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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

Pack Lamps and Lampshades for Moving

The paradoxical nature of moving to a new place can be quite astounding, to say the least. For one, it fills you up with hope of a new beginning, then deflates you with the anxiety-inducing thought of packing up so many things. Let’s not forget, moving surely tests your planning and organizational skills. But it also reaffirms your sentiments regarding those prized possessions which add a touch of spark to your home and mind in equal proportions.

The worth of such objects of sentimental value can’t be reduced or confined by a mere price tag. Take something as simple as a Lamp for instance. It’s not just about lighting up a room. The peace of mind you get after a long day of work, sitting beside that dimly lit Lamp, can be worth a lot more than anything you could buy. Naturally, how to pack lamps and lampshades for moving becomes a genuine question, as it’s a matter of something fragile but valuable.

One thing we can promise, no matter how daunting it might seem, there’s certainly a way to handle it without having to lose sleep. Although, you will have to be pretty organized and meticulous in the way you approach this task. Luckily, you’re not alone here - we got your back! So put your game face on, play some upbeat motivational music (Eye Of The Tiger, Perhaps?), and follow our guide on how to pack lamps and lampshades for moving.


The Planning

Everything you do has to be planned. Here is where you set the tone for how the process will pan out. Your major task would not only be to diligently stick to the plan, but also to devise one that accounts for everything, including the unexpected obstacles. Being organized is key. But at the same time, it’s essential to be calm and composed. Your mental frame of mind will be a major contributing factor as to how well you manage to do this.

Before we share the steps and the methodical approach for you to follow, it’s important that you start the planning process well in advance. Just think of it, packing lamps and lampshades for moving won’t be the only thing on your plate to handle. You can’t let one task affect everything else. So allocate a few days, or a few hours of multiple days to take care of this specific task. Ideally, start 40 to 45 days in advance, just to be on the safer side.

So here’s the first step of how to pack lamps and lampshades for moving:


You can make a digital checklist on your phone or note things down on a physical notepad. Either way, we can’t stress how crucial it is to create a proper inventory of all the lamps and lampshades in your home. To avoid confusion, you should do this strategically. Normally, you would have a clear idea of how many lamps and lampshades you have at home. So do factor in the unique purpose, size, level of fragility and frequency of usage for each of them.

Step 1 - Categorizing:

Take a walk around your house. Just note down all the different kinds of lights, lamps, lampshades and/or chandeliers you have at your place. You don’t necessarily have to do a headcount. For now, let’s be organized and take it one step at a time, one room at a time. The idea here is to create clear and distinct categories on the basis of everything you have at home. Of course, it should be things that you actually own, in case you’re living on rent.

Step 2 - Listing:

Make a list of all the lights, lamps, lampshades and/or chandeliers that you own, in your house. Note that all of this won’t be applicable to you if you live in a rental apartment or house. To make your life easier, take it one room at a time. Best to start with your living room, then your bedroom, your study room, kitchen, garage, and then let’s not forget, if you have a storage room, that too. Make sure that you list everything down in their categories.

Step 3 - Assessing:

Now, you have to think with a clear mind and make some decisions. These decisions will pertain to the necessity of these lights or lamps in your day-to-day life. Consider which of them will be essential to you till the moving day. Once you’ve identified what’s absolutely needed and what isn’t, mark it accordingly. So now you know which of the lights or lamps to pack for a move. Pack the non-essentials to avoid confusion and also save time and energy.

Helping Hands

Now that you know just what all you have and just how much you have to pack, it’s time for the next part. This is where you analyze everything in your mind and figure out just how many people you will need to help you with this task. Doesn’t matter if it’s friends, family or neighbors - prepare your call to arms. Goes without saying, you should first consider your own family members and how much they can help, that is if you’re actually living with them.

The reason we had asked to start the whole process of packing lamps and lampshades for a move 40-45 days in advance is so your helping hands have enough of a notice to make time in their schedule for you. Imagine reaching out to them at the 11th hour, only to be regretfully informed that they don’t have the time for it. Wouldn’t it be a bummer for both you and them? So always plan ahead, be precise and decisive in terms of how many people you will need.

