Don't Forget These Must-Have Packing Supplies the Next Time You Move

Claire Nicholas

By Claire Nicholas

May 20, 2024

Packing your stuff to move in to your new apartment can be a real headache. From anticipation of moving day to executing the move, there are so many parts you can’t control — which is why it’s important to take advantage of the elements you can control.  

If you’re prepared with all the packing supplies you need when you wake up on moving day, you can minimize that headache and optimize the chances of everything running smoothly as you settle into your new home. No last-minute trips to the store, no sacrificed fragile items, and nothing lost in the shuffle. Just your life, neatly packed into moving boxes, ready to start fresh in a brand-new space, stress-free.

How to Protect Your Valuables When Moving

Because of all the lifting, pivoting, and storing in the back of moving trucks, moving puts your most valued items at risk whether they’re large or small. Here are some packing materials that will help minimize damage.  

Bubble wrap. You might be tempted to simply use clothes or other fabrics to wrap your delicate items. When it comes to replaceable dishes and mugs, for example, using this will suffice. But for those expensive and sentimental items like antique pottery, TVs, expensive frames and mirrors, and lamps, bubble wrap is the way to go (and, of course, packing tape to finish the job). Packing paper will also work in a pinch.

Tip: Lay the bubble wrap bubble side up when you’re wrapping your fragile valuables, so that the flat part is facing out when you are finished. 

Mattress bags. The last thing you want is to begin unpacking your U-Haul and discover that your mattress is stained or punctured. Since it’s where you sleep every night, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected from things like grease and dirt, allergens, dust, and other particles and substances it may encounter during the move. Reusable mattress bags come in different shapes and materials and at different price points, but they’re generally inexpensive. Bonus: They can easily be stored for next time! 

Tip: If you want to keep your move as green as possible, opt for a reusable bag or a recyclable material instead of disposable plastic bags.

Packing peanuts. If you’re going moving far enough away that you are shipping some valuable items, packing peanuts will be a must-have item for your move. They provide extra cushioning in addition to your bubble wrap by taking up any extra space in your cardboard boxes, preventing your items from shifting and breaking in transit. You won’t have to worry about excess shipping costs, either, as they add very little weight to boxes. 

Tip: Once you’re done opening boxes, don’t reach for the trash bag; you can reuse packing peanuts for different at-home hacks. 

How to Protect Your Body When Moving

If you’ve decided to take on your move yourself without hiring professional movers to lift your heavy items, you’ll want to consider some moving solutions to help you avoid injuries from lifting, cutting, and carrying. Here’s what the pros use. 

Moving straps. To avoid unnecessary strain on your back when lifting everything from furniture to your heaviest boxes, use moving straps to lighten your load with heavy-duty boxes. You simply place your item on top of the straps (or thread the straps beneath the item) and wear the connected suspenders around your shoulders to carry the item more comfortably. The item will likely still feel heavy, but the straps will allow you to maintain healthy posture and avoid back injuries. Plus, you’ll be less likely to drop the item you’re transporting, keeping it safer from damage. 

Tip: It’s always helpful to phone a friend for your move — the more people, the less each person has to lift. 

Dollies. Instead of lifting and carrying your large boxes or even pushing them across the floor, you can use dollies to avoid the hassle and stack several boxes at once and wheel them from point A to point B. You can rent larger moving dollies by the hour or day from your nearby Home Depot, or you can invest in a smaller one to help you with day-to-day needs. You never know when it might come in handy with gardening, transporting bulky items around the house, future moves, etc.  

Tip: Dollies are especially useful if you’ll have to transport your items a significant distance, like if you don’t have a nearby parking spot for your moving vehicle. 

Bubble wrap (part II). Relocating your knives is another way you can easily get injured during packing and unpacking. If you wrap your knives in both cloth and bubble wrap and tape the wrap securely to the handle (ensuring the cloth and bubble wrap doesn’t slide off the blade), you’ll be much less likely to need a first-aid kit. While you wrap, wear gardening gloves or other sturdy hand-wear for extra protection. 

Tip: If your knives have blade covers already, then the hard part is done — just tape the blade covers to the knife handles to make sure they don’t slide off in transit. If you put any sharp or potentially dangerous objects in a box, just make sure to be diligent about labeling them.

The moving process is never completely smooth from start to finish, but why risk putting a damper on your exciting day by being unprepared? Whether you’re moving across the city or across the country, with the help of a moving company or alone, take control of your move and be prepared with the right moving supplies to protect both your items and your body. You got this! 

For more suggestions on how to pack items for a move, check out our other packing tips like how to pack your books for a move or how to pack your plants for a move.

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