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Packing Supplies

Updated on April 30, 2010

Moving can be a big hassle, so you really ought to make sure you've got all the essential packing supplies ready before you begin. You don't have to pay a fortune, as there are ways to get perfectly good packing supplies for free, but there are some supplies you're going to need to pay for. The following is a list of packing supplies you'll want to have on hand before the packing begins, as well as some extra tips to keep in mind whilst packing your belongings up. Packing and moving house does not have to be a nightmare, and if you plan in advance, it won't be.


You can buy brand new boxes online or at your local Public Storage (or equiv) and they will be well fortified for carrying things like books and other heavy belongings. You do not want to stick your best china in a cheapy box, unless you're prepared for the possibility of needing to buy new china by the time you get to your new home or flat. But that doesn't mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for boxes. You can drop by your local grocery store or mini-mart on delivery days (simply pop in and ask them when that is -- most clerks would be happy to have you take the boxes, as that's less box-cutting work for them -- and then collect your boxes on the appropriate day. Just check the sturdiness of the boxes and be sure they haven't had anything spilled in them.


There are 3 basic types of protective wrapping when it comes to packing. You can use bubble wrap, you can use heavy-duty saran wrap type stuff which is used to fortify belongings and protect mirrors and the like, or you can use newspaper. Newspaper might be good for things like dishes, but if you're going to wrap more delicate things, bubble wrap is probably the best choice. If you've got furniture that you dont want to see scratched, that saran wrap stuff really does a great job of protecting the exteriors, even glass. Its easy to put on, but you will probably need to cut it off so be prepared for that.


Do not try to use old fashioned desk tape for your packing boxes. You want heavy duty tape, and you'll want to use it to fortify your boxes when packing heavy things like books or dishes. (Although you could use the fortifying saran wrap stuff for that as well.) You don't want to overdo it, as it would be a real PITA to undo all of that tape when you're ready to unpack, but you will want to be sure everything's very secure, especially if you're using "used" boxes. Do not just fold the edges in on boxes that contain things that could be damaged if the box opens during the moving process. Also, a properly-sealed box will hold up better in transport if anything sits on top of it.

Extra Tips:

  • Label your boxes! If you've got a lot of boxes but little time to unpack, you don't want to be rummaging through every box before getting ready for work the next day.

  • Start packing early! Do not wait til a day or two before to start packing, as you will be very tired and that will make the moving process very wearisome.

  • Put big arrows on all sides of the boxes to indicate which side is up -- this will keep movers from sticking your best china on its side.

  • Don't overpack your boxes. Just because you can stuff 100 books into one box does not mean you should. You don't want to strain the boxes you're using, as having to clean up a mess of dropped books will only slow you down during the move and possibly cost you extra money.


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