Are you thinking about the details of your out of state move? You’ve likely already hired your state to state movers and scheduled your last (or first) day of any work you’re dealing with.
But, what about the packing process? How can you be sure to get everything packed up well? The packing materials are an important consideration to explore in that regard. How do you get the best ones without paying an arm and a leg for them? And where do you shop for those items anyway?
Finding affordable packing materials can be a task, but if you stay organized and have a list of what you need to get, it’ll be that much easier to get everything and stay within a budget, as well. Here’s a good look at some of the things that you need to do to make sure that you can buy the best packing materials for your move.
Put Together a List of What You Need
Obviously, the best way to start looking for what it is that you need in regards to your packing materials. It’s best for you to do an inventory of what you have and what it is that you plan on packing to come with you to your new home.
You’ll want to be sure that you keep an eye on just what you’re packing, as well. For example, do you have a lot of fragile items that you need to deal with? If so, then you’re likely going to need more packing material for the inside of every box.
If you’ve got a lot of books, you need to be sure that you have sturdy boxes that can hold that much weight – but the boxes should not be so large that it’s difficult to move it. You also need to be sure that you have sturdy boxes for the fragile items that you’re packing, too.
Take special care to see if you have any sort of storage bins or other types of box-shaped items around your home. These can, often, be used in place of other types of boxes, which can help to bring the cost of your packing materials down as well. These boxes are also more sturdy than cardboard ones, so if you have wiggle room in your budget, it may not be a bad consideration.
Once you’ve taken that sort of inventory, then you can start putting together the big list of items that you’re going to need to buy. Don’t just think about the boxes and how you’re going to close them, however. You also need to be certain that you have ways in which you can label them and to keep everything in those boxes safe while they’re being transported.
Start Asking Around to See if You Can Find Free Stuff
Free stuff can save a lot of time and headache in regards to getting packing supplies. For example, if you live somewhere that has a lot of businesses and schools/colleges, then it’s likely that you are going to be able to drive around and ask for boxes that hold reams of paper, which work great for packing purposes. Liquor stores also have pretty secure boxes you can work with, as well.
Local stores may also have extra newspapers available at the end of the week. Just ask around to the stores that offer newspapers and see if they can hold them aside for you. This can be some pretty solid packing material, as long as you have blank paper or bubble wrap between the newspaper and the objects (it prevents the ink from staining your items).
You can also see if any friends or family members have moved recently and whether or not they have some extra supplies that you can nab. You may be lucky enough to get a good chunk of your items by just asking around and seeing what it is that people have on hand for you.
Consider Exploring Hardware Stores
Hardware stores and home improvement stores are some of the best places to go when you need shipping and packing materials. The hardware store or home improvement store is somewhere that people commonly go when they’re preparing for or finishing up a move, so they’ve learned to keep a number of these options in stock.
In many cases, you are going to discover that they have some of the most flexible prices and the most variety of options when it comes to getting moving kits and other similar things. They do their best to supply you with absolutely everything that you could want and, as a result, you’re able to prepare for your move.
We recommend that this is the second place you go (after searching for free items, of course) and then you fill out the rest of your “packing material needs” list with some of the other things that we’ve shared here in this blog.
Go to the Post Office or Other Shipping Stores
Obviously, the post office and other shipping companies have all sorts of shipping materials. And, in many cases, those shipping materials are actually going to double as materials that you can use in order to pack up your home, as well.
Depending on the company and what they have to offer, it’s very likely that it may cost a little bit more for you to get your items from them. The Post Office and other shipping companies are a solid bet when you are in a situation where you just need a couple more boxes, rather than many more.
Talk to Your Moving Company About the Options They Offer
A number of moving companies actually offer a variety of packing materials to the people that they are working with. While they will, of course, have a price associated with them, but it could be lower than what you’ll pay in the store.
If you are getting packing and unpacking services from your movers, then you also want to ask them about the materials that they may or may not be using. In some cases, they will include the price of the packing materials in their cost of packing. Others may not, but they may offer kits at a discounted rate, since you’re already paying them to take care of packing.
Look Around on the Web
The internet is filled with all sorts of resources related to pretty much anything and everything that you could want to get your hands on. Because of that, you definitely want to be sure that you shop around a bit so that you can see what is going to work for you and how you’re going to want to proceed with buying materials.
You can go to the websites of the things that we listed above, or you can check out sites where people share and sell stuff individually. In some cases, you’ll get lucky and find that there are quite a few people who are getting rid of the things that you need in order to move.
Always be sure to use the internet to compare prices between products. That way, you aren’t going to be caught in a situation where you’re overpaying for whatever it is that you need to purchase. Those comparisons will give you a solid price point in which to work with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there alternatives you can find at home if you want packing materials?
If you’re someone that is in need of saving some cash, you’ll find it easier to do so if you use household items. Do you already have storage bins? Load them up instead of getting more boxes! Clean clothing can be used as filler instead of paper (and it’s more environmentally friendly).
How much should you budget for packing materials?
Packing materials can cost a good chunk of cash, depending on how much that you need to pack up. But, if you’re conscious of your spending and how you do things, you can keep the packing material costs to less than $150.
$250 is about average for most people that are getting packing materials together. This includes everything we’ve mentioned in this article, including tape, boxes, filling, and whatever else you need to make things happen.
How soon should you start packing?
As soon as you have a moving date, you want to start the packing process. Even if that only means that you’re purging the items you don’t need or putting together a list of what you have, you want to start something as soon as you can.
Packed Up and Ready to Go
After you get the right packing materials, you’ll find that it’s much easier to start getting things in order and ready to take to your new home. Take some time to look at your options, to learn what you can and to know that you have a way forward that is going to make sense when packing time comes along.