Best Moving Supplies

Written by: Editorial Team - Published: May 20, 2024


You will need more than cardboard boxes and tape to move all the household items, furniture, and appliances from your current home to your new one. There are so many products to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to figure out what you truly need. We created this guide to help you determine what moving supplies are best for you and to make sure you don’t forget any essentials.

10 Must-Have Moving Supplies

1. Boxes

Cardboard boxes will be doing most of the work for you during your move. You’ll want to buy boxes of various sizes and will probably need more than you think. Moving boxes can be purchased from storage facilities, big box stores, and online. If you are currently renting a storage unit, your facility may have moving supplies for sale in their office with special discounts for tenants. 

How many boxes you should buy and how much it will cost you depends on your unique living situation. We’ve created a table below to show you some numbers: estimates for the average number of boxes a household may need and current prices for standard-sized moving boxes based on information found online:

Box Sizes Studio 1-2 bedroom 3-4 bedroom 5 bedroom Box Prices
Small 15 25 40 45 $1.19/each or $24.75/bundle of 25
Medium 10 20 30 40 $1.69/each or $28.35/bundle of 20
Large 5 15 15 20 $2.19/each or $27.96/bundle of 15
Extra-large 2 5 10 15 $2.99/each or $27.90/bundle of 10

It’s great to be able to purchase the exact size and number of boxes for your move, but there are more affordable, eco-friendly options out there. If you’re willing to do a little footwork, you can find new and used moving boxes for free or at a discounted price from places like:

  • Craigslist
  • Friends and family
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Online local community groups
  • Small and large local retailers
  • Box exchange programs

2. Packing Material

Once you have all the moving boxes that you need, it’s time to get some essential packing materials to organize and secure your belongings. Bubble wrap and packing paper are the go-to materials when it comes to cushioning fragile items and filling empty spaces to prevent shifting. You can also purchase box kits that have cardboard inserts and packing paper included to perfectly fit fragile items like glasses, dishes, wine bottles, mirrors, and picture frames. Pick up some zip-top bags to organize small items and keep track of hardware when you disassemble furniture.

Before you close up your box, take note of everything inside and label the outside of each box with a bold permanent marker where it’s easily visible on the top and sides. If you are color coordinating your boxes, be sure to include the appropriate colored labels or stickers you’ve assigned to each room.

We put together a list of prices on the packing materials mentioned above:

3. Tape

Be sure to pick up a good amount of high-quality heavy-duty packing tape. You don’t want to skimp on this moving supply because flimsy tape may fail and your items could fall right through the bottom of their box. Grab a tape dispenser or tape gun while you’re at it, as they will save you tons of time and frustration. There’s nothing worse than trying to find and evenly tear the edge of a roll of clear tape.

Scotch tape and masking tape can also be helpful as you’re packing things in bubble wrap and paper. A few small strips of scotch tape will keep everything wrapped securely, and masking tape can also act as a label. Current online prices for tape and dispensers are as follows:

4. Garbage Bags

Moving often produces a lot of garbage. Picking up a box of garbage bags rated at around 40 pounds will provide you with the means to bag up your donations, transport clothes or other soft items, and neatly run your garbage to the dump as you go through your belongings and clean your house. You can also use them as a moisture barrier when packing up cleaning supplies that could spill or toiletries prone to leaking.

5. Toolbox

Taking apart furniture is going to require screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and maybe even a drill. Having a toolbox handy will keep all your tools organized and ready to use as you disassemble bed frames and take down curtain rods. If you’re responsible for making last-minute repairs, make sure you don’t pack up the toolbox before you get everything done. 

6. Furniture Protectors

Cushion your furniture with blankets you already have or get some that are made for moving. When using a moving truck there is a chance that your belongings will shift and slide, leaving plenty of opportunity for wood furniture to get scratched or dented. In addition, felt sliding pads can be used to safely slide furniture across hard floors, reducing the need to lift and carry some of your heaviest items.

Consider purchasing plastic mattress covers to protect your bed from dirt and tears. You can wrap your couches, chairs, and sofas with plastic cling wrap made for moving. If you’re moving during rainy weather, a little bit of plastic goes a long way to protect your furniture from water damage. If you’re storing your items in a storage unit, it’s important to keep everything as dry as possible to prevent moisture and mold growth. You can find furniture protection online for the following prices:

7. Moving Equipment

Moving large heavy items like refrigerators, standing dressers, and washing machines are going to take a little more effort than a large but considerably light mattress. If you have enough people, it might be possible to do it by hand, but there are pieces of moving equipment that can save time and energy and prevent injury.

A hand truck (dolly) is a great option for moving things like stacks of multiple boxes, appliances, and furniture. When transporting delicate furniture, be sure to wrap or protect the surfaces from the metal plate and bars of the dolly. A push cart is another piece of equipment that could be handy for a home that doesn’t have stairs or if you’re moving items directly from a garage into a moving truck. You can stack many boxes on the cart for a quicker move and avoid carrying appliances and awkward furniture up and down truck ramps.

8. Carpet Protection Film

Protect your carpets and floors with a carpet protection film. It’s a plastic cling adhesive material that you can put down to prevent dirt, water, and mud from tracking in and out of the house as you move. Constantly taking your shoes on and off isn’t realistic as people are coming in and out of the house. Make the process easier and less stressful by placing a barrier between dirty shoes and your floor.

9. Fasteners

Even if you’re getting a truck to contain all of your moving boxes and belongings in a trailer, it’s a good idea to have a set of bungee cords, lashing straps, or ratchet straps to place across the width of the truck to keep anything from sliding back and forth as the vehicle stops and goes. 

Fasteners and possibly even a tarp will definitely need to be used for loads in an open-top trailer. Cargo nets are another alternative for moving trucks and topless trailers. Not only do they prevent items from sliding or flying out, they contain everything over a larger surface area compared to single cords across an entire load. Here are some online prices for fasteners:

10. Cleaning Items

Whether you need to do one final cleaning as per your rental agreement or out of consideration for the new homeowners, you’ll need cleaning supplies to tidy as you go or after everything is moved out. You’ll be wiping fingerprints off of windows and mirrors, washing away splashes of food from cabinets and walls, and scrubbing down the bathrooms one last time. Here’s a list of some basics that you may already have but will most likely need: