How many boxes to buy? What size packing boxes do I need? How many of each size box? How much tape? Do I need a packing tape dispenser or are those things just a gimmick?
We've all been caught out while packing for a move with a pile of stuff left over. These items either didn't fit into the boxes we had because of their odd shape, or we simply ran out of boxes. Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful experiences we encounter in everyday life, think ahead and get the right packing supplies can help keep frustrations and stress to a minimum.
Packing supplies problems
It may seem like a simple, straight forward task, but getting the moving supplies right can be tricky. Problems can occur with:
- not enough moving boxes
- cheap or low-quality boxes
- damaged or second-hand boxes
- boxes too heavy
- weak or substandard packing tape
- wrong size boxes
It's difficult to guess by just looking at your house full of personal belongings how many boxes you will need for the move. Try and break it down room by room. Make a system so you don't miss anything - left to right, top to bottom, front door to back door, whatever works for you. Don't forget the garage or shed. Remember that small, heavy items like books and paperwork should go into smaller boxes so they don't get too heavy to lift.
Larger rooms with more equipment, like the kitchen, will need extra boxes in a selection of sizes. As you move from room to room tallying up the box count open all the cupboards, cabinets and drawers to get a better idea of what's really there. Trust us, there's more than you think.
The sheets, pillow cases, towels etc from the linen cupboard can often be used to wrap delicate or breakable items like plates, vases, and glassware but you'll still need to allow for that space used.
Sometimes it can help to buy one of each size box so you can do a trial pack of each to get a better idea of how much will fit into the various sizes. Don't forget to allow for bulky pieces which take up lots of room such as the vacuum cleaner or leaf blower.
Once you have added up the box count for the whole house add on a few of each size for back up.
"I wish I hadn't bought 1 box too many," said no mover ever.
Buying packing boxes
Picture this, the box filled with all your glassware and crockery which has been bouncing around in the back of the removals truck for the last few hours finally gives way as the removalist carries it up the steps of your new home. Disaster! Don't let this happen to you.
Buy quality boxes. You may be tempted buy second hand or make do with reclaimed boxes from the local supermarket, don't. Second hand boxes may look great on first inspection, but if they've been kept in a damp environment can weaken as soon as they're packed up. Old boxes tend to become brittle and most food boxes are really only made for a one-time use. If you value your belongings protect them with quality packing boxes.
The same goes for packing tape. The difference between cheap and quality packing tape is huge. Go for the good stuff for a few dollars more, you'll get a reliable stick and a strong seal. And invest in a packing tape dispenser, it will seem like an unnecessary indulgence to start with but after you've taped up your seventeenth box it'll be the best $10 you've ever spent.
Make your move as stress-free as possible, stock up on plenty of good quality packing supplies and start early.