It’s no secret that moving can be expensive and stressful. While many moving companies (like Andrews!) offer packing services, some people prefer to self-pack to save money or simply to know how their items are being handled. If you choose to self-pack, here are 6 items that are essential to your packing process.

1. Boxes
It’s very easy to run to your local drug store and get some boxes going to the trash from their shipments, but keep in mind the right type and size boxes can help make your packing easier and more efficient. Making sure you have enough room to safely pack your belongings is important. You should also consider the different types of boxes available. For example,  wardrobe boxes make packing  and unpacking your hanging clothes and hangers very easy and you can also put comforters and pillows in the bottom. If you’re working with a moving company (again, like Andrews!) they can often supply different type and sized boxes and can answer any questions you may have about how much, how little, and what types of items  to place in each box. If you’re moving on your own, stores like Home Depot and Lowes sell different sized boxes.

2. Protective Wrapping
Protect your valuables. Picture frames, trophies, and awards can easily get cracked or scratched during a move. Newspaper print can rub off on items, so consider using that only for stuffing around breakable items. Bubble wrap is great, but also consider  tissue paper as  an alternative that will prevent items from getting scratched while taking up less room.

3. Packing Tape
 You guessed it – to tape up the boxes. Packing tape with a dispenser makes taping a more quick and easy process.

4. Labels
Using labels for your boxes can help easily distinguish what is in them and where they’re going. This is especially helpful pre and post-move when you need to find an item fast. Duck Brand Duct tape has great colored duct tape that can double as labels and help you color coordinate by room or floor. Their patterned tape is a great way to distinguish boxes for children’s rooms, too!

5. Marker
If you’re going to label your boxes, you  of course need a marker to mark them off. A thick-tipped permanent marker like those made by Sharpie make your labeling loud and clear. If you use white labels, consider buying different colored markers to distinguish the room or floor.

6. Scissors
Even if you have a tape dispenser, can rip duct tape with your teeth, or have perforated bubble wrap, it’s good to have a sturdy pair of scissors around as they are sure to come in handy at some point during your packing process.

Remember: take your time. The professionals can do it in a day, but that doesn’t mean you have to, too!

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