Want to do a DIY move but don’t know which are the best packing materials & how to use them efficiently? This ultimate guide on the best packing supplies will help!

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When it comes to packing for the house moves, lots of people would rather go through the divorce papers. Kidding aside, it really isn’t the favorite stuff to do. 

Shattered items or broken collectibles could easily raise someone’s BP. To avoid these misfortunes while maintaining a budget-friendly move, doing the packing yourself is an ideal option. Got problems with how to pack your things efficiently and safely? We’ve got solutions!

What Packing Materials Do I Need to Move?

First, let’s have a clear, bird’s eye view of the packing materials you would likely need for your move. 

Make sure to prepare and order your packing materials 1 month before the move! 

You wouldn’t want to stress over your deliveries not arriving on time or not have enough time to disinfect the materials before use. As of the pandemic, it is highly advisable to sanitize all packaging materials so it is best to order items earlier to have enough time to disinfect them.

  1. STORAGE – Moving Boxes and Specialty boxes, Garbage Bags
  2. LABELING – Label stickers for boxes, Fragile stickers, Permanent markers
  3. SECURING – Heavy-duty packing tape + dispenser, Tape Gun, Rope
  4. PACKING – Bubble Wrap, Foam Wrap, Packing Paper, Packing Peanuts, Mattress Cover
  5. UNPACKING – Box cutter, scissors, Garbage bags
  6. MOVING – Measuring tapes, disposable gloves, paper towels, cords, moving blankets, door stoppers
  7. HEAVY LIFTING – Mover’s dolly, furniture lifter, shoulder dolly straps, furniture sliders, back brace, hand truck, trailers
Budget-Wise Moving Bundle
Moving Supplies for 1-2 bedrooms
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Must-Have Packing Materials & How to Use Them Properly

1.

Moving Boxes

Let’s start with the most basic need for packing: Moving boxes. Cardboard moving boxes are an absolute necessity whether it be a house move, an office move, or any type of shipping made. They are convenient, sturdy, low cost and eco-friendly containers for storage. 

Here are your options for standard moving boxes and where to use them.

Standard Box Type
Size
Best Use

Small Box

Medium Box

Large Box

Extra Large Box

6″ x 12″ x 12″

18″ x 16″ x 18″

18″ x 18″ x 24″

24″ x 20″ x 24″

  • Small items such as tools, DVDs, CDs, books
  • Toys, electronics, clothes, small appliances, dishes
  • Curtains, bedding sheets, shoes, etc.
  • Collectible vases, large items, large appliances, furniture

How to Use Moving Boxes Properly?

Here are some packing tips for using moving boxes:

  1. Make sure to place heavier items at the bottom of the box, below the lighter ones.
  2. Don’t fill the box with too many heavy belongings.
  3. When packing multiple items, use peanuts or packing paper to fill the voids.
  4. Books must be packed with the heavier books at the bottom. Any gaps must be covered with packing paper.

2.

Specialty Moving Boxes

Aside from using standard moving boxes, you’d also need specialized cardboard boxes designed to hold specialty items.

(a) Picture/Artwork Moving Boxes

Source: Amazon

These types of carton boxes are specifically made for packing framed artwork, large-framed pictures, collectibles, and large mirrors. 

    • Note that you can standard boxes to store smaller frames. To protect the glass from scratches and breakages, you can use foam pouches or foam wrap rolls to individually wrap these items in the box.

(b) Wardrobe Boxes 

Are you worried about your office clothes and gowns getting wrinkled and dirty during the move? While you can always use standard boxes to cramp up your folded clothes, wardrobe boxes are specifically designed to safely store your clothes during transport. You can just hang your clothes with the hanger on the box’s metal bar. Then simply hang them in your new home cabinet upon arrival. 

With wardrobe boxes, the unpacking process comes quicker. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your clothes getting wrinkled. 

However, wardrobe boxes take up a lot of space in the moving van and they are quite expensive.

(c) Dish Pack Cartons

These are specialized boxes also called dish barrels and have an interior with formed partitions to secure dishes, bowls, and cups.

3.

Packaging Tape

Another obvious packing essential you should get a hold of is packaging tapes. As much as you have boxes, you’d also need packing tapes to reinforce and seal them during the move and transportation. 

But don’t just get any tape – make sure they are the heavy-duty packaging tapes. One that’s not gonna turn your moving day into a nightmare! So don’t just come looking for the cheapest ones in the market. 

enKo Products’ adhesive packing tapes are 2.0 Mil high-performance tapes that you can rely on even in the harshest transit conditions. We offer clear packing tapes and brown heavy-duty packaging tapes for sale.

How to Properly Use Packing Tapes?

  • Slide the tape gun across the middle where flaps meet and also tape the sides of the box for added protection.
  • If the box is carrying heavier items, do a criss-cross tape on the box.

4.

Packing Paper

Packing paper is one of the most essential things to have during a house move. It’s used to wrap and protect everything from dust, breakage, scuffs, and scratches. They are highly affordable and can be bought in bulk at a low price.

