One of the most important parts of the moving process involves packing up everything that you own into boxes and getting it ready for the movers to load into a moving truck. Unless you've opted to hire movers to handle the packing process for you, you should start gathering packing supplies ahead of time so that you have everything in one place before you begin. Having vital packing supplies on hand, and creating a staging area that will allow you to work efficiently and keep things in order, will help you make sure all things are packed correctly without wasting time running back and forth in search of boxes and other materials. To that end, here are some of the most important moving materials you will need for any sized packing job.
Cardboard moving boxes are probably the most prevalent part of any moving supply kit. They form the basis for the materials you will need and will provide you with a place to pack most of the things that you own. Most moving boxes come in a variety of sizes, including smaller boxes for heavier items like books, and larger boxes for lighter things like blankets, lamp shades, or even home decor. If you choose to purchase boxes, you will find they are sold in four standard sizes:
Most experts recommend, for an average four bedroom home, that a variety of these boxes be purchased before packing begins. A good mix will include about 20 smaller boxes, 12 medium, 10 large, and 5 extra-large. This may not seem like a whole lot, but when combined with specialty boxes, it provides just what you need for a home this size. If your home is larger, you may need a few more of each size in scale with the amounts listed here.
There are a number of specialty boxes that are used for some of the more delicate items in your home. To ensure that your goods get to your new home safely, experts recommend that you have cell kits, wardrobe boxes, heavy duty boxes, and electronics boxes on hand for items that these containers are used for. The number of these specialty materials you will need will depend on the number of closets you have, how many delicate items you need to ship, and how large your home is in general. Keep the following in mind as you consider how many you will need.
Wardrobe Boxes - Use these to keep clothing in good condition throughout the move. These boxes incorporate a metal bar that holds hangars, so clothing will not get damaged or wrinkled along the way. Consider purchasing one of these for each closet full of clothes in your home. Children's closets can sometimes be combined.
Heavy Duty Boxes - Generally, heavy duty implies double walled. These containers can be used for a number of things, including packing plants, lamp shades or other light, delicate items, and anything that might be damaged if a box were to cave in.
Cell Kits - Use these boxes with dividers to pack glasses and other small, fragile goods. You can wrap each item and place it in its own cell, which will offer the highest levels of protection against shifting while being transported to your new home.
Electronics Boxes - Use these containers to pack computers, monitors, or other forms of electronics that might be susceptible to problems from static electricity.
Boxes are not the only thing that you will need to complete the packing process. There are also a number of accessories that will be required. Keeping the following things on hand will ensure that your boxes are well organized, and their contents well protected from the movement that relocation can present on the goods you are shipping. Most damage during a move comes from the shifting that goods are subjected to throughout the process. You can avoid problems by packing things safely with the following materials.
Wrapping Paper - Paper can be used to wrap delicate items or simply to fill gaps in boxes that might cause shifting if left open. You can use brown kraft paper or plain newsprint paper to fill this need. Items with sensitive finishes or surfaces should only be wrapped in plain newsprint or even tissue paper.
Foam - In the form of peanuts or blocks, this can help provide those extra delicate items with a little bit of extra protection overall.
Movers Stretch Wrap - It might look like saran wrap or kitchen plastic wrap, but mover's stretch wrap is more durable and able to withstand the rigors of moving. It can be used to protect certain surfaces throughout the course of a move, or to hold things together and drawers closed. Be careful when using this on furniture if you are moving in the hottest parts of the summer, as there may be some damage to delicate finishes if left in extreme heat for extended periods of time.
Labels - You can print your own, or purchase some that are pre-printed, to ensure that all of your boxes are labeled and stay organized throughout the moving process. Some people don't even use writing at all, but rather colors to indicate what room a box belongs in.
Box Cutters - Having a box cutter on hand will make it much easier to unpack and open or break down boxes when you get to your new home.
Mattress Bags - Mattresses cannot be packed in boxes, usually, so you can offer them the best protection by purchasing thick, plastic, mattress bags instead. These will protect your mattresses from damage while they are being moved.
It might seem like a lot that you need to gather to be prepared for your move, but in the end, everything on this list is important to the packing process. Begin to gather these supplies ahead of time, and clear out a staging area in your home to keep everything. If you do this, packing your goods will become a super simple task that you can accomplish without the stress or trouble you might have expected.