Moving yourself instead of bringing in a professional packing and moving crew means that you need to invest in a few supplies. Although you have a lot of options, the following are five things to consider investing in to ensure a smooth move with no damage to your belongings or to yourself.
#1: Real boxes
Real boxes means boxes made especially for moving, not reused boxes from the local grocery store. Unlike recycled boxes, which have been weakened by use and moisture exposure, new moving boxes are made of stiff, heavy duty cardboard. They also come in consistent sizes, which makes them much easier to handle and to carry. If you are on a budget, consider using new boxes for heavy and fragile items, and save the used boxes for lighter items.
#2: Fat markers
Your fine tip felt marker isn't enough when you are labeling a ton of boxes. Not only does the tip always seem to get crushed, the fine line is difficult to see, and you often find yourself spending more time labeling the box as you redraw the letters to make them wider and bolder. Get a fat or wide tip black marker to label your boxes so you can read the label from across the room. When labeling, mark down the room or contents on the top as well as on at least two opposite sides. Shorthand code, such as "LR" for living room or "K" for kitchen, can make the job go more quickly.
#3: Tape dispensers
These nothing worse when you are trying to pack than fighting with an unwieldy roll of tape and scissors, or trying to find the end of the tape. Inexpensive handheld tape dispensers, with built in cutting blades, solve both of these issues. You can use either plastic or paper packing tape, as desired. You may want to use fiber reinforced tape if you are packing heavy items, like books.
#4: Furniture protectors
You can't box up your furniture, but you still need to protect it. Plastic furniture bags, designed to slip over a mattress, couch, or chair, can protect against tears, dirt, and moisture. Furniture blankets are ideal for covering and cushioning wood and metal furniture from bumps and scrapes. You can use blankets from your closet or rent moving blankets.
#5: Dollies and lifting aids
After an hour or two of carting boxes and furniture, your back is going to hurt. You can prevent this with the right tools. A dolly can make short work of moving furniture and boxes, with little to no strain on your body. For heavier items, consider investing in moving straps. These straps loop around your body and the item you are moving so the weight of the item is shifted in a manner that makes heavy items easier to move with less strain on your body.
Many of these items are available from moving suppliers, where you can buy or rent what you need for moving day.
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