Thrifty Moving: Saving on Packing Supplies


I’ve already tackled the challenge of finding moving boxes for free. So now that you have the boxes, the next step is to pack up your stuff. Easier said than done.

One of the trickiest parts of packing is making sure you pack your items in a way that they will not break during their journey. Often the solution is to buy costly packaging materials.

Instead of spending more money, you can save money and possibly pack all of your stuff using items you already have or can easily get for free.

Here are some of the item’s I’ve used:

1. Newspapers

Newspapers are available in abundance everywhere, and usually you can get them for free (free newspapers or checking recycling bins). They’re great for wrapping dishes and other breakables, and also can be crumpled up to provide cushioning and fill in empty spaces.

The only downside is the ink will come off on your hands and on your stuff. Though it washes away pretty easily, the last thing you want to do when you unpacking is wash all your stuff before you put it away.

2. Grocery Bags

Paper or plastic will do. They’re great for wrapping fragile items, especially the paper bags. Either one can be crumpled up for cushioning.

When I’m packing things that could possible leak–toiletries like shampoo bottles or food items that are not sealed–I will usually wrap them in plastic bags just as a precaution.

3.Towels, Clothing, & Other Linens

Have a lot of random towels? What about clothes? Sheets? You’ll have to pack them as well, so you might as well get some extra use out of them. I use them to wrap anything: dishes, glasses, ceramic figures, lamps, vases, whatever.

I also roll them up to cushion items in boxes and fill awkward empty spaces to keep items from shifting.

4. Tissue Paper

You can easily go out and buy tissue paper for this purpose, but this is another item you make have around for free. It may come from gift bags or shopping trips and is usually tossed out, but keep it if you can! Again, this is perfect for wrapping fragile items in. In my last move I had an entire set of glasses wrapped in the pink tissue paper I got the last time I splurged at Victoria’s Secret.

5. Bubble Wrap & Other Mailing Supplies

If you buy a lot of things online, like we do, then you probably get a ton of bubble wrap, padded envelopes, and other packing supplies along with your order. Don’t throw them away! You can recycle them by using them again when you’re packing up before your move.

Don’t toss up those padded envelopes either! You can put appropriate sized items inside and also cut them open to wrap items in.

6. Yarn

I’m a knitter, so I have tons of yarn around, sometimes leftovers or balls I found at thrift stores or got for free that I haven’t used yet. I’m not going to throw them away obviously, and it’s stupid just to have a box of yarn when it can easily be utilized. Mostly I use it to cushion items and fill in empty spaces.

Most of all, be creative. If you’re moving soon, keep your eyes open when tossing stuff out and think, “Can I use this as a part of my move?” Using free resources around you can save you money.

Have any other suggestions or nifty ideas to save money while moving? Let me know.

See Also:
Finding Free Moving Boxes
Service Review: Public Storage

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