Interstate Packing Supplies
Naturally, you want all your belongings to arrive at your new home without a scratch. That can be a challenge when you are moving across the country! A list of moving supplies is useful if this is your first DIY move, or the first in a long time. Or maybe you have done a DIY move before, but you want to do things right this time! With the right supplies, you can cut down on moving costs without risking damage to your property. Packing is a bit of a fine art, but it’s not impossible with the correct tools. We suggest leaving yourself several weeks at the very least for packing. Make sure you have time to wrap each unique item properly.
Remember, you can gather materials from local moving retailers, local grocery or retail stores, mail service shops, friends and family, or office supply outlets. If you must purchase some of your materials, the best place to compare prices and get your cost down may be on the internet.
Here is our comprehensive list of necessary out-of-state moving supplies:
1. Basic moving boxes
Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items towards the top. Avoid leaving space between items—you can stuff empty space with clothes, towels, bubble wrap, or packing paper. Get small boxes for heavy items and large items for light, but bulky items. Medium boxes with dividers are also useful.
If you do not want to purchase boxes, you may want to try Freecycle or Craigslist. Another way to get your hands on them is by calling friends and family, or anyone you know who has relocated recently. Other places to check for moving boxes include Boomerang Boxes, U-Haul, or Uboxes.com. You can always find boxes at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Office Depot, or Staples. Explore your online options like Amazon or eBay, or any of the previously mentioned retailers online.
2. Specialty moving boxes
Do you have valuable pieces of artwork? How about mattresses? Electronics? Mirrors? Some things are more easily moved than others. Some objects cannot be moved safely without a specific type of container. Think about it—not everything will fit into your standard cube-shaped boxes.
There are all kinds of boxes available for tricky items. Specialty boxes are meant to make moving anything easier, so you can also buy all kinds of boxes for a smoother overall move. You can find space-saving boxes, wardrobe boxes, and dish barrel boxes. You can buy mirror and picture boxes to protect your valuables.
There are boxes of every shape and size, including:
- Flat boxes
- Multi-depth boxes
- Long skinny boxes
- Large boxes that hold many small boxes
- Telescoping boxes
Plan your moving and your packing process, and then get the best boxes to safeguard your stuff. Valuable items, among others, have the best chance of survival with correct packing. With specialty boxes and packing materials, you can do your part to protect your belongings and save yourself money in the long run.
3. Packing tape
Buy plenty of high-quality packing tape before your move. Use it not only to tape your boxes closed, but also to reinforce the bottoms and the sides. A tape gun is also be a smart investment that will save you time and hassle.
We recommend paying a little more than the bare minimum for packing tape. You will be using lots of tape, and you want to make sure it provides exceptional protection to your items. Remember to use tape specifically designed for moving, as it is strong, durable, and easy to cut when unpacking. Duct tape and other types of tape do not serve the same functions. You can even find special tape like color coded tape or labeled tape to make box organization easier. Stock up on the brands you trust!
4. Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is used for protecting delicate items. You fill any empty spaces between fragile items to cushion them, preventing them from crashing together.
You can choose from a wide variety of bubble wrap. Get bubble wrap both with smaller bubbles and larger bubbles. You can use smaller bubble wrap for dishes and larger bubble wrap for larger breakables like vases.
Your bubble wrap should face inwards, towards your objects, for optimal protection. Use bubble wrap when needed but remember to be considerate of the environment. We recommend bubble wrap and packing paper over packing peanuts, as the peanuts can create a lot of waste and a big mess!
5. Packing paper
Use packing paper to wrap up dishes or fill in spaces between all types of items. The paper will take up less space than bubble wrap.
Keep in mind that newsprint can sometimes transfer ink. If you are worried about getting ink on items in any one box, use clean packing paper instead. Avoid using newsprint on china and dishware as it may leave lasting stains. Look for acid-free, ink-free options that will not cause damage to your precious possessions.
You can even purchase padded packing paper. If you’re stressed about your budget, we recommend investing in padded paper or bubble wrap for valuable breakables like nice glassware but saving money on packing up goods of lesser value. Newsprint or regular packing paper will do for those things.
Also, be considerate of which objects you will need to store. Items going into storage may need to be packed differently than objects going in the truck.
6. Plastic stretch wrap
Plastic stretch wrap is useful for wrapping up dresser and desk drawers. No one wants those drawers sliding open while you try to move them!
You can also place stretch wrap over the corners of furniture pieces to prevent scratching. If the desk or dresser is not too heavy and you’re in a rush, you can even leave things in the drawers and stretch wrap the whole thing.
You can use stretch wrap to hold anything together that you’re worried about shifting and causing difficulties. For example, silverware trays full of silverware or utensils can be stretch wrapped. You can also stretch wrap soft furniture like couches to keep cushions in place and prevent it from becoming wet.
Stretch wrap is quite protective and can be used to keep dust and dirt off anything. Be sure to purchase commercial-grade plastic wrap that movers use. This type of plastic wrap is more durable than the variety you would use to wrap and preserve foodstuffs.
