The Lazy Mover's Guide To Packing Knives

When the bubble wrap has run out, you find alternatives.

People say the most stressful times of your life are experiencing the death of a loved one, planning a wedding, or packing for a move. I can happily say the latter is what I'm experiencing at the moment, and figuring out how to pack up my sharp kitchen knives without injuring myself has been an exercise in ingenuity.

Normally, I'm the "tackle the hard stuff first" kind of person, getting the worst stuff out of the way to make life easier. But I'm not joking when I say that I took one look at my kitchen and simply decided, nope. Packing up any room in your home can be complicated, but the kitchen presents a dual challenge: Not only are there many fragile objects to protect from damage, but many dangerous objects that must be packed away safely so no one gets stabbed.

I told myself I would Google "how to pack up a kitchen," but instead I decided to wing it. (Maybe don't do this.) Since I had already used most of my packing materials on other items, I figured out a few different ways to safely pack my knives without the use of bubble wrap.

How to pack knives in containers

This is a simple and straightforward method for safely packing smaller knives away. I literally placed some knives blade-down into a glass jar and then sealed the jar with its metal clasped lid. I then safely wrapped the glass jar with a scrunched paper bag to cushion and protect it from other items in the box. Don't leave any space in the jar for the knives to rattle around. Add something like paper towels to stabilize them if need be, but if you have enough knives in there they should stay put on their own.


The only issue you might have with this packing method is if you are extremely attentive to your knife quality. There's a possibility that the blades will knock against each other and/or drag along the inside of the glass jar, and that might not sit well with you. That's completely fine. For those of you who care about blade integrity, there are other options.

How to pack knives using plastic bags

Packing for a move is a prime time to let your reduce-reuse-recycle habits shine. Hence, instead of buying single-use foam knife protectors, another important kitchen resource comes into play: the plastic bag I have filled with other plastic bags.


You all have this bag of bags, right? Well, moving is the perfect time to actually put them to use like you always dreamed you would. What I did, per the suggestion of my mom (shoutout to you, Carmen), is take a plastic bag and wrap it around the blade of the knife. You'll want to create a wrapping with bunched and/or twisted layers, providing a stronger, thickened barrier around the blade. Do this for each individual knife, then use another plastic bag or two to wrap all the protected blades at once.

Finally, secure everything with a dish towel and a big rubber band, if you have those on hand. If not, pack the plastic-wrapped knives in the bottom of the box, blade-side down, so that you can't be punctured by them as you unpack. (Label the knife box very clearly so you know to open with care at your new place.)


How to pack knives using cardboard

If you have any extra packing boxes, or ones that aren't the right size for your move, you can cut them down into panels and use them to create a "sheath" for your larger chef's knives.

Fold a length of cardboard in half around your knife blade—only the blade, not the handle—so that the blade is snugly nestled in the folded crease. Cut the cardboard if you have to so that there's not a lot of overhang (otherwise the knife will go sliding around inside it). Tape off the open side of the sheath, and use a bit of tape to secure the sheath to the handle of the knife, too. Place them in a tightly packed box so they don't have anywhere to go.


Please wish me luck in my continued packing endeavors. I might have conquered the kitchen knives, but I have not yet conquered packing the Fruit Ninja Blender.