When preparing holiday gifts, you will certainly get hold of beautiful wrapping paper, gift bags and colorful ribbons to properly pack your chosen presents. When preparing for a trip, you will undoubtedly provide wheeled suitcases and travel bags to properly pack your personal items. When preparing for a forthcoming relocation, you will have to supply adequate packing materials to properly pack all your earthly possessions.
Taking into account the magnitude of the moving process, it is advisable to get a clear idea of the type and quantity of the packing supplies you are going to need well in advance, so that you have enough time to provide everything necessary and to pack your items at your own pace. Be warned that you will have to go beyond simple cardboard boxes and rolls of bubble wrap to perform the challenging task of packing your entire household and ensuring the safety of your belongings during the transportation. Quality packing materials may save you lots of troubles, time and money – just figure out what specific supplies you need and how much of them you will have to purchase.
How to determine what packing supplies I need?
Sorting out your belongings and deciding which of them you are going to take with you should be one of the first things to do when organizing a residential move. A floor plan of your new place and a detailed inventory sheet of your things will help you make an informed decision about the fate of every single possession of yours, so that you relocate only items of high practical, aesthetic or sentimental value. Besides, you will be able to identify the items that will require specialized packing because of their size, weight, fragility, awkward shapes or high value. So, take some accurate measurements (depth x height x width, as well as the diagonal dimensions of each piece), estimate the amount of packing supplies you are going to need and go on a packing materials hunt!
Where to get packing supplies?
Brand new packing supplies can be ordered online or purchased from a local moving company, or at a mail service store, or an office supply outlet, etc. Take the time to compare prices and find special deals and make sure you have all the specialty materials required for some extremely delicate and valuable possessions of yours.
Ask family, friends, neighbors and coworkers if they have any packing supplies in good condition that you can use. You can even get some clean and sturdy boxes for free from local businesses or use the available containers in your home (laundry baskets, buckets, etc.) you will take with you anyway. Professional wrapping and padding materials can be substituted with old towels, newspapers and other similar items, but have in mind that none of them will provide as good protection as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, cushioning foam and other specialized goods.
What packing materials do I need?
When moving house, you can’t do without:
Corrugated cardboard boxes are absolutely indispensable when it comes to moving house. Convenient, practical and affordable, they provide the most efficient method for shipping household items across the country.
Cardboard boxes of assorted sizes
You will need plenty of clean and sturdy packing boxes of assorted sizes. Every relocation is different depending on how far you are moving, how you intend to transport your goods, and of course, how large your household is, so the exact number of moving boxes you are going to need is hard to define. Generally, you are recommended to prepare about 10 small boxes, 7-8 medium boxes and 5 large boxes per room.
When packing your household items, don’t forget to reinforce the bottoms and the corners of the moving boxes with quality packing tape to guarantee the safety of your belongings. Putting a cushioning layer of clean corrugated paper on the bottom and along the walls is also a good idea. Also, don’t make the boxes too heavy as they may break under their own weight.
To provide adequate protection to your delicate and valuable possessions, you are advised to get hold of specialty boxes:
- Wardrobe boxes are perfect for storing fine garments;
- Artwork and mirror boxes are custom-built to fit the particular shapes of your items. Besides, most of them come with frame protectors that can be secured to the corners of your piece to prevent damage during the move;
- File boxes are very convenient for keeping your documents sorted and safe both during shipment and then in your new home as well;
- Lamp boxes, mattress boxes and crib boxes are just a few more examples of the various specialty boxes you can find handy for your move.
Wrapping and cushioning materials
To ensure that your belongings remain completely intact during the move, you need to wrap them carefully and to prevent shifting inside the boxes. So, make sure you have plenty of adequate packing materials for moving, such as:
- Packing paper – unlike newspaper, packing paper will not leave ink stains on your possessions. It will keep your items clean and well-cushioned, providing very good protection to glass surfaces, protruding parts and other delicate elements. Crumpled packing paper is an excellent padding material;
- Bubble wrap – it provides the most effective method for protecting fragile items and sensitive electronics during shipment. Just bubble wrap your breakables and valuables, so that the air-filled material absorbs any undesirable shocks during transit and keeps your prized possessions safe until you reach your new residence;
- Plastic wrap – it can come to your aid in a number of beneficial ways during the moving process: to keep drawers and cabinet doors in place; to keep appliance cords securely wrapped around the piece; to secure paper padding or moving blankets around furniture; to bundle together clothes, bedding, electric cords, or moving boxes; to pack entire drawers without emptying their contents; to prevent dust and dirt from getting to your belongings while in transit; to protect your items from scratches and scuffs, etc. Besides, it sticks only to itself and leaves no residue, so it’s extremely practical;
- Moving blankets – they are very convenient for wrapping large items, such as furniture and appliances;
- Packing peanuts – anti-static peanuts provide excellent protection for artwork and electronics, as well as perfect padding;
- Cushioning foam – it absorbs vibrations and shocks and considerably reduces the risks of any potential damage to your belongings;
- Plastic covers – especially designed to protect mattresses and upholstered furniture.
Bags of different types and sizes come very handy for packing up your house for a move – mattress bags will keep your mattresses clean and safe during the move, sealable bags are very convenient for keeping small items together, vacuum bags are ideal for packing clothes and bedding as they save space, and even simple garbage bags can be used to hold your bric-a-brac.
Packing tape is of paramount importance when it comes to sealing your boxes or securing the wrapping around a large item. A packing tape dispenser is also good to have, as it will speed up your packing efforts and will save you some nerves when accidentally taping your fingers together or getting the tape stuck to itself.
Strong ropes and moving straps are also very useful for keeping wrapping materials in place, securing furniture doors and drawers, securing your already packed items on the dolly or inside the moving truck, etc.
Markers will help you label your boxes and indicate their designated rooms. You will know the exact contents of each box and will be able to quickly find the items you need.
A large variety of small hand tools, specialized moving equipment and protective materials will also considerably speed up your efforts and result in efficient and safe packing.