All Moving Supplies Are Not Created Equal

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving SuppliesThere is something about a big pile of boxes and spools of packing tape that is refreshing—here's your chance to sift through all your possessions and carefully pack your treasures, so when you reach your new home and commence unpacking the boxes it will seem just like your birthday when you were a kid. Fantasize for a minute that is how the entire scenario actually develops, and you are not rushing through the house like a loon mixing heirloom china in with the set of encyclopedias, be sure you purchase the correct packing supplies for your moving job.

Boxes and tape are some of the most important supplies for packing, and all boxes and tape are NOT similar in quality. It's alright to throw random coffee mugs in an old toaster box and put it on a shelf in the pantry, but to pack, stack, and transport that box, it will collapse like a house of cards and you'll wind up with a bunch of broken crockery.

If you are packing packing your own stuff, do some research into the materials prior to getting started. If you are employing a moving company to do the actual moving, they will most likely have the right heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping paper you will want to use. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are decent sources to obtain your supplies, but since you cannot do tactile research over the internet, do not depend on reviews to help you make up your mind—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are highly subjective terms.

Seek out boxes that are corrugated--a layer of wavy fiber between the inner and outer layers of heavy cardboard. The corrugation allows for structure and support, so when you stack them on the moving truck they don't collapse. There are different degrees of rigidity within the corrugated realm, so you may get the box stability you require for a given item--go with the sturdiest boxes for the most fragile and the bulkiest things you'll pack.

While you're buying boxes, load up on the small ones--heavy belongings go in small boxes, bulky lightweight things go in the bigger boxes. For instance, books weigh a lot and should go in a small box. Blankets and throw pillows are comparatively lightweight and can be placed in the bigger ones.

Picking up bargain, low quality tape is where many DIY packers get discouraged. If it's cheap, it will not adhere well. Worse, it will stick to itself when is comes out of the gun and splinter in tiny little pieces and then you have to pick at it for quite a while and try to get it to unstick in a single piece. Be extravagant and purchase a good-quality tape gun or two with a padded handle—you will be overjoyed you did when you're eighty boxes in with a ninety more to tape. It is also a good idea to buy your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can normally return what you don't use.

Moving SuppliesThere are several options for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and linens are wonderful when you need something lining the box, like when you're packing shoes and do not want them banging around.

Newsprint is by far the best option for nearly everything--from packing mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and put the other ends inside after it's wrapped) to books to kitchen items.

Bubble wrap can get pricey, but get 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. Touch the wrap before you purchase it, and make sure of how strong it is when you push and pull it. If it's not strong or does not like the bubbles hold, try another brand.

If you have not moved for a while, and you go looking for boxes, prepare to be surprised at the choices you have. When your parents moved, they might have bought their tape and boxes and had the whole neighborhood saving newspapers for weeks. Today, there are a lot of specialty moving supplies you will find in the stores—several are really worth the extra money, some are just reinventing the wheel—it is up to you to discern what's going to be best for your move. Remembe, be sure you're buying good quality--you do not want your mattresses in cheap plastic sheeting.

  • Dish packs are durable boxes designed for dishes. They might have pieces of corrugated paper to keep between the dishware so you do not have to wrap individually.
  • Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they contain the lightweight cardboard insert that separates the glass.
  • Wardrobe boxes are also sturdy, tall, and include a bar for hanging clothes.
  • Specialty boxes for mirrors and TVs can be shallow and large.

Now that you've got your smalls under control, make a plan for how you are going to get the big stuff out the door--the furniture, the lawn mower, the grill--but do not be anxious, help is right around the corner. In order to move some of these items renting equipment is the easiest way to go.

Your furniture is more fragile than you think--surface dents and scratches are overall very common when things come off the truck. You can negate these with some basic protection; again, be sure you're buying or renting decent quality materials that hold up to a lot of wear and tear.

  • Moving blankets are essential. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities will be able to help you with them. Although buying is usually less costly, renting could be better. The blankets you buy are most of the time a synthetic fabric with padding and are alright for some items, but if you're moving wood furniture of a lot of value you will want to go with a thick cotton pad with more batting in between the layers, which can be rented (you can pick them up and return them with the truck). If you think you need ten, rent twenty—especially if you choose to buy the lower quality ones--double wrap.
  • Shrink wrap that is sold on a sizable, double handled roll secures the blankets in place on the sizable pieces, and protects just about anything. Buy an almost opaque plastic that is going to hold up against boxes and corners--get the most puncture-proof plastic you can find.
  • Foam padding is best used for corners, you should plan on buying a roll of heavy foam, but be careful that it's good quality and won't rip easily.

The last things you will want to have are for the big time heavy and bulky stuff. Unless you happen to have these items already, you’ll want.

  • The best hand trucks are the heavy-duty ones that are appliance weight, and have straps to secure the item you are moving. They also tilt, to give you better leverage against the weight of the couch or dryer or whatever you have strapped on.
  • Dollies are flat pallets on rollers that are ideal if there are not any stairs in the moving path. They're excellent for smaller dressers or anything that's heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the dolly you get is carpeted on the slats.
  • Body straps help you to evenly distribute the weight of extremely bulky items on your body. They are usually utilized in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. If you obtain these, be sure the straps and buckles are in good working order.

Whatever method you are moving your residence, your local moving company will be able to assist you with all of the materials you will require to move. Just remember that you are packing your whole life in these boxes, so take care that your moving supplies are up to the task.