by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There's something about a big pile of boxes and spools of packing tape that is invigorating—here is your opportunity to sift through all your belongings and meticulously pack your valuables, so when you arrive at your new house and commence unpacking the boxes it will seem just like Christmas morning when you were a kiddo. Imagine for a moment that's how the entire master plan actually develops, and you are not scampering around the abode like a crazy person throwing heirloom crystal in with the set of encyclopedias, be sure you purchase the correct packing supplies for your moving project.
Boxes and tape are a few of the most critical supplies for packing, but all boxes and tape are NOT created equal. It's acceptable to toss some coffee mugs in an old microwave box and put it on the top shelf of the pantry, but to pack, stack, and move that box, it will fall down like a house of cards and you will wind up with a bunch of broken mugs.
If you're packing your things on your own, do some research into the materials before you begin. If you are employing a moving company to handle the actual moving, they will most likely have the right heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping paper you'll need. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are good sources to obtain your supplies, but since you can't do tactile research digitally, do not rely on reviews to make your decision—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are very subjective terms.
Look for boxes that are corrugated--a layer of wavy fiber between the inner and outer layers of heavy cardboard. The corrugation helps with structure and support, so when you load them on the moving van they do not cave in. There are varying amounts of rigidity within the corrugated department, so you can get the box strength you need for a specific item--go with the strongest duty boxes for the most delicate and the bulkiest things you will pack.
While you are purchasing boxes, be sure and buy some of the small ones--heavy belongings go in small boxes, bulky lighter things go in the bigger boxes. For instance, books are relatively heavy and should be packed in a small box. Blankets and throw pillows are comparatively light and go in the larger ones.
Buying inexpensive, low quality tape is where a lot of DIY movers get stymied. If it is low-quality, it won't adhere well. Worse, it will stick to itself when it is dispensed out of the gun and tear in tiny little pieces and then you have to work at it and try to get it to unstick in a single piece. Splurge on a high-quality tape gun or two with a padded handle—you will be pleased you did when you are eighty boxes in with a ninety more to pack. It is also a brilliant idea to get your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can generally take back what you do not use.
There are lots of choices for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and sheets are magic when you require something lining the box, such as when you're packing shoes and don't want them crashing around.
Newsprint is hands down the best choice for pretty much everything--from wrapping mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and stick the leftover inside once it's wrapped) to books to small appliances.
Bubble wrap can be expensive, but get the good stuff anyway, since that is what you will use it for. The bubble size differs, but a decent guideline is for your bubble size to match the item size—use the big bubbles for padding around the entire box. Feel the wrap prior to purchasing it, and observe how strong it is when you squeeze and pull it. If it is fragile or does not like the bubbles hold, try another brand.
If you haven't moved in a while, and you go looking for boxes, be ready to be amazed at the choices you have. When your parents moved, they got their tape and boxes and had the entre neighborhood retaining newspapers for weeks. Now, there are a lot of specialty moving supplies you'll find in the stores—some are actually worth the extra cost, some are just reinventing the wheel—it's up to you to discern what's going to be best for you situation. Again, make positive you're getting decent quality--you do not need your mattresses in unsubstantial plastic sheeting.
- Dish packs are strong boxes meant for dishes. They might contain pieces of corrugated paper to separate the dishes so you don't have to wrap each piece.
- Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they include the lightweight cardboard insert that goes inbetween the glass.
- Wardrobe boxes are also heavy, tall, and contain a bar for hanging clothes.
- Specialty boxes for mirrors and TVs can be shallow and large.
Now that you've got your smalls under control, focus on how you are going to get the bulky items out the door--the dressers, the lawn mower, the grill--but do not fear, help is right around the corner. For several of these items renting equipment is the easiest way to go.
Your furniture is more susceptible to damage than you might realize--surface dents and scrapes are overall very common when things come off the truck. You can negate these issues with some basic protection; again, be sure you're buying or renting decent quality materials that stand up to the rigors of moving.
- Moving blankets are essential. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities will be able to help you with them. Remember that while buying is usually less costly, renting could be the best choice. The pads you buy are usually a thin fabric with padding and are fine for some things, but if you are moving wood furniture of a lot of value you are much better off with a thick cotton blanket with more batting in the middle, which are usually rented (you can get them and return them with the truck). If you calculate you require ten, rent twenty—especially if you decide to purchase the lower quality ones--double wrap.
- Shrink wrap that comes on a big, double handled roll keeps the blankets in place on the large items, and protects just about anything. Buy an almost opaque plastic that's able to hold up against boxes and corners--get the most puncture-proof plastic you can find.
- Foam padding is best used for corners, you can buy a roll of heavy foam, but be careful that it is good quality and won't rip easily.
The last supplies you'll require are for the big time heavy and bulky things. Unless you own these already, it would be best.
- The best hand trucks are the heavy-duty ones that are appliance weight, and have straps to secure the item you are moving. They also tilt, to provide you better leverage against the weight of the sofa or dryer or whatever you have strapped on.
- Dollies are flat pallets on rollers that are ideal if there aren't any stairs involved. They're good for smaller dressers or anything that is heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the one you rent is carpeted on the slats.
- Body straps assist you to evenly distribute the weight of extremely heavy things on your body. They are commonly used in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. When you get these, make sure the straps and buckles are easy to use, and not frayed or broken.
However you're moving your residence, your local moving company will be able to assist you with all of the speciality items you'll need to move. Just don’t forget that you are moving your entire life in these boxes, so be positive that your moving supplies are acceptable to handle the task.