Household goods packed before long-distance moving overlay
Posted in How-to, Moving Essentials on July 28, 2022
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

A Battle of Supplies – Which Packing Materials for Moving Is Really Superior

When you finally decide to move, the next big task is figuring out what supplies you need to pack your belongings. Do you go for boxes or other storage options? Bubble wrap or newspaper? It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which of the packing materials for moving is the best, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’ll compare different kinds and help you decide which one will work best for your upcoming move.

Do You Really Need Packing Materials for Moving?

If you’re planning to move to another city, you may wonder if you really need to use boxes and packing supplies. After all, it can be tempting to just try to pack and relocate everything without any sort of protection. However, there are several good reasons why you should use quality supplies.

For one thing, these supplies can help to protect your belongings from damage during the move. If you’re just tossing things into the truck or car, they can shift around and get banged up. However, if you use supplies made for protecting items, you’ll be able to maximize their protection and avoid relocation mistakes.

They also make boxing up and unboxing easier. If you’re just throwing things into boxes, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for later on. However, these supplies can help you to keep things organized, so it will be much easier to find what you need after you move to a new home.

Finally, it can also help to prevent theft during the move. With the right supplies, your valuables won’t be out there in the open and will be much harder to find and steal.

However, if you plan on getting long-distance moving services, note that you won’t even have to think about packing materials. With additional packing services movers provide, bringing the right supplies becomes their responsibility – as well as making sure your belongings stay protected during the move.

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What Does Bubble Wrap Bring to the Table?

Bubble wrap is one of the greatest protective packaging materials, and here is why:

  • Your items will be safe from impact -the air-filled bubbles in these sheets prevent any pressure from affecting your things; it’s excellent protection against shocks and vibration.
  • It’s ideal for custom packaging – you can easily cut them with scissors to acquire the desired size and form. Large layers are suggested if you need to cover or protect a lot of irregularly shaped goods because they are pliable enough to wrap and protect the object completely.
  • It’s simple to use – bubble wrap can be utilized without any specific equipment. Additionally, because it’s simple to use, packing won’t take up much of your time.
  • It’s a lightweight material – the weight of your inventory has a significant impact on shipping prices, and nobody wants to incur additional shipping costs because of the bulky packaging. However, this material is very light and won’t increase the weight of your things.
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How to Use Bubble Wrap as One of the Essential Packing and Moving Supplies

As we said, this type of supply is pretty simple to use. Small sheets should be used for packaging fragile items, while larger pieces should be utilized when you need to move large objects, such as statues, vases, and technological equipment. It will provide the best cover for delicate breakables like a collection of teapots or snow globes or other smaller items like statuettes and miniatures.

For the best protection, always wrap goods with air bubbles facing inside. You can also use this material for packaging plates, glasses, and dishes; just ensure you place them in boxes vertically.

Woman covering wine glass with bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is a great material for protecting breakables

Are Boxes Mandatory Packing Supplies for Moving?

Boxes are essential supplies for each move. To make packaging simpler, we advise purchasing a range of box sizes and types. Get small ones for bulky and heavy objects, such as books, and big ones for lighter items, like cushions and pillows. Fragile things like dishes function nicely in midsize boxes with box dividers.

Additionally, if you have a limited relocation budget, you can get free boxes in establishments like supermarkets, recycling facilities, and office supply stores. You could even use social media to make a box request or look at online marketplaces such as Freecycle. However, if you choose this approach, pack carefully because secondhand boxes aren’t the same quality as new ones.

How to Choose the Right Size and Number of Boxes for Moving

When organizing a move and packaging process, one of the first things you need to do is figure out what size boxes and how many of them you’ll need. This can be a little tricky since there are a lot of different factors to consider. Still, everything is achievable with careful planning.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The size of your home

If you’re relocating from a small apartment, you’ll probably need fewer boxes than someone who’s planning to move from a large house. Make sure to take a look at the square footage of your home before you start packaging so you can estimate how many boxes you’ll need.

2. The number of rooms

The more rooms you have in your home, the more cardboard you’ll need. If you’re only moving a few items from each room, you can probably get away with using smaller boxes. But if you’re moving everything from every room in your house, you’ll need to use larger ones.

3. The type of items you're moving

Some items are more difficult to pack than others. If you’re moving a lot of heavy or fragile items, you’ll need to use stronger, sturdier boxes. But if you’re only moving lighter items, such as clothes and linens, you can use smaller ones.

4. The distance from your old to a new home

If you’re only moving a short distance, you might be able to get away with using fewer boxes. But if you’re relocating across the country, you’ll need to use more boxes to ensure that all of your belongings arrive safely at your new home.

5. The time of year

The time of year can also affect the number of boxes you’ll need. If you’re relocating during the summer, when most people do, you might have to use fewer boxes. But if you’re relocating during the winter, you may need more cardboard to help you insulate your belongings better.

Do You Really Need Packing Paper?

