What packing materials do you need for moving and self storage?

Whether you’re getting ready to move home, or want to keep your belongings in storage for a while, it’s vital to pack them properly to keep them as good as new. Using the most suitable packing materials for each type of item can really affect the future condition of your belongings once it comes time to unpack. 

In this article, we’ll explore how to pack for moving house or self storage, including all the removals packing supplies you will need to make the process plain sailing from start to finish. 


Essential Packing Materials for Moving House or Self Storage

Packing Cases & Boxes

packing boxes

When choosing packing cases or boxes, you need to make sure they fit the size of your object, and that they are strong and sturdy – a flimsy box from the supermarket won’t necessarily cut it and can split easily. Professional companies who specialise in storage or removals usually supply a range of differently sized corrugated cardboard boxes, specifically designed to be strong for packing purposes – Vanguard’s packing boxes are extremely strong, for instance, supporting loads of over 20kg. Remember, place larger or heavier items at the bottom of boxes, and pack smaller, lighter or more flexible items on top or in the gaps. 

Here are the types of packing boxes that will be useful to you: 


Small Cardboard Boxes

small packing boxes

Cardboard boxes are a key player in moving home and their usefulness cannot be denied – not only that, they can be flattened down to a space-saving size on arrival at the new premises and used again in the future. Small boxes are perfect for heavier, dense items, such as books, CDs, weighty ornaments, or any item where you will not be carrying a huge amount in one go.

The smallest size of cardboard box is ideal for any odds and ends that don’t fit in the other boxes. It’s also perfect for essentials or valuables that you will need when you arrive at your new home, such as phones, chargers, keys, etc. 


Medium Cardboard Boxes

medium packing boxes

The next size of box is more suited to larger items that cannot fit in the smaller boxes, such as kitchen appliances, toasters, household ornaments, toiletries and toys. Remember to not overfill boxes, especially with heavier items – even though medium boxes can include more items than smaller ones, the weight should not be so great that it makes it unsafe to lift the box. 


Large Cardboard Boxes

large packing boxes

For those light, bulky items which take up a lot of room, opt for the largest size of cardboard box. This could include clothes, bedding, pillows, tablecloths and anything else that does not weigh much but still requires a large amount of space. As previously mentioned, don’t be tempted to overfill larger boxes, especially with heavier items – this makes it difficult, not to mention dangerous, to lift. 


Speciality Boxes

wardrobe packing boxes

For certain items, a standard cardboard box just won’t cut it. For items such as mirrors, wardrobes, pictures, crockery, and other delicate items, you will need boxes specific to these items e.g. wardrobe boxes. That’s because these containers are designed to accommodate the shape and nature of these items, keeping them safe throughout transit.

Putting them in a regular box may result in them being damaged upon arrival, so make sure you find the right boxes for these speciality items. Wardrobe boxes, for example, come fitted with a rail to keep your clothes hanging upright (almost like a makeshift wardrobe) which is an ideal way to transport your clothes, ensuring a tidy arrival at your new home or storage unit. 


Document Boxes

document packing boxes

When preparing to move, you may begin to unearth years’ worth of documents and paperwork throughout your property. Some of these documents may be important, so make sure they are not scrunched up or improperly packed. Instead, consider purchasing some proper document boxes, also called archive boxes, which will allow you to pack and file away your documents during the move without them becoming damaged or mixed up. 


Wrapping Materials

It isn’t enough to simply place loose items in boxes and hope for the best. They must be securely protected, cushioned and wrapped up to prevent breakages during transport and storage. There are many different types of wrapping and protection materials that will keep your belongings in top condition throughout the move or storage period. 

Let’s take a look at some of your wrapping material options and what they are useful for:  


Bubble Wrap

bubble wrap

A list of best packing materials wouldn’t be complete without trusty bubble wrap – not to mention there’s hours of fun to be had popping the leftovers. This popular material is excellent for cushioning your most delicate items, so simply wrap a few layers around your delicate objects, and tape up securely. 


Strong Tape

packing tape

Everyday Sellotape can only take you so far when packing, so it’s important to get a hold of strong, wide tape for packing which is more likely to keep boxes secure and watertight. Buying cheaper rolls of tape is likely to provide you with poor quality results, and since packing is essential, it’s worth investing a few more pounds to better protect your possessions. 


Permanent Marker & Labels

permanent marker

To make unpacking and locating specific items a less confusing process, label every box with what room it is for, or an idea of what the contents of the box are. Using a permanent marker will ensure the writing doesn’t rub off in transit, and you can write either directly on the box itself, or use some labels. 


Packing Paper

packing paper

Line the cardboard boxes with packing paper to create a softer cushioning for your books and other items – you can also wrap packing paper around breakable items or top the contents of a box with the paper. This just creates an extra layer of protection, which is especially useful if the box is going to be in storage for a while or have other boxes on top of it. The paper will not leave any marks on your items, and will protect them against knocks and bumps. 


Plastic Wrap

plastic wrap

Plastic wrap can tightly wrap items for maximum coverage and total protection from moisture, dirt, dust and other causes for marks and stains. When used on clothing or other flexible materials, the plastic wrapping can keep it tight, thus saving on space. 


Plastic Covers

plastic furniture covers for moving

For a waterproof covering for your larger furniture items and appliances, choose plastic covers. Not only is this covering watertight when bound properly, but it will also prevent dust, chemicals, and dirt impacting the quality and appearance of your furniture. They are normally transparent, too, allowing you to quickly identify what the wrapped package contains.

Sometimes you can purchase plastic removals bags perfect to fit a certain size of chair, sofa or other piece of furniture. It’s also advisable to obtain specialised mattress covers to keep your mattress in top condition during storage or transport. 



furniture blankets for moving

If you prefer a softer wrap, you could opt for blankets instead of plastic covers. You can purchase professional moving blankets, or pads, or you can use blankets found at home – just as long as you can guarantee your items will not come into contact with water during the move, as blankets are not usually waterproof.

Moving blankets are perfect to wrap up large items, such as furniture and appliances, protecting them against scrapes and knocks. And blankets also protect items from dust while in storage.


Anything else?

Using this guide, plan which packing materials you will need for which items. And roughly calculate how many boxes, plastic sheets, blankets, etc, you will need. Since packing materials are relatively inexpensive, it’s always better to over-buy and have surplus, rather than to run out mid-packing. 


Vanguard provides high-quality packaging supplies and materials, including strong and sturdy storage boxes to keep your goods safe. In addition, we have a wide variety of secure self storage units, ideal for short or long-term hire for customers across London, Manchester storage in Salford and Bristol self storage in Redfield. To find out how self storage can help your home or business, or to enquire about our packing materials for self storage and removals, simply contact our friendly team today.