Having the correct moving supplies will make a huge difference when it comes to moving your home.
Sometimes it’s not always obvious to know what moving and packing supplies you’ll need. So, our moving & packing professionals have created this list of moving supplies that can serve as your “checklist” for your upcoming move. We have our list in order of pre-move packing supplies, pre-move home repair, and moving supplies if you are moving yourself. That way, you’ll be completely covered in all areas and be prepared for the movers on moving day.
Moving supplies can be purchased on sites like Amazon or stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s as well as from the moving company you choose, or these other places to get moving supplies. If you choose to buy on Amazon, we have provided links to their listings.
In my personal opinion, for cost and availability, moving supplies like boxes should be purchased from stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, or from your moving company, and other items like tape, packing paper, mattress bags etc., be purchased on Amazon. Boxes are less expensive and more available at stores and packing materials and tools less expensive and more available on Amazon.
Boxes (Small, Medium, & Large). When moving your home, you’ll likely need a combination of small, medium, and large-sized boxes. Moving boxes account for about 23% of the total cubic feet of your move. You can use this packing supplies calculator to get an idea of how many boxes and packing materials you will need based on certain criteria of your move. You will likely need more small boxes and mediums than large ones since they are easier to carry when packed with items. When packing your moving boxes, remember, that heavier items go into smaller boxes and lighter items go into large boxes.
Wardrobe Boxes. Wardrobe boxes are used for your hanging clothes and keep them safe and protected during transit. Wardrobe boxes hold about 2 feet of hanging clothes as well as about 6 pairs of shoes at the bottom if you choose. Unlike regular boxes, wardrobe boxes come with a metal bar that spans across the box to hang your clothes from. When trying to figure out how many wardrobe boxes you need, measure how many feet of hanging clothes you have and divide by two. That should give you the right amount of wardrobe boxes for your move. It’s always best to learn how to pack a wardrobe box before moving.
Dish Pack Boxes. Dish pack boxes are specifically used for packing fragile kitchen items or other breakable items you want to keep safe. Dish pack boxes are double walled thick to provide this extra protection. It’s always a good idea to use these boxes if you want lower the chance of your items from breaking during your move.
Picture Boxes. There are a few kinds of picture or mirror boxes you can choose from, but essentially, picture boxes come in either 2 or 4 pieces and will adjust to the size of what you are packing. For a quick picture pack, you may also use a regular box and break open the seam and wrap the box around the picture like so. Either way, you always want to keep your pictures and mirrors safe during your move.
Tapeless Moving Boxes. Tapeless moving boxes are one of my favorite types of boxes to use for moving and come in all different types. However, they are a bit more expensive than regular boxes you use tape. Another good thing about tapeless boxes is that they last longer than regular boxes since there is no tape that will peel away the sides. Consider the tapeless moving boxes if you can afford the cost and you want to keep and store the boxes to use for another move or another purpose.
Plastic Bins / Containers. It’s always good when moving to have some plastic storage containers. Aside from basic storage in the home, these containers can be used in the same way as moving boxes and will last for years. If you don’t have any of these storage containers already, consider picking up a few for your move.
Moving Storage Bags. These moving storage bags are great for lighter-weight items such as clothes, linens, comforters, and pillows. They are also great for when you are moving in a hurry and need to throw everything into a bag.
Packing Paper. Packing paper is the most common packing material that is used to keep your fragile items protected when packing your boxes. You use crumbled-up packing paper to line the boxes with cushioning and as well as individually wrapping each item. You need about 5 lbs of packing paper per room of your home (including garage, dining room, etc.).
Honeycomb Packing Paper. This type of packing paper is a more advanced packing paper and is specifically designed to provide protection for your fragile items. The concept is the same as regular packing paper but you can use less since it is engineered to provide impact protection with just one wrap.
Bubble Wrap. Bubble wrap provides some of the best protection for your fragile items. However, it is not very eco-friendly. Bubble wrap is great to use for very small collectibles, ceramic pieces or other items that need that extra layer of protection.
Cushion Foam. Cushion foam is great to use for plates and bowls that need to be safely protected within your boxes. You’ll still need to use some type of packing paper to pad the boxes to keep the plates and bowls inside from shifting around when being moved.
Vacuum Storage Bags. Space bags are great space savers if you are using your car to move or moving yourself. I highly recommend these and have personally used them myself when moving across the country in a small SUV.
Packing Tape. Packing tape is an essential for closing and securing your boxes. You will need 1 roll of tape for every 10 or so boxes. Here are some ideas on using moving tape and how to properly pack a moving box.
Tape Dispenser. Tape dispensers are a great and efficient way to tape your boxes without having to use scissors or ruining your teeth. If you don’t know how these work you can learn how to use a tape dispenser prior to moving.
Mattress Bags. Whether you are hiring movers, moving yourself, or moving into storage, mattress bags are ESSENTIAL to have when moving. You should have one for each mattress and box spring and make sure to get the right sizes for your mattress. Mattress bags keep your mattress from getting dirty and picking up bed bugs during your move. Here’s how to use a mattress bag to protect your mattress.
Flat Screen TV Cover. These flat screen TV covers will provide scratch resistance when moving. You will still need to pack your TV into a box, but these are great to place over your tv prior to packing them into the box. If you are moving yourself here is a great video on how to pack and move your tv.
Razor Knife. If you don’t have one of these laying around already, then you may want to pick up one up. These are great for opening boxes and cutting the packing tape if you’re not using a tape dispenser.
