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What Packing Supplies Do I Need?

If you do your own packing when you move, you will need to acquire packing materials. You have a lot of options in the kinds of materials to use, but some are essential. I’ll list the most popular materials and their uses here — I recommend you have plenty of these on hand when you get started.

Cartons (Boxes). Corrugated cardboard boxes come in different sizes, and you’ll need a variety.

  • Smaller boxes are best for books, canned goods, hand tools—the kinds of things that can make a bigger box too heavy to safely handle. 
  • Medium boxes are ideal for lamp shades or small kitchen appliances. 
  • Larger boxes are best for lighter items, such as large lampshades, towels, linens, pillows, etc. 
  • The dish pack box (18x18x28) is a popular size for dinnerware, glasses, etc. 
  • A wardrobe box (24x20x45) has a bar across the top for hangers so you can take your hanging clothes right from the box to the closet. 
  • Boxes for flat screen TVs, mirrors, and mattresses are available in a variety of sizes.

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Bubble Wrap. This is an ideal material for protecting household goods. Use it to wrap lamps, collectibles, electronics, artwork, vases, mirrors, glasses, protruding parts—it has about a zillion applications.

Packing Paper. You’ll need plenty of this to wrap china and other breakable items. It is typically sold in a carton of about 200 sheets (24x30).

Packing Tape. You’ll want to use the brown, shiny tape that is specifically made for moving. It’s easy to apply using a tape gun or even a simple plastic reel dispenser. Avoid using masking or duct tape—they are difficult to apply and do not adhere as well.

Sharpie. This is a black, felt-tip marker for notating boxes with their contents and where they go in your new home; e.g., “computer supplies—office” or “CDs/DVDs—family room.”

Time. This is one commodity you can’t buy off the shelf—but you’ll need enough on hand when you start packing. Best advice: start a week or two before moving day and pack the things you don’t need day-to-day. Pack two or three cartons each day and keep a record of what is in the box. You need not enumerate every single knickknack, but keep like items together.

If you are unsure about which materials you may need, our professional packers are good at estimating what you will need and in what quantities. Get in touch and we’ll be glad to quote you a price for pro grade materials. Or, if you need help with the actual packing itself, let us know. We have experienced hands and will make it easy for you.

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