Moving homes or businesses can be incredibly stressful. A lot needs to happen in the weeks prior in preparation, before the move even takes place. Many times, renting a self-storage unit or a mobile storage container can be a huge help during transition periods. Every time though, you need to ensure you have the right tools and supplies for the moving job to go smoothly.
Of course, knowing how to properly use those tools and supplies will make the move even smoother.
With a smooth move in mind, we asked our experts at Box Me Up for their advice and tips on moving supplies, tools, and how best to use them.
The Bare Necessities: moving supplies and tools
According to our experts, these are the absolute bare necessities for any move:
- Boxes of various sizes,
- Packing tape,
- Permanent markers,
- Clean packing paper (not newsprint),
- Moving blankets,
- Mattress covers, and a
- Carpeted, 4-wheel dolly (with a pulling strap).
With a couple of notes (see below), these items are what you will need, regardless of what you are moving.
A variety of box sizes are necessary. Utilize smaller boxes for heavier items, such as books and canned food; and larger boxes for lighter items, like linens and lamp shades. There are specialty boxes, such as wardrobe boxes (for hanging clothes) or picture boxes (for artwork or mirrors), if you require those.
Packing tape will close your boxes, keeping dust and dirt from their contents, and will hold your moving blankets to your furniture items. Packing tape also provides space to write a label on the item. Packing tape is strong and will hold. Do not try substitutes found in your home (scotch, masking, electrical tape, etc) as they are unlikely to hold boxes shut or wrapped furniture together.
Everything should have a label. That label not only tells you what is inside (the box or blanket), but also what room it should go to. This will be a huge time-saver for you on moving day. Also, added notes, such as “Fragile,” are additional savers.
When wrapping fragile items, such as china or glassware, always use clean paper. Old paper, especially newsprint, is dirty and can leave marks on your items. Ink rubs off newsprint very easily, so it is inadvisable unless the item you are wrapping is already dirty or doesn’t mind the ink smudges.
While official moving blankets are the right material for protecting most furniture items, old blankets and linens can suffice, depending on your budget. Pads and blankets also work well to fit between tight spaces in your load, preventing items from shifting during transport.
Obviously, these are unnecessary for businesses, but, for any residential move, it is highly advisable to use mattress covers for your bed(s). These large, plastic bags fit the entire mattress (or box-spring), protecting it from dirt and dust. Mattress covers are available in every bed size.
4-wheel, carpeted dolly
A 4-wheel, carpeted dolly will become your best friend if you are moving in an apartment building or condominium, or a particularly large house. Not only can they make large items of furniture a breeze to move, they can also mean less trips to and from the truck, as boxes and other smaller items can be stacked together and easily moved at once. In fact, our experts say that multiple 4-wheel dollies are advisable for apartment/condo moves.
Specialty: moving supplies and tools
There are further tools and supplies that you may require for your move, depending on the items you are moving. This is the list of moving tools and supplies our experts provided, which they claim will have every move covered well:
- Tool box,
- Additional cardboard,
- Poly and picture/mirror wraps,
- Fridge cart,
- Ropes, and
- Piano skid.
Sometimes, furniture needs to come apart in order to fit into the space you want it to. Other times, you need to take a door frame off to fit the item in the room you want it. Moments like these can materialize at any moment of a move, so having a tool box on hand isn’t necessary, but it is usually a good idea.
Additional pieces of cardboard can be utilized in helpful ways. Whether underneath an item or between items, cardboard can act as a protective barrier in your truck’s load or the load within your storage unit/container.
Picture and poly wraps
If you are moving expensive artwork or antique mirrors, then it is advisable to purchase picture and poly wraps. Poly wraps are essentially giant tissues, with a plastic exterior sheet. Wrap your artwork or mirror in this first, before adding the picture wrap, which is a similar large-sized tissue, but with a tough, brown paper exterior sheet. When packing these in picture boxes, always add some crushed paper to the bottom and sides before putting the picture in the box.
With a larger move, avoiding stairs can be an advantage. A ramp can create a bridge over outside steps or even from the truck directly into the home or business entrance. Ramps also complement 4-wheel dollies, allowing dolly loads to be utilized more easily.
Fridge carts are great for moving fridges, especially if you are moving it up a set of stairs. These are 2-wheel dollies with extended handles and a built-in strap that ties the fridge directly to the cart. Their added rollers on the back of the cart allow the cart to be slid up the stairs with fewer struggles.
Ropes are typically required when an item you want up a storey (or more) does not actually fit up the stairs (or elevator), and you need to hoist it over a balcony or through a window. Long ropes, of course, are needed, but our experts also suggest that you hire experts yourself if your move requires a hoist like this.
Our experts say that it is best to hire professional piano movers if you are moving a piano, especially a grand piano, but if you are doing it yourself, then you will need a piano skid. This is an L-shaped skid with felt or carpet covering the surfaces. It will also have two gaps underneath the skid for straps to feed into and tie the piano to the skid. You will therefore need straps as well.
You will need your 4-wheel dolly, and your tool box. You will also require at least 3 people. The process (for a grand piano) involves knocking off two of the piano’s legs (along with the middle foot pedals), and then lowering the piano onto its side onto the piano skid. Using moving blankets as added protection in between, strap the piano to the skid, and then roll the skid out on top of the 4-wheel dolly.
It is not easy to move a grand piano, so we encourage you to hire professionals.
According to our experts here at Box Me Up, the above is a complete list of moving tools and storage supplies. Utilizing those appropriate for your items will make your move smoother, although we will always encourage our tenants to hire professionals when moving items like pianos or fridges, or if hoists are involved.
Box Me Up provides Eastern Ontario with the tools and supplies necessary to complete their moving and self-storage projects. Look in our online supply shop to get started on planning your move, or check our blog or connect with us today for any questions you may have about your move.