Have you ever questioned why a vase or pair of wine glasses came packaged in brown paper? It seems that relocation specialists prefer packing paper. This material, which is biodegradable, is used by many professionals, even long-distance movers that provide white glove service.

This is not only a more environmentally friendly option, but it’s also a material that can provide your items with exceptional protection. Moreover, it can also be layered, which gives the packed contents extra security and is form-fitting to the item you plan to pack. That is why this material should be a part of your relocating to another state checklist.

How to Use Packing Paper When Boxing Up Your Stuff?

This material can also be used for packaging dishes and other delicate objects. When preparing for a move, you can utilize it as filler to prevent objects from shifting. The best advice for using this material is to wrap your belongings in layers and make sure your boxes don’t have any empty space. A liberal amount of packing paper goes a long way, whether you’re using it for wrapping or padding the box.

Keep in mind that newspaper is a good substitute, but it comes with ink, which can damage your belongings in some cases. Additionally, note that, compared to bubble wrap, packing paper is less expensive and takes up less room. It may be used to wrap and cushion practically any item you plan to relocate. There is no doubt that using it can help you move efficiently.

Using Packing Peanuts – Yey or Nay?

While these tiny pieces of foam peanuts are helpful for filling empty space and keeping an object from shifting and damaging in transit, they are not particularly effective at preserving delicate or fragile things – they require being snugly wrapped in a layer of protection. However, this material is a good solution for flying empty spaces in boxes.

How to Use Packing Peanuts?

This material is pretty simple to use, just like those previously mentioned. Before you start, make sure you calculate the number of bags of foam peanuts you’ll need to fill your boxes. Then, place a layer of foam peanuts inside the box before adding the wrapped item to ensure that the box’s bottom is adequately padded. The remaining foam peanuts should then be used to fill the remaining space in the box.

A girl throwing packing peanuts after long-distance moving
Polystyrene is a material typically used to make foam peanuts.

What Are Other Supplies You Need for a Successful Packing Process?

Besides these most popular packing materials, there is a wide range of other supplies people use when boxing up their belongings. Depending on the size of the item you are packing and moving, you might also need to apply some of these:

1. Labeling materials

As you pack, you must provide each box with relocation labels. Everyone uses a different approach; some prefer the ease of writing on a box, whereas others prefer to create a color code using stickers. If you don’t have a last-minute move, use colorful box labels for a solution that is both extremely visible and easy to understand.

2. Packaging tape

Although you might be tempted to purchase the least expensive tape you can find, we suggest spending a little more money on the high-quality kind. Cheap tape frequently has poor sticking strength and is too thin to be easily applied. To save money and time, buy your tape in large rolls and use a tape gun to apply it rapidly.

3. Straps or rope for cargo

If you’re organizing a DIY move, utilize cargo rope or straps to prevent your belongings from shifting when you want to pack a relocation truck. Items that are not secured can move and harm things. Make sure your ropes are sturdy enough to hold down large pieces of furniture.

4. Ziplock bags

Ziplock bags are necessary for small objects and furniture pieces, such as batteries, brackets, screws, and the like. Those items are easily lost during the move, but zip bags will help you preserve them.

5. Mattress bags

Mattress bags are an excellent way to keep your mattresses clean and stain-free while relocating. However, before placing your mattress in a mattress bag, make sure it is totally dry – otherwise, you risk dealing with mold and mildew in the future.

6. Dish boxes

If you want to make packaging glasses and other fragile dishes simple, dish boxes are an excellent choice. Even if you can combine the aforementioned materials, some people find it simpler to get dish barrels to keep their delicate items protected.

7. Wardrobe boxes

Another form of a box that you might get away without ever using is a pricy wardrobe box. However, if you have expensive clothing that you want to carry with care or need to move in a hurry, they can come in handy.

Is There Really Only One Superior Packing Material for Moving?

So, what’s the best packing material for moving – and is there just one? The answer depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for more affordable and easy-to-find material, packing paper or foam peanuts may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for something that will provide the ultimate protection for your items, bubble wrap may be the better option.

On the other side, keep in mind that bubble wrap and foam peanuts are not eco-friendly options – if you’re environmentally conscious, you should use packing paper. Boxes are the only material with no alternative – although you can use substitutes for boxes in many cases, there is not a move that can pass without at least several of them.

Still, having suitable supplies at your disposal is not enough for organizing a successful move. You must also find out some good packaging tips. Start with relocation hacks from the video below:

YouTube video

Reach Out to Professional White Glove Movers and Make Moving Easier

If you want to take the stress out of relocation, consider hiring a white glove moving company. White glove moving services include everything from packing your boxes to loading them into the truck and unloading them at your new home with the utmost care. Additionally, bringing each box and packing supplies is also a part of their packing service. Let someone else worry about the best packing supplies. Reach out to white glove movers today and let them take that load off your shoulders – they certainly know how.

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