Possible Obstructions

Let’s not forget about the little ones. Not that you should delegate certain tasks to them. But the idea here is to make sure that their frolicing around doesn’t get in the way of the task. It can be a risk to the lamps and their well being alike. So whenever you have decided the days for packing lamps and lampshades for a move, leave them with a nanny, relative, friend, neighbor or ensure they are not coming in and around the room you’re working from.

Another possible obstruction? Unannounced visits! Could be a friend, a relative, or just about anyone. One way of avoiding this is informing everyone beforehand of your availability. You could send a group email or text to everyone notifying them about how you will be busy from X to Y due to being caught up with the responsibilities that come with moving. Also, when you ask people for help, make sure you don’t have more people than you really need.

For people with pets, you also have to make sure your four-legged family member understands the gravity of the situation. If you have a dog or cat that’s understanding and cooperative, nothing like it. But you should also consider having somebody look after them for a few hours or days, depending on how you have allocated time for packing lamps and lampshades. It’s always good to have foresight and avoid the possibility of any mishaps.


The Preparation

Next step in the process of packing lamps and lampshades for a move is the preparation. This would majorly involve getting all your packing materials in place. One important thing to keep in mind during this part is that it’s always advisable to get some additional supplies than needed. At the end of the day, it’s all about having a safety net. You never know what kind of accidents can occur during the process, so it’s good to have some backups in place. 

When buying packing supplies, we would strongly recommend that you avoid turning into a penny pincher at all costs. These are really fragile and valuable items you will be dealing with. So it’s all the more reason for you to buy brand new corrugated boxes and materials, instead of trying to save a quick buck and settling for risky second hand materials. It would only end up being a really reckless and a costly decision for your lamps and lampshades.

There are many places you can buy packing materials from. Walmart, U-Haul, Home Depot and even Amazon are places you can easily get what you want. Apart from these, you can always check with local grocery stores and home improvement stores. They often sell most of the packing supplies, and aren’t really expensive. Another option you can consider is a reputed local moving company, as most of them do often sell good quality packing materials.

List Of Materials To Pack Lamps And Lampshades For Move

1. Boxes

Make sure you’re getting really strong corrugated boxes for this. Also, you have to keep in mind that you could need boxes of different sizes. Each box will be used for different kinds of lamps, bulbs, and the various other parts. Some cylindrical boxes can also come in handy.

2. Styrofoam Sheets

This is basically an extra layer to add at the bottom of the box. Perhaps even on any of the sides. Try getting the dimensions on the basis of the boxes you purchase.

3. Packing Peanuts

When dealing with fragile items, the significance of padding can’t be stressed enough. You also get environmentally friendly packing peanuts made of biodegradable items, if you’re concerned that all the packing peanuts will eventually be thrown in a landfill.

4. Bubble Wrap

We would recommend that you go for the complete bubble wrap roll if possible. You’re definitely going to need lots of it. In case you were wondering, buy both the medium and the large sized bubble wraps. Ideally you should get 5/16-inch and ½ inch bubble wraps.

5. Brown Packing Paper

You will need this for both padding and adding a clean layer of paper to pack the various little parts of your lamps and lampshades.

6. Glassine

A really cool sheet that’s super smooth. If the base of your lamp or any other parts need to avoid grease or moisture to maintain their beauty, they would surely appreciate Glassine.

7. Packing Tape

Depending on when you’re moving, you can also buy a custom Packing Tape for the weather you’re going to be experiencing during your move. Both duct tape and scotch tape can work in this scenario but it’s still important to ensure your taping is layered.

8. Rapstrap Cable or Zip ties

The cables and wires of your lamps will need to be wrapped and tied. Do note, you can use either one of Rapstrap Cables or Zip ties. They will both do the job just fine.

9. Tape Gun

This is not really a necessity but it just makes life a bit more convenient. Avoids the need to constantly use scissors to cut off tape.

10. Miscellaneous

Don’t forget to buy stickers so that you can label the boxes appropriately. We would also suggest buying Fragile Tape to indicate the same. If not, permanent markers are more than enough to help out in this regard.

