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Must-Have Packing Supplies and How to Use Them

A woman in a grey shirt carrying a brown cardboard box.

When the time comes to move to a new home, there are many things you need to think about. One of the most overlooked parts is always the question of what to do with all of your possessions. Packing requires a lot of planning, and it definitely shouldn’t be put off until the last minute. We will give you our picks for the top must-have packing supplies and how to use them.

A family labeling cardboard boxes for packing before a move.

Packing supplies you will need:

  1. Boxes

Boxes of all sizes will surely come in handy. You can probably get free boxes from many stores if you ask. Remember to start collecting in time. Alternatively, you can buy new ones in many large markets and hardware stores.

How to use boxes when packing: In the days before the move, you can store them flat and arranged by size. You can even label them in advance to save time when it comes to sorting what items go where. Reinforce the bottoms and corners with tape to make them sturdier.

  • Tape

Get moving tape and duct tape since they will both come in handy. You should also keep some tape nearby for the day of the move.

How to use tape when packing: Use tape to reinforce the bottoms of boxes. Tape is also great for sealing shut drawers and cupboards so that nothing comes loose. By using a dry erase marker, you can write on the tape and then stick it to boxes.

A woman watching a man carry a box labeled Office.
  1. Sharpies and Sticky notes

Permanent markers can withstand the move and not get smeared while being handled. Sticky notes are great for labeling, but you can use any paper and then tape it.

How to use markers and notes: Make sure everything is labeled and sorted. Markers of different colors can help you color-code boxes so they will be easy to sort. Unpacking will be so much simpler if you know where things are packed. Combine notes with tape to make sure they stay put.

  • Bubble wrap

Probably the most important out of must-have packing supplies is bubble wrap. The best way to safely pack your fragile possessions is to cover them from head to toe in air cushioning. Depending on the item’s size, you can then place it in a box with other delicate pieces also coated in bubble wrap.

How to use bubble wrap when packing: Bubble wrap comes in rolls, so you can apply as many layers as you feel are necessary. You can also use it as padding for boxes before placing smaller fragile items inside. Another good use for bubble wrap is covering the corners and sides of bulkier items like kitchen appliances.

Scissors and tape resting on a sheet of bubble wrap.
  • Reseal-able plastic bags

You can pick these up in many supermarkets, as well as your local hardware store or the dollar store. Plastic bags that can be resealed are insanely handy; you’ll want to carry them around in your pocket.

How to use resealable plastic bags: Plastic bags are great for storing odd pieces you don’t want to lose. For example, if you need to disassemble something before packing, you can place the screws and bolts in plastic bags.

How to make packing easier and less stressful?

Packing isn’t just about putting stuff into boxes; that’s actually the least stressful part of it. You need to plan when and how you will get everything done to be ready for the move. You will need some regular household goods until the day of the relocation, so save packing them for last. Another major cause of stress is worrying about making sure that none of your valuable possessions get damaged. Damage can happen either while packing or during transport to your new home.

Here are some tips on how to make packing more manageable:

Hire packing services

Of course, there are many small items that you can easily pack on your own. You might need help with the bulkier things and heavier boxes. For all of your heavy-duty packing needs, consider hiring packing services. You can consult with your moving company to see if they offer this option. This will go a long way towards reducing the amount of stress you will be facing. Not to mention that you will also be saving yourself the hassle of handling the heavy inventory. A reputable packing company will have all of the required gear, and they will help plan out and organize the whole process.


You will definitely have an easier time packing and moving if you declutter and eliminate unnecessary items. Of course, the hardest things to get rid of will be the so-called “sentimental clutter” before the move. These are items that accumulate over the years that serve no actual purpose, but you still can’t seem to let go of them. You will need to be especially strict on yourself for those. Draw some hard lines, and soon you will have fewer things you need to pack and worry about.

Stay safe

While the coronavirus isn’t really a new thing, it still hasn’t gone away. You need to stay safe when moving during COVID-19. Relocating to a new home means you will probably be interacting with many people in different neighborhoods or perhaps even states. Be sure to stay safe and be mindful of yourself and others.

A person wiping the floor with a broom and a dustpan.

Prep for cleanup

Even the process of packing your possessions can leave a mess in your home. Some must-have packing supplies are required to clean up once you are finished. Make sure you have the following items:

  • Garbage bags – you will need plenty of these to deal with scraps of tape or bubble wrap. They will help keep the mess from spilling over.
  • Paper towels – are handy to give your items a once-over while packing. Towels are also great for cleaning up all the mess hidden behind or underneath the stuff you just packed up.
  • Broom and dustpan – you are bound to stir up plenty of dust you didn’t even know were there. Sweep up what you can before vacuuming.

Moving to a new home is always complicated. Packing is just one of the necessary steps you need to go through to be ready for the move itself. It always helps to be prepared. Make sure you’ve got all the must-have packing supplies and that you know how to use them, and you will be packed in no time.

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