by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There is something about a tall stack of boxes and spools of packing tape that is rejuvenating—here's your excuse to go through all your possessions and carefully wrap your valuables, so when you get to your new home and commence unpacking the boxes it will feel just like your birthday when you were a kiddo. Imagine for a moment that's how the entire master plan really unwinds, and you are not rushing around the home like a loon mixing heirloom crystal in with the set of encyclopedias, make sure you have the best packing supplies for your moving job.
Boxes and tape are some of the most critical components of packing, and all boxes and tape are NOT similar in quality. It's okay to put a few coffee mugs in an old microwave box and put it on a shelf in the pantry, but to pack, stack, and transport that box, it will collapse like a house of cards and you will end up with a bunch of broken mugs.
If you're packing yourself, conduct some research into the materials before you get started. If you are employing a moving company to handle the actual moving, they will most likely have the correct heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping stuff you will want to use. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are good places for your supplies, but since you can't do tactile research digitally, don't depend on reviews to help you make up your mind—everyone packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are highly subjective terms.
Seek out boxes that are corrugated--a layer of wavy fiber between the inner and outer layers of heavy cardboard. The corrugated allows for structure and strength, so when you stack them on the truck they don't collapse. There are various grades of toughness within the corrugated department, so you may purchase the box strength you need for a specific item--go with the strongest duty boxes for the most delicate and the bulkiest things you'll pack.
While you're purchasing boxes, load up on the small ones--heavy items go in small boxes, bulky lighter things go in the larger boxes. For instance, books weigh a lot and should be put in a small box. Afghans and pillows are comparatively light and can be placed in the larger ones.
Picking up bargain, low quality tape is where a lot of DIY movers get discouraged. If it's cheap, it won't adhere well. Worse, it will stick to itself when it is dispensed out of the gun and tear in small little slivers and then you have to pick off the needle end and attempt to get it to unstick in one piece. Be extravagant and purchase a decent-quality gun or two with a padded handle—you'll be glad you did when you are sixty boxes in with a ninety more to close. It's also a good idea to buy your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can generally take back what you do not use.
There are a few options for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and linens are wonderful when you require something lining the box, such as when you're packing shoes and do not want them banging around.
Newsprint is by far the best choice for almost everything--from wrapping mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and put the other ends inside once it's wrapped) to books to small appliances.
Bubble wrap can be pricey, but get the good stuff anyway, since those are the items that you'll use it for. The bubble size fluctuates, but a decent rule of thumb is for your bubble size to match the item size—use the big bubbles for lining around the entire box. Touch the wrap before you purchase it, and see how strong it is when you squeeze and pull it. If it's fragile or doesn't feel like the bubbles hold, look for a different brand.
If you have not moved in a while, and you go looking for boxes, prepare to be astonished at the choices you have. When your parents moved, they might have bought their tape and boxes and had the entre neighborhood keeping newspapers for weeks. Now, there are a lot of specialty moving supplies you will find on the shelves—a few are really worth the extra expense, some are not—it's up to you to discern what's going to work best for your move. Again, be sure you're buying acceptable quality--you do not want your mattresses in unsubstantial plastic sheeting.
- Dish packs are durable boxes intended for dishes. They could have pieces of corrugated paper to keep between the dishes so you do not have to wrap individually.
- Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they contain the lightweight cardboard insert that goes inbetween the glass.
- Wardrobe boxes are also sturdy, tall, and have a bar for hanging clothes.
- Specialty boxes for mirrors and TVs can be shallow and large.
Now that you've got the boxes under control, you need to think about how you are going to move the bulky items out the door--the couch, the lawn mower, the grill--but don't be anxious, help is on the way. In order to move some of these things renting equipment is the easiest thing to do.
Your furniture is more susceptible to damage than you probably realize--surface dents and scratches are super common when things come off the truck. You can negate these issues with some key protection; again, make sure you're buying or renting acceptable quality materials that hold up to the rigors of moving.
- Moving blankets are a must. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities will be able to help you with them. Although buying is cheap, renting could be the best choice. The ones you buy are most of the time a cheap fabric with padding and are alright for some items, but if you are moving wood furniture of a lot of value you will want to go with a thick cotton pad with more batting in between the layers, which are usually rented (you can get them and return them with the truck). If you think you require ten, rent twenty—this is especially true if you decide to buy the cheaper ones--double wrap.
- Shrink wrap that comes on a sizable, double handled roll holds the pads in place on the sizable pieces, and protects just about anything. Get an almost opaque plastic that is going to hold up against boxes and corners--get the most puncture-proof plastic you can find.
- Foam padding comes in handy for corners, you can get a roll of heavy foam, just be careful that it's high density and won't rip easily.
The last things you'll need are for the really heavy and bulky stuff. Unless you happen to have these already, you’ll want.
- The best hand trucks are the heavy-duty ones that are appliance weight, and have straps to secure the thing you're moving. They also tip backward, to provide you better leverage against the weight of the sofa or dryer or whatever you've strapped on.
- Dollies are flat pallets on rollers that really only work if there are not any stairs that you will have to navigate. They're excellent for smaller chests or anything that's heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the dolly you rent is padded on the slats.
- Body straps assist you to evenly distribute the weight of super bulky things on your body. They're commonly utilized in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. When you rent these, make sure the straps and buckles are easy to use, and not frayed or broken.
Whatever method you are moving your home, your local moving company will be able to help you with all of the speciality items you'll require to move. Just don’t forget that you are packing your whole life in these boxes, so take care that your moving supplies are up to the task.