All Moving Supplies Are Not Created Equal

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving SuppliesThere is something about a large stack of boxes and spools of packing tape that is rejuvenating—here's your chance to sift through all your things and carefully pack your prized possessions, so when you reach your new house and start unpacking the boxes it will seem just like your birthday when you were a kid. Imagine for a minute that is how the whole master plan actually unfolds, and you are not running through the abode like a maniac mixing heirloom crystal in with the set of encyclopedias, make sure you purchase the right packing supplies for your moving job.

Boxes and tape are a few of the most important components of packing, and all boxes and tape are NOT created equal. It's acceptable to put some coffee mugs in an old toaster box and store it on the top shelf of the pantry, but to pack, stack, and transport that box, it will fall down like a house of cards and you'll end up with a lot of broken crockery.

If you're packing packing your own stuff, conduct some research into the materials before you get started. If you are employing a moving company to execute the actual moving, they will probably have the correct heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping stuff you'll want to use. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are decent sources for your supplies, but since you cannot do tactile research over the internet, don't depend on reviews to help you—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are very subjective terms.

Look for 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 load them on the moving van they do not collapse. There are varying grades of toughness within the corrugated department, so you should buy the box stability you require for a given item--go with the sturdiest boxes for the most fragile and the heaviest things you will pack.

While you're purchasing boxes, make sure and get plenty of the small ones--heavy belongings go in small boxes, bulky lighter things go in the bigger boxes. For example, books weigh quite a bit and should go in a small box. Blankets and throw pillows are comparatively lightweight and can be placed in the bigger ones.

Purchasing cheap, low quality tape is where many DIY packers get stymied. If it's low-quality, it will not adhere well. Worse, it will stick to itself when is comes out of the gun and tear in small little slivers and then you have to work at it and aim to get it to unstick in one piece. Splurge on a good-quality tape gun or two with a padded handle—you'll be overjoyed you did when you're sixty boxes in with a lot more to tape. It is also a grand idea to buy your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can normally return what you do not use.

Moving SuppliesThere are several options for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and sheets are amazing when you need something lining the box, for example when you're packing shoes and do not 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 stick the rest inside after it is wrapped) to books to small appliances.

Bubble wrap can get pricey, but purchase the good stuff anyway, since those are the items that you'll use it for. The bubble size fluctuates, but a fair guideline is for your bubble size to couple the item size—save the big bubbles for lining around the entire box. Touch the wrap prior to purchasing it, and make sure of how strong it is when you push and pull it. If it's weak or does not like the bubbles hold, look for another brand.

If you haven't moved for quite some time, and you go hunting for boxes, be ready to be astounded at the choices you have. If your parents moved, they might have bought their tape and boxes and had the entre neighborhood retaining newspapers for a long time. Now, there are lots of specialty moving supplies you'll discover when you go shopping—some are really worth the extra expense, some are just reinventing the wheel—it is up to you to decide what is going to be best for your move. Again, be sure you are getting acceptable quality--you do not want your mattresses in cheap plastic sheeting.

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

Now that you have the boxes under control, you need to think about how you are going to move the heavy things out the door--the furniture, the lawn mower, the grill--but don't fear, help is on the way. For moving several of these items renting equipment is the best 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 avoid these issues with some basic protection; again, make sure you are buying or renting acceptable quality materials that stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

  • Moving blankets are crucial. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities can rent or sell them to you. Remember that while buying is inexpensive, renting might be a better alternative. The blankets you purchase are usually a thin fabric with padding and are fine for some things, but if you are moving wood furniture of much value you will be better off with a heavy cotton blanket with more batting in between the layers, which is best rented (you can pick them up and return them with the truck). If you calculate you need ten, rent twenty—especially if you choose to get the cheaper ones--double wrap.
  • Shrink wrap that is sold on a sizable, double handled roll keeps the moving pads in place on the large pieces, and protects just about anything. Look for 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 should plan on buying a roll of heavy foam, but be mindful that it is decent quality and will not rip easily.

The last supplies you'll need are for the really heavy and bulky things. Unless you have these items already, you’ll want.

  • The best hand trucks are the heavy-duty ones that are appliance weight, and have straps to tighten down the item you are moving. They also tip backward, to provide you better leverage against the weight of the couch or dryer or whatever you have strapped on.
  • Dollies are flat pallets on rollers that work best if there are not any stairs in the moving path. They're good for smaller chests or anything that's heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the dolly you obtain is padded on the slats.
  • Body straps help you to evenly distribute the weight of really heavy items on your body. They're commonly utilized in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. When you rent these, make sure the straps and buckles are in good working order.

Whatever method you're actually transporting your household, your local moving company will be able to help you with all of the speciality items you will require to move. Just remember that you're packing your whole life in these boxes, so take care that your moving supplies are up to the task.