Essential Packing Materials for a Move
You’re moving! Congratulations (assuming they’re in order - commiserations if not.)
Moving can be a stressful time, and we have blogged several times here on how to make it easier, including:
We trust these guides will be useful and feel it’s a good moment to talk about packing materials – about what to use and when. (Ordering them in advance will remove a lot of the pain and save time, but may also save you money by ordering ‘packs’ from your mover or from a reputable supplier.)
1. Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes are the mainstay of any move. Recyclable and sturdy, they also let things breathe, and if you get good quality ones, as long as they are kept dry they make a great balance of weight/strength to keep your belongings safe.
This is only true, of course, if you pack them well. There are numerous helpful tips for different types of items on the easyStorageBoxes blog.
To avoid accidents, remember to put lighter things in big boxes (think quilts etc) and heavy and fragile things in smaller ones. Moving heavy boxes can create long term back problems. It’s a little arbitrary, but there are many who recommend that packed boxes weigh no more than 30-50 pounds, roughly 15-22kg. So despite being fantastically easy to pack, put books in smaller boxes for ease of lifting. (Reach for the bathroom scales.)
£2.50 per box inc VAT
£3. 50 per box inc VAT
£4. 50 per box inc VAT
2. Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap should be made of strong, durable, heavy-duty materials that offer protection and cushioning from damage in transit.
Note that there is a right and wrong way to use bubble wrap: air pockets facing inward to act as a soft buffer to the items being wrapped. The static will stop slippage. The smooth side, outside, is then also easier to dust/clean off, and is not collecting dirt between pockets. This smooth outer side is also easier to tape.
Bubble wrap is great for moving: the bubble side will adhere gently to what’s inside, preventing slippage. However, modern materials used for bubble wrap can disintegrate over time, sticking permanently to things it’s there to protect. Therefore, although it’s unlikely to happen, bubble wrap is not highly recommended for really long term storage.
£28 inc VAT
£28 per roll inc VAT
3. Packing Tape
Choosing the wrong tape leaves you open to damage. Look at the tape’s grade if strength matters - its thickness and the level of adhesive. Lower grades are thin and less tacky. They have their place: sometimes you need something that will peel away easily – but not usually when you’re moving boxes around. Higher quality tapes are also less likely to break or tear, so choosing the right tape is as important as those boxes.
Although it’s easy, taping can be a boring and repetitious task, so easyStorage also provides a Pistol Grip 50mm pistol-style tape gun to make taping boxes quick, easy, and enjoyable. Ergonomic, it can be comfortably held in one hand or both and can wrap up to 30 feet of tape at a time and you can spend less time taping.
easyStorage Heavy Duty Packing Tape W48mm x L66m
£2.50 per roll inc VAT
easyStorage Pistol Grip 50mm Packing Tape Guns
£7.95 each inc VAT
4. Packing Labels/pens
Each box should be marked with where it’s headed or arrival - for example, which room - what’s inside, which end is top and bottom, and ‘Fragile’ if appropriate.
Whether you choose to do this with labels, pens, print outs, don’t skip this stage. For the sake of a few moments, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and headaches when looking for things on arrival: according to a recent survey by a US tape manufacturer, it takes Americans an average 182 days to unpack their last box after moving to a new house.
Our marker pens are the perfect tool for marking your boxes. Not only will our marker pen aid in remembering what is in the box, but it also allows for the box to remain as clean-looking as possible.
£1.30 each inc VAT
5. Moving Blankets and stretch wrap (‘cling film’)
Moving blankets (sometimes called furniture padding) are used to protect large items like furniture and white goods during a move. They absorb shock and help protect what they are covering. (They are also good seat covers for the inevitable last-minute things you move with you in your car.)
A layer of the stretch wrap can be used to secure the blanket to the item. Leather and wood should never have stretch wrap directly applied. Stretch wrap is impervious to small amounts of water and so offers a layer of protection of its own, but is poor for long term packing: because it’s impervious it can prevent things from ‘breathing’ or drying out, encouraging mould.
But as a measure while moving, it’s great not only for holding those protective blankets in place as it sticks to itself, not the object being wrapped, but also holds small items together – things like sets of tent pegs, matching kitchen utensils, makeup brushes etc, where tape might damage them when removed.
A good quality stretch wrap (as opposed to a cheap supermarket one) will be thicker and more durable than average and will prove virtually scratch-proof, protecting what’s underneath.
easyStorage Protective Van / Car Blanket 150cm x 200cm
£4.25 inc VAT
£11.50 inc VAT
6. Other useful items to have available
Other things that are useful to have to hand, but which you probably won’t need to go out and acquire just for the move, include:
- Your toolset for breaking things down – and fixing them back together
- Cleaning materials for cleaning off what needs packing and for cleaning on arrival at your new place.
- Rubbish bags, because you’ll be throwing things out (won’t you?)
- Existing spare bags and suitcases for using for packing/carrying things
- Bathroom scales (as above!)
Perhaps we should also add a kettle (or fridge full of beer/wine for the helpers – but don’t pack drunk!), and a sense of humour.