Selecting the Best Packing Materials

Two people loading a flatscreen television into a box.Anticipating a move often involves a lot of planning, including the type of packaging you will need to keep your belongings safe. In this article, we will explore some of the most commonly used packing methods for those hard-to-protect items in your home. From furniture to those items that do not fit in a traditionally sized box, find the best packing options for your move below!

When moving furniture, professional movers may tell you it is perfectly fine to leave your clothing and other personal items stored inside the drawers because they will wrap the drawers and cabinet doors closed. Then, they will use blankets, mattresses, and other softer materials to protect the pieces from damage when being transported. The great news is these guys are pros! So, you can feel good knowing your belongings are in good hands. 

While this system does work well for professional movers, the heavier the item the longer it may take to load and unload. Plus, wrapping takes time as well. More time equals a higher moving cost. Therefore, it is economically speaking a good idea to do as much of the packing work yourself before the movers arrive, whether they are friends or pros. Start by removing stored items from the furniture before disassembling it into smaller more manageable components whenever possible. Place cloth or paper in hollow spaces and over protruding ornamental components. Cover glass or fragile pieces with cardboard whenever possible.

After the furniture is ready for travel, secure it with blankets using tape, shrink wrap your entire piece, and tape corrugated cardboard around the exposed legs. By purchasing your own moving blankets starting at less than $6 per blanket and wrapping your items yourself, you will avoid the blanket loan fees and ensure your items are ready for quicker transport thereby reducing the overall move time. As an added bonus, you will be able to re-use the blankets for picnics, car protection with hauling lumber and other awkward items, and more!

Items Containing Fabric
Thankfully, this one is easy. There is a special bag for mattresses, couches, and even linens. This keeps any dust or debris out of the fabric and protects the items from spills and other damage as well. Be sure to tape a blanket around the sofa and corrugated cardboard around the exposed legs added protection.

Packing China and Stemware
If you have a lot of glassware and plates to move, you are in luck! There are kitchen box kits specially designed for transporting glasses and plates. They come with glass and/or plate partitions and the box designed to hold the partitions, so all you have to supply is the protective plate and glass sleeve wrappers. If you have more dishes than glasses or vice versa, you can buy the glassware kits separately from the plate kits where the foam pouches are included. 

Fragile Items
No flimsy hand-me-down boxes for these items! Save those for clothes and towels that can be washed if they fall through. Anything that may break during a move should be packed with bubble wrap before being placed in a sturdy box. With flat fragile items, such as glass shelving, place a piece of cardboard on both sides and wrap it with bubble wrap before taping it to secure the item for travel. All boxes containing fragile belongings should have the label "Fragile", "This side up", and "Handle with care" written on them.

Did you throw away the box your television came in? Don't worry! Much like the dishes and glassware, there are flat-screen television boxes that resemble the manufacturer's box with a foam bag and protective corners. Use this box for easy transport and peace-of-mind.

Books and Small Kitchen Appliances
While clothing and lightweight items are fairly easy to pack in almost any box, books are another matter. Loose heavy items such as books and small kitchen appliances should be placed in a heavy-duty small box for fast loading. For the kitchen appliances, prevent dings and scratches by packing any spaces with paper or cloth.

Do not try to overload heavy boxes to prevent having to buy another $5 box. The over cramming will only serve to slow the moving time down as the boxes will require more people or effort. Time spent loading and unloading is usually much more expensive than boxes on moving day!

To recap, proper packing requires packing tape, a good dispenser, a sharp box cutter, a few large permanent markers for labeling, several blankets, the right box for the item, extra corrugated cardboard for the furniture legs, and loads of bubble wrap and shrink wrap. With these tools and a good night's sleep, you will be a packing pro in no time!