All Moving Supplies Are Not Created Equal

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving SuppliesThere is something about a tall pile of boxes and spools of packing tape that is rejuvenating—here is your opportunity to sift through all your things and carefully wrap your prized possessions, so when you arrive at your new house and begin unpacking the boxes it will feel just like Christmas morning when you were a kiddo. Pretend for a minute that's how the whole scenario really develops, and you're not scampering around the abode like a loon throwing heirloom china in with the bowling balls, make sure you've got the correct packing supplies for your moving project.

Boxes and tape are a few of the most critical components of packing, but all boxes and tape are NOT created equal. It's alright to put random coffee mugs in an old toaster box and put it on the top shelf of the pantry, but to pack, stack, and move that box, it will fall down like a house of cards and you'll end up with a bunch of broken ceramic pieces.

If you're packing your things on your own, do some research into the materials prior to getting started. If you're employing a moving company to do the actual moving, they will most likely have the right heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping stuff you will require. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are good places to obtain your supplies, but since you cannot do tactile research digitally, do not rely on reviews to make your decision—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are highly subjective terms.

Find boxes that are corrugated--a layer of wavy fiber between the inner and outer layers of heavy cardboard. The corrugated helps with structure and strength, so when you stack them on the truck they don't cave in. There are different degrees of rigidity within the corrugated realm, so you may buy the box stability you require for a particular item--go with the sturdiest boxes for the most fragile and the heaviest items you will pack.

While you're purchasing boxes, make sure and get plenty of the small ones--heavy items go in small boxes, bulky lightweight items go in the bigger boxes. For example, books weigh a lot and should be packed in a small box. Throws and throw pillows are comparatively lightweight and go in the bigger ones.

Buying cheap, low quality tape is where many DIY packers get stymied. If it is low-quality, it won't adhere well. Worse, it will stick to itself coming out of the gun and splinter in small little slivers 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 high-quality tape gun or two with a padded handle—you will be overjoyed you did when you are eighty boxes in with a hundred more to pack. It's also a good idea to get your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can generally take back what you might not use.

Moving SuppliesThere are lots of alternatives for padding inside the boxes. Old towels and blankets are amazing when you require something lining the box, for example when you're packing shoes and don't want them banging around.

Newsprint is by far the best choice for pretty much everything--from wrapping mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and stuff the other ends inside once it is wrapped) to books to small appliances.

Bubble wrap can get pricey, but purchase the good stuff anyway, since that's what you will use it for. The bubble size differs, but a fair rule of thumb is for your bubble size to match the item size—use the big bubbles for lining around the entire box. Touch the wrap before you buy, and see how strong it is when you push and pull it. If it's fragile or does not like the bubbles hold, go with another brand.

If you haven't moved for a while, and you go hunting for boxes, prepare to be astounded at the alternatives you have. If your parents moved, they got their tape and boxes and had the whole neighborhood retaining newspapers for months. Currently, there are bunches of specialty moving supplies you'll see in the stores—some are actually worth the extra cost, some are just reinventing the wheel—it's up to you to figure out what's going to work best for you situation. Just remember, be sure you are buying decent quality--you do not need your mattresses in cheap plastic sheeting.

  • Dish packs are durable boxes meant for dishes. They might have pieces of corrugated paper to keep between the pieces so you do not have to wrap each piece.
  • Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they include the lightweight cardboard insert that separates the glass.
  • Wardrobe boxes are also strong, tall, and have 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, focus on how you're going to get the heavy things out the door--the dressers, the lawn mower, the grill--but do not fret, help is right around the corner. For moving a few of these things renting equipment is the easiest thing to do.

Your furniture is more delicate than you might realize--surface dents and scratches are entirely too common when items come off the truck. You can sidestep these issues with some simple protection; again, make sure you are getting good quality materials that hold up to a lot of wear and tear.

  • Moving blankets are a must. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities can rent or sell them to you. Remember that while buying is usually less costly, renting may be the best choice. The pads you purchase are most of the time a synthetic fabric with padding and are alright for some things, but if you're moving wood furniture of much value you are much better off with a thick cotton blanket with more batting in the middle, which is best rented (you can pick them up and return them with the truck). If you calculate you need ten, get twenty—this is especially true if you decide to purchase the lower quality ones--double wrap.
  • Shrink wrap that comes on a sizable, double handled roll holds the moving pads in place on the big items, and covers just about anything. Get an almost opaque plastic that is able 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 can buy a roll of heavy foam, but be careful that it's high density and won't rip easily.

The last items you'll need are for the big time heavy and bulky stuff. Unless you have these already, plan to rent.

  • 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 tip backward, to give you better leverage against the weight of the couch or washer or whatever you have strapped on.
  • Dollies are flat pallets on wheels that are ideal if there aren't any stairs that you will have to navigate. They're perfect for smaller dressers or anything that is heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the one you obtain is carpeted on the slats.
  • Body straps assist you to evenly distribute the weight of extremely bulky things on your body. They are typically utilized in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. When you get these, be sure the straps and buckles are in good repair.

No matter how you are moving your residence, your local moving company will be able to help you with all of the speciality items you'll require to move. Just keep in mind that you are moving your entire life in these boxes, so take care that your moving supplies are sufficient for the job.