You’ve done your best to prepare for your upcoming move. You made your lists and checked them twice. You’ve stayed in touch with your moving company, kept up with your schedule, and stayed calm during the process. There’s one thing left for you to complete, however, and you’ve been putting it off… packing. Nobody likes packing for a move. It’s the easiest thing to ignore, put off, and save for later. It’s also one of those things that can creep up on you incredibly quickly.
Keep packing from surprising you at the last second by tackling it in small, easy-to-accomplish steps. Step one: gather all the packing materials you’ll need to make everything else easier in turn. If even that sounds a little daunting, don’t worry–we’re here to help. Just gather everything on this checklist and you’ll be ready to start packing in earnest. Let’s start with the basics:
The Packing Basics
- Boxes. There are online calculators that will give you an idea of how many boxes you’ll need for your move. After you’ve determined how many boxes you need, you’ll have to figure out the best way to get those boxes. It’s not always necessary to buy brand new moving boxes. Instead, try to connect with people looking to get rid of their old boxes via online marketplaces like Craigslist. You can also go to your local grocery or big box store and ask if they have any to spare. We recommend scouting out a few more boxes than you think you’ll need. It’s always better to have too many than not enough.
- Storage bins. If you’re interested in reusability or storage, you can always substitute cardboard boxes or plastic bins for boxes. Plastic storage bins are more durable, they last longer, and you can use them over and over again. The only thing plastic bins can’t handle as well as boxes are specialty solutions. It’s easier to find specific boxes for moving specialty like glassware or lamps than it is to find their plastic equivalents.
- Cushioning. This includes bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing peanuts. You’ll need something to fill the gaps and protect your breakables during the move. What you choose depends on what’s accessible to you and what you prefer. Whatever you choose, make sure you have some kind of cushioning–it’s an important safety tool!
- Packing Tape. Don’t go for the cheapest tape you can find. You’re going to want your tape to stand up to the rigors of packing and moving. You can invest a little extra by getting a tape gun for easier use of tape. A few rolls can go a long way, but just like with boxes, it’s better to have too much than not enough.
- Markers. Sharpies are the best option for labeling boxes because they don’t wipe off or smudge.
- Masking Tape. Masking tape won’t hold boxes together, but it will work as a way to label boxes. The light color contrasts with dark boxes and it’s easy to write on.
- Sticker Labels. This is an alternative option to the masking tape. Colored sticker labels are a way to differentiate boxes without writing on them. You could probably find these types of labels for a good price at places like your local dollar store.
- Color labels. Wheaton offers labels you can print off and tape to your boxes. Color-coded labels make it easy to tell your boxes apart.
- Cargo straps. Cargo or ratchet straps are tools movers use to move heavy boxes without hurting themselves. If you’re hiring a professional mover, you won’t need to supply them with these straps yourself. If you’re moving, packing, or otherwise preparing yourself, however, they’re very helpful to have around.
- Plastic furniture covers. When you’re prepping furniture, plastic furniture covers are a good idea. They protect your most delicate items, they’re low cost, and they’re very easy to use.
- A toolset. Just in case you end up needing to disassemble anything before you move it. A set keeps all tools together in one place so you don’t lose anything during the chaos of packing.
- Utility knife. A really good just-in-case item to have. A box cutter serves the same purpose.
- Cleaning supplies. Packing and moving create a mess. Setting aside a dedicated set of cleaning supplies to pick up after packing is always a good idea. You shouldn’t need more than a broom, some cleaning cloths, and dusting supplies. If you’re renting, this will help you secure your deposit.
Once you’ve got your materials, it’s time to pack. Check out one of our helpful packing guides for further direction. Don’t forget: no matter what help you need with your next move, Wheaton has you covered. Give us a call anytime and we’ll work with you to make your next move as easy as possible.