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How To Pack Armoires and Cabinets


Armoires and cabinets are a great place to pack extra linens and pillows, once you've removed all the contents, of course. This will serve as padding and provide a great space to store bulky, soft items. I always store all my couch cushions in the armoire and comforters in the bedroom wardrobe. They fit in nicely and I never need to remember where I packed them.

Use this "how-to" to prepare and move all cabinets, including armoires for the living room, bedroom wardrobes or china cabinets.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: No set time.

Here's How:

  1. Remove everything from inside. Pack all loose items separately, including the shelves if they are not permanently built into the cabinet. Not removing shelves could easily cause damage to the unit and to other items on the truck or during delivery.

  2. Now, some people may want to remove the doors. If your cabinet or armoire has doors, especially if they're glass or in any way delicate, remove the screws that attach the hinge, making sure you keep these parts in a plastic bag that can be attached to the inside or bottom of the cabinet.

  3. If the armoire has drawers, you don't need to remove them unless you think they may come loose during the move or if they add too much weight to the unit. If you have drawers, you can keep some items inside, if it isn't too heavy or the items aren't breakable. Just make sure you stuff a pillow or towel or blanket inside to keep loose items from moving around.

  4. If you aren't removing the doors and drawers, make sure you inform your mover. Do not tape doors and drawers shut. I can't emphasize this enough. Tape is so hard on wood surfaces and almost impossible to get off without removing some of the finish.

  5. Instead, ask your mover to shrink wrap the unit so it is properly sealed. If you're moving yourself, you can purchase shrink-wrap from a moving store or from an office supply shop.

    I'm still trying desperately to remove sticky tape from an antique rocking chair that inadvertently was taped by our last moving company. Just don't do it. If the doors can be locked or tied closed, this can replace the shrinkwrap.

  6. If you've removed doors or drawers, make sure you properly pad and protect them. Wrap doors in bubblewrap followed by furniture padding or an old blanket. If the doors are glass, use a mirror box and pack the doors as you would with artwork or a mirror.
  7. For extra measure, wrap furniture padding or blankets around the unit. Sealing tape or twine will hold them in place.

  8. For items that you removed from the cabinet, pack them into one box and properly label it as "cabinet contents". This will make it so much easily to unpack and to identify where the remotes are and the user's guides for when you need to re-set-up the stereo system.


  1. Don't use tape on furniture. Even masking tape will leave a residue and if you're moving between different climate zones, it can cause the tape to dry out, and it could become a permanent fixture on your favourite armoire.

What You Need

  • Tools (if removing the doors)
  • Shrinkwrap
  • Furniture Padding
  • Tape (for the padding, not the wood surfaces!)
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