To begin a successful, streamlined and stress-free move, the proper packing and moving supplies must be acquired. Depending on the type of move, whether commercial, residential, office, etc., the tools needed can range anywhere from boxes and tape to customized storage crates.
When in the initial planning stages of a move, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of being overwhelmed by the sheer variety and options available. Unscrupulous suppliers may even attempt to take advantage of first-time movers or stressed out customers by trying to sell more products than the client really needs. Armed with the knowledge of what’s available and what is applicable to their specific move, business or home owners can be selective, yet still find the appropriate supplies.
The number one place to start when making a list of packing and moving supplies is to determine the correct number and type of boxes needed. Boxes range in size from very small to extremely large. Each box size has its own purpose. Small boxes are best used for small, yet dense or heavy objects like books, cans, tools, or small appliances. Medium boxes are for regular sized appliances, children’s toys or office supplies. Large boxes and extra-large boxes are ideal for light, yet bulky items such as bedding, pillows and stuffed animals. Specialty boxes are available as well for items such as mirrors, photos, clothing, dishes, glassware, electronics and files.
Whether storing household seasonal items or storing large amounts of commercial materials for a long distance move, containers and crates are important packing and moving supplies. Made of either plastic or wood, most storage crates are sealable and block out pests as well as weather. Some companies can even create custom crates for items that need protection but can’t be boxed.
To secure and seal each box, the right type of tape is necessary. Packing or shipping tape is best for sealing and reinforcing the boxes for the move. Masking tape can be used to label the boxes, as it is easy to write on and removes easily without damaging the boxes, should they be reused. Duct tape may be useful to have on hand as well. It is extremely sticky and leaves residue, but is extraordinarily strong, making it very useful for patching holes, or taping down and securing items during transit.
Aside from being helpful for any unforeseen snags or tape emergencies, scissors or box cutters are essential packing and moving supplies. Box cutters are safer than scissors, as they are made specifically for the purpose of opening boxes and the blade can be retracted when not in use.
For complicated commercial moves, sticker labels that are color coded are excellent for keeping all offices or departments organized. Label makers are convenient to have on hand, as they can print personalized labels immediately. For the homeowner’s move, a permanent marker may be a better alternative. Simply pop off the lid and write directly on the box. Most boxes have label sections available for this purpose.
To keep items from breaking, shifting or becoming damaged during transit, proper packing materials are essential packing and moving supplies. Bubble wrap should be used to cover sensitive items such as glassware, electronics, vases and sculptures. Paper is a good option as well. Whether brown paper or newspaper, it can be used to stuff glasses or create soft places in boxes for items to safely sit. Styrofoam inserts are perfect for computers and important equipment. To keep items from shifting during the move, packing peanuts fill in the empty spaces within the box.
Commercial moves often require heavy, cumbersome items to be moved all at one time. Commercial equipment such as fork lifts, mechanical tape or stretch film dispensers and other machinery are helpful.
To prevent injury, add a dolly or hand truck to the list of necessary packing and moving supplies. Dollies and hand trucks are used by almost all professional movers, as they assist in the distribution of weight, making heavy and cumbersome items easier to move with fewer people.
Whether executing a commercial or home move, having proper tie downs ensures that items won’t shift within the truck during travel. Rope, twine and thick fibered tie downs secure large items while zip ties can help reinforce boxes or secure items together within a box.
No list of packing and moving supplies is complete without proper covers for furniture, walls and electronics. Commercial movers typically bring large, padded covers that look like blankets to wrap around items, boxes or walls. This keeps these items from becoming damaged throughout the move. Home movers can use any number of household blankets, sheets or tablecloths similarly. Floor coverings are helpful, as well. They keep hardwoods and carpet from being stained or damaged.
Cross country and commercial moves can really benefit from adding shrink wrap film and stretch film to the list of packing and moving supplies. Shrink film can be wrapped around multiple items that need to stay together and shrunk to fit tightly around them. Stretch film is essentially very large rolls of plastic wrap that can be wrapped around bulky items to keep them together. Stretch film can also be used to wrap around furniture to keep it from getting damaged.
Nothing is worse than damaged door frames and walls after a move. Edge protectors made of rubber, foam or plastic can provide additional protection to corners and entry/exit ways.
These are some of the most essential packing and moving supplies to make the big day go as smooth and seamless as possible.