain store and have no other value than simply existing to help you find the vitamin that you dropped on the floor.

Other lamps that you own might have emotional value or are well made and expensive. Perhaps it is an antique. Whether the lamp is an antique handed down by a relative or the first lamp that saw you through your first apartment, do not be afraid to tell your friends, family, or whoever is helping you move that the items are fragile and to be extra careful.

Be sure to label aggressively and mark boxes as fragile.

Your friends will be glad to know that an item they are carrying is more susceptible to damage. They certainly do not want to break one of your meaningful items on an already stressful day. Everyone appreciates a heads up.

Do the same for professional movers. Everyone is human and can make mistakes.

Final Thoughts

The challenges of moving are real and can create mountains of stress. Lamps do not help with their clunky frames and delicate parts. Keep your head up and take it one step at a time.

If you follow the steps above and stick to your plan, moving lamps doesn’t have to be a scary process!

Good Luck with your Move!


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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