How to Pack Pictures, Mirrors, Framed Art & Paintings for Moving

Many homes have a variety of items that require extra protection during a move. This often includes pictures, mirrors, framed art, and paintings. Not only are these typically large and fragile, but they may have monetary and sentimental value as well. As a result, packing and moving mirrors, framed art, pictures, and paintings properly can be a challenge to say the least.

The good news is, it's easier than you might think to pack mirrors and other framed items so they're well protected during your move. All you need is the recommended packing supplies – starting with a specialty mirror and picture box from U-Haul – and to follow the steps listed in this guide to secure your pictures, mirrors, framed art, and paintings for the trip ahead.

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How to Pack Pictures, Mirrors, Framed Art and Paintings for Moving

1. Get a Mirror/Picture Box and Other Supplies

Step one is to gather the recommended packing supplies. In this case, a specialty moving box – like the U-Haul Mirror & Picture Box – is a must-have. This moving box is specially designed for packing framed items, like pictures, mirrors, framed art, and more. For added protection, pair your mirror/picture box with a Picture Packer Kit. The kit comes with four corner protectors to help secure the frame in the box and provide a perfect fit. Considering corners are the most frequently damaged part of the frame during a move, you’re probably better off giving your frame specialized protection.

U-Haul Mirror and Picture Box
U-Haul Mirror & Picture Box

We also recommend you stock up basic packing material to provide cushion, as well as some extra supplies to prevent shifting inside the box.

Recommended Packing Supplies for Moving Mirrors and Pictures:

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All the supplies listed here can be picked up at a U-Haul location near you for FREE or shipped to your doorstep today using Same-Day delivery?

2. Prep Your Mirror/Picture

Start by taping over sharp hanging brackets and loose mounting wires. If any pieces can be removed, go ahead and remove them and store them in a safe place elsewhere. If your item has a glass cover, wrap your item in stretch wrap to protect it from dust and debris. Reminder: U-Haul Mover’s Wrap is & residue-free and only sticks to itself so it never leaves behind a mess!

3. Attach the Foam Corner Protectors

With the mirror/picture lying flat on a clean, solid surface, place a corner protector on each corner. To keep the corners in place, use the 17' strap and wrap it around each corner protector (both are included with the Picture Packer Kit). Connect the strap and buckle by making a loop in the strap and feeding it through the buckle opening; fold the tongue down through the loop. Pull the loose end of the strap to tighten. After the strap is tightened, the excess can be trimmed, if desired.

4. Wrap in Enviro-Bubble® (Optional)

For added protection, wrap your mirror/picture in Enviro-Bubble® before placing it in the box. Start by wrapping vertically around the top and bottom corners on one side. Next, tape the wrap in place, then do the same thing on the opposite side. Repeat this first step, but wrap horizontally rather than vertically, then secure the wrap in place with tape. You should have four tight wraps around your mirror/picture.

5. Pack Your Mirror/Picture in the Mirror Box

Slide the mirror/picture into the box. Add crumbled packing paper or extra sheets of Enviro-Bubble® in the gaps to fill void space and prevent your item from shifting. Consider giving the box a gentle shake to see if you need to add more materials. After all void space is filled with cushion, seal the box with tape.

How to Pack Large Pictures, Mirrors, and Paintings for Moving

Packing larger framed items isn’t much different than packing smaller ones. If you're using the Picture Packer Kit, you can follow the same steps listed above, just be sure to use a Large Mirror and Picture Box instead of the standard mirror box. The large box has all the same features as the standard, only it accommodates framed items up to 48” x 32”. For items larger than that, you can “telescope” two mirror boxes together to give you nearly twice the size.

How to Telescope Two Mirror and Picture Boxes

1. Begin at the top end of the first box by folding the small flaps in, then fold one large flap on top of the other and tape.

2. Move to the second box and press along the dotted lines on the left and right sides until there is a dent or break in the cardboard. Then, without cutting the flap, lock tabs on the bottom end of the first box, and by squeezing the second box sides, so they indent, slide the second box into the open (bottom) end of the first box.

3. Slide your item(s) into the box, then on the open end of the second box, fold the small flaps in, fold one large flap on top of the other, and tape. Secure the middle part where the second box telescopes into the first box with tape.

How to Pack Extra-Large & Oddly Shaped Mirrors and Pictures

Telescoping two mirror boxes together is an effective way to move large mirrors/pictures. But for packing extra-large or even oddly shaped mirrors and pictures, the Four Piece Mirror & Picture Box may be a better fit - literally - due to its adjustable sizing (accommodates mirrors/pictures up to 40“ x 60“ x 3-1/2“). The Four Piece Mirror & Picture Box can also be used to pack items like:

  • Glass tabletops
  • Glass shelves
  • Finished wood

Note: The Picture Packer Kit does not fit in the four-piece box, so we recommend using either a Picture Protector, Furniture Pad, or Enviro-Bubble® to cushion your item. Be sure all empty void space is filled with packing material for proper cushion. Learn more about how to assemble and use the Four Piece Mirror & Picture Box.

How to Safely Move & Transport Mirrors, Framed Art, Pictures, Etc.

It’s not enough to pack your framed items with care. You also must handle your items correctly throughout your move to ensure everything stays in one piece. There are few general rules of thumb we recommend you follow for a damage-free move:

  • Be sure your mirror box is always carried and stored upright, never on its side.
  • Clearly label the box as ‘fragile’ with marker or stickers so it isn’t mishandled by movers.
  • Avoid stacking items on top of the box, especially heavier items.
  • Wedge the box between two heavy objects on the moving truck, like a couch or dresser.

Get the Right Supplies in One Place

The Mirror & Picture Box Kit was carefully put together to provide DIY movers with everything they need to pack a mirror or picture for moving, storage, or shipping, all in one convenient package. Each kit fits a framed item up to 37" x 27" and comes with protective materials for impact cushioning. To pack oversized framed items, telescope two mirror moving boxes together and create a larger box that fits framed items up to 58-1/2" x 37-1/2" x 4" (W x L x H). Customize your kit to include as many mirror boxes and extra supplies as you need.

Included in the Mirror & Picture Box Kit:

  • 1 Mirror & Picture Box for exterior protection
  • 1 Picture Packer Kit for interior protection
  • 1 roll of Enviro-Bubble® (large size) for extra cushion/filling gaps
  • 1 roll of Box / Packaging Tape for sealing the box shut

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Packing Made Easier

Get your Mirror / Picture Box, Picture Packer Kit, or any other moving and packing supplies you need to pack like a pro today! Choose Same-Day Delivery or FREE pickup from a U-Haul store near you when you order online.

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