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Moving: What to look for when choosing packing materials?

Moving: What to look for when choosing packing materials?

If reliable packaging is the main guarantor of the safety of the property when moving, then mistakes in the choice of packaging materials are one of the most dangerous. There are so many types of boxes, films, bags, and more on sale now. 

Everyone who plans to moving should figure out in advance in a calm atmosphere what types of packaging are, what they are suitable for, and what features need to be paid close attention to in the selection process.

Carton boxes

The most versatile container! Suitable for almost everything: clothes, books, dishes, children’s toys, and much more. In addition, boxes will replace sheet cardboard and come in handy to protect fragile appliances, furniture, glass, and mirrors.

The main difficulty is to correctly calculate the quantity. If you do not ask the manager of a moving company for help but are dealing with the issue of purchasing packaging yourself, then feel free to multiply your calculation by 2. Otherwise, it will almost certainly turn out in the middle of the collection that the boxes are desperately lacking. To insure yourself and make sure that the calculation is correct, you can use a convenient and free service – an online packaging calculator.

What to look for :

  • The density of the cardboard. Unfortunately, dubious products made of thin cardboard are often sold under the guise of moving boxes. They will not withstand the load and can fail right during the move. Read the description of the goods in the store, a container made of three-layer corrugated cardboard will suit you.
  • Reliable construction. Often there are reviews from moving people that inexpensive boxes from a construction supermarket literally dispersed at the seams. When buying, check the joints and gluing of the sidewalls for strength.
  • Dimensions. The most common mistake here is choosing large boxes. This is fundamentally wrong. The optimal weight of the filled container is 10 kg, the maximum is 15. Otherwise, it will be difficult to carry the boxes, and the bottom may not withstand excessive load. Therefore, give preference to boxes of medium and small size. By the way, two sizes will be quite enough, you should not purchase boxes of all configurations presented by the seller. They will be inconvenient to carry and neatly distributed in the car body.
  • Slit handles. At first glance, this is convenient. However, this design significantly increases the risks of rupture and crumpling of the box.
  • Marking. A simple step like labeling boxes will make it much easier for you to unpack your belongings in your new home. If you can find a package with pre-applied margins and labels for marking – consider yourself lucky! Signing such boxes is quick and easy.

Packages and sacks

The popularity of this type of packaging is understandable – it is affordable, but you can find it in any hardware or department store. However, this is where the benefits end. They are often too heavy to carry. And because of their irregular shape, it is difficult to compactly arrange them in the back of a truck. And most importantly, the packages are torn, threatening damage to the property packed in them. We advise you to refuse bags when preparing your belongings when moving! The consequences of using them can be much more troublesome and costly than purchasing reliable packaging materials on time.


We don’t have to talk about the purpose of this type of packaging material.

What to look for :

  • The most important thing is the quality of the adhesive layer. It is impossible to check it in the store upon purchase. But here a simple rule works – the cheaper the sample, the lower its adhesive properties. We have seen adhesive tape, which does not adhere even to cardboard, the boxes have to be glued 3-4 times. At the same time, the risk that the container will open remains. Purchase scotch tape from trusted sellers, brands you know, and do not strive for unnecessary savings.
  • Winding is the number of meters of tape per roll. Does the purchase seem very profitable? Check, often inexpensive copies have only 20 to 40 meters in the winding. Simple arithmetic: to glue one box (2 layers along the bottom plus fasten the top flaps), depending on its size, you will need about 3-5 meters of tape. That is, a roll of adhesive tape with a winding of 20 meters is only 4-6 packed boxes.

Air bubble wrap

You can’t do without it! Bubble wrap will preserve your dishes, glassware, porcelain, mirrors, and also come in handy when packing monitors, TVs, and other household appliances. We do not recommend replacing air bubble wrap with stretch wrap. It will protect only from dust and moisture, but will not provide shock absorption and protection from mechanical damage.

What to look for :

  • Density. Here are the indicators that you can focus on – the film should be three-layer with a bubble layer thickness of at least 4 mm. The more “flimsy” bubble will have to be used in 2-3 layers to provide proper protection for your property.

Stretch film

Protect furniture and other items from getting wet, dirty and “light” mechanical damage such as “rubbing” when touching different pieces of furniture in the car body during transportation. Locks pull-out elements – for example, drawers at a curbstone.

What to look for :

  • Density. Our recommended values ​​are 17-20 microns. Denser foams will cost more, and budget ones may refuse to be too thin and will have to be used more (additional 2-3 layers). This will not only increase the cost of packaging, but it will also increase your working time.
  • Winding – the amount of film on the roll. Always pay attention to this indicator, because in fact, you are not buying rolls, but meters of packaging material.

Other moving materials

We have discussed the main types of packaging materials that are used when preparing things for moving. Sometimes, in addition to this must-have, vendors or stores offer a wider selection of less popular options:

  • Wooden crates – can be heavy.
  • Plastic containers are convenient, but they significantly exceed the price of cardboard containers. Do you need dozens of plastic boxes after moving?
  • Large check bags are not much better than plastic bags. When filled, they are heavy, they can poorly keep their shape, they cannot be stacked one on top of the other, handles often come off or zippers open.
  • Vacuum bags – use with extreme caution! Indeed, they can greatly reduce the volume of transport, but at the same time, the weight of things will greatly increase. Remember the permissible weight is 10-15 kg for one packed item.
  • Paper – it really can come in handy when moving! It is better to use special paper, such packaging is very budgetary. Old newspapers and magazines can ruin your clothes with paint.
  • Foam bulk filler – good for transporting fragile items of complex shape. For example, it will effectively protect the chandelier.

It seems that now you know everything about packaging materials for your moving. Let your moving be easy and quick, and all things get to a new place in their original form.

Another article on this blog that might interests you:

Furniture Movers: How much does it cost to dismantle a kitchen

Office Move: 10 tips to carry them out successfully

Rob Prosser

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