7. Furniture pads or thick blankets
Furniture pads or blankets are necessary to prevent scratching and breaking. There’s no need to purchase new blankets, but you can use your existing blankets to wrap furniture and other valuables. If you use blankets, be aware they might get caught and torn in the process.
Instead of blankets, you could also use towels, comforters, and clothes. Alternatively, go purchase furniture pads. It’s worth protecting costly furniture.
Throwing a pad over bulky furniture can mean the difference between something looking brand new or old and used. Moving pads are expensive in some stores, but they can also be quite affordable when you look in the right places. For example, your moving company may rent them to you at a dozen for $10 or so.
8. Furniture covers
Furniture covers will keep your items clean and prevent minor surface damage. They are useful for mattresses, couches, etc. Alternatively, you could use mattress or couch bags.
People use furniture covers to keep their larger items from getting scraped or dirty. Furniture covers will help your stuff arrive in your home in much better shape, protected from dust and grime on the moving truck. You can find covers online in all different shapes and sizes.
Which items in your home are difficult to clean? Which ones are susceptible to surface damage? Consider furniture covers for preserving these vulnerable pieces.
9. Permanent markers
Everyone needs a few Sharpies to label their boxes well. You should label your boxes both by items and room. Add descriptors like “fragile” and “this way up” whenever such notes would be helpful.
Some people prefer simple labeling, while others develop a more complex method. You might use color coding or stickering. It doesn’t have to be too complicated; for example, you could simply use a multipack of Sharpies—a different color for every room or every category of items.
10. Trash bags
You can use trash bags for all purposes while moving! Get creative with trash bags and save your stuff and your money. Possibilities include:
- Lining any boxes with liquids in them in case of spills
- Throwing clothes or similar soft items into bags
- Covering up furniture to protect it from dust, dirt, or wetness
- Using bags for last-minute donation items or trash
Of course, trash bags can be the winner when you just need a few more boxes and you’re completely out. All kinds of little necessities pop up while moving, and trash bags are a great option in times of need!
11. Smaller bags
Ziploc bags are useful for small items. You don’t want things like batteries, small toiletries, or cords escaping from boxes. You can also use plastic baggies for nuts, bolts, and other parts if you are disassembling bed frames and other furniture for the move. Attach the baggie to the furniture with tape or movers’ wrap to ensure all the tiny pieces are there when you need to reassemble. Don’t forget to label your Ziploc bags. You can utilize a variety of sized bags, from snack or sandwich to gallon-sized.
12. Moving truck
How many belongings do you have? Conduct a thorough assessment or ask a professional about what kind of truck you need to best transport your things. Don’t forget to rent your trailer or truck ahead of time, or else discuss your needs with your moving company.
13. Box cutters
Once you arrive in your new home, the unpacking will be fast and furious, and you’ll be stacking up boxes like nobody’s business. You’ll need a box cutter or two to work with the boxes.
Instead, you could opt for a utility knife. Be careful when using your utility knife or box cutter. You can’t afford a serious injury during this busy and labor-intensive time!
14. Hand trucks and dollies
The best way to get your hands on an affordable hand truck or dolly is to rent one from your truck rental company. There is not usually any reason to purchase one yourself. Oftentimes, these important moving tools cost under $20 for a rental!
Hand trucks and dollies can help you move heavy furniture from house to truck. However, they may not be ideal for stairs. If you are navigating many stairs, you may want to invest in wearable moving straps, working gloves, and other tools that may lessen physical labor during a DIY move.
If you have movers doing all the work, they will typically provide hand trucks and dollies at no extra charge.
15. Cleaning supplies
From Lysol wipes to all-purpose cleaner to paper towels, you’ll want a solid supply of heavy-duty cleaning products. Whether you are working on preparing your new home or on getting your deposit back on your old one, cleaning is a big part of moving. Consider bigger cleaning necessities too, like brooms, mops, and vacuums.
16. Bungee cords and cargo straps
Don’t forget to rope your items down to prevent them from shifting around during transport. Not only can unsecured items become damaged themselves, but they can cause damage to everything around them. There are all kinds of cords and straps, from ratchet straps to nylon ropes. You’ll have to consider with or without E-Track fitting, along with many more options.
Each moving company truck rental place uses or recommends different tie-downs. Do some research to figure out which cords or straps are best for your situation. Ask your moving or truck rental company what they recommend.
Finally, it is imperative to keep that tool box handy! You might have a sudden and dire need for an Allen wrench when you learn you must break the baby’s crib down to finagle it out of the bedroom. Some pieces will not fit down the stairs without complete disassembly.
As far as disassembly and assembly go, a million little things are going to pop up during the interstate moving process. You’ll want to have all your tools on hand.
We want you to have the best moving experience possible! Get your supplies ahead of time. When you collect the proper tools, you protect thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture and belongings. Getting the right supplies can reduce your stress during the moving and unpacking process. The proper supplies will keep everything organized, clean, and safe. Realistically, you can get everything you need at a surprisingly affordable cost! High-quality moving supplies take a nightmarish move and make it completely doable. You have plenty of work to do—let your packing supplies help you out.