Markers. Markers are used to label your moving boxes and if you don’t have some already, be sure to pick some up. You should mark your boxes on the top and on the sides.
Labels. If you don’t want to write directly on your moving boxes, then labels will help since you can peel off the labels after your move.
Wall Hole Repair Kit. This wall repair kit is great if you are looking to move and need to repair the holes in the walls from pictures and other hanging items. Filling holes can help contribute to getting your full security deposit back from your landlord.
Carpet Stain Treatment. Whether you are selling your home or leaving as a renter, you may be needing to remove some carpet stains. This carpet stain treatment works great and will help remove those stains.
Hardwood Floor Markers. These markers are great for hiding scratched hardwood floors as well as any knicks and dings to furniture that may be a result of the move.
Large Trash Bags. You’ll likely need quite a bit of trash bags when moving. Whether you need to thow away stuff you no longer need or have a bag for donations, it’s always a great thing to have when moving.
Stretch Wrap. The moving company typically provides this moving supply, but if you are moving yourself and not hiring movers, you’ll likely need some stretch wrap to secure and protect furniture during transit.
Gloves. Moving is quite labor-intensive and also harsh on your hands. These gloves are great for protecting your hands as well as moving furniture by providing a great grip when moving.
Moving Back Saver Straps. If you are moving yourself, you’ll likely have to lift heavy furniture and these straps are great to help lift those items without breaking your back.
Moving Blankets. The moving company will provide use of moving blankets to help with protecting the furniture for moving.
Roof Bag. If you are moving yourself, and using your car these roof bags are super helpful. With these bags, it’s a good idea to get plastic bins that fit into the bag appropriately.
Tool Set. Tools are just a great thing to have when moving. You’ll likely use them when disassembling furniture when moving.
Packing Your Home
Aside from just acquiring the right packing supplies, we want to share some important rules for packing. For a successful and stress-free move, it’s vital to follow these general rules for packing and moving your home.
- Allow yourself enough time – The biggest mistake people make when moving is doing all the packing last minute which causes a lot of stress. Make sure you acquire your packing materials as soon as possible and start to pack items you don’t use on a daily basis first.
- Don’t create boxes that are too heavy to lift – Heavy items should go into small boxes and light items go into large boxes. If you create a box that is too heavy, you or the movers will have trouble lifting it and it could easily break during transit.
- Create a packing station – The best place to create your packing station is either your dining room table or your kitchen island. Having a station will allow you to pack your items quickly and efficiently.
- Use plenty of packing paper on your fragile items – When packing your fragile items in to boxes, be sure to line the box with packing paper on the bottom, then place each item individually wrapped next, then another layer of packing paper on top to secure everything in place to keep the contents from moving around in the box. Everything should be snug in place.
- Use quality boxes that are similar in size – It’s best to use boxes that can easily be stacked and put onto a dolly and rolled onto a moving truck. It may be cheaper to find used free boxes at a department store, but it will make it much harder when it comes to moving.
Moving Without Movers
If you are hiring a moving company, most movers will provide all of the moving supplies needed to actually protect your furniture and safely transport your items.
If you are moving yourself and renting a truck from Uhaul or other moving truck rental service, you’ll likely need these moving and packing supplies below which may be provided to you for rental from the moving truck rental service:
- Furniture Blankets
- Two-Wheeled Dollies
- Four-Wheeled Dollies
- Stretch Wrap
- Rope & Tie Downs
- Strong Helpers
Where To Get Packing Supplies
While the easiest place to get packing supplies is on Amazon or stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Uhaul stores, if you’re on a budget there are other places you can get affordable supplies if you’re willing to do the work to get them. Here are a few places to get these moving & packing supplies.
Craigslist / Offer Up – Craigslist or other similar sites or apps are some of the best places to get free boxes and other packing supplies. If you check listings in your area every single day early enough before you move, you should be able to collect boxes and other supplies bit by bit until you have enough. Make sure you check out the pictures in the posts to see if the boxes are good enough quality for your move. Sometimes you’ll be able to get boxes that have only been used once and are in practically new condition.
Facebook Marketplace – Facebook Marketplace is another great place where people are posting their free used boxes and packing supplies. For the most part, people want to get rid of their supplies after their move, and are willing to give them all away for free. Facebook makes is very easy for people to buy and sell items nearby. Whether you’re looking for used boxes and packing materials, or trying to get rid of your used boxes and packing materials, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to see what other people have to offer in your area.
Ask Your Moving Company – Sometimes moving companies will give you or let you use their used boxes in exchange for your business. Always ask your moving company what they can offer you in terms of packing supplies. Sometimes movers will let you rent boxes, some have plastic rentable bins to use, some will let you use wardrobes for free on moving day, and some will sell you other supplies for cheaper than you can buy in stores of online. Always ask.
Walmart – Walmart also offers moving boxes. Although just a bit more expensive than the other department stores, what is good about these boxes is that some of them have built-in handles. This makes them much easier to carry than those from the other stores. Walmart also offers
Furniture Stores, Electronic Stores, Department Stores
These kinds of stores usually have tons of cardboard boxes they recycle every day. If you go in and ask the manager if you can have some of their used cardboard boxes for their move, they will likely let you take some. But of course, using boxes of different sizes may be more difficult when moving. Whatever you to, just don’t go to grocery stores to do this. Boxes from grocery stores often are soiled in food and not suitable for moving.
Moving doesn’t have to be difficult. If you plan ahead and have the right moving & packing supplies it can be a whole lot easier. We hope this list helps!