Top 7 Essential Packing Tools for a Smooth Move

June 19, 2024Moving Tips
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Packing for a move can be a physically and mentally tiring task, but with the right packing tools, it becomes a breeze. Whether you’re organizing a DIY relocation or using a moving and car shipping company, having the essentials on hand is crucial. From sturdy boxes and strong tape to bubble wrap and markers, these tools will help keep your belongings safe and organized. Let’s explore the top seven packaging tools!

What Are the Most Important Packing Tools for Moving?

When preparing to relocate safely, certain packing tools are essential to pack efficiently. Sturdy boxes of various sizes are needed to accommodate different items while packing tape ensures these boxes stay securely closed.

Bubble wrap and packing paper provide crucial cushioning for fragile belongings, preventing breakage.

Markers and labels are important for clearly identifying the contents of each box, aiding in an organized unpacking process. Furniture sliders and moving blankets protect larger items and floors from damage.


Approximately 11% of Americans move to another state each year

Lastly, a pair of scissors or a box cutter is indispensable for cutting materials and opening boxes. With these tools, any relocation can be handled with ease and efficiency.


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#1 Durable Cardboard Boxes Always Top the List

The number of boxes required can vary, but a good rule of thumb is to have at least 20-30 boxes for a one-bedroom apartment and 50-60 boxes for a larger home.

These boxes are crucial because they are versatile, capable of packaging everything from silverware and books to appliances and clothing. When selecting boxes, look for sturdiness, the right sizes, and double-walled construction for extra strength. Quality boxes ensure items are protected and can be easily stacked and transported. If you don’t want to buy new boxes, get used ones for free on the Craigslist website.

Types of Boxes You Can Purchase

When preparing to relocate to a new home, having the right types of boxes can make all the difference. Here are some essential types:

  • Small boxes – Ideal for heavy items like books and canned goods; also, a good answer to how to pack tools for moving.
  • Medium boxes – Perfect for bulkier yet lighter items such as kitchenware and toys.
  • Large boxes – Best for lightweight, large items like bedding, pillows, and clothing.
  • Wardrobe boxes – Equipped with a hanging bar, these are excellent for transporting clothes without wrinkling.
  • Dish boxes – Designed with extra protection for fragile kitchen items like dishes and glassware.
  • Picture and mirror boxes – Adjustable boxes that can securely hold artwork, mirrors, and large frames.
Happy couple packing cardboard boxes, moving out of home
You can use online calculators to estimate how many boxes are needed for the move

#2 Strong Packing Tape Is Required for Keeping Items Safe

Strong tape is one of the most important packaging materials for ensuring items remain secure during transport. It keeps boxes sealed, preventing them from opening and spilling contents. When choosing tape, opt for high-quality, heavy-duty options.

Examples include acrylic adhesive tape for long-lasting durability and water-activated tape for an extra-strong seal. Applying tape along the box seams and reinforcing the bottom can prevent accidents.

Tips for Using Packing Tape Correctly

One of the best packaging tips is to always use a tape dispenser for even application, which speeds up the process and ensures consistent seals. Apply tape in a “H” pattern by sealing the center seam and both edges of the box to create a strong hold. Reinforce the bottom of the box with extra layers of tape to support heavier items.

The easiest way to pack valuable possessions is to double-tape the seams and corners, providing additional reinforcement and peace of mind. Avoid overfilling boxes, as too much pressure can cause the tape to peel away.

A container filled with paper
Secure the corners and the bottom of the boxes before handing them off to movers

#3 Cushioning Materials Like Bubble Wrap, Foam Peanuts and Packing Paper

Each material serves a unique purpose. Bubble wrap is perfect for wrapping delicate items like glassware and electronics, providing a cushion that absorbs shocks. Paper is ideal for filling empty spaces and wrapping less fragile items, keeping them secure and preventing scratches.

