Materials You Will Need
Large Plastic Trash Bags
Have a good supply on hand not just for throwaway items but also to cover items such as loose cushions and pillows to keep them from getting dusty and dirty.
Resealable Plastic Sandwich Bags
You will find these useful for many purposes especially when disassembling furniture items to keep the nuts and bolts together so they will not get lost during the move.
A MOVE Notebook and Pen
It is a good idea to pack one room at a time labeling each box with the room name (Kitchen, Bathroom…) and a number (Kitchen - #1). As you complete packing each box go to your notebook, record the room name and the box number and list the contents of the box. If you take a little extra time to do this while you are packing each box, being as specific as you can, it will make unpacking at your new home that much easier. Also, if a box goes missing during the move you will be able to identify the missing items immediately by referring to your inventory list.
Black Felt Markers
The jumbo size, permanent ink, bold felt markers. Have two or three on hand as they tend to get misplaced especially if you have friends helping you pack for the move. Mark your boxes boldly.
ARROWS UPWARD on all sides of the box when the items you have packed must stay in the upright position.
FRAGILE on all sides of the box when the box contains fragile items.
Utility Knife and Scissors
For cutting cardboard and other packing materials.
Packing Tape & Tape Dispenser
Using proper packing tape is very important. Other kinds of tape such as duct tape or masking tape do not adhere well to cardboard boxes. We recommend 2” wide plastic tape. A tape dispenser will make the job much easier and faster. Most moving supply companies offer a package deal – tape dispenser with 2-3 rolls of tape. Packing tape is available in different grades and the price per roll generally reflects the grade type. As a note of interest, the very lowest economy grade of tape may not be your best value if the tape keeps tearing. You may end up spending more time trying to get the tape off the roll in one piece rather than sealing boxes.
Do not apply tape directly to polished or painted wood finishes. Removing the tape could ruin the surface. If you are attempting to secure dresser drawers or cabinet doors so they do not fly open when they are moved we recommend you use stretch wrap for this purpose.
Whatever type of boxes you use (purchased or free) make certain they have a lid or cardboard flaps that completely cover the top so can tape the box completely shut.
Keep the weight of your boxes to 50 pounds or less.
Tape the bottom and top of every box.
Purchased: Standard packing boxes you purchase come in various sizes and are generally offered for sale by the bundle. Most moving supply companies will buy back any boxes you do not use so make certain you have a good supply of various sizes on hand before you start packing and keep the sales slip for any returns. Wardrobe boxes come in two sizes, large/tall for hanging longer clothing items (gowns, dresses) and small/short for hanging shorter clothing items (suits, shirts). Wardrobe boxes are recommended for transporting all of your hanging clothing items.
Electronics boxes are specially designed for moving, shipping or storing televisions, VCRs, microwaves, stereo components, computers, monitors and printers. If you have not kept the original shipping box for these items consider purchasing an electronics box and proper packing material for added protection during the move.
Free: Liquor store boxes are great for packing heavy items such as books or tools because they are relatively small and very sturdy. Copier paper boxes from work (with the lids) are also good packing boxes. Supermarket shipping boxes for fruits and vegetables are also good sturdy boxes. A word of caution, make certain these boxes are clean of debris (insects too) and dry before you pack any of your belongings into them. Rubber/plastic type tote boxes are becoming a very popular alternative to the standard cardboard packing box for some items because they are waterproof, durable and reusable for everyday practical use after the move. They come in various sizes with lids, they have handles for ease of lifting and usually stack very well. If you use these tote boxes for packing, do not overload them just because they seem so durable. They still have to be lifted so keep the general rule of thumb in mind, should not to exceed 50 pounds.
If you use old newspapers to wrap your belongings and wadded up newspapers to fill in empty spaces in your boxes be prepared for the ink to rub off on your hands and also to rub off on anything else the newspapers comes in contact with. This means cleaning everything at the other end before you put anything away. Worse yet the ink may permanently stain some of your items. Use clean white newsprint. Most moving supply companies sell this packing paper in sheets by the box and it is a relatively inexpensive investment to protect your personal belongings during the move. Size of the sheets may vary but generally a box will contain 150 sheets – 20” x 25”. You will need plenty of packing paper so make certain you start out with a good supply on hand.
To protect wooden furniture items, upholstered furniture items and large appliances during the move. Blankets and quilts may also be used.
To secure furniture pads around large items of furniture. To secure furniture items inside the trailer so they will not get damaged from shifting during the move. Clothes line or twine may also be used.
Is sold by the foot or yard and is available in various bubble sizes ranging from small to large. Smaller bubble size is recommended for delicate, lightweight items such as picture frames, glass or porcelain vases, crystal, glassware, figurines and knick-knacks. Larger bubble size is recommended for heavier items such as electronic or stereo equipment components, paintings or sculptures.
Are sold by volume by the box or in bags. Perfect as a cushion or filler when boxing up delicate objects. Great for packing electronics or other items sensitive to bumps and shocks. Most packing peanuts available today are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and anti-static.
Stretch, or Shrink Wrap
Is sold by the roll generally in two convenient sizes. Small, 5” wide x 1000’ roll. Large, 18” wide x 1000’ roll. This is a handy wrap ideal for bundling and securing all types of household items. Stretch wrap is very strong and form fits to any item you wrap. It sticks only to itself leaving no adhesive residue on the items you wrap. The small sized stretch wrap is ideal for securing dresser drawers and cabinets doors so they do not fly open while you move them. Wrap your furniture with the stretch wrap and your drawers and doors will stay firmly in place. Wrap cables with your electronics, ski poles to the skis, curtain rods and table legs together. The large sized stretch wrap makes wrapping larger furniture items and other bulky items fast and easy.
Rent an appliance dolly to move or load appliances and other heavy objects.
Keep your mattress and box spring free of dirt, dust and possible water damage. Dust can settle deep into the mattress fibers during a move or while in storage. You can purchase mattress bags in various sizes from a moving supply company. If you would like to do it yourself, purchase a roll of 3.0 gauge plastic, cut it to completely cover your box spring and mattress and secure it tightly with packing tape (or duct tape).
Sofa and Chair Covers
Protect your sofa, love seat and upholstered chairs from dirt and dust during your move. Most large furniture discount stores discard the shipping covers from new sofas and chairs once these items arrive at their store. Before you buy covers from a moving supply company, check with your local furniture stores as many will give you the covers for free.
This may seem like overkill to some, but it should give you the option to determine what things you might forget, and other things you may or may not need, based on your relocation needs.
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