However, you may almost always use packing paper with other packing materials such as boxes, bubble wraps, foam wraps, or styrofoam. They are just utilized for adding protection for items, keeping them in place and intact and bumper a few minor vibrations. They are also used to fill in empty spaces inside boxes. Nevertheless, they are NECESSITY and you must not forget to buy those before packing. 

How to Properly Use Packing Paper?

  • Before putting multiple items on a box, wrap each of them first.
  • Optional: You may secure the newsprint paper with packing tape so it stays in place.
  • Use packing paper to fill in voids in the boxes.
  • Rule of thumb:
    • Use 100 to 200 sheets if you live alone in a one-bedroom house or studio apartment
    • Use 400 sheets to 500 sheets of packing paper for a house with multiple rooms
    • Use 1,000 sheets if you have a large home and a lot of fragile things.
    • Use 2,000 sheets if you have 6 to 7+ bedrooms or if you’re a collector.

5.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is a packing material that keeps fragile or breakable items more firmly secured. While bubble wraps are often found in the shipping and packaging businesses, people also love using them for house moves. They are quite versatile and come in a variety of sizes, qualities, and types. You may also use bubble wrap for covering furniture protrusions or table edges to avoid accidents of bumping.

How to Properly Use Bubble Wrap?

  • Gently wrap the item with packing paper first before wrapping it with an outer covering of bubble wrap.
  • Use packing tape to secure the item. Secure the item with packing tape.
  • You may also put an added layer of protection on your glass items by putting bubble wrap or peanuts inside the opening of the mug or vase.
  • Use high-quality bubble wrap to prevent it from breaking during the move. Here’s how enKo Products’ Bubble Cushion Wrap performs:

6.

Packing Foam

Foam wrap sheets are packing foams that give extra safety for fragile items whether for shipping or a house move. You can utilize packing foams to wrap plates, or other breakable items before stacking them together. Foam sheets may also be used to cover furniture edges for added safety. To avoid damage and scratches on your Chinawares and glasses, make sure you buy cushion foam sheets that are non-abrasive, sturdy, and soft.

How to Use Packing Foams Properly?

  • Packing sheets for dishes, bowls, and other breakable items
  • Protect corner edges of furniture
  • Collectors who store a lot of delicate items

7.

Packing Peanuts

While packing peanuts are not the most favored packing material, they can be useful in smaller ways during a house move. Packing peanuts come in different sizes and shapes and can be used to fill in empty spaces in your boxes. However, they do break easily and more often than not, cannot be reused.

How to Properly Use Packing Peanuts?

  • Before placing items wrapped in packing paper inside the box, fill the bottom with peanuts first.
  • Before closing the box, fill in extra voids with packing peanuts.

8.

Label Stickers

While packing peanuts are not the most favored packing material, they can be useful in smaller ways during a house move. Packing peanuts come in different sizes and shapes and can be used to fill in empty spaces in your boxes. However, they do break easily and more often than not, cannot be reused.

Label Stickers

Photo by Lia Trevarthen on Unsplash

To make organization easier for you, you can utilize color-coded sticker labels to name boxes with fragile items, or designation for each part of the house (kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc). Moving labels are so helpful in making the move quicker because you wouldn’t have to look inside each box to determine where they should be placed. These stickers may include Bathroom, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, Living Room, Bedrooms, and Handle with Care Fragile stickers. 

How to Properly Use Moving Labels and Fragile Stickers?

  • Use fragile stickers on boxes containing fragile/breakable items
  • Use the color-coded, high contrast labels for labeling boxes according to the room where they should go.

Best Packing Material for Fragile Items? Bubble Wrap & Foam Sheets

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Dishes, glassware, and other delicate items can be best packed and moved using a combination of packing materials such as packing paper, bubble wrap, or foam sheets. 

How to Pack Fragile Items?

  1. Dishes and Glass Bowls: Separate dishes with foam sheets, wrap them up in batches using a strong, large bubble wrap for extra cushioning.
  2. Figurines and Displays: Wrap them in bubble wraps, pack them in layers and divide them with bubble wraps, foam sheets, or peanuts.
  3. Choose smaller moving boxes for fragile items or use specialty boxes.
  4. Remember to secure the bottom of the box first by putting extra strips of heavy-duty tape.
  5. Before putting the wrapped fragile items inside the box, cushion the bottom of the moving box with soft packing material such as peanuts, foam, or bubble wrap.
  6. Put the heaviest items at the bottom of the box.
  7. Fill in the voids with packing paper.
  8. Don’t forget to label the box with Fragile Stickers!

Fragile Stickers

: 500
: 2″ x 3″
: Paper

Best Packing Material for Furniture? Moving Blankets/Pads, Stretch Wraps

(a) Moving Blankets or Furniture Pads

Moving Blankets or Furniture Pads

Moving blankets are thick veils for covering the surface of the furniture during house moves. These moving pads have a soft, thick, and large surface to ensure the furniture and bulky items are protected during a bumpy trip. Moving blankets are further reinforced with heavy-duty tape to secure them in place.

Pro tip: You can also use Ropes or Cargo Straps to secure moving blankets instead of taping them, depending on your preference. The most beneficial use of ropes is that you can secure them on a dolly or truck.

