You know you’ll need packing materials for your upcoming move. After all, you can’t just toss all of your dinnerware in a plastic tub and ship it off! But what type of packing materials should you use? Ultimately, it depends on how far you’re moving and what you’re transporting. We’ve broken down your options to help you decide!

Cardboard boxes and shipping crates

When we think about moving house, we typically think of endless cardboard boxes. But these days there are so many options, with boxes in every size, shape, and unique function. So what do you need to know?

  • You need a variety of box sizes, from the smaller-sized Book Box to the largest size. Heavy things need to go in smaller boxes while larger, lighter things like pillows and blankets can easily fill the larger box.
  • Opt for a handful of specialty boxes, like Wardrobe Boxes, Filing Boxes, Picture Crates, and compartmentalized wine or China boxes that include a styrofoam insert or dividers. Although you could get crafty with packing your wine or artwork into regular boxes, the specialty boxes will provide significantly better protection. 
  • Packing kits can be a great way to get the right assortment of boxes for a given room, or for a home of a particular size. Kits usually also include packing tape, labels, and some packing materials. Usually, they’ll come at a little bit of a discount, too! 
  • Keep in mind that sometimes, pre-made boxes aren’t going to be quite the right fit for your more fragile or oddly-shaped items. Talk to your moving company about having a custom crate made instead!

packing materials for moving What Type of Packing Materials Should You Use?

Packing paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts

What type of packing material you’ll need depends on what you’re packing. Some things do best snuggly wrapped in the cushion of a bubble roll, like delicate vases or china. Other things, like assorted kitchen implements or bedside table knickknacks, will do better wrapped in packing paper. The paper can also be crumpled to fill empty space in a box and prevent items from shifting.

Quick note: packing paper is not the same as the newspaper. The ink on newsprint can easily rub off on your belongings, leaving unpleasant smears that can unfortunately stain. So opt for packing paper that is meant for the job, like brown paper or blank newsprint. You can purchase both in bulk.

It seems like packing peanuts went out of vogue at a certain point, but they have been upgraded from their previous styrofoam materials! Peanuts are most commonly used for items where moisture could cause damage. Peanuts actually wick away some of the moisture, making them a helpful addition for electronics or artwork.

packing materials should you use 1 What Type of Packing Materials Should You Use?

Packing tape

Tempted to use some good old duct tape? Think again. Although duct tape is thick and durable, it’s also a real hassle when it’s time to unpack. Opt for some high-quality, durable packing tape that is meant for moving boxes, not for mailing packages. You’ll notice a difference in thickness and adhesive quality if you check the difference between the two. A dispenser for your packing tape is a must if you don’t want to be dealing with tangled tape.


This is a professional moving company’s best friend. Many, many items can benefit from a layer of protective shrink wrap. It keeps out moisture and dirt, as well as keeps couch cushions, cables, and other items together in one place. Furniture should be wrapped in a layer of shrink wrap, including mattresses and other fabric-covered items.

Moving blanket

Moving blankets are incredibly versatile. They are rugged, padded blankets specifically made to withstand the demands of moving. You can use them to slide furniture across the floor, pad a door frame, or protect your more fragile furniture while it is on the truck. Most likely your movers will have at least a few for use during transit, but having a surplus is never a bad idea! 

Having the right packing materials will not only make your move easier, but it will keep your belongings protected from damage during transport. Would you rather let the professionals bring the supplies and do the packing? We’d be happy to oblige. FlatRate Movers will pack your home from top to bottom in the highest quality materials, every time. Get a moving quote today!