Packing for a move is stressful. Imagine trying to move without the right cardboard boxes or packing material! Everything except furniture and household appliances usually gets packed in moving boxes to keep your belongings safe and organized.

On The Move has all the moving boxes and packing supplies you need for your in-town or cross-country move, including bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, and blankets. Whether you hire our trained movers to pack your belongings, or you decide to do it yourself, we are here to help! Here is a handy guide to help you figure out what packing supplies and how many boxes you need for your big move!

Packing Supplies List

There are a lot of packing supplies on the market. Here’s what On The Move recommends using to pack your belongings safely:

Boxes: Cardboard moving boxes are essential to keep all your belongings safe and in one place

Packing tape: You will need packing tape for putting the boxes together and for sealing them when they are full. Be sure to purchase an extra roll or two of tape. You will probably use more than you anticipate. Don’t try to save money with the dollar store packing tape, especially if you are embarking on a long-distance move. Cheap packing tape loses its “hold” quickly and tends to tear easier. You don’t want your belongings to spill out the bottom of a box because the tape broke or lost its “stick”!

Plastic wrap: This is a handy packing material to keep items together and prevent things from shifting around; packing specific plastic wrap and grocery store cling-wrap work equally well. Plastic wrap is also handy for avoiding leaky bottles inside boxes.

Packing Paper: Packing paper provides extra cushioning and stability in boxes with fragile items. Use it to wrap dishes, sharp objects, and other breakables or to fill space in boxes to keep things from shifting around. Only use ink-free paper to avoid ink stains on your belongings.

Bubble wrap: Bubble wrap is excellent for protecting extra-fragile items like glass, ceramic, and porcelain. (Of course, bubble wrap is always good for a few minutes of de-stressing entertainment when you unpack in your new house.)

Plastic baggies: Baggies of all sizes are the unsung heroes of organized moves. Ziploc sandwich bags are perfect for keeping small items like screws, bolts, and other hardware safe after you remove them to disassemble your furniture. Write the contents on the outside of the baggie to remember what the contents belong to. Tape the baggies inside drawers or somewhere safe (or keep them with you for extra safe-keeping).

Permanent Markers: Use a Sharpie or other permanent marker to write the contents of each box on the outside or label what room it belongs in. If you have several family members, consider color-coding the box labels for fast and easy sorting in your new home.

How Many Boxes Do You Really Need?

Cardboard boxes can be the most significant packing expense of the move. It can be challenging to figure out how many boxes you will need. You don’t want to purchase too many or the wrong size boxes and have them go to waste. Too few boxes will cost you precious time making extra trips to the store to buy more.

The significant factors to consider when estimating the number of boxes to purchase are:

  • The number of bedrooms: More rooms usually mean more belongings to box up.
  • Square footage and number of people: Homes with more square footage usually have more personal belongings that need packing and moving. And, of course, more people means more stuff.
  • How long have you lived in your current home: The more time spent in one home usually means more accumulated things. Take time to declutter before you move to help reduce the number of boxes you need and lower your overall moving costs.
  • Lifestyle: Are you a minimalist who hates keeping things, or a packrat who can’t get rid of anything?
  • Packing style: are you a “toss it in and hope it all fits” kind of person? Or, do you view packing as a lifesize Tetris challenge to see how much you can fit into each box?

It is also essential to purchase the right size boxes to hold all your things. There are four standard moving box sizes available:

  • Small: typically measures 18” x 18” x 16” (1.5 cubic feet)
  • Medium: approximate measurements 16” x 12” x 12” (3 cubic feet)
  • Large: usually measures 18” x 18” x 24” (4.5 cubic feet)
  • Extra-large: approximate measurements 24” x 18” x 24” (6 cubic feet)

Specialty moving boxes help you pack clothing, kitchen items, picture frames, and other unique items:

  • Dish barrel boxes: These are ideal for packing fragile items like glasses, plates, and delicate antiques. Dish barrels are double-walled for more protection.
  • Book boxes: Perfect for the bookworms who have their own library, book boxes easily fit books with minimal wasted space. Book boxes have dimensions 12” x 12” x 12”.
  • Wardrobe boxes: These boxes are designed to move hanging garments and reduce the chance of damaging your expensive clothing. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different size wardrobes.
  • Mirror and picture boxes: These specialty boxes protect your framed items from being bent or damaged during the move. They are available in several sizes to handle even large framed paintings. If you own very large or unusually shaped frames, moving experts may recommend building a custom box for added protection.

Most moving calculators estimate that people need about ten small boxes, eight medium boxes, and five large boxes for each room in their house. So, two people living a modest lifestyle would probably use:

  • 15 medium boxes
  • 13 large boxes
  • 7 extra-large boxes
  • 4 wardrobe boxes

Remember, each household is unique, and every move is different. On The Move movers can help you purchase the right number and size of boxes and other packing materials. When in doubt, it’s always better to get a little extra packing material and a few more boxes than you think you will need.

Moving Day Supplies List

When the day of the big move finally arrives, if you aren’t hiring professional movers, make sure you have all the right tools and supplies to get the job done safely.

Dollies: Dollies or hand trucks are ideal for moving heavy boxes, large furniture, and appliances onto the truck then into your new home. There are several types of dollies, but they all do the trick. If you must move bulky items up or down the stairs, consider getting a dolly with a “stair climber” feature that will make the process easier.

Moving blankets: Protect your furniture and other large items from scratches and bumps inside the truck. The extra padding will also help absorb the vibrations and jostling around when the truck is driving to your new home.

Cargo straps: Sometimes called safety straps, these are useful for securing items in the truck and preventing things from shifting around over long distances.

Lifting straps: These handy tools help distribute weight more evenly so you can lift and carry awkward items like large furniture or appliances safely.

Hiring professional movers will take all the packing logistics off your already-overwhelming to-do list. On The Move movers have all the right supplies and packing experience to get the job done quickly and make sure your belongings arrive safe and sound.