Moving can be exciting. It’s when most people get a chance at a fresh start with a new job or new places to explore. But it can also be challenging as there are so many things to coordinate, whether we’re talking of a long-distance move or a short-distance one. Living in a big city like Boston makes things even more complicated. You have to juggle a lot of things, from moving on short notice because you found a great apartment and don’t want to miss your chance to land it, to dealing with city traffic while driving your possessions from the current home to the new one and finding available movers on your preferred moving day.
What will help in most cases is staying organized. You need to come up with a clear moving plan and stick to it – as cliché as it might sound – and that will make your Boston move a bit easier.
We’ve collected a few packing tips that will help you jumpstart your moving plan. One important aspect of the move – probably the most important one – is decluttering and packing your belongings. The process usually takes quite a bit of time and effort, so make sure you have all the moving boxes and packing supplies you need on hand by the time you start. You don’t want to go out on a Saturday evening shopping for boxes and packing tape – particularly if the next day is moving day!
Here are the key moving supplies you need for packing your belongings safely:
- A variety of moving boxes
You’ll need about 10 small and medium moving boxes for each room in your home, plus a couple of wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes and maybe one or two large boxes for oversized items. You also need a few extra durable boxes, or even wooden crates, for heavy items such as books or tableware.
- Packing materials
Whether it’s bubble wrap, packing paper, old newspapers or even your own linen, you need some materials to protect fragile items before putting them in boxes. Also, you need stretch wrap to protect your furniture and appliances during transportation.
- Tape, labels and markers
Get good quality tape to close your moving boxes properly – you certainly don’t want the contents of the moving boxes to spill during transportation. Also, you should have labels and markers – make sure you write on each box the room it belongs to and a short list of the items inside. That will make the unpacking work a lot easier.
Now that you know what to look for, here’s where to buy moving boxes and other moving supplies in Boston – or even get them for free!
1. At self storage facilities
You’re probably going to need self storage during the moving process as it’s a good way to keep the pressure out of the move. Store what you use less frequently and take with you at first the things you need most. A standard 10×10 storage unit should suffice for storing the contents of a 2-bedroom apartment. Self storage costs in Boston range around $160 per month for a standard unit. If you need more space, a 10×20 storage unit rents for about $260 per month. Not only do self storage facilities keep your belongings safe while you get your new home ready, but most of them also sell moving supplies. We’ve listed below a few of Boston’s best self storage facilities where you can also pick up moving boxes:
This storage facility offers a variety of unit sizes for your belongings, including vehicle storage, and it also sells moving supplies. You can pick up small, medium and large boxes, wardrobe boxes, mattress bags, sofa covers, tape, bubble wrap, and so on.
This LifeStorage facility offers unit sizes starting with 5×10 going up to 10×25, so whether you have just a few boxes to store or the contents of a large home, you can find the right unit size for your needs. Moving boxes and supplies are available at the location and you can either have them delivered to your home for free or pick them up from the facility with 20% off!
This Extra Storage Space facility offers a good selection of unit sizes, including climate-controlled storage units, plus warehouse units for oversized belongings. And, obviously, you can also shop for moving boxes and other supplies.
2. Rent a Box at Box Save
Box Save is an interesting service available in Greater Boston that allows you to rent your moving boxes, instead of purchasing them. The boxes are made of plastic, have lids (so no tape required), have sturdy handles, are easily stackable, and labels are included. The empty boxes can be delivered to your old home and picked up at your new location. Besides the convenience, there’s another advantage associated with this service – it’s environmentally friendly, as the boxes can be used time and time again, reducing the need for cardboard boxes that people can only use once or twice.
3. At home improvement stores
Most home improvement stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, carry a wide variety of moving boxes, including specialty ones that you need to protect fragile belongings such as your mirrors, TVs, kitchen dishware, and so on. Home Depot also sells moving kits that contain basically everything that you need for packing your belongings, from boxes to protective materials, packing tape, and so on. When buying moving boxes at home improvement stores, the good news is that you can return the ones you didn’t use, thus limiting waste.
4. At local moving companies
If you decide to hire a moving company to help you through this process, ask them about moving boxes and other supplies. Some companies include these supplies in their price quote, while others sell them extra. Make sure you know if moving supplies are included in the price the moving company offered – you might be tempted by an affordable price only to find out later that you actually have to buy the boxes. All the boxes and supplies for moving an average two-bedroom home cost around $200 – keep that in mind when asking for quotes from moving companies.
5. Look for free moving boxes at supermarkets and other stores
Supermarkets like Star Market or Roche Bros. offer their empty cardboard boxes for free to customers who need them. Some have large bins where they place the boxes for everyone to get them, while in other cases you must ask the store employees. Inquire if they also have some crates to spare – many supermarkets get their apples and other produce in wooden crates. They are sturdy and very useful for transporting heavy items like books or dishware, so it would be great to score some, if possible.
6. Search for moving boxes online
Search for people who recently moved and want to get rid of their boxes. From Craigslist to social media and local online forums, chances are you’ll find posts from other Bostonians who would be happy for someone to come and pick up their old boxes. Moving is expensive, so saving a couple of hundred dollars here and there definitely makes a difference.
Do you have any other moving tips and tricks you would like to share to make life easier for those who plan to take the same route you did? Share them in the comments section!