The Most Popular Packing Materials for Moving – Boxes, Tape and Beyond

By in Moving Essentials September 8, 2020

Do you need to move soon? You’ll need to obtain plenty of packing materials for moving. It doesn’t matter if you are relocating just two blocks away or to another state, your move won’t be successful with only a couple of boxes and packing supplies such as tape and wrapping paper. Moves are more challenging than that, so be sure to take a look at our ultimate list of needed materials and ensure your precious belongings’ safety.

An image of cardboards, a scissor, and bubble wrap.
If you want to have the best possible relocation experience, you'll need a large number of packing and moving supplies.

What Packing Materials Do I Need to Move?

Without a calculator and a good financial strategy, you cannot make a proper moving expenses checklist. By the same logic, you cannot rely on your items to be safe during transportation without being correctly packed with adequate packing and moving supplies. It is advised that you start collecting these as soon as possible because this will be the most time-consuming and labor-demanding process of your move. Whether you are planning a local or long-distance moving, feel free to refer to our list, and you won’t have to worry about the safety of your belongings during transportation.

An image of a vase being properly packed for relocation.
The safety of your things can be ensured with proper packing supplies for moving.

Store Your Items in Moving Boxes

We will start with the most obvious and absolutely necessary packing material for moving. Cardboards are the most efficient, convenient, and affordable containers for shipping items when relocating. You’ll need sturdy and clean cardboards of various sizes to store your goods for transportation. The amount you need will depend on how many things you will have to move. There are three options:

  • Small: These should be prepared for your small and heavier items such as books, tools, CDs, DVDs, and similar stuff.
  • Medium-sized: Store toys, clothes, electronics, and similar small appliances should be in these cartons. Medium-sized boxes with dividers are also great for storing your breakables, such as dishes.
  • Large: Place curtains, bedding, and other bulky but lighter pieces in a large box.

Here are some additional packing tips for moving:

  • Your heavier belongings should be placed on a bottom and lighter ones on top;
  • The box should never be filled with only weighty belongings;
  • Remember to include adequate padding—you can prepare clothes and towels for such a purpose.

Obtain Specialty Boxes for Your Valuables and Breakables

Apart from a standard box and packing supplies, you should acquire specialty cartons. They are designed to keep your valuable and breakable belongings safe and protected during transportation:

  • For pictures: These are stronger than your standard box and are shaped to fit pictures and large mirrors. You’ll also get additional frame protection to tight corners.
  • For wardrobe: Your clothes can be transpired in these special cartons and protected from dirt, dust, and moisture.
  • For dishes: Also known as dish barrels, these heavyweight dish pack cartons are shaped to protect your kitchen breakables.
  • For files and documents: If you are not hiring an auto shipping service, your essential documents should travel with you during relocation. Remember to store and organize them in proper file cartons, and they will safely arrive at your new home.
An image of packed clothes.
Your clothes will be safe during a long-distance move with a specialty wardrobe cardboard.

Here’s a List of Other Necessary Packing Materials for Moving

When creating a moving to-do list, you should include all essential packing supplies for moving, not only cardboards. If you don’t obtain and use all the necessary ones, you might find a couple of unpleasant surprises when the time for unpacking comes. Apart from that, some of your belongings might have to be put in storage facilities for some time. Here’s a list of all packing and moving supplies you should get for a smooth and safe relocation.

Protect Furniture With Plastic Wrap

This material is efficient and can be used to protect your furniture and other oddly shaped things. Your wrapped sofa and chairs will be safe from dirt and moisture. You don’t even have to empty your drawers if you choose to cover them with this material. If your budget is tight, you can sell or donate furniture you won’t need in your new place.

Packing Peanuts Are Great for Padding

This material is excellent as protective padding for the most sensitive things, such as electronics and glassware. You should overlay the bottom of your cardboard with peanuts, place your wrapped item(s), and add another layer on top. Be sure to shake your box after, and this material will fill all the gaps. However, you should be aware that peanuts are not eco-friendly and are difficult to dispose of. Starch peanuts are a better option but more expensive. Better eco and budget-friendly moving hacks are popcorns and skeins of yarn.

Delicate Items Can Be Wrapped Into Packing Paper

Smooth, soft, and clean, it can be used to cover your fragile and breakable things such as glassware and dishes. Apart from wrapping, these can be crumpled and used for cushioning in cardboards. Newspapers are a good alternative, but be careful because they can leave stains on your glassware and similar belongings.

Moving Blankets or Furniture Pads

These can be used to cover your furniture and other bulkier pieces during the move. They are thick, large, and soft and will protect your things from scratches in the truck. Just remember to reinforce blankets with tape! Alternatively, if your moving budget is tight, you can take your old beach towels and comforters.

