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Last updated Apr 19, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Packing Supplies for a Smooth Move

When it comes to planning a move, selecting the right moving boxes and packing supplies might not be the first thing on your mind, but it's a crucial aspect that can make your relocation smoother and more efficient

The Ultimate Guide to Packing Supplies for a Smooth Move SVL

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Moving can be a whirlwind of emotions – excitement for a new chapter, stress about logistics, and maybe even a tinge of nostalgia for your old place. But amidst the chaos, one crucial aspect often gets overlooked: choosing the right packing supplies. Having the best boxes for moving, proper cushioning materials, and essential packing tools can make a world of difference in the success of your relocation.

This comprehensive guide equips you with all the knowledge you need to navigate the world of packing supplies. Whether you're a seasoned mover or a first-timer embarking on your very first relocation, this article will ensure your belongings arrive at their new destination safe and sound.

Selecting the Perfect Moving Boxes

Gone are the days of scrambling around for random cardboard boxes. Choosing the right moving boxes is the foundation for a stress-free move. Here's what you need to consider:

Durability is Key:

Don't skimp on box quality! Opt for sturdy, double-walled cardboard boxes that can withstand the weight of your belongings without collapsing or tearing. Look for boxes with reinforced seams and corners for added strength.

Specialty Boxes:

For precious items that require extra protection, consider investing in specialty boxes. Wardrobe boxes allow you to hang clothes directly inside the box, minimizing wrinkles and keeping them dust-free. Mirror and picture frame boxes offer a secure fit for fragile artwork. Don't forget about mattress covers to protect your mattresses from dirt and dust during transport.

Beyond the Box: Essential Packing Materials

Now that you've got your boxes covered, let's explore the best packing materials for moving to ensure your belongings are cushioned and protected:

Bubble Wrap:

This classic packing material is a lifesaver for fragile items like glassware, electronics, and decorative pieces. Bubble wrap's air pockets absorb bumps and jolts during transport, minimizing the risk of breakage.

Packing Paper:

An eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, packing paper is a great choice for cushioning dishes, ceramics, and other non-fragile items. Packing paper can also be used to fill empty spaces in boxes, preventing items from shifting around.

Packing Peanuts:

These lightweight, biodegradable peanuts are ideal for filling empty spaces in boxes and absorbing shock. They provide an extra layer of protection for delicate items and prevent them from breaking during the move. However, be aware that some moving companies might restrict the use of packing peanuts due to potential mess and environmental concerns. Check with your mover beforehand if you plan on using them.

Packing Tape:

The unsung hero of any move, packing tape is essential for securely sealing your boxes. Invest in high-quality packing tape that's strong enough to withstand the weight and potential jostling during transport. Avoid using masking tape or painter's tape, as these won't hold up over time.

Marking Pens:

Clear and concise labeling is crucial for a smooth unpacking process. Use permanent markers with bold colors to label your boxes with the contents and the room they belong to. This will save you time and frustration when you reach your new destination.

Moving Essentials You Can't Forget

Beyond boxes and packing materials, there are some additional moving essentials that can make your relocation much easier:

Furniture Covers:

Protect your furniture from dust, scratches, and dings with furniture covers. These come in various sizes to fit sofas, chairs, tables, and other furniture pieces.

Packing Knives:

A good packing knife is a must-have for opening boxes, cutting tape, and breaking down cardboard after the move.


Scissors are a handy tool for cutting packing materials, trimming tape, and opening sealed packages.

Dolly or Hand Truck:

For heavy furniture and appliances, a dolly or hand truck will be your best friend. These tools will significantly reduce strain on your back and make transporting heavy items much easier.

Moving Blankets:

Moving blankets are thick, padded cloths that provide extra protection for furniture during transport. They can be used to wrap furniture legs, tables, or appliances to prevent scratches and dents.

Finding the Perfect Packing Supplies for Your Budget

With so many options available, finding the right packing supplies at an affordable price is key. Here are some tips to stretch your moving budget:

  • Shop around: Compare prices at different retailers before making a purchase. Local hardware stores, big-box stores, and online retailers often have competitive offers on moving supplies. Don't forget to factor in shipping costs when considering online retailers.
  • Buy used boxes: Check online marketplaces or local classifieds for people selling used moving boxes. Many people sell sturdy cardboard boxes leftover from their own moves at discounted prices.
  • Get creative with free options: Ask friends, family, or local businesses if they have any spare boxes you can use. Grocery stores and liquor stores often have sturdy cardboard boxes that they're happy to give away for free. Just be sure the boxes are clean and in good condition before using them.
  • Reuse what you have: Towels, blankets, and sheets can be used as eco-friendly alternatives to packing paper for cushioning fragile items.
  • Borrow from friends: Moving straps, dollies, and furniture covers can be expensive to purchase if you only need them for a short time. See if you can borrow these items from friends or family members who have recently moved.

Packing Supplies for Different Needs

Moving on a Budget:

If you're on a tight budget, prioritize buying enough small and medium boxes for heavier items and essential packing materials like bubble wrap and packing tape. For larger, lightweight items, you can get creative and use free or borrowed boxes and cushioning materials like towels and blankets.

Long-Distance Move:

For long-distance moves, invest in high-quality, double-walled boxes for maximum protection. Packing peanuts can be a good option for filling empty spaces in boxes and preventing items from shifting during a long journey.

Moving Fragile Items:

For a move with a lot of fragile items like artwork, electronics, or antiques, consider purchasing specialty boxes and packing materials like bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts.

Packing Tips for Efficiency

Here are some additional packing tips to streamline the process and ensure a smooth move:

  • Start early: Don't wait until the last minute to start packing. Begin by packing items you won't need in the lead-up to the move, such as seasonal clothes, decorations, and out-of-season dishes.
  • Pack room by room: This approach makes unpacking at your new place much easier. Label each box clearly with the room it belongs to.
  • Distribute weight evenly: Don't overload boxes, especially those containing heavy items like books or dishes. Distribute weight evenly within boxes to prevent them from breaking during transport.
  • Fill empty spaces: Use packing peanuts, packing paper, or even crumpled up clothes to fill empty spaces in boxes. This will prevent items from shifting around and getting damaged.


By following this comprehensive guide and choosing the right packing supplies for your needs and budget, you can ensure your belongings arrive at your new home safe and sound. Remember, a little planning and preparation go a long way in making your move a stress-free and successful experience. Now, with the knowledge you've gained, you're ready to tackle your move with confidence and get settled into your new chapter!

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article author avatar SVL

Desten Musoni

Senior Manager

As a Senior Manager of Star Van lines, There is nothing that keeps me up at night more than thinking about being one of the best company in the nation and providing an impeccable service to each of our customers. With the unique experience of being responsible for the relocation of the many customers around the nation for 5+ years. Proven to be instrumental in developing processes that allow for timely and cost-effective project and move management. Through the many challenges that are presented in relocating people and their items the ability to manage any size project presented has been gained. Energetic and resourceful professional proficient in project management and team leadership. Innate problem solving abilities and customer service skills. We are providing an impeccable service with teams of movers that are experienced. We have customer service support available for any updates as soon as the job info is booked until at the delivery and most of the time I am involved as well to deal with complex issues if any occurs. Customers are our primary priority, so we do our best to get the jobs done properly with efficiency. We have more than 20+ trucks and trailers.