The Essential Packing Materials For Moving Home

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We’ve all heard the statistic that moving home is one of the top 3 most stressful moments in your life.

Right next to divorce and the death of a loved one.


And one of the biggest parts of moving house stress is the worry that your possessions will get lost or damaged on the way. Believe us, it happens more often than you’d think — and nearly always because the person moving hasn’t prepared the correct packing materials, instead just throwing their furniture into the moving van and hoping for the best.

Cue the breakages.

Not being fully prepared when moving house can be costly — not to mention upsetting.

But by researching exactly what you need before you make the big move, you can easily avoid this type of stress for minimal cost.

We’ve compiled this list of the must-have packing materials you need to ensure your belongings stay safe.

Let’s take it away…

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes will form the backbone of your packing material inventory so make sure that you stock up in bulk.

Essentially, everything other than large objects and furniture can be packed into these boxes before you move — clothes, books, computers, all that paperwork you keep just in case you might need it in the future — you name it, it can go in the box.

Fragile items can most certainly be transported in these boxes for moving house, although make sure that you fully protect them with bubble wrap or packing paper (more on these later) beforehand.

A few things to look out for:

  • Size — make sure that you buy a variety of different sizes to accommodate different size belongings
  • Sturdiness — it’s worth investing a little more to get a higher quality box that’s not going to fall apart under some weight. A cardboard box isn’t much good if it can only carry three books before it splits its sides.

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Size (mm)305 x 229 x 152457 x 305 x 305600 x 450 x 400
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Moving Blankets

Moving blankets are your secret weapon to keeping your furniture protected during the moving process. They’re also known as moving pads and furniture moving pads.

They are large, thick sheets that are draped over individual pieces of furniture that stop the items getting broken, scratched, ripped and covered in dust during the moving process.

Ideally, you should cover your furniture in the blankets before they actually leave your house. This way, they won’t get scratched on your stairs or front door when they’re being moved to the van.

Some professional movers will provide moving pads as part of their service, but you’ll generally be expected to buy or hire these yourselves. Luckily, they’re very cheap.

Before you buy/rent, make sure you’ve considered the following:

  • Size — generally speaking, bigger is better when it comes to moving blankets as they can cover more of your furniture, more effectively. This is especially important if you have large objects like a king size bed or a corner sofa to move.
  • Thickness — again, the thicker the blanket, the more protection it will offer so go thick if you’re moving particularly delicate pieces or pianos. Thinner moving pads are generally cheaper so stick to these if you’re on a tight budget.

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Size (cm)200 x 150203 x 182203 x 182
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Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap isn’t just for absent minded popping, it’s an absolute packing essential when it comes to keeping your treasured possessions safe and protected.

These plastic bubbles provide a much-needed layer of cushioning between your fragile item and the hard surface of the cardboard box it’ll be packed in. It’s especially important when your boxes will be moving around the van during transit, potentially bouncing off the walls and against hard furniture.

Anything can be wrapped in bubble wrap, and certainly anything you’re worried about breaking should be.

Things like glasses, china, computers, cameras, candlesticks and other electronic items should definitely be wrapped in at least one layer of bubble wrap.

We recommend buying bubble wrap in bulk as you’ll certainly be using a lot of it during the moving process. It usually comes in huge rolls for reasonable prices.

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Width (mm)500500750
Length (m)1005075
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Packing Paper

Another moving home essential is packing paper — and it’s something you’ve probably seen before when you’ve bought breakable items at a shop and the assistant has wrapped it up ready for you to take home.

Packing paper has three purposes:

  1. Provides surface protection
  2. Protects against vibration
  3. Used for void and fill

Just like bubble wrap, you’ll want to get a large quantity of packing paper as it’s very important in protecting your valuables and making sure nothing gets broken or scratched while in cardboard boxes.

You can generally buy it in large individual sheets, sold by the kilo.

Some people decide to use newspaper instead but be prepared to have to scrub your possessions of newspaper ink once you’re unpacking them in your new home!

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Packing Tape

Your final packing material essential is to buy a roll or two of heavy duty packing tape.

This tape will make sure that your boxes stay securely closed and that nothing will fall out of them during transit. Packing tape can also be used for affixing bubble wrap.

You’ll want something more powerful and thick than sellotape, so take a look at duct tape and Scotch Heavy Duty if you need something to get the job done effectively.

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Width (mm)485075
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Packing Hacks: 8 Tips For Moving House Stress-Free

If you’re looking for packing tips for moving house, we’ve got you covered.

Get Organised

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — the best things to do when moving house will always be to get organised, prepare your materials and keep your movers in the loop.

So, what does that mean on a practical level?

Here’s a moving house checklist for you:

  • Book your movers/hire your van as soon as your moving date is confirmed. The sooner the better!
  • Inventory your possessions and get a final quote and move-time estimate from the movers
  • Inform them about whether you need help with dissembly and assembly, and what materials they provide
  • Buy the packing materials we talked about above ⬆
  • Pack everything well ahead of time and make sure everything is labeled and compiled in an inventory
  • On moving day, ensure that all boxes have been safely delivered to your new home by checking against your inventory
  • Raise any issues, like breakages, quickly and with the right people to make sure they’re sorted promptly

Time for a Clean-Out

Moving house is the perfect time to do a clean-out of your possessions and throw away/sell/donate anything you don’t want or use anymore.

We’re looking at you, wardrobes.

The number #1 moving house tip in this case is not to wait until moving day, but to do your clean-out well advance.

Not only will it cut down on your costs and moving time, but it’ll give you the perfect opportunity to buy new things for your new home!

Be as Green as Possible

It’s impossible to predict exactly how many cardboard boxes, rolls of bubble wrap and packing papers you might need, and it’s natural to go for slightly too much rather than risk being short-handed on moving day.

But be aware that packing materials aren’t always the most environmentally friendly products on the planet.

When your budget allows, consider opting for recyclable boxes and papers, and be sure to reuse as much as you can so as little as possible is wasted.

Keep Valuables Secure

We’d always recommend looking after particularly precious or valuable objects yourself, rather than entrusting them to the moving van.

Whether that’s jewellery, laptops, artwork, whatever, it’s best to insure these separately and keep them safely with you on the day of the move.

Pack Stuff in Furniture

One way to reduce the number of cardboard boxes you use when you’re moving home is to use your furniture as alternative packing solutions.

Bureaus, chests of drawers and even wardrobes, can be packed with light, non-fragile objects to really maximise on space in your moving van.

And, of course, any suitcases or laundry baskets that you’re taking with you are prime vessels for more packing!

Put the Dog in Kennels

Moving home is very stressful for humans, but it can be even more of a strain on our pets.

Before you start packing up your home, put Fido in kennels (or your cat in a cattery) until you’re fully moved into your new home.

Label by Room

One of the most helpful things when it comes to finally unpacking your belongings in your new house is to have all your boxes labelled with not only what they contain, but into which room they’ll be going.

This way you can unpack each box into its specific room — much quicker and easier than running your possessions all over the house.

Pack an Overnight Bag

Chances are, you’ll be completely exhausted by the time you’ve finished moving house on moving day.

We’d suggest packing an overnight bag with all the essentials in that you’ll need for that first night in your new home — toilet roll, tea bags, milk, toiletries and towels.

With all your essentials ready to go, you’ll be able to have a relaxing first night in your new pad and will feel bright and fresh the next morning when it comes to unpacking time!

Do you have any packing tips for moving house?


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