4 Things To Think About When Selecting Packaging Materials

If you're moving to a new residence or office, the last thing you want to encounter after all that effort and expense is box after box of broken possessions. No matter how much of a hurry you're in to pack, or how little you've budgeted for the move, you need to make sure you're using the right kind of packaging for the right situation. Here are four considerations to keep at the top of your mind as you pack.

1. Container Size and Design

When choosing boxes for your move, remember that bigger is not necessarily better. It might be tempting to stuff your entire library of books into one oversized package, but someone is going to have to live and carry that package -- and if that someone is you, you could be lining yourself up for a hernia.

Generally speaking, the heavier the individual items being packed, the smaller the containers should be. At the same time, however, you don't want to jam delicate items into boxes just large enough to hold them. If you leave insufficient room for padding, you're almost certain to experience breakage of precious possessions during your move.

The design and structure of each container is another factor in successful packing and moving. Cardboard is the most affordable and lightest material commonly for storage boxes, with the corrugated variety offering more strength and durability than single-layered cardboard. If you plan on moving again in the future, choose boxes that can be unfolded and stacked flat.

Lids are an important feature if you plan on stacking the boxes on top of each other, or if you're storing lightweight materials that might fly out during transport. Last but not least, make sure the boxes have handles or hand slots for easy lifting and carrying.

2. Internal Padding

The internal padding you use can be as simple or as exotic as you like, as long as it gets the job done safely and efficiently. For the most fragile or easily scratched items, you can use a soft substance such as tissue paper. Newsprint is another safe, cheap (or free), widely available choice for padding and packaging without scratching. 

If you don't mind paying a little more money, you'll also find a variety of foam or plastic packaging materials to choose from. Here are some examples:

  • Bubble wrap - This flexible material is a good choice for wrapping somewhat delicate items such as electronic components. The hundreds of little air cells provide gentle cushioning to prevent the items from impacting against the box or each other. Bubble wrap also adds a small amount of thermal insulation.  
  • Styrofoam - For simple bulk padding, go for the ubiquitous foam "peanuts" that seem to accompany every large purchase these days. If you resists using non-recyclable or non-biodegradable materials, you'll be happy to know that you can find a biodegradable version of this material derived from corn starch

3. External Padding

After you've gone to such care to use the correct interior wrapping and padding to your move, don't forget to pad your unboxed possessions' exteriors as well. If you want to keep large flat items from scratching each other en route, purchase thin sheets of paper padding to place between them. Paper furniture pads should be attached to your furnishings to protect the arms, legs, and other components from dents and scratches.

Moving blankets can prove extraordinarily helpful as a form of loose packaging to protect large items such as furniture. Thicker blankets are generally better -- a necessity, in fact, if you plan on using the blanket to scoot the items across a floor or cargo bed. You can rent a set of moving blankets from your local moving company. Just be careful not to tear or otherwise damage them, otherwise you might lose the deposit you put down when you rented them.

4. Specialized Packaging Options

Special packaging problems require special packaging solutions. Fortunately, you can find specialized forms of packaging for just about any situation. These may include:

  • Telescoping boxes to accommodate long, thin items such as lamps
  • Cardboard or plastic bike boxes featuring straps, tie-downs and foam chocks for securing disassembled bicycles
  • Wardrobe boxes that store your clothes just as a closet would, hanging rods and all

Pay heed to these considerations now, and you'll enjoy a smoother packing, moving, or storage experience than you might have dreamed possible. Talk to your local shipping or moving company and check out sites like http://www.securityselfstorageelginil.com/ to learn more about your available options!