Moving to a new place can be exciting – but before you can move, you’ll have to pack. And if you’re envisioning all you need is a few sturdy boxes and a roll of tape, think again.

Supplies and Materials You’ll Need When Preparing for a Move

Having the right packing and moving supplies on hand before you get started can be the difference between a move that goes smoothly, and one that leaves you swearing, “I’ll never do that again!”

In keeping with our mission of making moving as stress-free as possible, we’ve created this checklist of essential moving materials that will help you prepare for any move, whether it’s cross-town or cross-country.

Moving Must-Haves

Packing is a massive task and one you shouldn’t take on without planning and organization. Here are the moving necessities you can’t go without.

  • Boxes: Boxes are, without a doubt, the workhorses that make every move possible. First, use an online calculator to take the guesswork out of figuring out how many boxes you need. It’s a good rule of thumb to get a variety of different sizes and types of boxes to make your packing process easier, and don’t forget boxes with dividers for protecting fragile items like dishware.

It’s also a smart idea to slightly overestimate the number of boxes you’ll need – the last thing you want is to run out at midnight, with your kitchen still half-packed and the moving crew scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m.

    • Tape: Boxes and tape go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s worth it to spend a little more on tape that has sticking power –literally! – to ensure none of your carefully packed boxes come un-taped during the move. As with boxes, it’s safe to assume you’ll probably use more tape than you originally expected, so buying in bulk is a frugal move in the long run.
    • Markers or labels: Once you’ve got all your boxes packed and taped, be sure to label them so you’ll remember what’s in them when you arrive at your new home. Any well-organized move requires lots of labeling, whether you choose to color-code by room or just write the contents of the box.
  • Cushioning material: Especially if you’re moving a long distance, you’ll want to invest in something to prevent your belongings from breaking on the journey. Bubble wrap is best, but if you’re looking to save money, you can use newspaper, or make soft items such as bedding and clothes pull double duty.

How to Protect Larger Items

Not all your belongings will go in boxes. When preparing to move furniture, it’s smart to make sure you have these supplies on hand.

    • Furniture pads and covers: To protect larger pieces from damage during the move, use furniture pads or plastic covers. These help keep items clean and prevent scuff marks, stains or other blemishes.
    • Stretch wrap: You might be surprised how many practical ways plastic stretch wrap comes in handy during your move. One helpful application is to use it to keep dresser drawers closed since tape can damage your furniture’s finish.
  • Tool kit: Though you might not have planned to take any furniture apart, you might quickly change your mind when you realize you can’t fit everything in one trip. A few basic tools make it a breeze to dismantle any bigger pieces. Instead of packing them, keep these on hand for quick reassembly once you reach your new place.

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning is an inevitable part of moving. When you make your moving supplies checklist, make sure to include these three items.

    • Trash bags: Buy plenty of heavy-duty garbage bags in preparation for moving day. You’ll be able to use them for everything from last-minute packing to sorting out unwanted items you want to donate before you move. Plus, trash bags will immediately come in handy at your new place, too.
    • Buckets: Buckets are essential tools for deep cleaning. It’s easy to find inexpensive five-gallon buckets at most hardware stores. When shopping for buckets, make sure to look for ones that have snap-on lids. After you finish cleaning, you can use them to pack goods inside.
  • Broom: You’ll want to keep your broom handy to clean both your old home and your new one. Cleaning out a place after you move out is especially important if you are a renter because it ensures you’ll get your full security deposit back. However, regardless of whether you are buying or renting, cleaning after you move is a common courtesy to the next resident.  

Let Home Team Make Your Next Move Easier

We hope you’ll use this checklist as a helpful starting point to make your move manageable. If you’re looking for reputable movers in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati or Indianapolis, book your hassle-free move today!

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