Now that we have all the supplies and ammunition in place, it’s time for us to get into action mode. However, in a planned and organized manner. So to begin with, the next step is...

Dismantling And Cleaning Lamps And Lampshades

Right, let’s take it step by step. We will start with a room with lampshades that have little to no use till the time you move to your new place. Okay now, you will first have to switch off the power and gently unplug the lamp. Carefully handle the lampshade and disassemble it. This part would totally depend on the make of your lampshade. It could be screwed in, have a lever or the rotate-and-dismantle kind - the possibilities are certainly endless here.

Once you have dismantled the lampshade, it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the accumulated dust. Then, you can use a microfiber cloth. A piece of sponge can also do the job. Whichever material you use, dampen it a little. Make sure that you don’t let it get completely drenched. Just moisten it up. Preferably with some soapy solution with water. Then, all you have to do is gently scrub it against the lampshade and get the smudges off.

In the process, don’t forget to safely keep aside the Finial, Cork, Screw or the Harp. Once again, your lamp might not have any of these, but whatever those little parts, keep it safe. We all know how easy it is for them to get lost. Before you clean the base/body of your lamp, make sure you carefully remove the light bulb first, and then place it in a secure spot. Then, use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to scrub and wipe the base/body of your lamp.


The Execution

With everything else taken care of, it’s time to get into the thick of things. By now, you should know that a patient methodical approach is key to get things done in the best way possible. So once again, when packing lamps and lampshades, to begin with, start with one. Keep your tape, scissors, box, bubble wrap, foam sheet and everything else ready around you. Make sure you are doing this in a spacious place, where everything isn’t crammed up.

How To Pack Lampshades For A Move

Step 1: Setting Up The Box For A Lampshade

Firstly, pick a box that has a higher length than that of your lamp and lampshade. Next, you tape the bottom of the box, in case it isn’t already. Close the flaps and tape it up good. Perform a check to see if the box is sturdy in every possible way, and check if the base is also shut properly. Then you place a foam sheet on the bottom, as the first layer of padding. After this, place a couple of sheets of the medium sized bubble wrap as additional padding.

Step 2: Placing The Lampshade

By now, you will have already cleaned up the lampshade. So all you have to do is place it upright in the middle of the box. Do keep in mind that the box should be roomy to some extent on all sides after you place the lampshade in it. That additional space in all directions is to be filled with layers of both the medium sized bubble wrap, and the large one too.

You can also mix it up with some crumpled packing paper. It could be done in such a way that the first layer of padding sticking to the lampshade is the crumpled paper. Then the second protective layer between the crumpled paper and the box would be the large sized bubble wrap. The idea is to make sure the lampshade doesn’t shift and sits in place.

Step 3: Packing And Boxing The Lampshade

Do a final check to see if the lampshade is shifting or not. If it is still moving inside the box, then you need to add more padding. You can add a bit more of folded bubble wrap or packing paper. Once all set, close the flaps, tape up the top. Do this twice or thrice. And tape up in an X on the top, from both sides. Then, you can also add a layer of tape to the edges of the box. This added precautionary measure is to safeguard the box as much as possible.

Step 4: Labeling The Box With Lampshade

This has been a good start. So let’s keep it going by appropriately labeling the box. You can either use a sticker or a permanent marker for this. Make sure you label it in a manner that is clear to you. For instance, this might not be the only Lampshade you have. So you can call the box Lampshade and then also mention the room it’s from. Like - Lampshade Drawing Room 1. Or it could just label it as anything else that works for you and is clear.

Packing Lamps for a Relocation

Step 1: Wrapping The Harp

There’s a lot of wrapping to be done here. Let’s start with the Harp. Place it on a long double layered sheet of packing paper. Then, use the roll-and-wrap technique to wrap it up. Seal off the top and bottom edges. Best way to do that is to fold it inward before you start wrapping. Then, tape it up. Keep in mind that while you should be wrapping the Harp firmly with the packing paper, it shouldn’t be so tight that the paper presses through it vigorously.

