Whether your tableware is like a reliable friend, present at all of your meals, or you have a china set that's a family heirloom and an indicator of the past, you'll want to take extreme caution when it comes to packing up those cups, plates, platters and bowls. Here are some tips on how to keep everything safe so you can continue the tradition of their use after your Durham movers bring them to your new home.

Discard the Unused

Over the years, you may have accumulated more dishes than you actually need, and their only purpose is taking up valuable space. As you pack up your belongings, consider each piece and whether it's essential or sentimental enough to keep. If not, you can always donate it to charity or recycle it.

Pad Everything

You'll want to create individual padding between each piece, so nothing gets scraped or nicked. For cups, StorageFront.com recommends creating a cell kit, which is a grid of cardboard that goes inside the box so each cup gets its own compartment and nothing touches. Along the edges of the box, you can stick in newspaper or bubble wrap to prevent everything from shaking and shifting as it's transported.

Pack Light

While it's tempting to fit as many plates and dishes as possible into each box to conserve space, the more you put in, the heavier the load will be. This can cause your cardboard carrying case to rip and send everything crashing to the ground. Instead, pack each vessel halfway full and reinforce the bottom to make sure nothing spills out.

Label Boxes

Let your movers know that the contents of the box are breakable by writing "Fragile" in bold letters using a thick black marker. You may also want to label what's in each box, so it'll be easy to find all the essentials as you set up the kitchen at your new home.