by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There is something about a big stack of boxes and rolls of packing tape that is rejuvenating—here's your chance to sift through all your belongings and gingerly box your valuables, so when you get to your new home and commence unpacking the boxes it will seem just like your birthday when you were a kid. Imagine for a minute that is how the whole scenario truly unwinds, and you're not running amid the home like a maniac tossing heirloom crystal in with the set of encyclopedias, make sure you purchase the correct packing supplies for your moving project.
Boxes and tape are a few of the most vital equipment for packing, and all boxes and tape are NOT created equal. It is alright to put a few coffee mugs in an old shoe box and put it on a shelf in the pantry, but to pack, stack, and transport that box, it will breakdown like a house of cards and you will wind up with lots broken mugs.
If you are packing your things on your own, do some research into the materials before you get started. If you are employing a moving company to execute the actual moving, they will most likely have the correct heavy-duty boxes, tape, and wrapping paper you will need. If not, storage facilities, big box stores, and the internet are acceptable sources to get your supplies, but since you cannot do tactile research digitally, don't rely on reviews to help you make up your mind—everybody packs differently and "sturdy" and "solid" are very subjective words.
Seek out 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 put them on the truck they don't collapse. There are various amounts of rigidity within the corrugated realm, so you can purchase the box strength you need for a particular item--go with the strongest duty boxes for the most fragile and the bulkiest items you'll pack.
While you're buying boxes, make sure and get plenty of the small ones--heavy things go in small boxes, bulky lightweight things go in the larger boxes. For example, books weigh a lot and should be put in a small box. Afghans and throw pillows are comparatively light and can be placed in the larger ones.
Purchasing cheap, low quality tape is where lots of DIY movers get discouraged. If it is low-quality, it will not stick well. Worse, it will stick to itself when is comes out of the gun and splinter in tiny little pieces and then you have to pick at it for quite a while and aim to get it to unstick in one piece. Splurge on a good-quality tape gun or two with a padded handle—you will be glad you did when you're seventy-five boxes in with a lot more to close. It's also a good idea to get your tape in bulk--it costs less and you can normally return what you don't use.
There are several choices for padding around the inside of the boxes. Old towels and linens are wonderful when you need something lining the box, like when you are packing shoes and do not want them crashing around.
Newsprint is by far the best alternative for nearly everything--from wrapping mugs (thread a twisted end through the handle and stuff the leftover inside after it is wrapped) to books to kitchen items.
Bubble wrap can get pricey, but buy the good stuff anyway, since those are the items that you'll use it for. The bubble size fluctuates, but a decent guideline is for your bubble size to pair the item size—keep the big bubbles for lining around the entire box. Touch the wrap before you purchase it, and see how strong it is when you twist and pull it. If it's weak or doesn't feel like the bubbles hold, try a different brand.
If you haven't moved in a while, and you go box shopping, prepare to be astonished at the options you have. If your parents moved, they might have bought their tape and boxes and had the whole neighborhood retaining newspapers for months. Currently, there are a lot of specialty moving supplies you will see on the shelves—a few are definitely worth the extra money, some are not—it is up to you to decide what's going to be best for you situation. Just remember, be positive you're getting decent quality--you do not want your mattresses in flimsy plastic sheeting.
- Dish packs are durable boxes designed for dishes. They may include pieces of corrugated paper to keep between the pieces so you don't have to wrap individually.
- Glass packs are like the dish boxes, except they have the lightweight cardboard insert that separates 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 have the boxes under control, you need to think about how you are going to move the heavy things out the door--the furniture, the lawn mower, the grill--but don't fret, help is on the way. In order to move a few of these items renting equipment is the easiest course of action.
Your furniture is more susceptible to damage than you think--surface dings and scratches are overall very common when items come off the truck. You can avoid these with some simple protection; again, be sure you're getting decent quality materials that stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
- Moving blankets are crucial. You can buy or rent them. Most moving companies and storage facilities will be able to help you with them. Although buying is usually less costly, renting may be the best choice. The blankets you buy are most of the time a synthetic fabric with padding and are fine for some items, but if you are moving wood furniture of a lot of value you will be better off with a thick cotton blanket with more batting in the middle, which can be rented (you could pick them up and return them with the truck). If you calculate you need ten, get twenty—especially if you choose to purchase the cheaper ones--double wrap.
- Shrink wrap that comes on a big, double handled roll holds the blankets in place on the sizable items, and secures just about anything. Look for an almost opaque plastic that's going 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's high density and won't rip easily.
The last supplies you will require are for the really heavy and bulky stuff. Unless you happen to have these items 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 are moving. They also tip backward, to provide you better leverage against the weight of the davenport or washer or whatever you have strapped on.
- Dollies are flat pallets on rollers that are ideal if there aren't any stairs involved. They are good for smaller dressers or anything that's heavy and flat on the bottom; make sure the dolly you get is padded on the slats.
- Body straps help you to evenly distribute the weight of extremely bulky items on your body. They're commonly used in pairs as to takes two people to move the big things, especially down stairs. If you rent these, be sure the straps and buckles are easy to use, and not frayed or broken.
No matter how you're moving your residence, your local moving company will be able to help you with all of the supplies you will need to move. Just keep in mind that you're packing your whole life in these boxes, so be positive that your moving materials are up to the task.