Step 2: Packing The Harp Holder And Finial

This is one of those steps where you will be needing a smaller compact box. If you do, you have to do exactly the same things as the one we mentioned for the part about boxing a lampshade. Only difference is that you will be doing it in a much smaller box. In case you don’t have that smaller box, you can always wrap both these together in the same double layered packing paper. The process remains the same as the one you do for the harp.

Step 3: The Body, The Base And The Boxing Phase

Before we proceed, you should know that the reason we combined these parts together is so that you don’t get confused or miss out on anything. If you have a medium-small size box befitting the length of the Base and Body of the Lamp, now’s the time to make use of it. Don’t worry though, you can always wrap both of these up individually with double-layered packing papers too. The method remains the same, regardless of whether you box or wrap it.

However, in case the Base or Body of your Lamp is really polished or something that can be damaged by moisture and grease, it’s best to first wrap it with a layer of Glassine. It really helps protect your prized possessions from air, grease and moisture, if that’s a concern at all. Once you wrap it with Glassine, you can either wrap it with a single layer of packing packer or for that matter, you could just as well box it up separately like we mentioned.

Step 4: Miscellaneous Parts

Big or small, heavy or light, you still have to pack it all just right. Depending on the nature and size of the object, you can either wrap it all up in the same packing paper or put it all in the same small size box. But if any of those are really delicate and of a fairly decent size, it’s best to wrap it separately. There’s no reason to risk any damage, no matter how big or small the part of your lamp is.

Step 5: Packing Bulbs For A Move

If the question of how to pack a bulb for a move ever crossed your mind, we would like to shoot straight with you here. Don’t. If you have the option to leave your bulbs behind or give it to someone, do that. That’s always the safest option. With something as fragile and delicate as a bulb, no packing process can guarantee 100% security.

But if you have to, this is where the medium sized bubble wrap will come in handy. Very very gently and carefully, wrap it up and then tape it shut. Ideally, 2-3 layers will suffice. However, bulbs should be packed separately in a box of their own which has compartments. Or you can use multiple smaller boxes. However, make sure you generously do the padding.

Step 6: The Final Boxing

This part of boxing is the one where you place the wrapped up Finial, Harp and other smaller miscellaneous parts of the lamp in one big box. We can’t understate the importance of this step because you don’t want the unpacking to create any unnecessary perplexion. So it’s always better to have the smaller parts of the lamp in the same box. However, you have to ensure that you don’t forget to be strategic. You’ve done great so far, so keep it up.

The strategic approach pertains to making sure there’s enough space between the wrapped up items. At the same time, you have to make sure that the space is filled with copious amounts of padding. You can use crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap or even packing peanuts. Also, the boxing process remains the same, with a layer of foam sheet going in the bottom, and padding done in a way that things don’t manage to shift around inside the box.


Things To Keep In Mind When Packing Lamps And Lampshades For A Move

1. Higher the level of fragility, more the need for padding. So don’t compromise on this part. You can also use old T-shirts in case you don’t have sufficient padding materials.

2. Always check each box thoroughly before using it to pack any big or small part of your lamp or lampshade. Don’t take any chances if they seem even remotely flimsy or have the tiniest of dents.

3. You need a conducive environment and space to carry out something like packing lamps and lampshades for a move. So make sure you have ample of space and nobody around your base of operations, apart from anybody you might want as a helping hand.

4. Packing Lamps And Lampshades can take up a lot of time. If you’re working a full-time job or have other kinds of things that keep you occupied, it’s best to allocate a few days to this task. Spread it over a few days so it doesn’t stress you out.

5. Speaking of stress, you could go through a fair amount of it when you take on the task of packing lamps and lampshades for a move. It might not be due to that particular task, but it’s still a thing. You need to have a clear and calm frame of mind when doing such things. So take enough breaks in between, maybe play some soothing music to calm yourself, or anything else that works for you.


Now that you’ve read our comprehensive guide, we hope you can be filled with a bit of reassurance. You can certainly pack lamps and lampshades for a move yourself now. As you’ve seen, it’s no rocket science and anybody can do it. You just have to be well-organized and plan things well and do it in a calm and methodical manner.


See also: Moving Safety Tips Everyone Must Know