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

Many homes have framed items that require extra protection during a move, such as pictures, mirrors, paintings, and other framed art. Not only are these typically large and fragile, but they are often valuable as well, whether that’s monetary value, sentimental value, or both! As a result, properly packing any pictures, mirrors, paintings, and other framed art to be moved safely can be nerve-wracking to say the least.

The good news is that packing pictures for moving is easier than you might think. All you need are a U-Haul Mirror & Picture Box and a U-Haul Picture Packer Kit – then, simply follow the steps outlined in this guide to secure your pictures, mirrors, paintings, and other framed art for the trip ahead.

Best Way to Pack Pictures, Mirrors, Framed Art and Paintings for Moving

1. Get Picture Packing 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 specifically designed for packing framed items, like pictures, mirrors, paintings, and other framed artwork.

For added protection, pair your mirror/picture box with a Picture Packer Kit. The kit comes with four corner protectors to secure the frame in the box and provide a perfectly snug fit. Considering corners are the most frequently damaged part of a frame during a move, this specialized protection could be a life saver!

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

We also recommend that you stock up on basic packing supplies that will provide extra cushion inside the box to prevent your frame from shifting around.

Recommended Packing Supplies for Moving Mirrors and Pictures:

Did you know?

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, remove them to be stored 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 a mess behind!

3. Attach the Foam Corner Protectors

With the mirror or picture lying flat on a clean, solid surface, place a corner protector on each frame corner. Wrap the 17-foot strap around each corner protector to keep the corners in place (both the strap and protectors are included with the Picture Packer Kit).

To use the strap, start by making a loop in the strap and feeding it through the buckle opening. Then, fold the tongue down through the loop. Pull the loose end of the strap to tighten. After the strap has been tightened, the excess can be trimmed if desired.

For more information on the Picture Packer Kit, check out this video.

4. Wrap in Enviro-Bubble® (Optional)

For added protection, wrap your mirror or 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.

Next, 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 framed item.

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® to the gaps to prevent your item from shifting. Consider giving the box a gentle shake to see if you need to add more materials. After all remaining 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-sized box, but it can accommodate framed items up to 48” x 32”. For items even larger than that, you can combine (or ‘telescope’) two mirror boxes together to create an expandable box nearly twice the size.

How to Combine Two Mirror and Picture Boxes into a Telescoping Box

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

2. On the second box, press along the dotted lines on the left and right sides until there is a dent or break in the cardboard. Next, without cutting the flap, lock the tabs on the bottom end of the first box. Then, by squeezing the second box sides so that 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 section where the second box fits 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 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 section where the second box fits into the first box with tape.

  • 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. Here are a few general rules that 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’ so that it isn’t mishandled by movers.
  • Avoid stacking items on top of a mirror/picture box, especially heavier items.
  • Wedge the box between two heavy objects on the moving truck, like a couch or dresser, to prevent any shifting during travel.

Get the Right Supplies in One Place

The Mirror & Picture Box Kit was carefully compiled to provide DIY movers with everything one could possibly need when packing a mirror or picture for moving, storage, or shippingall in one convenient package! Each kit is compatible with a framed item up to 37" x 27" and comes with protective materials for cushioning any impacts.

To pack oversized framed items, combine two mirror/picture boxes together to create a telescoping 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

Learn More

Packing Made Easier

Get your Mirror / Picture Box, Picture Packer Kit, the Picture Packer Kit, or any other moving and packing supplies that you need to pack like a pro today! When you order online with U-Haul, choose same-day delivery or FREE pickup from a U-Haul store near you.

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