How to Pack and Move a Lamp


Do you need to move an accent, table, or floor lamp? These fragile items require special attention before, during, and after your move. If you’re ready to pack, learn the answers to the top lamp-related moving questions.

Should You Disassemble the Lamp Before You Pack It?

The answer to this question depends on the lamp and its original assembly. Disassembly may allow you to safely move potentially breakable pieces in a safer way. If the manufacturer has directions to assemble/disassemble the lamp, follow the instructions. But if the manufacturer doesn’t recommend disassembly, you’ll need to pack the lighting fixture as-is.

Should You Remove the Light Bulbs?

Whether you separate the base from the rest of the lamp or not, you’ll need to remove the light bulb (or bulbs) before you pack it. Delicate bulbs can easily break mid-move. Not only will a broken bulb create a mess, but it can pose a serious safety hazard – especially if the bulb is a compact fluorescent (or CFL). CFLs contain mercury. Even though the amount of mercury is small, it can still pose a safety risk.

To minimize breakage risks, transport newer, usable bulbs in the original packaging. Reduce the likelihood of a mid-move mishap and discard older bulbs. Consult local municipal rules for safe light bulb disposal and recycling practices.

How Should You Pack a Lamp Base?

After you’ve removed the bulb and disassembled the lamp (if possible), find the electrical cord and coil it together. Bind the cord into one bundle with a twist tie or piece of yarn. Use bubble wrap, a towel, or a similar cushioning material to protect the lamp’s base. Secure the wrap with packing tape.

Place the base into a thick cardboard box or plastic bin. If there’s room around the sides or top, fill the rest of the box with bubble wrap, crumbled ink-free newsprint paper, or rolled towels. Secure the box with packing tape or use an air-tight lid to seal a plastic bin.

Label the box or bin with the contents. In this case, the words, “lamp base” should go on the sides and top of each container. If the base is fragile, add the words, “Handle with care,” “breakable,” or “fragile” to the label. You can also add directional arrows to further reduce the risk of breakage during the move.

How Should You Pack a Lamp Shade?

Cover the shade in ink/dye-free packing paper. Crumple or roll extra paper to place under the shade. This step helps to support the shade and may help it to maintain its shape. Gently place the shade into a cardboard box or plastic bin. Like with the base, fill the excess space with bubble wrap, packing paper, or rolled towels. Tape the box or use a lid to seal a bin.

You’ll also need to label the lamp shade containers. Even though you can’t always keep each shade with each base, you can organize your move with a color-coded or number type of strategy. Use like-colored permanent markers to label containers with matching bases and shades or assign each the same number.

How Should You Move a Lamp?

Lamps are fragile home accents. Never stack lamp-filled boxes or bins on top of one another in your car or a moving truck. The weight of one box/bin on the other can increase the risk of breakage, and if you don’t pack/move it properly, you’ll soon find yourself looking to find out more about a new lamp because you’ve damaged yours in the moving process. A professional mover should know how to transport fragile items without a significant breakage risk. If you’ve chosen to use this type of service, alert the movers to the contents of the containers – both the base and the shade.

Do you need help with your next move? Contact Dixie Moving & Storage, Inc., for more information.