Different Packing Materials Necessary for a Successful Move

October 28, 2021 / Posted in Moving Basics
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Having a wide choice of different packing materials can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good to have more than a few possibilities and options to pick from. On the other, if there is too much variety, it can all become overwhelming and exhausting, potentially resulting in a wrong decision. That is why we are here to help!

A man using bubble wrap before cross-country moving overlay
If the relocation is quickly approaching, prepare a list of all the needed supplies

After you decide where to live, you’ll have to arrange everything concerning the shipping of your belongings. But will you get long-distance moving services or opt for the DIY approach? Your decision will determine how much time you’ll need for packaging, where to start, and what exactly your job will be. Remember – the more work you put on your back, the more of the following tips you’ll need.

Cardboard – The Cornerstone of the Packaging Process

The packaging process is half of all relocation work, so when getting organized to move, you’ll need to think about everything it takes to complete it successfully. Remember that choosing and gathering the right supplies is the right way to begin.

First of all, if you wish for your items to be safe and secure during transportation, you must pick containers that will make that possible. Sure, you can utilize garbage bags for some of your belongings, but only if you are prepared to risk the well-being of your items. That is why many people opt for buying various types of boxes.

However, remember that cardboard can have more than one purpose during the relocation. When preparing your furniture for the move, especially wooden pieces, cardboard can be used to protect the edges of an object (table, dresses, cabinet, and alike). Also, it can add one more layer of protection for big fragile things made of glass, such as mirrors.

How to Determine the Number of Cartons You’ll Need?

One of the most common relocation mistakes is getting too high or too low a number of cartons before the move. The rule of thumb is that it’s always better to have too many than not enough. The correct amount can depend on the reasons to move. Going to a small college dorm is different from relocating your whole life across the world. Whether you are relocating to another state alone or with multiple family members is another factor to take into account. That is why making an inventory list before you begin boxing up is a must. Keep in mind that, for an average two-bedroom household, you’ll need around 50 various-sized cartons. Also, remember that you’ll need a box or two (or more) for donating unwanted items, so add that to your calculations.

Choosing the Size of Cartons Can Dictate the Success of Cross-Country Shipping

Making an inventory list can also help you determine the best-sized boxes for you. Get plenty of medium or small cartons and only a few really large ones. Remember – big containers should only be used for lightweight objects. Otherwise, you’ll either overfill the box and make it too heavy or not fill it enough and risk your items getting damaged.

For heavier items, choose small or medium-sized cartons, and remember to put lighter objects on top of heavier ones, not the other way around. The same goes for loading the truck or even your car. If you decide not to hire a car shipping company and want to relocate some items in your vehicle, ensure to load the heavier cartons first. And if you are hiring movers, don’t worry – they know all the procedures by heart.

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Think About Specially Designed Boxes for Some of Your Items

If you are not relocating out of state on a budget, consider purchasing cardboard made especially for certain kinds of objects. Think about wardrobe boxes if you want to keep your clothes from wrinkling, or dish barrels when you want to pack glasses. Hiring a long-distance moving company is the safest choice when you want to keep your belongings safe. However, if it’s not an option, these types of cartons will undoubtedly improve the level of protection.

Saving Money Is Possible if You Are Willing to Look for Free Cartons

If you’re searching for a way to save on moving costs, you’ll be happy to know that if you put in a bit of effort, you can end up spending very little on supplies. There are various places you can search for cardboard free of charge. However, when it comes to used cardboard, keep in mind that it might not be strong enough. Reserve used cardboard for those less important items. Here’s where you might be able to find some:

  • Ask your friends – ask your friends if they have some cartons of any size they don’t need. They’ll likely find some in their basements or garages.
  • Forums and social media – let the broader circle of your friends and acquaintances know that you’re looking for used cardboard. Some of them may be ready to help you.
  • Marketplace websites, such as Freecycle – people concerned about the environment avoid just throwing cartons away, so they decide to give them away.
  • Local stores – visit stores you usually shop in to see if they have some spare cardboard. It’s common for bookstores, liquor stores, and similar places to end up throwing out various types of excessive cardboard.

If you want to find more places where you can get cardboard for free (or cheaply), alongside some excellent tips, check out the following video:

Types of Wrapping Materials for Various Items

What are the different types of packing materials for wrapping? To protect items in storage units, if you’re getting storage services, and during transport, you must know which materials and wrapping techniques to use. To make your move to another state entirely successful, pair all of your items with the right type of material.

