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Asian woman taping cardboard box while packing her belongings before moving out of her apartment.

Moving Supplies for an Easy Move (2024 Guide)

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Default Author Icon Written by Shane Sentelle Updated 04/12/2024

A successful move requires more than cardboard boxes and packing tape. From lifting straps for heavy furniture to a simple utility knife for opening boxes, the right supplies can make the difference between a stress-filled move and an easy transition to your new home. Most times, it’s a good idea to gather them up before you even start packing.

In this guide, we rounded up the must-have moving supplies for an easy move, whether you’re hiring professional movers or going the DIY route.

Boxes are a big part of almost any move—watch the video below to see which ones could be the best option for you.

Basic Packing Supplies

Before considering specialty items, make sure to cover the basics. Here’s the least of what you need:

Moving Boxes

Tape and Markers

Cushioning Materials

You will need an assortment of moving boxes, including small, medium, and large boxes. Small boxes work well for heavy items, such as dishes and books, while large and medium boxes are better for linens, clothes, and lighter household goods. You can get moving boxes at The Home Depot, Walmart, U-Haul, Amazon, and several other retailers.
Although wardrobe boxes and dish-packing kits are not necessary, investing in these and other specialty boxes can make your move easier and reduce the risk of damage. Specialty boxes are ideal for breakable items, such as flatscreen TVs and glassware.
Heavy-duty boxes are preferable. You can save money by sourcing free cardboard boxes, but keep in mind that used boxes may not be as durable. Additionally, opting for locking plastic bins for fragile or valuable items, especially if your items are going into storage, will keep out moisture and insects and make stacking easier.
You will need high-quality packing tape as well as a tape gun or tape dispenser. Scotch, Gorilla, and Duck rank among the best packing tape brands. Purchase a utility knife or box cutter for unpacking and breaking down the boxes after your move.
We recommend having several permanent markers on hand for labeling boxes—enough for each person packing to have their own, plus a couple extra. Consider using different colored markers or color-coded stickers for different rooms so you’ll know at a glance where each box belongs. We also recommend noting the contents on the box on the outside.
Bubble wrap or packing paper will provide an extra layer of cushioning for fragile items. You can also use packing paper to fill any empty space in boxes and keep items from shifting. Tissue paper is an excellent alternative for small, delicate items, while stretch wrap can protect large items from scratches. Consider using towels, washcloths, blankets, linens, and other soft items you need to pack anyway as cushioning materials.

Furniture and Appliances

If you plan to rent a moving truck and load it yourself, you will need shoulder or forearm lifting straps to help you move furniture and appliances. We also recommend using a back brace for the heavy lifting and renting a hand truck or moving dolly. Most truck rentals don’t include the use of a dolly, so you’ll need to supply your own.

Have a basic tool kit on hand with tools such as Allen wrenches and screwdrivers so you can disassemble large items. Store hardware and small parts in clearly labeled plastic bags or smaller boxes.

Use stretchy plastic wrap to secure any built-in drawers or doors, and employ moving blankets or furniture pads to protect against scratches and dings. Cover mattresses and box springs with a mattress bag to keep them clean. Once your items are in the truck, use tie-down or cargo straps to secure them. You can also stretch bungee cords between tie-down points, but make sure they’re relatively tight.

Cleanup After Moving

On moving day, it’s wise to have a few cleaning supplies and toiletries available. This includes heavy-duty garbage bags, a roll of paper towels, an all-purpose cleaner, hand soap, and a roll of toilet paper. Keep these essentials accessible on both sides of the moving process. You may need more heavy-duty cleaning supplies if your landlord requires move-out cleaning.

Our Conclusion

If your goal is an easy move, we recommend splurging a little on supplies. Investing in heavy-duty boxes, high-quality tape, and ample cushioning materials will keep your belongings safe. You might also decide that specialty packing materials, such as wardrobe boxes and a moving dolly, are worth the extra expense. Alternatively, you can hire a full-service mover to pack your belongings for you.

FAQ About Moving Supplies for an Easy Move

What can I use to make moving easier?

You can use several supplies and techniques to make moving easier, from a comprehensive moving checklist to high-quality packing supplies, specialized boxes, moving apps, and color-coded labels. Hiring professional movers to handle all or part of your move will also make the process easier.

How do you pack your house for a fast move?

To pack your house for a fast move, keep clothes on their hangers and use existing containers and linens in place of moving boxes and packing paper. Purge as much as possible, and enlist the help of friends, family, or professional movers. Spend less time sorting, but label boxes clearly with the room where they belong.

What should I pack first when moving?

Pack items you won’t need before the move first, such as books, fine china, and seasonal decorations. Start with storage areas and rooms you don’t often use, such as guest bedrooms. Pack items you use daily last.

What supplies do I need for a short-distance move?

For a short-distance move, you will still need a few basic supplies, including moving boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, and packing paper or bubble wrap. However, you may be able to skip furniture pads, wardrobe boxes, and other specialty supplies.

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