One of the first and most essential things any person does before they get ready for moving day is pack. You need to get everything out of your current abode and into a new one, and the best way to do that is by putting it all in boxes and bags for easy transport. But, as any New Yorker knows, packing is a lot more complicated than jamming items into boxes! There’s a lot to consider when it comes to safe packing, and lots of different packing supplies meant to help you pack the right way.
While we’re all familiar with boxes and packing peanuts, there are some packing supplies that many people aren’t aware of. We’ve come a long way from the days of dilapidated cardboard boxes! Today’s essential packing supplies are more advanced than most people realize, and cover a variety of different options. Here’s a look at essential moving supplies and what’s available to you if you’re getting ready to move.
- Boxes: Boxes are the old staple for packing—the one thing everyone needs when they decide to relocate. But not just any old boxes will do! Make sure you’re getting boxes specifically designed for moving, sourced from a moving and storage provider. Moving boxes will have reinforced seams and resistance to crumpling, making them easier to lift, stack and pack. Some boxes even include handle cutouts for handling ease.
- Cushion material: For anything that might get damaged or disrupted during a move, cushioning material is a must-have packing material. Your options are extensive here, including traditional packing peanuts and modern-day air-cushioned packets. Packing peanuts are great for filling the gaps between smaller items, while air-cushioned packets are ideal for preventing shifting of larger items in the box.
- Labeling materials: Every box you pack should be labeled. Not only will this reduce the number of headaches you have when it comes time to unpack, it also helps coordinate your move and ensures items are handled appropriately. A box labeled “glassware” will get special attention to prevent breakage, while a box labeled “books” will go straight to whatever room the bookshelf is in. Labeling also sets expectations for movers—the “books” box is likely going to be much heavier than the “glassware” box.
- Packing tape: Boxes need to be sealed before they can be moved. The last thing you want is for a box to tip over onto its side and spill its content all over the ground! Good packing tape will have strong tensile strength and great adhesion, to prevent the box from flopping open if it’s jostled. Avoid just using any old tape you have laying around (masking tape, scotch tape). Spend the few dollars for packing tape and have peace of mind that your boxes are sealed tight.
- Garment bags: Can’t bear to fold your suits in half? Transporting a wedding dress that deserves better than a box? Garment bags are the solution! These bags are available in all sizes—many are even designed for specific garments, like wedding dresses. They zipper shut to seal out any dust, debris or other detractors, with only a small slot for hangers to poke through. Pair garment bags with a garment rack to make sure your formalwear never lays flat or gets crumpled during the move!
- Cargo or ratchet straps: Whether you’re securing a heavy object to a pallet or stabilizing an oversized item after it’s loaded into a moving truck, ratchet straps are a must-have packing item. They’re easy to use and bring much-needed stability to moving large, heavy or awkwardly-sized items. Drape them around an anchor point, wrap the object, ratchet them tight and they’ll keep everything exactly where it needs to be until you release the strap.
- Furniture pads: Most people assume furniture will be fine after it’s loaded into a moving truck. The problem is, leather and fabric are both susceptible to damage if left unprotected. All it takes is a sliding wood dresser to put a tear in your couch or a puncture in your chair! Furniture pads protect sharp corners and vulnerable areas of furniture, so they’re not harmed and don’t harm anything around them. Furniture pads are also essential for furniture with glass inserts that can’t be removed.
- Furniture covers: Furniture covers are great for items that need to be completely covered for any reason. Glass tables, the felt surface on pool tables and pianos are all candidates for furniture covers. Covers not only reduce the risk of blemishes or abrasions to these delicate materials, they also keep them safe from the elements—if it’s raining during the move, for example. It’s simple enough to drape a cover over a piece of furniture and well worth the effort. It’s a lot more cost effective to cover furniture than it is to repair it.
- Plastic wrap: Plastic wrap is a great way to contain and protect larger items. For example, if you’re moving appliances, wrapping a fridge in plastic before it goes onto a dolly is a great way to keep the door shut and prevent scuffing on the surface of the appliance. It’s also great for furniture like armoires and bookcases, which might have shelves or doors that swing if not secured.
- Miscellaneous supplies: In addition to the above essential packing supplies, New Yorkers are wise to adopt a slew of other, smaller items if they’re planning on packing up their belongings. Grab a sharpie, utility knife, tie wraps, colored stickers and anything else that makes it easy to pack and identify boxes!
Even beyond the above items, packing supplies have gone high-tech. You can find barcode labels online that let you pack your boxes and scan them with your smartphone for a quick inventory. Likewise, movers will also have packing supplies and equipment on-hand, so you don’t have to hunt items down yourself.
If you’re packing up your many household objects in preparation for a move, make sure you’re starting strong with the right packing supplies. If you’re not sure of what you need, contact moving professionals to get some quick tips for packing and a reliable resource for quality packing supplies.