You’ll Need a Lot of Tape

All the boxes and moving supplies we mentioned won’t be of much use without a quality tape. Everything you pack must be sealed and reinforced with it. Otherwise, your belongings could break during relocation. However, you must be careful because you don’t want to tape over your polished and painted surfaces.

Rent Hand Trucks and Dollies for Heavier Things

Unless you are often relocating, we would advise you to rent hand trucks and dollies instead of buying them. It’s much cheaper to rent than to purchase, and you’ll need them if you are planning to haul heavy things. You should also consider shoulder dolly straps that will be useful if you have to carry your bulky belongings up or down a flight of stairs.

Prevent Breaking With Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is essential and will protect your fragile and breakable things during a long-distance move. It comes in wide ranges, from small to large, and it’s pretty easy to use. Apart from protecting the breakage, this air-filled material will secure from scratches as well. You can quickly wrap all fragile things with it, and cover protruding parts of your furniture as well.

An image of a painting being wrapped for a move.
Bubble wrap will protect your sensitive belongings, such as framed paintings.

Don’t Forget to Use These Small but Significant and Simple Supplies

Your move cannot be completed without a couple of other substantial materials, so stick with us for only a little while longer, and you’ll be all good to go.

Permanent Markers for Labeling

A well-organized relocation will require proper labeling. Be sure to obtain high-quality permanent markers and label your cardboards on at least three sides. This is crucial for fragile belongings because it will be a sign to you or your movers to handle these more carefully. You will know not to put anything bulkier or heavier on top of such cardboard.

Stay Organized With Ziploc Bags

You can acquire simple ziploc bags to keep screws and bolts from your disassembled furniture in one place. Remember to label each bag and find them a convenient location. That way, you’ll be able to find them quickly for the reassembling time. These zipper storage bags are also great for storing your cables and cords.

Gloves Will Protect You From Any Accidental Injury

Loading and unloading is probably the most challenging part of a relocation. If you are not hiring professional movers, you’ll need gloves that will protect you from possible cuts, punctures, and scrapes. Remember to prepare more pairs, if you have a bunch of friends helping you move.

Ropes and Cargo Straps Might Come in Handy

Instead of taping your furniture pads and cardboards, you can tie them with ropes and cargo straps. You can also keep your drawers and furniture doors secured and closed with them. And the most significant role of ropes—securing your belongings on a dolly and in the truck from falling.

Prepare Cleaning Supplies for a Relocation Day

Be sure to have these on a day you move because you’ll need to clean your new home. Even if the previous owner had tied the place up, it would get rather dirty during the move. Therefore, be prepared and bring these with you:

  • Broom
  • Sponges
  • Small vacuum
  • Kitchen towels
  • Cleaning spray
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Dishwasher cleaner.
An image of a house cleaning kit in a living room.
You'll need a house cleaning kit to clean your new home.

How Can I Get Free Moving Boxes?

Wondering where to get free moving boxes? We have a couple of moving tips for you. If you have some more time on your hands, research websites like Craigslist and Freecycle. People who have recently moved will list their used cardboards. However, be aware that these will not be structurally as strong as new ones. You must be very careful and maybe choose to place thinner and softer belongings in them.

Save Money by Visiting Local Stores and Warehouses

For moving expenses deduction, you can also consider visiting places like liquor stores, warehouses, grocery stores, bookstores, and offices. They will surely have a lot of cardboards and you will be helping them get rid of their garbage. Liquor stores are very convenient because they already have cardboards of various sizes with dividers that will come in handy for transporting glass bottles. They also work just fine for clothes, paperwork, and other small things you need to move. On the other hand, grocery stores have plenty of larger cardboards because they receive shipments on a daily basis! Do them a favor and ask the manager for a couple of sturdy cartons.

Need Some Help?

Cross country moving is challenging and can take an enormous toll on a person. According to the research, it’s one of the most stressful life events. Don’t be shy to search for help. If you are not sure how to pack books for moving or just generally need help, you can relieve a ton of moving stress by hiring a reliable company and its packing services. They have trained and experienced professionals who will efficiently do the job and save you a lot of time. Another great way is to throw a moving away party and turn it into a packing party. Provide enough snacks and refreshments for your friends and family members and encourage them to help you fill one or two cardboards. We assure you that wrapping together can turn into great fun!

An image of two movers wrapping a chair.
Hiring a reliable moving service is your safe bet for a smooth and stress-free relocation.

And You’re All Set Now!

We have come to the end of our list of the most popular packing materials for moving. As you could see, proper and adequate materials are crucial if you want your belongings to arrive in one piece and without a scratch at your new home. Therefore, be sure to have our list with you and feel free to refer to it when you start planning your relocation.