How to Pack Lamps for Moving: A 5-Step Guide

Let there be light (in your new home)

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated May 11, 2022
A table lamp sits beside a couch
Photo: Kwanchai_Khammuean / iStock / Getty Images
Difficulty

Easy

You've got this!

Time to complete

1 hour

Cost

$50–$100

You’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t do this themselves.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Scissors
  • Labels, painter's tape, or a marker

SUPPLIES

  • Moving boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Newspaper or packing peanuts
  • Foam plug protectors
  • Box dividers (optional)

Moving day is upon you, and there's still so much left to do. Then, the realization hits: You still have to pack up all of your lamps. Lamps are easy to take for granted (they're always hanging out in the background of your home), but they require some packing care to ensure they arrive at your new destination safely.

Luckily, you can pack them easily with a few moving supplies. Learn how to pack lamps for moving in this five-step guide.

  1. Collect the Right-Sized Moving Boxes (and Other Supplies)

    Packing table lamps safely and efficiently comes down to buying the right boxes. Unfortunately, damage during transit is possible due to the fragile nature of lamps, so it’s essential that you buy or find moving boxes that fit the bill.

    Standard table lamp bases are around 30 inches tall and lamp shades are usually 24 inches tall, so use boxes with the appropriate height as your starting point. Some moving companies sell lamp boxes that make it easy to pack the lamp without taking it apart, and they typically cost about $5 each.

  2. Protect the Plugs

    Avoid damaging the plugs on your lamp’s electric cord in transit by investing in a pack of foam plug protectors. These handy protectors cost $5 to $10 per pack and fit over the two metal prongs. Alternatively, you can seal off plugs with a small piece of bubble wrap and tape.

  3. Pack Light Bulbs First

    A hand removes a light bulb from a lamp
    Photo: nys / Adobe Stock

    Once you’re ready to start packing, unplug your lamps and allow them to cool for at least ten minutes if they've been running. Then, remove the light bulbs from each of your lamps. Devote one of your moving boxes (or an unused box) to carry your light bulbs..

    There are two ways to pack light bulbs:

    • Box dividers: Invest in box dividers where you can slot each bulb. These cost between $10 and $20.

    • Bubble wrap: Individually wrap each bulb in bubble wrap, and then pack them on top of each other in a small-to-medium-sized box.

    Use a label, marker, or a strip of painter's tape to write which lamp each bulb goes to if they use specialty bulbs. In either case, insulate the sides with newspaper or packing peanuts, and then seal the box and label it. There should be no space for bulbs to rattle around.

  4. Wrap Your Lampshades

    The next step is to wrap each lampshade in packing paper, then tape it off. Avoid using newspapers for this step because transit conditions, like prolonged heat while sitting in a moving truck, could cause ink to bleed off the paper and onto your lampshade.

    To save space and reduce the number of boxes, stack small lampshades inside bigger ones. Don't force them on top of each other—only stack if the fit is natural. Surround the shades with packing peanuts or other insulation inside each box. You can also small towels or linens in a pinch.

  5. Pack Your Lamp Bases

    Lamp bases are often made of fragile materials like porcelain or glass, so carefully wrap them in bubble wrap and tape off to protect them during the move.

    Ideally, one lamp base per box is best, but if you're doubling up, use newspaper or packing peanuts to create a buffer between the two bases. They should never be touching the inside of the box. Finally, label the outside of the box, then seal off with tape.

DIY Packing Lamps for a Move vs. Hiring a Pro

Packing lamps is a fairly straight-forward task, and can easily be done with the help of a few packing supplies. However, you may prefer professional assistance with the lamp-packing process if the lamps are antique, expensive, or carry sentimental value. 

If you decide to hire a local moving company to pack and relocate your items, it'll certainly save time. Keep in mind that hiring movers costs an average of $25 to $50 per mover per hour.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.