Don't Break Your Back: Choosing Supplies to Make Moving a Breeze

Moving can be an intimidating prospect – but it doesn’t have to be. With the right equipment and supplies, your move can go safely and smoothly without breaking your back or bank.

Proper Packing 

A stress-free move begins with proper packing. There are two key elements to keep in mind – using the right container for the job and being sure to label it. Below is a list of what you’ll need and why:

  • Sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes and tape. The wisdom of packing heavier items in smaller boxes and items that weigh less in larger boxes holds true. Not only will the boxes be easier to lift and carry, but smaller boxes with heavy items will be less likely to rip or tear than larger boxes which can be easily overloaded.
  • Specialty boxes. Take advantage of boxes that are specially designed to hold specific items, such as a wardrobe box. These types of boxes make it much easier to transport items such as clothing, mirrors, or mattresses safely and securely.
  • Protective wrapping. For smaller fragile or breakable items, protective wrapping or padding is a must. A wide variety of options is available including bubble wrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, or plastic shopping bags.
    • Furniture pads. When moving furniture or larger fragile items, furniture pads are a must. Protective plastic wrap is an alternative option. Be sure to use large rolls especially designed for moving.
  • Markers and labels. Always label the outside of each box with a list of the contents and which room they came from. This will make finding the essentials and unpacking much, much easier. Additionally, twist ties, zip ties, and rubber bands are organizational life savers. Keeping cords and cables neatly bundled and labeled will save hours of trying to set up electronics later on.
  • Ziploc bags. Having a selection of sizes on hand is a quick and easy way to corral small, miscellaneous loose items that are always left over after everything else has been packed.
Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff

Once everything is packed, there are several items that make moving even your biggest items a lot easier.

  • Furniture sliders. These little plastic discs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and make moving furniture, appliances, and shelves a snap.
  • Dollies and hand trucks. These two items are closely related, but come in different designs for specific purposes. All have wheels, and all are made for carrying much more than a single person can.
    • Hand trucks. Also known as a utility dolly, a hand truck is a must-have item – especially if you are moving into an apartment building with no elevator or into a multi-storey home. Hand trucks are great for moving large boxes and can go up and down stairs.
    • Appliance dollies. Similar in appearance to a hand truck, an appliance dolly is usually stronger and can safely carry more weight. These are a good choice for moving heavy appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, and stoves.
    • Furniture dollies. Instead of being upright like hand trucks and appliance dollies, furniture dollies lay flat. A furniture dolly is ideal for heavy items including shelves, dressers, and wall units. Most dollies of this type can carry up to 1,000 pounds. Look for models with padded corners and non-mar tires.
  • Straps. It’s important to make sure your carefully packed belongings are secure once they are loaded into your car, truck, or moving van. Nylon straps or specialty moving straps are good, and bungee cords will do in a pinch.
Safety Gear

In addition to the right moving equipment and packing materials, wearing the right safety gear is crucial to avoid injury during your move.

  • Sturdy shoes. A good pair of shoes protects your feet and toes when something gets accidentally dropped.
  • Sturdy gloves. Wearing sturdy gloves not only protects your hands from wayward splinters and nails on the bottom of furniture, but it can also help improve your grip.
  • Back brace. Professional movers wear back support, which is a good idea for anyone during a move.

Most of the items listed above are easy to find and can be either purchased or rented from your local moving company. Investing a little bit of time and money before your move will pay off in a big way during and after.

About the Author: Anthony Graves started his career working for various movers over 10 years ago, and has been working in the Moving industry ever since.  He is now a freelance moving consultant for  His expert advice has helped many people lower the stress and hassle of moving.