A Comprehensive Guide to Different Packing Materials for Relocating

September 4, 2023Moving Tips
Diana Road

A talented writer from Wichita, Kansas, with a passion for helping people navigate the stressful process of moving. With her extensive knowledge of the moving industry, Diana has become a go-to resource for useful info

Embarking on a move and not sure where to start with boxing up your goods? This comprehensive guide is here to help. We’ll delve into the world of different packing materials, providing you with an understanding of what’s available and how best to utilize it. From crates and bubble wrap to clean paper and specialized protectors, we’ve got you covered for a smooth and secure relocation.

What are the different types of packing-in materials good for? Packaging materials are good for boxing up things of various shapes and sizes, so it’s important to gather the necessary supplies before packing starts. The most important things to get are cardboard crates in various shapes and sizes, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, clean packaging and tissue paper, furniture blankets and pads, and durable duct tape. If you find it hard to remember all of these or don’t know how to utilize them properly, hire a professional for the job.

Why Should You Get Different Packing Materials When Relocating Across the Country?

Long-distance relocations usually involve several stages of transportation, which often include trucks, airplanes, or ships, each posing its own set of challenges, such as vibrations, shocks, and changes in temperature or humidity. That’s where the different types of packing materials come into play.

Robust boxing-up supplies, like bubble wrap, foam peanuts, or heavy-duty boxes, offer enhanced protection against these factors. Moreover, using supplies like mattress covers and furniture pads can prevent scratches or damage to large items. Specialty supplies can help you secure delicate or oddly shaped items. By investing in high-quality supplies, you can mitigate potential damage and loss, making your relocation stress-free.


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Cardboard Boxes Are Essential for Every Move

These crates come in various sizes and types to accommodate different kinds of items. Choosing the right container can make the whole relocation much easier and safer. It’s often a good idea to have a variety of crates on hand when storing your things for relocation, so here are some common types you should get your hands on:

  • Small crates – typically around 1.5 cubic feet, these are ideal for heavy items like books, records, cans, and tools. The small size helps prevent overpacking to ensure the containers remain manageable.
  • Medium crates – with a volume of about 3 cubic feet, these versatile crates are great for small appliances, toys, and most kitchen items.
  • Large crates – with roughly 4.5 cubic feet of volume, they’re suitable for lighter, bulky items like linens, towels, and larger kitchen appliances.
  • Extra-large crates – these can be up to 6 cubic feet and are good for storing lightweight, large items such as comforters, blankets, and cushions.
  • Dish pack crates – these boxes are sturdier and designed with internal dividers to provide extra protection for fragile items like dishes, glassware, and china.
  • Wardrobe crates – they come with a metal bar for hanging clothes, curtains, and drapes, essentially acting as a portable closet.
  • Picture/mirror crates – these narrow, flat boxes are designed for safeguarding your artwork, mirrors, and other glassware.
  • TV/monitor crates – these are special, sturdy boxes designed to protect TVs and computer monitors during a move.
  • Lamp crates – tall, narrow containers perfect for transporting floor lamps and other tall items.
  • File crates – these are ideal for sorting important documents, folders, and moving binders while keeping them organized.

Tips for Choosing the Appropriate Boxes Based on the Items Being Packed

Heavy items should go in smaller boxes, which are easier to handle and less likely to break under the weight. Conversely, lightweight but bulky items are best packed in larger boxes. However, fragile items require special consideration. Their crates typically have thicker cardboard and dividers for added protection.

When packing, remember to maximize the crate’s capacity without overloading it. Start with the heaviest items at the bottom, moving towards lighter items at the top. Fill any space with cushioning to prevent items from moving during transit. This not only helps utilize space but also adds to the box’s stability.

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Invests in a Variety of Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts

Bubble wrap comes in various types and bubble sizes such as the standard one, anti-static, fabulous for wrapping electronics, large bubble wrap for heavy-duty protection, adhesive wrap for securing inside of the crate or flat surface objects, and biodegradable wrap for eco-friendly use. To effectively use bubble wrap, wrap your item with the bubbles facing inward and secure the edges with tape. For extremely fragile items, consider double-wrapping for added security.

Foam peanuts play an essential role in cushioning and filling voids between objects. They prevent items from shifting and colliding during transit, reducing the risk of breakage. When boxing up an object, first lay a layer of peanuts, place your item (preferably already wrapped in bubble wrap), then fill the remaining space with more peanuts until the crate is full but not overstuffed. This ensures a snug fit with ample cushioning.

Packing and Tissue Paper Are Needed for Padding and Wrapping

Paper provides a protective layer around your items, preventing scratches and other damage. It’s especially useful for wrapping delicate items like china, glassware, and ornaments, providing a protective layer that can help prevent scratches, chips, or other damage.

