There is so much to think about when preparing for a move. So many decisions to be made: which company to hire, what items to bring along, how to pack everything up. Having the right equipment, though, can majorly affect the outcome of your move. If you get all of the essential moving supplies, your next relocation is bound to go much smoother than you could’ve ever expected.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of all the important supplies for you to refer to as you get ready to relocate. Our checklist outlines what items you’ll need and how to use them to make your move go well. We’ll even show you how to cut costs on your moving supplies.

Begin planning early

After the search for your new home is done, it’s time to transfer your belongings and begin this new chapter of your life. To safeguard your valuables throughout the transfer, you should purchase the necessary moving items prior to starting your packing. These items are reasonably priced and can be found in many stores. Having your moving goods prepared will help you organize the relocation efficiently and quickly, so it’s worth planning ahead of time.

A mover amongst moving boxes
A checklist of moving supplies is the number one item.

To organize your move, create a proper supply list. Lists are essential since they assist you in preparing and packing your items into boxes that are correctly sized and labeled to guarantee safety during handling and transportation. Going over the checklist item by item will save you time later on, and buying moving goods in bulk wherever possible will save you money.

What are the essential moving supplies?

If you hire a moving company, some of these products will be provided for free, while others may be available for purchase. It’s always a good idea to check with your movers to see what they give and what you’ll need to buy. Consider investing in quality products to ensure your valuables make it to your new location safe and sound. You might be thinking “Oh, it’s just boxes and tape!” but there is much more to moving supplies than that.

The very basics

Even though there is more to packing than boxes, we have to start with those essential items a move can’t go without.

Moving boxes

Good boxes are the Holy Grail of packing – they’re an item that holds the most power in this process. To make the packing more efficient, we recommend acquiring a range of box sizes and types. Get small boxes for heavier objects, like books, and large boxes for light, bulky items, such as pillows or blankets, at the very least. For fragile items like plates, medium boxes with box dividers are ideal.

If you want to save money and have the time to look around, you may be able to find free boxes; many people give away their own after they finish a relocation.

Packing tape

To ensure that all of your boxes are sealed and safe, you’ll need a lot of tape. If the boxes are knocked over, or liquids spill around them, you will want to know everything is secure. It’s best to use heavy-duty packing tape at all times. Aluminum foil tape, shipping tape, box tape, and duct tape are a few examples.

Duct tape on a moving box
Always buy more tape than you think you’ll need.

While you may be tempted to buy the cheapest packing tape you can find, we advocate investing a few dollars extra in high-quality tape. Cheap tape is frequently too thin to be readily applied and has poor sticking strength.

Protective wraps

Of course, you don’t want to just put everything in a box. When preparing your delicate products for transportation, wrap them in protective materials such as bubble wrap, recycled newspaper, old towels.

woman sitting on the floor wrapping a dish in bubble wrap
Wrap easily scratched things in a soft fabric first, followed by a heavier, protective material.

To protect fragile things like your glassware, use foam wrap sheets. Bubble wrap is ideal for packaging bigger or unusually shaped breakables. Foam protective wraps are lightweight and flexible, and they are frequently made of recyclable materials, which is great if you, as a household, are trying to go green. Newspapers are always a cheaper alternative but less effective, so if you want to save some money, they are the way to go.

What else?

Before you really begin packing your home, you’ll also need some smaller supplies. You may already have some of these goods on hand; if so, gather them and begin putting things away.

Labeling supplies

As you pack, you will need to mark your boxes. Everyone has their specific labeling method: some enjoy just writing on a box, while others prefer to create a special color code with colored stickers.

  • Permanent markers: Labeling your boxes will aid not just your movers, but also your unpacking procedure. Using a marker to do this is a simple solution, and it gets the job done. You will know the contents of each box and the room it goes in.
  • Colored stickers:  You can assign a different colored sticker to each room. That way, the movers will be able to rapidly transfer your belongings from the moving truck into your new home and position them in the appropriate locations. It’s more convenient for both you and them!
A relocation box labeled kitchen
Don’t forget to label your boxes clearly and on both sides.


Put screws, bolts, and washers in smaller plastic bags as you disassemble furniture, then mark the bag so that you know where the hardware goes. Keep all of these bags in one location so you can locate the hardware you need quickly. You will also need plastic baggies for all of your tiny miscellaneous objects.

Large garbage bags are necessary for donating or discarding goods. If you are listing or renting your old home, you should consider decluttering and making room for all the good stuff to come.

Cleaning materials

To account for the condition of your house or apartment before and after the relocation, you’ll need a range of cleaning products. It’s easy to become sidetracked by the packing process and forget about the importance of cleaning, so make sure you have a cleaning kit ready before you start packing. That and protective gear represent essential moving supplies, too, though often neglected.

Good luck with packing and moving! Meta description: If you need to move but are not sure where to begin with packing, we have a list of essential moving supplies for your next relocation.

Categories: Moving


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