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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

The key to knowing how to move lamps is a light touch and plenty of super-soft packing material. Lamps, bulbs, light fixtures and all similar decor items are delicate, finicky things to move. Everything needs to be packed correctly or you could have a dangerous mess on your hands. So if you’re not hiring professional packers like FlatRate, you will want to play it safe because broken glass in your moving boxes can be a recipe for disaster. Danger also lurks because lamps jostled around during a rough transport could result in damaged electrical guts, making safety a major issue.

You need to separate the lamp shade from the rest of the lamp. Generally, lamp shades are pretty delicate, so they should be handled carefully and wrapped in paper towels or newspaper. Go with bubble wrap if you don’t want the news print running off on your lampshade. Place the wrapped lampshade aside.
Take the actual lamp and wrap the cord around the base. Tuck the end of the cord into the already wrapped portion to avoid taping it. Tape could damage the outer paint of the lamp.
Next, lay out a long piece of bubble wrap and place the lamp in the middle. Wrap the lamp completely in the bubble wrap and securely tape it.

When it comes to ceramic or glass pieces, break out as much bubble wrap and packing peanuts as you can. Those need plenty of protection.

Make sure you used the right-sized box for all of these lamps. Too small and you risk damage from cramming it in. Too large and the lamp is likely to bounce around during transport. The lampshade should be placed in a separate box.

A taller floor lamp, like the halogen ones that are popular among college students and those just graduated, will need multiple pieces of bubble wrap and might need an extra tall box.

Most of the time, you will be leaving light fixtures and ceiling fan units in the house for the new buyer. But sometimes, especially if you bought special fans for your kids’ rooms or inherited a Tiffany light fixture from relatives, you will want to retain those special items.

Taking down the fixtures requires some handy abilities and a small amount of electrical knowledge. If you doubt yourself in these areas, strongly consider finding a handyman or helpful friend who just happens to be a general contractor. You could watch a few videos and DIY the job, but household electrical accidents are no joke.

When it comes to packing fixtures, the basics are the same. Find the right-sized receptacle and used plenty of padding.

Remember: Mark all these boxes with a clear “Fragile.”

You removed all the light bulbs, right? Very important. You have probably invested in super-expensive LED bulbs that will last you till the end of time, so you need to make sure that they stay unbroken and in usable condition.
Wrap each bulb individually and pack in boxes that allow for separation. Interlocking cardboard sheets, such as ones found in wine boxes, would be handy in this situation.
Packing lamps, bulbs and light fixtures requires a bit of extra diligence, but you will be happy with all the extra protection in the end.