Cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, cushion foam, and packing paper...these simple materials will protect your belongings during transport. If your moving boxes aren't filled correctly, their contents will shift and get damaged. Overfilled boxes will rupture while underfilled boxes will collapse. The moving company is not liable for any boxes packed by the customer, so if you're doing your own packing, read on to learn how to pack a moving box and what to use.
Biodegradable packing peanuts are ideal for filling up large and small empty spaces so contents don't shift during transport. Pour a layer of packing peanuts into the bottom of each box to pad heavy items. A thin layer of insulation could prevent a dish at the bottom of the box from cracking on impact. To ensure items don't clink together, use packing peanuts between things wrapped in other materials.
Acid-free and ink-free newsprint paper is good for protecting fragile items such as glassware, dishes, valuables, collectibles, home décor, and much more. Wrap up paintings and other items to prevent their surfaces from getting scratched. Use it to cover small kitchen appliances, utensils, or items that will be packed at the bottom of a box. Packing paper is inexpensive and recyclable, so crumple it, and use liberally to fill empty spaces.
Once you know you're moving, start saving your cardboard boxes. Odds are, you get plenty of packages, so it’s a free packing resource. Sturdy boxes can be resued. Damaged boxes can be broken down into flat panels to support items inside the box. Slip a panel between photo frames, paintings, or other items wrapped in packing paper. Cut the boxes up and make cells for stemware and fragile bottles.
Cushion foam is sturdy, versatile, and sold in a variety of styles including pouches, sheets, and kits for dishes and glasses. It's great for isolating items so they don’t knock together during transit, plus it’s a safe material for electronics. Slip a dish inside a pouch or place a sheet between bowls to keep them secure in a stack. Fold a couple sheets and layer it on the bottom of each box to pad heavy items as a cleaner, reusable option to packing peanuts.
Bubble wrap cushions breakables such as dishes, glassware, collectibles, home décor, and much more. It comes in four standard sizes that refer to the height of the bubble; 1/8" (super small), 3/16" (small), 5/16" (medium), and 1/2" (large). For the most protection, always wrap the top of the bubbles against your item. Wrap fragile items into a ball with small bubble wrap and tape it closed so it doesn’t unravel. This material is great for isolating small items with an odd shape. For less fragile, larger items, use medium bubble wrap. If you have a lot of space to fill in a box, large bubble wrap can be a good filler material.
Quick Tips for Packing a Moving Box