How to pack table lamps for storage or moving
It’s easy to assume that a sturdy looking table lamp can just be popped into a box for moving or storing, yet they are as easy to damage as any other item. Here’s the easyStorage guidelines for packing table lamps.
1. Assemble what you need
- A good quality box the same height as, or slight bigger than, the lamp;
- A second good quality box, big enough for the lampshade (the biggest lampshade if packing several together);
- An elastic band;
- A market pen or felt tip for marking the box once packed;
- Unprinted paper (or ebble wrap) to pack;
- Packing tape;
- Optional: towels for the base of the box(es) and wrapping the lamp base;
- Optional: clear plastic sandwich bag or similar;
- Scissors or Stanley knife (for cutting tape).
2. Prepare the two boxes: one for the lamp base, one for the lampshade(s)
Make sure the bottom of the box is firmly taped on each box. And line the base of the box with several layers of folded paper, bubble wrap or a towel. This will soften the impact of any bumping on the lamp. (Wrought iron can misshape; china/ceramics can crack; stone can chip.)
3. Remove the lampshade
Put the lampshade aside - somewhere close, clean and safe - to await packing.
4. Remove the lightbulb(s)
If the lightbulbs are CFL (Compact fluorescent lamp) or LED, wrap them well in bubble wrap and/or paper. They will go into the box with the lamp base, but set them aside until you have everything for that box wrapped and together.
Incandescent lightbulbs should be thrown away. They are very fine and can send shards of thin glass everywhere when they break. They are just not safe to pack unless in their original purchase boxes, and even then, best avoided.
5. Deal with the flex
Ensuring that the lamp is already out of the electric socket, it’s time to start wrapping the parts of the lamp stand.
Deal with the flex (power cord) first. You don’t want it swinging around, getting tangled, or the plug hitting anything. Carefully wind/fold the flex up, holding the neatly wound flex in place with an elastic band. Then tidily wrap the flex in several layers of clean packing paper – it should end up looking like a chip shop package. Apply tape to stop the wrapping opening back up.
Once the flex is well wrapped, you’ve reduced the chances of accidents or breakages from it swinging loose.
Note: never use tape directly on a flex.
6. Dismantle the top of the lamp
Next up move the ‘harp’ – the harp shaped piece(s) at the top that the lampshade would sit on - and any ‘finials’ (pieces which indicate the top of the lamp’s harp, sometimes used to hold things in place, usually decorative). Each of these pieces need wrapping individually in paper. You may choose to put any small parts into a clear plastic sandwich bag or similar to keep them together with any screws that the lamp may have used to hold this top part in place.
Pop them to one side, close at hand, as you’ll be packing them in the box with the base.
If this structure has lots of parts or is particularly unusual, take a photo close up to refer back to when re=assembling.
7. Wrap the lamp base
Place your ‘wrapping’ paper on the floor, several layers thick to create a thick outer cover.
If the lamp has a standing platform, wrap this first, using tape to hold the paper in place. Then roll the lamp in paper, making sure it’s completely surrounded, top to bottom.
Once the lamp base is covered and protected, tape the paper or wrap in place, and pop the base into the first box, upright
8. Pack and seal the first box
Start filling the box with crumpled paper, distributing the harp and filials throughout the paper in the box, without touching the base.
Once the box it filled to the point that the base won’t move if the box is shaken, seal firmly with tape.
9. Mark the sealed box
Mark the box with the following:
- ‘Top’ and ‘bottom’ in the corresponding places (the right way up);
- ‘Fragile’, written on all sides of the box, very clearly;
- “Contains a lamp” so that handlers know to handle with care;
- If you are moving rather than storing, also mark the destination for the lamp in its new home.
10. Wrap the lampshade(s)
Wrap cloth, metal or plastic lampshades in white tissue paper or packing paper, or pillowcases.
Unlike the stand, more than one lampshade can be packed nested together, and it may add protection to do so. According to their sizes, stack from largest to smallest, each wrapped in clean paper to keep them clean and offer some protection from bumps.
Silk or leaded glass shades should not be stacked in this way – they need packing separately and double the wrapping protection.
(Chandelier type shades need special care, and we’ll discuss this in a future blog.)
Surround the shade(s) with protective, crushed paper to protect against damage, and seal the box.
Never pack anything else in with shades.
Indicate that your carton is fragile, contains lamp shades and requires placement at the top of the other moving boxes.
Chandeliers and Leaded Glass Shades
Special care should always be given to expensive chandeliers and leaded glass shades. To avoid potential damage, it is best to use customized crates for added, durable protection.