There are a few things everyone knows they'll need when they move. Namely a big truck, a strong back, and boxes galore. But this isn't even close to being a complete list of what you'll need to pack up the contents of one home and successfully transfer them to another.

There's nothing worse than being forced to make repeated visits to the store when you're in the midst of a busy moving project because you didn't gather everything you needed in advance. This is why we put together this handy list of packing supplies to help make your move easier.

Moving Supplies

1. Boxes

Empty moving boxes.

One of the biggest moving tips we can offer you is simply to start early. If you wait until the last minute you'll probably end up paying big bucks for boxes because you may have no choice but to purchase them at a retail store.

Our moving checklist suggests you get your boxes about a month in advance. This will give you time to check with stores, friends. Craigslist or your local Buy Nothing group to see if anyone has any moving boxes they'll be willing to part with for free. Corporately owned UHaul stores also have a drop off for people who want to drop off and donate their boxes to other movers. If you plan in advance, chances are one of those sources will come through for you and save you a significant amount of money.

2. Packing Paper

A stack of newspapers.

Packing paper is a moving necessity and you may be able to get for free if you plan ahead. Start saving newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper and miscellaneous materials you can use to wrap and protect your breakables. Spread the word with friends and family and ask them to do the same so you don't end up paying retail prices for something you could have saved rather than throwing in the recycling bin.

3. Tape

Packing tape.

Rolls of tape are probably something you'll probably have to pay for, although if you start shopping in advance you may be able to get them on sale. Keep in mind that you'll likely be using it to reinforce the bottom of your boxes. Make sure you get good quality, sticky, sturdy, packing tape. Don't try to use normal household tape as a substitute. It won't be strong enough.

4. Markers


It's important to mark your boxes once you fill them so you know what goes where in your new house. Pick dark, bold tips so you'll be able to read the writing from afar. It's helpful to have several available so you can keep them in various rooms rather than share them with your helpers or go waste time searching for them if they get misplaced.

5. Packing Blankets

A moving truck filled with boxes.

You can hardly wrap your antique dresser in recycled newspaper and put it into a box. Packing blankets will help you protect your larger valuables. You can even use household blankets assuming they are sturdy, washable, and you have enough of them.

6. Box Cutter, Scissors Or Knife

A box cutter.

The easiest way to open a moving box is to cut through the tape with a sharp blade. Ideally, this won't be necessary until you arrive at your new place, but it's a good idea to have one available with your packing supplies in case you find you need to reopen a sealed box.

7. Rope Or Bungee Cords


Rope or bungee cords are necessary to help you keep your boxes and furniture in place after you put them in your moving truck. If you don't use them, your items could slide around and get damaged in transit.

8. Gloves

A man with a moving box.

Protect your hands with work gloves on moving day. Boxes, bags, and furniture will dig into the flesh of your hands. Moving gloves will help keep them a little more comfortable. If you've hired movers, they'll come equipped with their own, but if you're moving with the assistance of family and friends, make sure you have a few extra pairs to offer them as a courtesy.

9. Snacks And Water Bottles

Four reusable water bottles.

Moving is exhausting work. You and your helpers are likely to work up a thirst and an appetite and chances are, your food will be packed away. Plan ahead and make sure you have snacks and water bottles to keep everyone going.

10. Garbage Bag

An orange garbage bag.

Garbage bags are perfect for packing soft goods like clothes and pillows. And you can also use them to, well, hold garbage. Estimate how many you think you'll on moving day and double it. Chances are you'll be able to put them to use, and if you don't they take up very little space so you can easily pack them away at the end of the day and bring them to your new house.

Room Specific Moving Supplies

1. Kitchen

A woman mops her kitchen floor.

If you slept in your old house the night before, chances are you made either dinner or breakfast in the kitchen. If this is the case, you probably reserved a few pots, pans and dishes when you packed the rest of your kitchen goods. If this is the case, be sure you have a bottle of dish soap on hand so you can clean them before you pack them away.

Unless you've hired cleaners to detail once you've moved out, you'll also need to clean up any mess you made in the kitchen. This will be difficult to do if all of your cleaning supplies are packed away so be sure to keep a few cleaning supplies with you packing materials.

At the very least you'll need a cloth and a cleaner for your countertop. And of course, a vacuum, broom or mop, depending on what you normally use to clean your floors.

2. Bathroom

A man cleans the toilet.

Your bathroom has something in common with your kitchen. It will probably be in use till the last minute and requiring detailing before you move out. The good news is, for the most part, you can use the same cleaning supplies you used in your kitchen. Just be sure to keep an extra cloth and a toilet brush on hand.

3. Carpeted Areas

A carpet cleaner.

Even if you vacuum your carpet prior to your move, chances are you missed the places underneath your boxes and furniture. In addition, it's likely that dirt and debris will get tracked in as you and your helpers move in and out.

Leave your vacuum out with your moving supplies so you can give your carpet a quick once over at the end of the day. It's also a good idea to make sure you have some carpet stain remover available as well to be safe.

4. Walls

A cute dog in a moving box.

Hopefully, you did the bulk of your cleaning, including washing your walls, in advance of your move. But even so, you probably noticed that your walls needed some additional attention after you took your pictures down. Don't fret. Keep a bar of soap with your moving supplies and rub it over your nail holes to fill them in.

Moving is a big project, but with a little bit of advance planning, it's easier than most people think it will be. Making sure you have the right moving supplies will save you time, money, and alleviate stress come moving day. They will help keep you organized and on track.

Plan in advance. Moving is rarely easy, but the right supplies will make it infinitely easier.

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