In our previous blog, we discussed some of the most common types of supplies you’ll need when you’re getting ready for the moving company to arrive. (Of course, you could skip that blog and this one if you decide that we should be your movers and your packers.) It’s pretty obvious that you’ll need boxes and tape, to say the least. But it’s also important to have packing material at the ready, which not only includes bubble wrap and packing peanuts but also pillows, comforters, and bed sheets that you’ll be taking with you anyway as you move. Of course, you should always have scissors nearby, whether you’re cutting tape or you suddenly realize that you forgot to put something in a specific box and need it open again. Oh, and we also reminded you that you should stock up on Sharpies, because you really need to know what’s in each and every box to make unpacking easier once you reach your destination.

But we’re not done! If you’ve decided to be your own packer. You’ll want to make sure to have everything below on hand to make it go as smoothly as possible.


Moving can be an exciting time for people, and they want to get to the packing part of it quickly. Where’s an easy place to start? Items that are rectangular. So they start with the book shelves and DVDs, tossing them into boxes and feeling good that they started packing. Unfortunately, they also just packed a lot of dust, because rectangular items packed close together are going to form a shelf for the dust to settle on. “Oh, I’ll vacuum them as I’m taking them out of the box at my new place” they might tell themselves. In reality, that’s not going to happen, because in their new home they want to get everything unpacked as quickly as possible. Vacuum everything now or never vacuum at all!

Hardcover books are the worst about this, because you can’t just wipe off the tops; the pages are recessed from the covers, which makes them difficult to dust. That means that people often just let them go for years, building up a thick layer of dried dirt, pollen, skin cells, and dust mites.

That’s where the trusty vacuum cleaner comes in. Whether it’s a floor unit or handheld, attach the soft brush and clean those books off before putting them in the boxes. Some people buy a new vacuum just as they’re about to move, especially if their 15 year old model isn’t working efficiently enough to pick up all the dust necessary. After all, you really don’t want to take that old dust to your new home.

Gloves and Masks

If you’re taking care of the packing stage of moving on your own, it’s always a good idea to have some gloves and masks around. First of all, latex gloves and breathing masks are great when you’re cleaning and stirring up all of that dust. They’re also a good idea for when you’re using furniture polish, a surprisingly-harsh household cleaner.

Then there are the gloves you’ll want to wear in order to protect your hands from pinching, splinters, and cuts as you are moving items that don’t often get moved. After all, you might touch 100 items in your house during a regular day and receive no injuries. But if you’re moving every item in your house — a coffee table with splinters, a stereo receiver pinched against the entertainment center, and a hundreds paper-cut-causing books — you’re much more likely to harm your hands in some way.

Small Boxes

When most people think of moving, they imagine boxes that are on the larger side. After all, smaller boxes, like something the size of a shoebox. won’t stack as well in the moving van. Won’t they just slide around?

Here’s the trick: boxes inside other boxes! Think about your flatware and other utensils. You don’t just want to toss them in the bottom of a 6-square-foot box. So put them all in smaller boxes, which will certainly make unpacking easier. Then put those smaller boxes into larger boxes, which stack better when the moving company gets there.

Segmented Boxes

Glass items are one of the hardest items to pack. First of all, most people have thrown away the original boxes long ago, boxes that had been specially sized to perfectly protect glass during shipping. And wrapping them up and putting them in any old box will often lead to them getting crushed, especially if there’s no cardboard reinforcement.

What’s the best replacement for the original boxes? Head to the liquor store! No industry in the world ships more glass around than the liquor industry, and every case of wine, whisky, and brandy comes in a box that has cardboard dividers. Liquor stores keep a few around behind the counter to send with customers buying more than four bottles, but they probably have a hundred just waiting to be broken down out by the recycling bin. They’ll probably be more than happy to give you enough compartmentalized contains for all of your glass items.

Big Markers

We talked about having Sharpies around for the move in order to mark boxes, but sometimes you really want to mark a box. While a winter clothes box during a summer move can be marked in thin Sharpie, you’ll want to mark the box that has the toilet paper in very large lettering. Grab an extra-large marker like the Sharpie Magnum 44, which can make letters nearly an inch wide for those boxes that you just don’t want to miss. (They’re also great at crossing out old box markings so that there’s no confusion as to what’s inside.)

Plastic Bins

One way to reduce the number of boxes you use is to purchase plastic bins instead. Now there’s no doubt that a $15 plastic tub is going to cost you more than a $2.00 cardboard box, but you’ll also be able to use that plastic bin for as long as you like. Not only will they stack well when the moving crew gets there, but you’ll also be able to stack them more efficiently in your new home, meaning that they can be stored for longer without you having to rush to unpack those ugly boxes. Once you do unpack them, you’ll be able to use them for storage of other items for decades to come.meaning that they can be stored for longer without you having to rush to unpack those ugly boxes. Once you do unpack them, you’ll be able to use them for storage of other items for decades to come.

If you’re going to be in need of a local moving company anytime soon, we hope you’ll give Fresh Start: The Moving Crew a call whether you’re packing up by yourself or having us take care of it. Contact us here!