How To Pack Mugs For Moving (My Best Tips)

How To Pack Mugs For Moving

We all know the problem too well: you do your best to prepare for a successful move, to pack things safely, and to organize for the best possible relocation. But then you get to your destination to find a bunch of broken items. Glass and ceramics, including precious coffee mugs, tend to be the most frequently damaged, leaving many movers frustrated.

In this article I will discuss how to pack mugs for moving and the best tips and tactics to get your coffee mugs to their new home fully intact.

So, how do you pack mugs for moving?

The best solution for packing and transporting coffee mugs and tea mugs is to use proper padding and a reinforced box that allows for mugs to be transported separately. Proper packing material including bubble wrap, packing paper and mug boxes will secure your mugs for moving.

But what are the best methods, tools, and tips available for keeping your mugs safe? Let’s discuss these foolproof (and shatterproof) methods.

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Table of Contents

Gather Proper Packing Materials for Mug Transportation

Wrapping a Mug in Bubble Wrap
Wrapping each coffee mug individually can be tedious and time consuming, but it’s absolutely worth it!

Unlike your collection of beanie babies, you can’t just throw all your cups and mugs in a standard moving box and hope for the best. Proper packing materials are essential for packing your favorite coffee mug and all its friends. The best way to go is to get dedicated mug boxes that contain padded compartments with enough space for one mug in each section.

This StorageLAB padded cup and storage mugOpens in a new tab. box is a fantastic option to pack coffee mugs into. Each of the cell boxes is padded and designed to perfectly fit coffee mugs inside. Because each cell is already padded, you won’t even need to wrap each one in packing paper. Put your mugs inside, zip it up and you’re good to go!

If you decide to opt for a cardboard box without individual cells, then you’re going to need packing paper, bubble wrap and packing tape.

Packing Mugs

Start by taping the bottom of the box you’re going to pack mugs in. The smaller the better. Empty spaces are your enemy because that will allow for your mugs to shift around inside the box. Shifting can lead to breaking and breaking is bad.

Line the bottom of the box with bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper. Something that’s going to give some cushion between your mugs and the outside world.

Now, wrap each mug individually with packing paper and use a strip of packing tape to hold the paper in place. Place each one down in the box securely with a little room between each one. When you have a full layer of mugs, use more packing paper or bubble wrap to fill in the gaps between each mug.

If you’re going to add another row of mugs, first add another layer of bubble wrap or crumpled paper on top of the first row of mugs.

I would personally stop at two rows, or layers, of mugs in a box. I believe the more you try to fit in one moving box, the more bad things that can happen.

Before you close the box and adorn it with another strip of packing tape, make sure that you have filled the top of the box with as much packing paper or bubble wrap as needed to completely fill up the space inside the box.

Plan Your Move for Success

A mug box or bubble wrap won’t do much good if you set heavy boxes of booksOpens in a new tab. or your collection of bowling balls right on top of your mugs. That’s why having a game plan for where your boxes are going and how they’re getting there is a must.

Instruct your crew (or remind yourself) to keep fragile boxes on top of everything else being transported. If possible, transport them separately or in a way that differentiates your mugs from, say, your box of clothes.

Properly label the box as “ceramics” or “coffee mugs” or simply, “fragile” will remind whoever is moving the boxes to be mindful of their contents and not haphazardly slam contents around.

You can also make your own labels with blank labels or just hand-write “mugs” or “fragile” right onto the box with a marker.

Wrap Breakables in Textiles

Coffee Mug Outside on a Brisk Morning
All of us have a favorite coffee mug, right?

A budget alternative to purchasing lots of costly packing supplies is to use what you already have lying around the house. Wrapping delicate items in shirts, towels, and other textiles that you already own is a great opportunity to save a little bit of money. It’s all being moved anyway, might as well put your fabrics to use!

Wrap each mug in its own fabric to prevent contact with other mugs that may lead to chipping or shattering. If you’re short on space, storing small textiles like (clean) socks or hand towels in the mugs could help reduce the total packing space.

An extra step to making this a successful option is to use a sturdy, possibly plastic box so the mugs aren’t put under too much pressure from the mugs being compressed or squished. The Life Story stackable plastic boxesOpens in a new tab. are a good, sturdy, budget-friendly option. Standard moving cardboard boxes can work but aren’t ideal for transporting fragile, breakable items, especially without reinforced padding accessories.

Making sure to not over-fill the boxes of mugs, as well, will help to reduce the pressure on the items and prevent ceramic handles from coming off, chipping, and other possible issues. Too many mugs compacted together can create potentially damaging pressure or weight on fragile ceramic.

Just as a word of caution

Wrapping delicate items in household fabrics and clothing may not provide the cushioning or structure of dedicated moving products. It may be a good economic idea but likely won’t provide the full support of professional options. Proceed with caution if using this option for your mugs and be mindful of the pressure and weight being put on your mugs while packing.

Don’t Move More Items Than Necessary

A lot of us tend to overzealously collect items only to realize later that we don’t use them and all they do is take up space. Souvenirs, clearance sections, and gifts are nice at the time, but can quickly become unused and unnoticed, collecting dust in the back of the cupboard. Being mindful of what we own, and why, can help us reduce clutter and live with a little more intention.

The best way to ensure an easy move is to prune your house before packing up. Moving less will ensure you get your most precious items to their destination as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Before your move date, go through your coffee mug collection and donate the ones that no longer get much use. Who knows, they may enrich another person’s life, and you won’t have to carry them up another flight of stairs. There are plenty of local charities and thrift stores that would gladly take the mugs.

Final Thoughts

While nobody can 100% guarantee an item or two won’t get chipped during a move, there are plenty of steps to take to insure your items are as protected and cared for as possible. With a little careful planning and preparation, you and your favorite coffee mugs will make it to your new home safely.

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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