Even the smallest of moves can be a major endeavor, and that’s why it’s important to approach moving with as much planning and organization possible. Before you start packing up those boxes, here is a brief list of all the materials you will need for a seamless move.

Cardboard boxes

Of course, you’ll need plenty of cardboard boxes to get you through your move. You can always purchase these online from a moving supply company, or you might ask around for free boxes. Craigslist, local grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores are all great resources to look into. It’s a good idea to get many boxes of a similar size to make packing up your moving truck easier—plus some smaller boxes to nestle in otherwise unusable spaces.

As you acquire boxes for your move, don’t forget that you likely already own quite a few larger storage containers and bins (such as laundry baskets), which can serve as “moving boxes” as well.

Packing materials

You’re going to be packing fragile items such as dinner plates and flower vases, so you’ll want plenty of packing material on hand. Bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing paper all work great here. Try holding onto the packing materials that come with your delivered packages in the months before your move, and consider asking your neighbors for spare newspapers if needed.

Don’t forget that any linens you own (bedsheets, bath towels, kitchen towels, etc.) can also double as packing materials!

Colored duct tape

Colored duct tape is a great choice over clear packaging tape for sealing your boxes because you can use different colors of tape to color code your boxes. All kitchen boxes, for example, might be sealed with green tape, while all bathroom boxes are sealed with yellow tape. All boxes to be opened immediately, meanwhile, might be sealed with red tape.

Permanent markers

Along with colored duct tape, you’ll also want a permanent marker or two on hand to label your boxes with. Be sure to write “fragile” on those boxes that you want movers or friends to be careful with.


You’d be surprised at how much damage moving can do to your hands. Light gloves will help protect your hands during moving.

Moving blankets

These will be used primarily to protect furniture, TVs, and mirrors while moving.

Felt pads

These should slide under large pieces of furniture to protect floors during moving.

Hand truck or dolly

A hand truck or dolly will make it easier to move extra large items or several boxes at once.

Bungee cords or twine

Bungee cords and twine come in handy when you want to secure boxes and furniture in place in your moving truck.

Box cutter

Because you will likely need to open some boxes fairly soon upon arrival to your new place, it’s a good idea to keep a box cutter handy.

Cleaning supplies

Keeping a few basic cleaning supplies on hand will help you clean up your old home when you leave—and your new home once you get there.