Furthermore, packaging paper is recommended when boxing up items that could be affected by ink, such as light-colored or white items, because, unlike newspapers, it doesn’t leave marks. For this reason, clear paper is also a good choice when safeguarding your clothing or linens.

How to Minimize Waste and Maximize Protection With Paper Materials

To maximize protection, ensure items are fully and securely wrapped. For an efficient boxing-up process, start by laying your item on the paper, folding the corners over it, and then rolling the object until it’s fully wrapped and securing it with tape if necessary.

To minimize waste, you can reuse paper supplies where possible. For instance, after unpacking, you can flatten and store paper for future use or repurpose it as craft paper for children’s projects. Avoid using more paper than necessary, as a single layer of wrapping is often enough for protection.

Instead of investing in more foam peanuts or bubble wrap, consider filling empty spaces in your crates with crumpled paper to prevent the shifting of your belongings during transit. However, always recycle your paper materials after use if you don’t plan to reuse them or give them away on websites like Freecycle.

Brown kraft paper twisted into a roll for packaging various products, production of ecological bags, printing on it, top view, selective focus. Kraft paper in the printing industry
Clean paper is good as an added protection when preparing your stuff for relocation

Get Some Moving Blankets and Furniture Pads

Moving blankets are thick and robust and designed to shield furniture, appliances, and other large items from scratches, dents, and other damage during transit. They can be draped over items and secured with moving straps or stretch wrap to provide a protective layer.

Furniture pads offer extra cushioning and are often used in combination with moving blankets. They can be wrapped around furniture corners and edges, areas that are prone to damage during the move. They’re also useful as a protective base when moving furniture across hard floors.

When wrapping furniture, start by removing any detachable parts, like drawers or cushions, then wrap the item entirely with a blanket, making sure all surfaces are covered. Secure the blanket with tape or moving straps. When loading the wrapped furniture onto the moving truck, make sure that it doesn’t rub against other items to prevent damage.

Check the video below for some useful tips on how to reuse all those furniture pads after relocation.

YouTube video

Sturdy Packing Tape Is Crucial for Closing Boxes

There are different types of duct tape available. Clear duct tape is a commonly used item due to its strong adhesive properties and durability. Heavy-duty tape is thicker and even stronger, often used for sealing heavier crates or ones containing fragile items. Using quality tape ensures secure box closures, preventing boxes from opening or collapsing under weight.

When taping crates, the H-tape method is recommended for maximum security. Start by tapping along the middle seam on the top and bottom of the container, then apply tape along the edges to form an ‘H’ shape. This not only seals the box but also reinforces its structure.

Ensure that the tape covers at least three inches over the box’s sides for a firm hold. In addition, always remember to double-tap the bottom seams of the box, especially for heavier boxes. This offers extra support and prevents the bottom from giving out.

Packing Tape Dispensers, Cutting Tools, and Labels for Crates

Using tape dispensers can significantly enhance the convenience and efficiency of your boxing-up process. They allow you to easily dispense and cut the tape with one hand, speeding up the box sealing process and reducing the hassle of finding the tape’s end every time.

Other tools that come in handy during a relocation include box cutters or scissors for opening crates or cutting supplies and marker pens for clearly labeling boxes with their contents and their intended room in the new house. Proper labeling can greatly facilitate the unpacking process.

A container filled with paper
A good tape dispenser can make your boxing-up process a breeze

How to Organize and Store These Supplies for Easy Access During the Relocation

In terms of organizing and storing your boxing-up supplies, keeping everything in a centralized location will ensure easy access and streamline the whole process. Consider setting up a station with crates, tapes, dispensers, markers, and the rest of the supplies all in one place.

Use a large and flat surface, such as a dining table, for storing away smaller items, and use the floor space for larger ones. Organize your supplies in a large and clearly labeled crate so you can grab them quickly when needed. Following these practices can help make your move more organized and a breeze.

Avoid Losing Your Mind Over Supplies by Hiring a USA Auto Transport Company to Pack Up Your Home

When planning a big relocation, it can be overwhelming to handle everything yourself, not to mention boxing up, shipping your belongings safely, and transporting your vehicles on top of it all. That’s why you can turn to the best car shipping company, as USA Auto Transport provides a comprehensive range of moving services to make your relocation easier.

For starters, we offer a complete packing service. Our expert team will bring all the necessary supplies and handle everything from boxing up your home securely to loading crates onto our relocation truck. This way, you can avoid the stress of managing all those different supplies and focus on other important aspects of your relocation.

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We are shipping cars in the USA and provide different types of transport to cater to your exact needs. If you have a classic or high-value modern vehicle, know that our enclosed auto transport offers maximum protection from weather and road debris. Alternatively, our standard option is an open trailer solution, which is a cost-effective choice perfect for transporting multiple automobiles.

