1. Ask a local store for boxes before you buy them.
Before you buy cardboard boxes, visit nearby stores and ask if they mind saving some boxes from their next shipment. Most retail establishments trash or recycle these boxes, so there’s a good chance they will be willing to let you take them off their hands. Usually, they will require your name and phone number so they can contact you when your boxes are ready for pick up.
2. Wrap glass and other delicate items in towels and t-shirts.
If you’re packing both fragile and soft items, why not pack them together? By wrapping glass and other delicate items in towels, t-shirts, and blankets, you save space and repurpose your textiles—without having to buy bubble wrap or paper towel.
3. Stack disposable styrofoam plates between breakable kitchen and dining plates.
This dollar store find is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your delicate dishes. Simply place one disposable plate between each breakable plate and you have a stack of dishes that won’t get scratched. You may even be able to try this packing hack on your breakable bowls if they’re the right shape.
4. Place screws and other small furniture parts in sealed plastic bags, then tape them to the piece of furniture to which they belong.
Rather than stuffing bags of screws, nails, and other furniture assembly parts in a box or bag, attach them to their corresponding furniture. When you unpack your moving vehicle and boxes are all over the inside of your new home, you won’t have to search for parts that match. This will help make furniture reassembly much easier and more frustration-free.
5. Pack books or other heavy/bulky items in rolling luggage.
Similar to hack number two, this trick provides dual purpose to an item that you’re already packing—rolling luggage. By repurposing your luggage cases as rolling boxes for your heavy valuables, you’re saving money on boxes and saving yourself from unnecessary back pain.
6. Pack and label an essentials box (or two).
It may seem logical to pack your toothbrushes in the bathroom box, your coffee pot in the kitchen box, and your socks in your bedroom box. The problem with this thoughtful organization is that you have to sort through and open several boxes to get to these few essential items. Instead, pack one or two boxes of essential items that you’ll need to use daily until you have the chance to unpack everything.
7. Use plastic wrap to keep dresser drawers shut or books on their shelves.
Plastic wrap is an inexpensive tool that can prove very useful in many packing tricks. One way to keep your dresser drawers from sliding open (be sure to empty them first) is to secure them in place using plastic wrap. The same method can be used with bookcases. If your bookcase is light enough to comfortably carry while it’s full, wrap it in plastic wrap to keep the books from falling out during transportation.
8. String necklaces through empty toilet paper rolls or individual straws.
One common frustration among movers is the tendency for necklaces and other strung jewelry to tangle when they’re packed in boxes or bags. To avoid this annoying problem, string multiple necklaces on an empty toilet paper roll or string individual necklaces on plastic straws. The rigidity of both the toilet paper roll and the straw will keep your necklaces straight and prevent them from tangling with each other.
9. Pack knives in oven mitts.Knives are considerably one of the trickiest household items to pack. It’s easy to forget where you packed what and unprotected blades are risky when you stick your hands in boxes to unpack. Like hacks two and five, repurpose those oven mitts you’re already packing as ultra-padded cases for your kitchen and utility knives, and thank us later.
10. Slide glass picture frames in t-shirts to prevent scratching.
Another way to repurpose items you’re packing anyway is to place your fragile picture frames in t-shirts. This saves you from the added expense of purchasing foam or bubble wrap while still keeping your precious glass from surface scratches. High-five!