Your Guide to Packing Materials

Storage Basics

May 16th, 2023

All packing materials are not created equal…or for the same purpose! Many of us grab whatever we can find when packing our belongings for storage or for a move. Newspapers, copy paper, packing peanuts, socks, bubble wrap, even underwear have been used to cushion items in hopes of avoiding damage. And more times than not, the random packing materials we use do the job.
However, if there’s one time they don’t work it’ll be when they’re used to wrap something you value, something that is precious and probably irreplaceable.
Don’t leave your packing effectiveness to chance, dependent on whatever random packing material is available to you. These are the packing materials you need on hand, along with an explanation of what each does.

Bubble Wrap Packing Materials for Protection

There’s more to bubble wrap than the satisfaction of popping each bubble between your fingers. Bubble wrap with small pockets of air are great for preventing scratches and scrapes on items, but not so great for cushioning for impact. Large pocket bubble wrap is great for cushioning and impact absorption. Though large pocket bubble wrap adds an inch or two of size to the items they protect, resulting in the loss of space within boxes. But your items will be super safe!

Packing Paper for Immobilization

While packing paper can be used to wrap items that need protection during a move, they don’t provide cushioning when other items shift or fall. Wrapping items in paper will help prevent scratches, dings or scrapes, however.
Primarily, packing paper can be used for filling space between items in a box helping items to remain immobile during a move. Crumpled paper can be stuffed inside glasses or vases to provide additional protection.

Packing Peanuts Fill Space in Moving Boxes

Even better than packing paper, packing peanuts fill spaces and provide cushioning inside moving boxes. Because of their small size and unique shape, packing peanuts can fill voids better than other products like bubble wrap or crumpled paper.
The best use of packing peanuts is in tandem with other packing materials since they won’t always prevent damage from any impact the moving box might take.

Dish Foam Prevents Broken or Chipped Dishes

Dish foam is a sleeve of compressible material that envelopes dishes for easy stacking while preventing chipping, cracking or breaking during transport. Though these materials are more costly than bubble wrap, they are useful packing materials for important pieces of china or family heirloom serving dishes.

Using Cardboard Strips as Extra Packing Materials

Also known as corrugated dunnage, strips of cardboard can be used and fashioned to create cells within boxes for holding fragile or important items in place. If you’ve seen a box of wine, you’ve seen corrugated dunnage in action—it crisscrosses inside the box, creating smaller boxes or cells where glasses, stemware, vases, or . . . wine, can be packaged and moved.

Alamo Mini-Storage Can Help

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you need to use the right materials in the right way to ensure your items remain intact and arrive in as good of shape as when you placed them in moving boxes.
When you have questions about moving or packing materials, you can ask our resident managers at Alamo Mini-Storage. They have experience with packing, moving and storing items in the best ways possible. Contact a location near you, and discover the best ways to protect your belongings.