(b) Stretch Wrap

Stretch wrap

Source: Dorno

Stretch wrap is used to cover and hold the furniture and may be used for dressers, drawers, and other bulky items. You can also use a stretch film wrap for bundling items together so similar things can stay together (eg. utensils).

Best Way to Pack Your Furniture for a Move:

What’s the best way to pack large furniture or soft-sided furniture for a move? Use moving blankets to wrap around your soft-sided furniture and secure it with heavy-duty tape. For extra protection,  wrap it further with stretch wrap. This way, not only will your furniture be fully cushioned but will also remain intact during the move.

18″ Hand Stretch Film Wrap

: 1000 ft
: 18″
: 3 inch

Best Packing Materials for Unbreakable, Miscellaneous Things

These are apparel, books, office items, and other unbreakable items that won’t likely get damaged during the move. For these items, you may be needing less to no cushioning. 

The following packing supplies work well for durable goods:

  • Air pillows or poly bags
  • Newsprint paper
  • A few bubble wraps
  • Foam pouches

PRO TIP: When disassembling appliances, cables and ties, electronics, or any other furniture parts, use Ziploc bags to keep small, but important items in one place. Label them accordingly and put them in a place you can remember.

So, How Much Packing Materials Would I Need?

It depends. Now that you know which materials are basically needed for packing and moving, you might be wondering how much stuff you need? Or questions like:

How much packing paper do I need for a move?

How many boxes do I need to pack at my house?

To figure this out, you need to assess the bulk of things you have. If you live alone or you have an economical amount of things, it will be easier to list the packing materials needed. Some questions may be:

  • Have you been staying for 10 years or more in your current house? This may be directly proportional to the amount of accumulated clutter in your house. TIP: Throw away all the unnecessary things you won’t be needing in your new home before deciding on the packing things you need.
  • How many people are staying in your house? How many rooms do you have?
  • You and your housemates’ behavior – are you a minimalist or a collector? If you only have basic things most of the time, then chances are you have fewer things to pack than a collector.

To help you sort this out, here are some ballpark figures on how to account for the number of packing materials you need to use.

Minimalist
3 bedroom
6 bedroom
Modest
3 bedroom
6 bedroom
Collector
3 bedroom
6 bedroom
# of Small Moving boxes
17
30
25
45
37
68
# of Medium Moving Boxes
14
25
21
38
32
59
# of Large Moving Boxes
14
20
9
38
32
45
# of XL Moving Boxes
3
10
5
15
8
23
Packing Tape, 110 yards
2 rolls
3 rolls
3 rolls
4 rolls
4 rolls
7 rolls
Packing Paper
10 lbs, 200 sheets
20 lbs, 400 sheets
20 lbs, 400 sheets
3 x 20 lbs, 400 sheets
3 x 500 sheets
4 x 500 sheets
Bubble Wrap
36 ft/roll
50 ft/roll
100 ft/roll
2 x 100 ft/roll
2 x 100 ft/roll
4 x 100 ft/roll
# of Markers
1
2
2
3
3
4

Having a calculator and a well-planned checklist can help you with your packing material checklist. With the same reasoning, you need to make sure you have the right amount of materials to pack your things adequately. You don’t want to end up losing or breaking items during the move because you lack cushioning or tapes.

It doesn’t matter if you have a long-distance move or local moving as most of the considerations rely on the bulk of things you have.

Packing Accessories You May Additionally Need

1.

Gloves

Gloves

Source: Unsplash

If you’re doing a DIY move, you would need to have gloves to protect your hands from punctures and cuts. Prepare gloves for everyone helping with the packing.

2.

Hand Trucks and Dollies

Hand Trucks and Dollies

Source: Unsplash

You may also need to rent dollies and hand trucks to lift heavier items.

3.

Box Cutter

You’d need a box cutter or two to help you with the unpacking of items in your new home.

4.

Cleaning Materials and Trash Bags

Lastly, trash bags and cleaning materials may come in handy during packing and unpacking.

BONUS: You Can Totally Save a Lot from these 3 Cheapskate Packing Materials for Saving on Moving Costs

Want to cut on costs? How about using some of these lucrative packing materials you may already have at home?

1.

Towels

Towels

Source: Unsplash

If you’re planning on stocking all your towels in one box, then perhaps you’re wasting a good packing potential here. Towels can be used to cushion breakable items on boxes.

2.

Suitcases

Suitcases

Source: Unsplash

With suitcases, you can save a few bucks on moving boxes! Instead of storing clothes or documents in them, why not store electronics, small appliances, or figurines in them since they are durable?

3.

Socks

Another lucrative way to save on costs is to use ball of socks to fill extra spaces and voids in moving boxes. They are great for cushioning things.

Wrapping Up

You’ve already inked your house move on the calendar. While it’s an exciting moment to finally move into your new home, you may be stressing about how to pack your things quickly and cost-effectively. 

So, we do hope this guide helped you find the best packing materials for your most awaited house move and how to use them properly. We also hope you were able to pick up some great tips on how to optimize the use of your packing materials.

As a side note, we do offer great quality house moving supplies at a fair price. Check out our Home Moving Supplies at a discount by going through the link!

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