It’s easy to figure out that the process of packing up your home for a move cannot be completed without necessary packing materials. You probably know from personal experience how important packing supplies for moving are while you’re desperately trying to sort out and protect your prized household possessions on the road to your new home.
However, before you start overloading your mind with puzzling questions such as “Where to buy cheap packing supplies for moving?” or even the universal brain-teaser “Where to get free packing materials?”, all you need to do is look around your own home first and you will be surprised at how many packing materials you already own. And the best part is that your newly-discovered household packing supplies come at absolutely no additional cost and, not surprisingly, will even save you some money in the long run.
So, how to pack with packing materials you already own?
Save valuable time, hard-earned money and irreplaceable nerves by using packaging materials for moving you already have in your home. Have a look at our list of packing supplies of 20 good alternative household packing materials, most of which are readily available for you. The following list is conveniently organized by the types of packaging materials – moving containers, and wrapping and cushioning materials.
1. Standard moving boxes. Maybe you have some cardboard boxes from your previous move which are still in good condition? If not, ask friends who have relocated recently if they can spare some standard moving containers or ask at your local supermarkets for any free boxes they would need to recycle anyway.
SEE ALSO: Where can I get free boxes for moving?
2. Beer boxes. Beer boxes are very strong as they were designed to hold fragile glass bottles. The best part is that they come with convenient handles for safe lifting and carrying. Take a good look around your home for such sturdy recipients, especially if you’re a beer lover.
3. Buckets. You wouldn’t normally think of your plastic or metal buckets as possible moving containers but if you’re taking some of your clean pails with you, why not fill them up with any household items that will fit in them?
4. Baskets. Any large baskets or laundry hampers you own will comfortably fit clothes, pillows, bed sheets, shoes, kitchen utensils, children toys or just about anything else you are taking with you to your new home.
5. Trash cans. Clean garbage cans (for example, the ones that you have used for recycling papers) can effectively hold cleaning supplies, detergents, bathroom items, toiletries, and many other household goods, especially ones that can be easily spilled.
6. Suitcases. Any suitcases you own will be perfect for holding your clothes, of course. However, if you have travel suitcases with little wheels at their bottoms, then you’d better use them to pack books inside as the reads you’re taking with you will surely prove to be heavier than you think.
7. Drawers. One of the best packing hacks when moving house – either leave specific drawers full as they are inside the furniture piece they belong to (tape them in place to avoid their accidental opening) or take suitable drawers out and wrap them in stretch tape without taking out their contents.
8. Bags. You can find a great variety of bags in your home and use them as free moving containers. In some cases, bags are even better suited for some packing jobs than cardboard boxes thanks to the fact that they fit around oval or oddly-shaped items and leave little non-unutilized room as a result.
9. Trash bags. Clean trash bags are great for packing clothes directly off a closet or wardrobe while your garments are still on their respective hangers. Compare their price to specialized wardrobe boxes and you will instantly see their great potential as super cheap packing containers.
10. Vacuum bags. Vacuum seal bags are universally known as excellent space savers because of their ability to shrink down the bulkiness of lightweight items such as jackets, coats, blankets, and so on when the air gets sucked out of the bag.
11. Ziploc bags. These small re-sealable bags are the best packing materials when keeping smaller items safe, such as screws, bolts, nuts, and other fastening elements. They come very handy when you’re disassembling furniture or taking apart power tools and complex devices. Also, Ziploc bags are good for storing small jewelry pieces as well.
12. Jewelry box. The best way to pack your jewelry is to own a high quality jewelry box equipped with various compartments for your different ornaments. It’s still okay if you don’t own such a box because there are great alternative packing supplies to keep your jewelry safe during a move.
13. Egg cartons. No, don’t use egg cartons to move highly breakable eggs to your new home. Instead, take advantage of the various storage compartments of such cartons and store inside them packed rings, earrings, and other types of jewelry pieces with no chains. Cover the entire carton with stretch tape to keep the pieces in place.
14. Hard cases for (sun)glasses. If you own such cases and you don’t currently need them for your reading glasses or sunglasses, you’re free to use them as the perfect moving containers for small earrings and rings after the jewelry pieces have been properly protected with packing paper or bubble wrap, of course.
SEE ALSO: The best packing tips for a perfect move
Wrapping and cushioning materials
Packing paper, bubble wrap and furniture blankets have the reputation of the best wrapping and cushioning materials when packing for a move. Unfortunately, they will cost you extra.
15. Blankets. Instead of using the versatile blue-colored moving blankets, you can always put any regular blankets you own to good use, can’t you? Wrapped around delicate furniture pieces or breakable household items of any type, clean blankets will provide the perfect protection you need.
16. Bed sheets. It’s probably not a good idea to use your brand new bed sheets (still in their original packaging) for cushioning materials during a house move. However, you must have bed covers that have been in service too long, so take advantage of their protective abilities. Also, pillow cases are really good for holding and safekeeping pieces of clothing because of their pockets – pajamas, underwear, socks – you name it.
17. Towels. Hand towels are usually thick and thus provide an astonishing level of protection for any fragile item wrapped in them. Additionally, if you place a towel on the bottom of an empty cardboard box, you will have the best possible cushioning bed for your fragile breakables such as kitchen dishes, glassware and so on.
18. Rugs. Smaller pieces of no longer needed carpets can serve as excellent cushioning and filling materials, ensuring that your packed belongings are well immobilized during the relocation itself. Make sure the rugs are clean so that they won’t stain the goods they are protecting.
19. Socks. Socks are an innovative way of protecting breakable glasses, especially stemware. Just insert a fragile piece inside a thick and clean sock and you have one of the most original protective materials used during a house move.
20. Newsprint. Newspapers are the most common substitute for white packing paper and the best thing about newsprint is that you can surely find it in abundant quantities in your home without paying a single cent. However, this comes with certain limitations – despite being excellent space fillers, newspapers cannot be usually used as first protective layers due to the ink stains they can leave on specific surfaces.
SEE ALSO: What packing supplies do I need?