We also provide door-to-door auto transport for the ultimate convenience. With this delivery solution, we’ll pick up and deliver your vehicle directly to your new address, saving you time and hassle. We also offer terminal-to-terminal car shipping, where you drop off and pick up your vehicle at one of our many secure, nationwide terminals.

USA Auto Transport
The USA Auto Transport moving company has the best supplies for handling your belongings

Use Different Types of Packing Materials and Your Items Will Be Protected During the Move

Harnessing a range of boxing-up supplies can safeguard your possessions in transit. It’s not just about wrapping and boxing items. It’s a strategy that provides optimal protection. If the prospect seems overwhelming or you’d rather have professionals handle it, make sure to contact USA Auto Transport, as we will be more than happy to make your relocation a dream. Hire our movers, as they are here to make your transition as seamless and worry-free as possible.


What Are the Essential Supplies Needed for a Relocation?

The supplies that are considered relocation essentials include sturdy cardboard crates, bubble wrap or packing paper, duct tape, and markers. Additionally, furniture pads and moving blankets are crucial for protecting large items, and getting a tape dispenser can shorten the whole process by a mile.

How Do I Choose the Right Cardboard Boxes for Packing My Belongings?

Choose crates based on the size and weight of your possessions. Small, heavy items like books should go in small crates. Light, bulky items like bedding can go in large ones. For fragile items, consider double-walled containers for added protection. Always ensure crates are sturdy, in good condition, and can be securely closed with duct tape.

What Is the Purpose of Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts?

Both of these are considered good cushioning and shock absorption materials. The first is ideal for wrapping individual objects, while the other is used to fill space inside crates, prevent objects from moving, and reduce the risk of damage from impacts or vibrations.

How Do Moving Blankets and Furniture Pads Protect My Furniture During the Move?

They shield surfaces from scratches, dents, and other damage that may occur from contact with other items or the relocation vehicle. Furniture pads specifically offer extra cushioning for vulnerable areas like corners and edges.

What Type of Duct Tape is Best for Securing Boxes During the Move?

For securing crates during transit, the best type of duct tape is typically a heavy-duty one. It’s strong, durable, and provides a firm hold, ensuring boxes stay securely closed in the back of a van. This type of tape is also resistant to splitting or tearing, which is vital for crates carrying heavy or fragile items.

How Do I Use Plastic Wrap and Stretch Film Effectively in the Packing Process?

Plastic wrap and stretch film are used to bundle items together and protect furniture and other large items. For furniture, first remove any detachable parts, then wrap the item entirely. For bundling, group your items, starting at one end and wrapping around the entire bundle. Ensure the wrap is tight and whole for effective protection.

Are There Specialty Packing Materials Available for Specific Items?

Specialty packaging supplies include wardrobe crates for hanging clothes, dish packs with dividers for kitchenware, picture and mirror crates for framed items, and mattress bags for bed protection. There are also custom crating options for extremely fragile or valuable items like antiques or artwork.

What Are Some Packing Tools That Can Make the Process Easier?

Some useful tools that can ease the process include a tape dispenser for easy tape application, box cutters or scissors for opening crates or cutting supplies, marker pens for labeling, and a hand truck or dolly for lifting and carrying heavy packages. Additionally, a paper dispenser and bubble wrap holder can make the boxing-up even more convenient.

Are There Eco-Friendly Options Available to Reduce Waste During the Move?

Yes, there are eco-friendly supply solutions. These include biodegradable peanuts and recycled paper. You can also use reusable plastic bins instead of cardboard crates and blankets or towels for padding instead of bubble wrap.

Where Can I Find and Source Different Supplies for My Move?

Packaging supplies can be sourced from various places. Home improvement and office supply stores often carry a wide range of supplies. Online marketplaces like Amazon also offer an extensive selection. For used crates, try local businesses, community groups, or online platforms like Craigslist. Specialty stores and some rental truck companies also sell or rent these supplies.

How Can I Recycle or Dispose of These Supplies After the Move?

After your relocation to the new home, many of these supplies can be recycled. Crates, clean paper, and certain types of packing peanuts can go into your recycling bin. Some plastic materials can be recycled at specific drop-off locations. For reuse, consider offering these supplies to family members, friends, or local community groups, or list them on online platforms.

Can I Reuse Stored Supplies for My Current Relocation?

Yes, you can reuse your supplies from previous relocation as long as they are still in good condition. Check for signs of wear and tear on crates and ensure that cushioning materials still offer adequate protection. It’s an economical and environmentally friendly option, but remember that the security of your belongings is paramount.

Are There Any Packing Materials That Should Be Avoided for Specific Items or Circumstances?

Yes. For instance, avoid using newspaper directly on fine china or other objects that stain easily, as the ink can transfer. Also, avoid storing heavy things in large crates, as they can become too heavy to lift safely. Fragile and high-value possessions shouldn’t be stored with sharp or heavy objects that could cause damage.

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