Let’s face it: Moving is a headache. But keeping in mind a few simple “moving hacks” can go a surprisingly long way in easing stress and helping your to-dos go smoothly.
Take packing, for example. Be sure to make the time to gather up the right supplies – before you start emptying your drawers and cupboards. This will save you considerable time, limit the headaches, and help you better protect your belongings.
So, what will you need?
Thinking Outside (and Inside) Your Boxes
The first item on most people’s moving supply lists is a generous supply of boxes.
Not only do boxes allow you to organize and transport your things, they’ll be your belongings’ first line of defense against damage during moving. Because of that, this isn’t an area where you should skimp on quality to save a little money. You want strong, durable boxes that will hold up to wear and tear, not to mention the weight of the things you put in them.
It’s also helpful to gather a wide spectrum of sizes.
Small boxes are ideal for your heaviest items (like books and tools) and breakables (such as vases, knick-knacks, glassware, canned food, and framed photos).
Medium boxes are a good choice for small appliances (like coffeemakers and toaster ovens), dishes, toys, and other miscellaneous household items.
Large boxes are meant for bulky, lighter items like lampshades, board games, stuffed animals, towels, and clothing.
Extra-large boxes handle items that are even bulkier, like comforters, pillows, seasonal clothing, and linens.
Wardrobe boxes, your largest option, have a bar across the top to let you keep the clothing in your closet on their hangers, eliminating the risk of wrinkling them or getting them dirty.
Tape: Stick with Quality
Tape is another area where quality is critical. You want a product that will retain its adhesiveness, even if you need to re-position it. It also should be strong enough to support the weight of your packed boxes.
You can find packaging tape on the market for short moves—items going immediately from one home to another—along with heavy tape specifically for storage. The storage tape is engineered to hold up for extended periods.
If you think extra reinforcement is needed for some of your boxes, filament tape—also known as strapping tape—is an excellent option. Fiberglass strands in the tape help it hold up to challenging situations, like inevitably being jostled during a move.
Once you’ve selected your tape, we recommend buying enough tape gun dispensers for you and your helpers, along with plenty of tape refills.
Protective Packing: Cushioning the Blows
Packaging your breakables in plastic bubble wrap is an easy, highly effective way to protect them from damage. Wrap with the air-filled plastic packets facing inward and secure all sides firmly with tape.
Remember that items nestled in bubble wrap take up more space. We suggest using the bubble wrap with your most fragile items and using other types of fillers, like sheets of paper, to protect other things. Filling empty spaces in your boxes with crumpled paper is an effective way to help prevent breakage. You also can wrap items in pillow cases and towels to make your supplies stretch further.
Labels: AKA Sanity Savers
The more information you put on your boxes now, the easier it will be to find that one item you’re looking for several months from now, without opening 20 other boxes in the process. Each label should display the room/area the items are from and, if possible, all the box contents.
You can pre-print your labels or write on them with high-quality permanent markers. We may sound like we’re repeating ourselves, but cheap markers are not your friend when you’re moving. Select a set of permanent, weather-proof markers from a brand you trust. Then you won’t have to worry about smudged or illegible labels on your boxes. Plus, you always can use the markers for other things after your move.
Want to take an extra step to simplify your life? Color-code your labeling. That might mean you’ll use your red marker for all of your kitchen boxes, green for the bathroom items, and so on. The process is easy, and it makes locating boxes much easier. You also can use the system to help you group boxes in your storage unit.
You also can turn to Montgomery Self Storage for help. Each of our locations carries moving supplies, including a wide range of sturdy boxes and wardrobes. The supplies are available to everyone, not just our renters. In fact, many people in our community discovered MSS for the first time after Hurricane Harvey, when we were selling supplies to flood victims at a 50-percent discount.
Not only can we sell you supplies, we also can help you figure out what you need with our free supply calculator. Complete the empty fields, and this tool will tell you many boxes to purchase and break them down by size. The calculator also makes recommendations for other moving supplies like the amount of bubble wrap and rolls of tape you’ll need.
Your Moving Supplies Checklist
We’ve covered just a few of the supplies that can make packing and moving easier. Here’s a complete list to help you gather up what you need.