There are a lot of different ways to get ready for packing, and you want to be sure that you’re doing the best that you can in order to get ahead of things. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’re starting to pack and you just don’t know what to use for those empty spaces.
Where can you get cheap and free packing paper and other packing materials? This guide will help you to get started with your search.
If you’ve read anything about the best place to get moving boxes, then it’s likely that you know that offices are a great place to go for nice boxes that can hold some items without being too large or too heavy in the process. Offices are always getting paper and other supplies, and those boxes are amazing.
When it comes to packing paper, they’re a great resource as well. Many office spaces are going to be getting packages all of the time. Those packages utilize bubble wrap, packing peanuts, packing paper, and all sorts of other types of packing materials. If they happen to get packages fairly regularly, then it’s likely that they are going to have some of these sitting around.
Plus, if you need electronics foam, you may be able to hit them up for that as well. They’re always getting new items for their electronics, so they may have some stuff for you to use. This sort of foam is great when you’re transporting computers, TV’s, speakers, and whatever other electronics that you may be taking with you.
Another great place for you to go when looking for boxes and packing materials is the liquor store. Not only are they getting shipments of very heavy items (which means that their boxes are going to be made from high quality material and be able to hold up in the long run), but those items are glass.
Due to how fragile liquor bottles can be, it’s really important for them to be packed into these containers with the utmost care. As a result, you’ll find all sorts of different packing supplies in their stock rooms. Some liquor stores reuse those items, so they may not be able to give you any. Others can give it to you with no issue.
Your Daily Newspaper
Most people still get some sort of newspaper to their home. Whether it’s a local community newspaper that is free, or a newspaper that you get in order to be able to clip coupons over the weekend, that newspaper is going to be a pretty solid option that allows you to do as much as possible when packing items up.
You can also find flyers and other materials from your junk mail that may do pretty well when it comes to packing. Just be sure that it has some bulk to it, and that there isn’t a lot of ink that starts to rub off. The ink can end up staining things if you aren’t careful, so you want to be aware of what you’re packing with newspaper.
This sounds crazy, but clean clothing can be a great way to make sure that you’re able to pack everything as safely as possible without spending an arm and a leg on packing materials. Socks are great for glasses, for example – you can stuff them inside.
T-shirts and shorts are good for wrapping around fragile items, as well. Towels are best for the most fragile things that you have, just be aware that you’re going to have to clean off all of the fuzzies that may get stuck on your items. Dishcloths, washcloths, all of those things work great as packing materials.
The best part about this is that you’re killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Not only is it allowing you to spend less on packing materials, but it also means that you’re finding places for those items to go. Clothing is notoriously difficult to pack because of its bulk and irregular shapes, so this is a great alterative.
Don’t use jeans and other “stiff” materials when you’re using it for packing, however. These could scratch glass and cause some other problems when the items are being moved, which kind of defeats the purpose in the first place. Just pack those in suitcases or utilize wardrobe boxes or the trash bag method for hanging clothing.
Local schools have a lot of the same things that you’ll see at a local office. Not only do they have the big boxes of paper coming into the building (and those are great for books), but they’re also getting electronics and all sorts of other supplies shipped in on an almost daily basis.
Schools are a lot more likely to be able to give you those supplies, because they’re less likely to have another use for them (unless the art teacher needs them for something). We do suggest, however, that you consider giving the school some sort of donation. Schools are frequently looking for financial help, so any sort of donation is well appreciated.
Unsold Newspapers from Local Stores
Newspapers are definitely not as popular as they used to be, but they’re still printed and it’s likely that they are being sold at newsstands and other spaces in and around your local stores. And some people are still buying them, which is a surprise to many people. But, what happens to those newspapers when the end of the week comes? Typically, they get thrown away or recycled, unless they have an agreement with the newspaper company.
That being said, there are likely a lot of different options for you to choose from when you’re looking at getting packing materials from the store. Many of these stores are going to have a lot of unsold newspapers, which will make it easier for you to ask about your options. Just go in there toward the end of the week and ask about them – the worst they can say is “no.”
How Do I Fill in the Gaps?
So, you’ve done everything that you can and you’ve found as much free or cheap material as you can possibly get your hands on. Now, you still have some things that you’re a little worried about, or a few boxes that are missing the necessary packing materials so that you can keep everything in there as safe as possible.
Filling in the gaps is a lot easier than you’d expect it to be. There are a lot of companies out there that sell packing supplies of all types and sizes. You may be able to go to your homewares store, or somewhere like Lowe’s or Home Depot, in order to get some extra packing material without spending a lot of money on it. Your local USPS, UPS, and/or FedEx may also have packing materials available, but you may spend a little more than you would in a traditional store.
Sometimes, your moving company may have options for what are known as packing kits, as well. These are kits that are meant to contain pretty much anything and everything that you may need in order to pack up your home. They’re sold by the number of bedrooms that are in your current home. They can contain boxes, packing materials, packing tape, labels, and writing utensils, among other things you may need when you move. They’re typically offered at a fair price, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use packing material?
It depends. If you don’t have a lot of fragile items, or you’re not using a moving company, you may be fine. But, in most cases, you’re going to be a lot better off (and have much fewer accidents) if you take the time to get packing material and use it well.
What’s the best way to protect fragile items during transit?
If there are any hollow pieces to your fragile items, then you want to be sure that you fill them up as best as you can. This will prevent pressure from making them collapse. Then, you want to wrap them up completely with whatever type of material that you may be using. Extra fragile items should probably be put into their own boxes, and have an inch or two of material around them.
How much should I budget for packing materials?
It depends on how much stuff you have and how many boxes you have. Most people will budget up to $100 or so in order to get the packing materials that they need in order to get everything ready to go. If you follow the tips we’ve listed here, however, you’re likely going to save some cash.
Time to Pack It Up!
Now that you know where to find packing supplies, you can be sure that you have plenty to work with as you get ahead of everything. You can save money and time if you do it right. Take some time to look for supplies that are free or cheap, and get started with your packing ASAP.