Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Moving Tips: Necessary Supplies

This is the first installment of my DIY Moving Tips. Enjoy!

Purchase moving supplies as far in advance as you possibly can. I know some moves can come out of nowhere, so just do your best. Yet it's so much easier to just jump-in packing when you already have everything prepared in your house!

I consider the moving supplies listed below to be vital for a successful move!

  • Uniformly-sized boxes from U-Haul, Lowes or any other moving supply store. Having boxes that "match" will make packing your moving truck much more manageable. *The cost might scare some people, but please remember that you can deduct moving expenses from your taxes, so buy what you need and can afford! Trust me, I've done moves with free boxes from grocery stores/friends; moving-company boxes that were packed for us; and purchased boxes from U-Haul. It's absolutely worth the extra expense to pack your possessions in similar boxes! *I used U-Haul boxes the most. I like the fact that U-Haul will buy back your extra boxes if you haven't used them. It gave me great peace of mind knowing that I couldn't over-buy!


  • U-haul Wrapping (packing) Paper. This is the most magnificent moving supply for me...ever! It is very inexpensive for the important safety job it does. I usually use between four and six boxes per move. Whenever I have left-over packing paper, I use it to wrap gifts. I then tie said inexpensively-wrapped packages with bright, lovely bows! When we moved from Utah to Texas, I believe I never ran out of packing paper, and used the extra box for our last move back home! It is worth every penny! *I prefer packing paper to bubble wrap any day!


  • Mattress and couch plastic covers - as many as you need. I buy two mattress covers for each mattress and tape them closed. That way, you can be relatively sure that you won't get bedbugs from the truck in your mattresses. I'm not saying there will be bedbugs in every moving truck, but you can never be too careful! :)
Picture Credit

  • File-size rubber bands - one package. I use these to wrap around blanket-covered delicate/breakable items. The large/strong/thick rubber bands really do hold blankets or towels very securely to whatever you want protected. Plus, they are great fun to use in rubber band wars! Ha ha. I used three of them wrapped around our Japanese doll's glass case because the glass case was shifty and wanted to slide apart. I was amazed at how well the elastics held the glass case together. I was also greatly relieved that neither the glass case nor the doll broke during the move!

  • Other various sizes of rubber bands. Keep them divided up by size in plastic sandwich bags. You'll be surprised at how often rubber bands are needed. From things like gathering random pieces of mail, to winding up electrical cords, rubber bands are awesome for moving!

  • Packing tape. I absolutely buy these in bulk because one can never have too much packing tape! Buy double or triple what you think you will need, and then buy them again! I'm completely serious. The U-Haul Box/Packing tape is wonderful because you can easily tear it with your fingers.

  • Sharpies. They are a must for keeping track of what is inside your boxes - label everything you can think of! (*When I say label, I mean to write on the outside of your boxes, of course. We don't want any Amelia Bedelia confusion going on! Ha ha.) That way, when you're unpacking, you'll know exactly where to find everything - even if you don't unpack it all right away. Sharpies keep me sane. Sane Sharpies...it's kinda catchy, don't ya think?! ;) Definitely buy more of these than you think you need and keep them everywhere in your house. Then, simply gather them up when you move.

  • Large plastic tub. Keep all of your smaller moving supplies like Sharpies, packing tape, rubber bands, plastic bags, etc. in it. That way it's easy to move everything from room to room. When you're finished packing up one room, just throw everything in it and move along to the next room!

  • Blank note cards - various sizes, and clear packing tape. The note cards come in handy for making notes, or for categorizing what's inside your boxes (once you open them again), or for labeling other plastic storage bins. If you are labeling other plastic bins, be sure to attach the note cards with the clear packing tape across the entire card. That way, the writing on the card stays protected, and the chance that the card will fall off is greatly reduced. The packing tape also comes in handy for so many things that you won't even think of, until the problems present themselves!


  • Ziploc plastic bags: gallon size and sandwich size. I know there are many brands out there that you can use. I usually buy these in bulk at Sam's Club and just use whatever I have in the house already. Keep two packages of each size in your plastic supply bin. They come in so handy for separating or gathering miscellaneous items like Legos or hair accessories, or fridge magnets, etc.. You can easily write on the plastic bags with your Sane Sharpie!


  • Various pens and pencils. You just never know when you'll need something to write with that's smaller than a Sharpie.


  • Personal media device. You'll need happy music, or inspiring/uplifting podcasts, or interesting/controversial talk-radio to help the packing/unpacking time pass more quickly. Plus, the right music or words can greatly affect your mood for the better - which means you'll be more effective in your moving duties! :) *I don't recommend watching T.V. or movies when you're packing - unless you have a movie memorized and can enjoy it without actually watching the screen. The visual stimulation will distract you too much, and you'll use your time less effectively.

  • Scissors. You'll want at least two utility pairs because someone always needs scissors for something!

  • Baby wipes. I use these to wipe down (dust) everything before I pack it/them up. Okay, maybe not everything - just what is dusty or grimy. It's always better to have everything clean before you pack it up. Believe me, the last thing you want to do is have to clean your possessions after they've been all jumbled around in a box with other stuff. It's much better to have everything clean before making the move! My favorite baby wipes (by far!) are the Sam's Club Simply Right Baby Care Premium Wipes. I used them on all of my babies, and still use them as hand wipes, computer wipes, car dashboard dusters, etc.! *I prefer baby wipes to sanitizing wipes because then I don't need to worry about all of the harsh/damaging chemicals like I do with sanitizing wipes. Also, I've noticed that when I use the sanitizing wipes - or even paper towels with a spray cleaner - my hands take a beating and become really dry, cracked and irritated. Baby wipes keep my hands feeling great. Hey, if they're good enough for a baby's bottom, they're good enough for my moving/packing hands!

  • Ensures and water. It's SO important to keep yourself hydrated and properly nourished. Whenever I do a big move (which has been 9 out of our 11 moves), I seem to constantly be hungry and thirsty because I'm expending constant energy throughout the day. When I get hungry/thirsty, I am less effective at packing/moving. Thus, when I don't have time for a proper meal, I've found the best way to keep myself from turning into a moving zombie is by drinking Ensures and water. *I know this is not optimal nutrition, but sometimes you just have to do what you can do!

  • Clear plastic recycling bags: large trash can and kitchen size. Use these for anything you don't want to get wet. Greg laughed at me when I put all of our linens and clothes inside these bags before I boxed them up. But thanks to my careful preparation, I didn't have to fret (not one little bit!) when one of our boxes with cleaning supplies - that was already packed on the moving truck - suddenly started leaking all over the boxes below it. I knew that anything I didn't want to get wet would safely be tied up inside those lovely clear bags. They are also great for organizing linen and clothing shelves/drawers. Just put one drawer or shelf of clothing or linens per bag, label which shelf or drawer it contains, and pack it up! They're also great for garbage collection as you move through each room.


  • If possible, purchase or rent a hand truck (a.k.a. moving dolly). Because we've moved so many times, we ended up buying one. After a few moves, that hand truck broke, so we bought another one! A hand truck is worth every penny!
Picture Credit

You're now ready for my next post, "DIY Moving Tips: What to Keep"!

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