Plastic Can be a Necessity for Packaging Glass and Fragile Items

If you want to make sure that all of your belongings have the best protection, bubble wrap is the product you’ll utilize. It’s the product that is most likely to keep everything safe inside the carton. However, it’s not necessary for all of your belongings, so reserve it for the most valuable or breakable ones. When packing fragile items, for example, or packing wine bottles or glass objects, purchasing bubble wrap has to be on your relocation to-do list. The same goes if you plan to move electronics. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which of your household goods must have this kind of protection.

The other plastic product you might find helpful is shrink wrap, the same kind you can find in your kitchen, just bigger and in larger amounts. It can be used even for furniture, just don’t let it come near any wooden surfaces. While sofas, armchairs, and beds can all be wrapped with this product, don’t use it on leather furniture – you don’t want any damage to occur during shipping.

Packing Paper Is a More Ecological and Affordable Solution

No matter how good those plastic products are for the safety of your belongings, the fact is that they are not at all good for the environment. If you consider yourself an eco-friendly person, know that packing paper is a very good, recyclable alternative. Even delicate items, such as plates, can make it to their destination in one piece with this type of material, as long as you use proper methods.

Moving Blankets Will Protect Your Furniture Best

Moving blankets are the product of choice for most long-distance movers, too. They are made from a soft material that won’t cause any damage to any of your belongings, not even wooden furniture. If you’re organizing a last-minute move, you’ll be happy to know that furniture pads are very easy to maneuver during packaging. However, don’t forget to secure them with tape after you finish covering a piece. Otherwise, they can fall off during transport, and your objects will be left without any protection.

On the other hand, if you were planning to utilize a specially designed mattress and sofa cover, know that you wouldn’t be making a mistake at all. With it, your items will be protected not only from dust and dirt but also from moisture. They are commonly made from a water-resistant material. That means that even moving in winter, when there is a lot of rain and/or snow, won’t be a problem.

Moving blankets and boxes cross-country movers should pack overlay
Moving blankets are simple to use and come in handy in every move

Different Packing Materials You Can Find in Your Home

Did you know that some alternative packaging products can be found at home if you are creative enough? If you wish to reduce the cost of interstate moving and look for the cheapest way to move out of state, homemade items are your best option. If you start thinking a little bit outside of the box, you will find that:

  • Cotton products can be used for wrapping and padding – T-shirts, linens, blankets, and even socks can be suitable wrapping fabrics. As long as you don’t mind washing and ironing them after the move, consider using them to cover non-breakables.
  • Tupperware containers are excellent storage spaces – if you have some tupperware at home, don’t leave it empty. It can provide amazing protection at no cost.
  • Newspapers can replace packing paper – but you need to be careful. Black ink from newspapers can cause permanent damage to your belongings, so don’t take this risk with valuable possessions.
Tupperware stacked up for during cross-country moving overlay
Using tupperware won’t be a waste - it can serve you well in your new home, too

Additional Supplies That Will Ease Your Life

Packing paper, bubble wrap, and all other products mentioned above are not the only supplies you’ll need during the preparation time. There are also supplies people usually forget about until the packaging day comes. However, they are necessary to complete the process successfully. Don’t let it happen to you! Think on time about:

  • Tape – you will use it to secure wraps and moving blankets and ensure they stay in place, as well as to reinforce and seal cartons,
  • Zip bags – for all tiny metal parts (screws, nails, bolts, and alike),
  • Foam peanuts – for padding cartons and ensuring the contents can’t fly around the box,
  • Labeling products (markers, colored stickers, and so on),
  • Scissors.
Small furniture parts put in zip bags by long-distance movers overlay
It is common for small furniture parts to go missing, but you can prevent that if you dedicate one zip bag to each furniture piece

If You Want to Be Worry-Free, Leave Packing to the Professionals

If you want to ensure that the right products are chosen and that everything is wrapped and packed in the best way possible, hiring movers is the right option. Keep in mind that if you choose professional packing services, you are most likely to experience stress-free moving. And if you, along with it, decide to hire an auto transport company, there will be nothing standing in the way of a completely successful move. So what’s stopping you from leaving all the tedious and challenging shipping tasks to those who have already mastered them and focusing on all the benefits of moving? If you can’t come up with the answer right away, start searching for the most reliable relocation company near you. Good luck!

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