What you need to pack for a move

Storage & Organization

During a move, packing essentials often overlooked are containers to temporarily store small items like screws.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

How to pack for a move

Packing up an entire house for a move can seem like a daunting task, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Having the packing essentials you need on hand as you get started will make the process go smoother. 

Boxes are always a necessary moving product, but you need to ensure you have the correct ones for your home’s specific needs. Moving boxes come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of purposes. Be sure to read the product descriptions on each box so that you purchase the appropriate packing essentials. Also, make sure you don’t forget the labels, utility knife, tape and pens. 

Sometimes more specialized moving products are required. Things like mattress bags and sofa covers are important for protecting your furniture. There are also extras that sometimes are forgotten. Items like gloves are important for protecting your hands, and moving straps can assist in moving heavy furniture without injury. 

Moving and packing supplies 

Moving boxes

U-Haul Medium Moving Boxes

U-Haul Medium Moving Boxes

This pack of 10 from U-Haul has boxes sized 18 x 18 ⅛ x 16 inches. The versatile size is useful for a variety of items, including appliances, toys and decor fixtures. These boxes have perforated handles for easy handling and have a capacity of 65 pounds.

Sold by Amazon  

Heavy-Duty Large Adjustable TV and Picture Moving Box with Handles

Heavy-Duty Large Adjustable TV and Picture Moving Box with Handles 

This moving box fits any flat-screen TV up to 70 inches in size. Two boxes and one foam bag for extra padding are included in this pack. The maximum weight capacity on these boxes is 75 pounds.

Sold by Home Depot 

10-Box Kitchen Moving Box Kit

10-Box Kitchen Moving Box Kit

This kitchen moving box set is a packing essential. It comes with the following boxes: two small, two small heavy-duty, two medium and two heavy-duty medium. The kit also has packing paper sheets, dish foam sheets, dish packing kit, glass divider kit, packing tape and a marker.

Sold by Home Depot 

Amazon Basics Wardrobe Clothing Moving Boxes

Amazon Basics Wardrobe Clothing Moving Boxes

This Amazon wardrobe set comes with three boxes. Each box has a metal post for hanging your clothes. The dimensions on these items are 24 x 24 x 40 inches.

Sold by Amazon

Packing materials

Gorilla Heavy Duty Large Core Packing Tape

Gorilla Heavy Duty Large Core Packing Tape

This packing tape is extra thick, which makes it resistant to tears and splits. It is clear so that packing labels do not get covered, and it’s resistant to getting sticky by temperature or moisture. These rolls will fit on most packing tape dispenser guns.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond 

enKo - Home Moving Packing Labels Stickers

enKo – Home Moving Packing Labels Stickers

These brightly colored packing labels are wide and easy to see on moving boxes. They are color-coded and pre-labeled with the names of different rooms. The pack includes labels for fragile items and also blank labels for you to customize.

Sold by Amazon 

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Chisel Tip

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Chisel Tip

A pack of Sharpie permanent markers is an essential item in your stack of moving products. The chisel tip design allows for large, wide writing that is easily visible on boxes and packing labels. These markers are non-toxic, permanent and come in a four-pack.

Sold by Staples and Amazon

Pratt Retail Specialties Clear Stretch Wrap

Pratt Retail Specialties Clear Stretch Wrap

This four-pack of stretch wrap is 20 inches by 1,000 feet. It is great for securing the doors of cabinets to keep them from getting banged up during the move. Wrapping artwork or mirrors in it will help prevent scratches. It can also be wrapped around upholstered furniture to protect from dirt or strains.

Sold by Home Depot 

Duck Brand Bubble Wrap Roll

Duck Brand Bubble Wrap Roll

This bubble wrap is available in several different dimensions. There is perforation every 12 inches for easy custom sizing and ample cushioning for all your wrapping needs. It’s also a great comparable price per square foot.

Sold by Amazon

Big plastic bags for moving

Pratt Retail Specialties Queen and King Mattress Bag

Pratt Retail Specialties Queen and King Mattress Bag

This mattress bag is available for all sizes and will keep your mattress free of dirt and dust during your move. Vent holes are built into the bag for ventilation. This prevents moisture from causing mold or mildew buildup.

Sold by Home Depot

U-Haul Jumbo Rug Storage Bag

U-Haul Jumbo Rug Storage Bag

A rug storage bag will save your rugs from dust, grime, water and bugs during your move. This bag holds a rug up to 9 x 12 feet. It has ventilation holes to maintain air circulation.

Sold by Amazon 

Amazon Brand - Solimo Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags

Amazon Brand – Solimo Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags

This box has 120 trash bags inside. The bags are priced well and somewhat oversized, making them perfect for throwing out items during cleaning as the move is happening. They can also store items for moving like pillows and blankets. They have drawstrings for easy carry and are 13 gallons in size.

Sold by Amazon

Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Freezer Bags

Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Freezer Bags

Packing essentials that are often overlooked during a move are containers to temporarily store small items like screws. These Ziplock bags are great for keeping small items safe and organized. The bags are sturdy and made of thick plastic that is resistant to tearing.

Sold by Amazon 

Packing tools

CLC Custom Leathercraft 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

CLC Custom Leathercraft 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

These durable but flexible gloves will protect you while handling furniture or other items that might scrape or cut your hands. They are well priced and crafted to resist shrinking. Made for all types of weather, they have insulation from the cold and a securing strap that holds the gloves in place if they become wet.

Sold by Amazon

FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife

FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife

This boxcutter knife comes with five extra blades and a holster. Its quick-change mechanism makes for an easy blade change. The body is large, easy to hold and durable.

Sold by Amazon 

Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps

Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps 

If you’re going to be moving furniture yourself, then moving straps are an essential moving product. These straps allow your arms and legs to be free while redirecting weight to your torso. This allows for the safe move of heavy objects.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot 

Dedeo Tool Set with Drill

Dedeo Tool Set with Drill

This tool set comes with 108 pieces, including a drill with a rechargeable battery. It also includes an electric screwdriver, claw hammers, wrenches and pliers. This kit should equip you to handle any assembly or disassembly required during a move.

Sold by Amazon 

Packing food for moving

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

YETI Tundra 65 Cooler

This Yeti cooler will keep any food you decide to take with you cool for several days. It is constructed to be durable and resistant to the elements. One of the best on the market, this cooler has three inches of PermaFrost insulation.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Plastic Lids

Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Plastic Lids 

These highly-rated containers will keep your food fresh and dry during your move. Made of Tritan plastic, they have an attractive glass appearance without the worry of cracking. They are lightweight and easy to store inside a bag or box in your car.

Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.