Foam peanuts are intended for filling large voids in boxes, ensuring possessions do not shift during transit. When deciding between bubble wrap and packaging paper, be mindful of the item’s fragility and the level of protection needed. Using these materials correctly ensures belongings arrive at the new destination undamaged.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives That Can Be Useful

For those mindful of their environmental impact or working with a tight relocation budget, eco-friendly cushioning alternatives are available. Reusable materials such as old newspapers, cloth towels, and blankets can provide effective protection without waste.

Biodegradable packing peanuts, made from natural, non-toxic sources like cornstarch, are a green alternative to traditional foam peanuts. Another option is using recycled cardboard or shredded paper to cushion fragile items. These sustainable choices not only reduce waste but can also save money, making them a smart choice for both the environment and the wallet.

A woman wrapping up plates into packing paper
Fill all the voids inside the boxes with enough cushioning materials for safe transport

#4 Markers and Labels for Boxes and Containers

Markers and labels for boxes and containers are essential for keeping track of belongings during a relocation. Use markers to write the contents and destination room. Labels for moving can be color-coded by room or priority, helping to simplify the unpacking process.

For example, using red labels for kitchen items and blue labels for bedroom items can make sorting quicker. It’s also helpful to mark boxes with fragile belongings so they are handled with extra care. Clearly labeled boxes save time and reduce confusion, making the entire relocation process more efficient.

Types of Markers and Labels That Are the Best

Selecting the right markers and labels can make moving easier and more organized. Secure enough labels before the big day. Here are some of the best options:

  • Permanent markers for clear, smudge-proof labeling,
  • Dry erase markers, useful for reusable plastic containers,
  • Colored markers for color-coding boxes by room or category,
  • Pre-printed labels with room names or categories for quick identification,
  • Customizable blank labels for personalized notes and instructions,
  • Fragile labels to mark boxes with delicate items,
  • Priority labels to indicate boxes that should be unpacked first.

Using these types of markers and labels guarantees that everything is identified and easy to locate, greatly simplifying the relocation process.

Box labeled as fragile
Packing and unpacking boxes will be better organized with quality labels

#5 Moving Blankets for Protecting Furniture

Moving blankets are needed when relocating furniture, providing a protective layer that prevents scratches, dents, and other damage. These heavy-duty blankets are designed to cover and cushion large items.

They also help protect floors and walls from damage while maneuvering bulky pieces through tight spaces. For large items like sofas, dressers, and appliances, moving blankets offer a thick, reliable barrier against impacts and abrasions.

Types of Blankets and Their Uses

Different types of moving blankets serve various purposes, each designed to prevent things from breaking and getting dirty. Here are the main types:

  • Lightweight blankets – Ideal for single-use or light protection needs, suitable for smaller items and short-distance relocations,
  • Mediumweight blankets – More durable and reusable, these blankets are perfect for frequent relocations and offer good protection for most furniture pieces,
  • Heavyweight blankets – Providing the highest level of protection, these are used by professional movers for expensive or very large belongings like pianos and antique furniture.

#6 Remember to Get Scissors and Box Cutters

Scissors and box cutters are essential tools for any packaging process, ensuring efficiency and precision. Scissors are useful for cutting tape, bubble wrap, and other packing materials to the correct size, making the process smoother.

Box cutters, with their sharp blades, are perfect for quickly and cleanly opening sealed boxes without damaging the contents. When using these tools, it’s important to handle them carefully to avoid injury. Always use scissors with a comfortable grip and sharp blades, and ensure box cutters have retractable blades for safety.

Efficiently Cut and Open Boxes

Cutting and opening boxes efficiently requires careful attention to avoid damaging contents. Use a sharp box cutter or scissors to cut along the taped seams, applying even pressure to avoid slipping. Always angle the blade away from the body and keep fingers clear of the cutting path. When opening a box, make shallow cuts to prevent slicing into the contents.

It’s helpful to run the blade along the tape in a straight line for a clean, smooth cut. After opening, fold and store the boxes neatly for reuse or recycling. Taking these precautions ensures safety and keeps belongings intact.

Person wrapping a plate
Follow the tips on using the supplies and tools correctly for an efficient relocation

#7 Use Stretch Wrap for Bundling Items and Protecting Fragile Belongings

This plastic film tightly secures belongings, preventing them from shifting or coming apart. Stretch wrap is particularly useful for keeping drawers closed, bundling similar items, and protecting furniture from dust and scratches.

To use stretch wrap effectively, start by wrapping the base of the item and work your way up, ensuring even coverage and a tight fit. For added protection, use the stretch wrap in combination with moving blankets around larger pieces of furniture.

This double layer of security ensures that items stay clean and intact during transit. Stretch wrap is also handy for securing loose objects like utensils, cords, and small tools, keeping everything organized and together.

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Moving Equipment for Relocating Large Possessions

Using appropriate moving equipment not only prevents injury but also protects the items from damage. Essential equipment includes hand trucks, dollies, lifting straps, and a tool kit. These tools help maneuver bulky objects through tight spaces, up and down stairs, and into transport vehicles with ease.

Hand Trucks and Dollies

Hand trucks and dollies are indispensable for relocating heavy and bulky items. These wheeled devices make it easy to transport large boxes, appliances, and furniture with minimal effort. To use a hand truck or dolly effectively, start by securely loading the item onto the platform, ensuring it is balanced. Use straps or bungee cords to secure the load, preventing it from shifting during transit.

A Tool Kit - Screwdrivers, Wrenches, and Pliers

A well-equipped tool kit is essential for any relocation, especially when disassembling and reassembling furniture and appliances. Screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers are crucial for removing screws, bolts, and other fasteners. When preparing large items for transport, use these tools to disassemble pieces like bed frames, tables, and shelving units. Keep track of all hardware by placing it in labeled bags to avoid losing any small parts.

Lifting Straps

These adjustable straps help distribute weight evenly, reducing the risk of injury and making it easier to lift and carry large belongings. To use lifting straps effectively, place the straps under the item to be lifted and adjust them to the appropriate length. Each person should loop the straps over their shoulders or under their arms, using their body strength to lift. This method leverages the larger muscles in the legs and torso, reducing strain on the back.

Relocate Seamlessly With Help From USA Auto Transport Company

Now that you know what tools to get, hire the right relocation company. As an experienced moving company, we specialize not only in providing exceptional moving services but also in expertly shipping cars in the USA. Whether you’re in need of door-to-door auto transport or prefer the flexibility of terminal-to-terminal car shipping, we have you covered.

Our skilled team offers both open and enclosed auto transport options to suit your needs. Trust USA Auto Transport for hassle-free relocation and reliable vehicle shipping. For more information or to schedule our services, contact us today. As a top-tier car shipping company, we’re here to make your move and vehicle transport as smooth as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Essential Packing Tools

How Do Moving Blankets Protect Furniture, and What Types Are Available?

They are used to protect furniture from scratches, dents, and other damage during transport. They come in various types – lightweight for single-use, mediumweight for frequent use, and heavyweight for high-value objects. Quilted moving blankets offer superior cushioning for delicate pieces.

What Is the Purpose of Stretch Wrap, and How Is It Used Effectively?

Stretch wrap is used for bundling items together, securing loose objects, and providing an extra layer of protection for furniture and other large possessions. To use stretch wrap effectively, start at the base and wrap upward, ensuring even coverage and a tight fit.

How Do Lifting Straps Help With Moving Heavy Furniture?

Lifting straps distribute the weight of heavy furniture and appliances, making it easier to lift and carry these items. Adjust the straps to the appropriate length, loop them over the shoulders or underarms, and use body strength to lift.

Why Are Scissors and Box Cutters Important for Packing?

Scissors and box cutters are essential for cutting packing materials to size, opening sealed boxes, and making adjustments during packing. Sharp, comfortable scissors are ideal for cutting tape and bubble wrap, while box cutters provide clean, precise cuts for opening boxes.

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