The Best Packing Materials for Moving House

How many boxes do I need to move? What is the best packing material for glass? How do I avoid breaking my mother-in-law’s cherished crystal vase?! These are just some of the questions we ask when deciding to pack for ourselves when moving house. Here we share some valuable tips and advice on the best packing materials for a house move and how to pack.

Of course, think boxes, but there is much more to consider

Cardboard boxes are our first immediate thought when packing for a house move, and while they’re the top of the list, there are some other essential materials to stock up on. Get yourselves organised and avoid any last-minute scramble to the shops to pick up packing materials you haven't considered; this will cost you more time and money.

Packing boxes in the lounge

Boxes are, of course, necessary, but we will come back to this later. To get you started, here are some of the other items you will need for packing to move house:

Bubble wrap

The protective friend for your most fragile and precious possessions. Use it to wrap your glassware, ornaments and photo frames to ensure maximum protection. A common mistake when using bubble wrap is to pack it with the air bubbles facing outwards; big mistake!

Position the most cushioned side of the wrap facing your items with the smooth side exposed. Bubble wrap is also great for lining your boxes to create a barrier between items and external hazards. Bubble wrap usually comes in rolls in various sizes, but standard sizes include:

  • Small bubble wrap (500mm x 10m) – the most common size for packing. Great for your smaller items and protecting them from surface scratches, dents and chips
  • Large bubble wrap (750mm x 25m) - great for more oversized items such as mirrors and bunching multiple items together
  • Extra large bubble wrap (750mm x 50m) - larger bubble wrap is perfect for lining your boxes and protecting bulky items during the transit from home to home

Packing tape

It is always worth spending a little extra on packing tape. The last thing you want is boxes splitting and broken items all over your new driveway. Invest in plenty of heavy industrial packing tape. For extra ease, use a packing tape dispenser to make the packing process faster, avoiding that all too familiar search for the missing end!

Taping up a packing box

Marker pens

There is nothing worse than arriving at your new home to a sea of boxes and no idea what’s in them. Make sure you have marker pens on hand when packing to list the contents and room they belong in. Write the details on a label or directly on the packing boxes and make them nice and clear so that the removal team can put everything in the right place. If in doubt, labels are better as they allow you to re-use the boxes time and time again.

Packing paper

As well as bubble wrap, you may wish to include packing paper in your list of moving house essentials. Packing paper is excellent for wrapping glassware and other fragile possessions. Acid-free tissue paper is perfect for wrapping stainless steel items, keeping them gleaming away. Acid-free tissue paper will also help keep your most precious things tarnish-free, perfect for those family antiques. It’s also good to have a pack of white packing paper on hand to wrap your crockery, accessories and bottles; you can also create cushioning by stuffing the paper into empty spaces in your box.


Knowing how many boxes for moving you need is easy to work out once you have a clear and defined list of what you are taking with you. If you are still unsure about how many packing boxes you need, here is a simple guide on the quantities you may need, based on the size of your home:

One bedroom house or flat

Investing in a Flat Kit Mover Pack with additional packing materials may be more cost-effective.

Two bedroom house or flat

  • 5 x small moving boxes
  • 10 x standard moving boxes
  • 2 x huge wardrobe boxes

A Two Bedroom House Kit Mover Pack is the easiest way of ensuring you have all the suitable materials for the big move.

Three to four-bedroom house

  • 15 x small moving boxes
  • 30 x standard moving boxes
  • 2 x huge wardrobe boxes

A Three to Four Bedroom House Kit Mover Pack is the complete package for moving home for a significant move like this.

Four to five-bedroom house

  • 15 x small moving boxes
  • 40 x standard moving boxes
  • 3 x large moving boxes
  • 6 x huge wardrobe boxes

Packing up a home of this size is a considerable task. Invest in a Four to Five Bedroom House Kit Mover Pack and you’ll have everything you need.

Where to buy moving boxes

Choose a reputable supplier when choosing the best place to purchase your moving boxes. Avoid going online and ordering the cheapest option; the poor quality of the box may result in damage to your items and even more expense!

Create your very own packing station!

Whether it's a separate room or just a pocket of space, create an area in your home to store your packing materials. This will help keep you organised and clutter-free. If you can, set it up on a high table or bench for when packing fragile items or taping smaller items together.

Packing books into a box

How to pack for moving house

Now you have all of your packing materials, it's time to get packing! No one wants breakages or damage to their possessions when moving house. Here are some tips on packing boxes for moving house by everyday household items:

  • The best way to pack plates for moving house - use an easy plate-sheet-plate stacking method. Cover your first plate with a sheet of paper, add a plate and repeat. Once you have a stack of four or five plates, bring together the excess sheeting around the plates and tuck it neatly around the pile, creating a bundle. Turn the pile over and cover it with a few more sheets for extra protection—stack plates on their side in the box. Make sure to label your box as ‘fragile’ and list its contents.
  • How to pack glasses for moving - you may just want a glass of bubbly to celebrate your successful move so take these steps to make sure your glassware arrives intact. Use packing paper to wrap each glass separately. Place glassware carefully into a secure box and tightly stuff any excess space with packing paper so there is no room for movement. Again, mark the box as ‘fragile’.
  • How to pack books for moving - there’s more to this than you would believe. The best way to protect your favourite literature is to line your cardboard box with packing paper before adding your books to the box. Always load your heavy books first, position all books flat and don't overfill the box; this can cause damage to you, the books and the box! For the avid readers with an extensive collection of books, consider packing them according to genre; making it much easier to sort when you arrive at your new home. The same goes for your music and DVD collection (if you still have one!).
  • How to pack shoes for moving - you have lasted this long without the dog chewing your favourite pair. Now is not the time to get complacent. Pack your shoes carefully by firstly making sure you have plenty of clean packing paper. Stuff your shoes with paper or socks, wrap each shoe in paper and if you have the shoebox to place them in, even better! For older shoes or those used in the daily grind, bag them up and place them in a laundry basket or linen bag for easy transportation.
  • How to fold a shirt for packing - heading straight back to work after the big move? Make sure your office attire arrives at your new home in pristine condition. Firstly, do up all the buttons of your shirt. Lay your shirt face down on a flat surface and spread the sleeves. Bring each sleeve to the middle and fold the sides to the centre. You can then bring up the bottom of the shirt halfway, which you can fold over. This process will create a neat and compact shirt for you to store and pack away.

Feel inspired to get started on the packing or still sighing at the thought? If you are stretched for time, you could always hire a company to do it for you! Removal companies like Gentle Giants can take the hassle out of one of the most stressful aspects of moving home.

For more moving house packing tips, check out our complete Moving Home Checklist.

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