All Moving Supplies Are Not Created Equal

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving SuppliesThere is something about a tall stack of boxes and rolls of packing tape that is rejuvenating—here's your opportunity to sift through all your possessions and meticulously wrap your prized possessions, so when you reach your new house and start unpacking the boxes it will feel just like Christmas morning when you were a little one. Fantasize for a few seconds that is how the whole master plan truly develops, and you are not rushing amid the abode like a maniac throwing heirloom crystal in with the bowling balls, be sure you have the right packing supplies for your moving project.

Boxes and tape are some of the most vital supplies for packing, and all boxes and tape are NOT similar in quality. It is acceptable to put a few coffee mugs in an old microwave box and put it on a shelf in the pantry, but to pack, stack, and move that box, it will fall down like a house of cards and you will end up with a bunch of broken ceramic pieces.

If you're packing packing your own stuff, conduct some research into the materials before you begin. If you're hiring a moving company to execute the actual moving, they will probably have the correct heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping paper you'll require. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are decent places to obtain your supplies, but since you cannot do tactile research digitally, do not depend on reviews to help you make up your mind—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are very subjective words.

Look for boxes that are corrugated--a layer of wavy fiber between the inner and outer layers of heavy cardboard. The corrugated gives the box structure and stability, so when you load them on the moving van they don't cave in. There are different grades of toughness within the corrugated world, so you may purchase the box strength you need for a specific item--go with the strongest duty boxes for the most fragile and the bulkiest items you will pack.

While you are purchasing boxes, load up on the small ones--heavy belongings go in small boxes, bulky lightweight things go in the bigger boxes. For example, books are relatively heavy and should go in a small box. Blankets and pillows are comparatively light and can be placed in the bigger ones.

Picking up cheap, low quality tape is where a lot of DIY packers get stymied. If it is cheap, it won't stick well. Worse, it will stick to itself when it is dispensed out of the gun and splinter in tiny little slivers and then you have to work at it and aim to get it to unstick in one piece. Splurge on a high-quality gun or two with a padded handle—you will be pleased you did when you're sixty boxes in with a lot more to tape. It's also a brilliant idea to purchase your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can generally take back what you do not use.

Moving SuppliesThere are several alternatives for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and sheets are magic when you require something lining the box, for example when you are packing shoes and don't want them thumping around.

Newsprint is hands down the best alternative for almost everything--from wrapping mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and stuff the rest inside after it's wrapped) to books to small appliances.

Bubble wrap can be pricey, but buy the good stuff anyway, since that's what you will use it for. The bubble size fluctuates, but a good rule of thumb is for your bubble size to couple the item size—use the big bubbles for lining around the entire box. Feel the wrap prior to purchasing it, and make sure of how strong it is when you squeeze and pull it. If it is weak or does not like the bubbles hold, go with another brand.

If you haven't moved in a while, and you go hunting for boxes, prepare to be amazed at the alternatives you have. When your parents moved, they got their tape and boxes and had the whole neighborhood keeping newspapers for months. Currently, there are lots of specialty moving supplies you'll find in the stores—a few are definitely worth the extra money, some are not—it's up to you to decide what is going to work best for your move. Just remember, make sure you're getting acceptable quality--you don't need your mattresses in cheap plastic sheeting.

  • Dish packs are heavy duty boxes designed for dishes. They could include pieces of corrugated paper to keep between the dishware so you don't have to wrap one by one.
  • Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they have the lightweight cardboard insert that fits between the glass.
  • Wardrobe boxes are also strong, tall, and contain a bar for hanging clothes.
  • Specialty boxes for mirrors and TVs are shallow and large.

Now that you've got your smalls under control, focus on how you're going to get the big stuff out the door--the furniture, the lawn mower, the grill--but do not fret, help is on the way. For moving some of these things renting equipment is the easiest way to go.

Your furniture is more fragile than you think--surface dings and scratches are entirely too common when things come off the truck. You can sidestep these with some basic protection; again, be sure you're obtaining good quality materials that stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

  • Moving blankets are a must. You can purchase or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities have them. Remember that while buying is inexpensive, renting could be the best choice. The blankets you purchase are most of the time a synthetic fabric with padding and are okay for some items, but if you are moving wood furniture of much value you will be better off with a heavy cotton blanket with more batting in the middle, which are usually rented (you could get them and return them with the truck). If you calculate you will use ten, rent twenty—this is especially true if you decide to get the lower quality ones--double wrap.
  • Shrink wrap that comes on a large, double handled roll holds the blankets in place on the big pieces, and protects just about anything. Buy an almost opaque plastic that's going to hold up against boxes and corners--get the most puncture-proof plastic you are able to find.
  • Foam padding comes in handy for corners, you should plan on buying a roll of heavy foam, but be mindful that it's good quality and won't rip easily.

The last items you'll require are for the really heavy and bulky stuff. Unless you own these already, you’ll want.

  • The best hand trucks are the heavy-duty ones that are appliance weight, and have straps to tighten down the thing you are moving. They also tilt, to give you better leverage against the weight of the couch or dryer or whatever you've strapped on.
  • Dollies are flat pallets on wheels that work best if there are not any stairs that you will have to navigate. They're perfect for smaller dressers or anything that's heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the one you obtain is carpeted on the slats.
  • Body straps help you to evenly distribute the weight of extremely bulky items on your body. They're typically used in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. If you obtain these, make sure the straps and buckles are in good repair.

However you're moving your residence, your local moving company will be able to assist you with all of the materials you will need to move. Just keep in mind that you are moving your whole life in these boxes, so take care that your moving materials are up to the task.