Where to Find Moving Supplies

Between a security deposit or down payment, professional movers, and other expenses, moving house can be quite expensive. You should not have to spend a lot of money on supplies to get you from one home to the next, as well. Of course, you may need to buy packing tape and stickers or a marker for labeling, but most other items you can get for free. This quick guide will fill you in on where you can get moving supplies without increasing your budget.


  • Stores – Every store around receives their products in boxes. You can go to office supply, liquor, grocery, and sporting goods stores and just ask for their boxes from their next shipment.
  • Restaurants – This category also includes bars and coffee shops, too. Any establishment that serves liquor will have the best boxes. If you pick up boxes used to deliver food, make sure they are clean.
  • Craigslist – With so much concern over the environment, many people list their boxes they used for their own move on Craigslist to make sure they get used to their full potential. Be sure to check out Freecycle, too.
  • Schools – Books and office supplies get delivered in boxes. Plus, the cafeteria might have some from its food shipment.

Around the House

You do not need to pay for packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or packing paper; one of the best places to discover moving supplies is in your own home. Towels, linens, t-shirts, tanks, socks, sweaters, etc., can all be used to wrap breakables and cushion and stuff boxes. Garbage bags can be placed over clothes left on hangers to protect them and Zip-lock bags can be used for cables, hardware, and loose items.

Friends and Family

If you still need more supplies for moving, scavenge around your mom’s house to see what you can find or borrow your friend’s luggage sitting out in his garage.


What Moving Supplies Do I Need Besides Boxes?

Whether this is your first time moving house, or if you would simply like to have a better experience than you had last time, it is helpful if you have all your moving supplies handy from the start. This guide will fill you in on all the moving supplies you will need, other than boxes, of course!

  • Tape – Good packing tape is important, especially to make sure the bottom of your boxes hold together. You can use scissors to cut, but then you have to constantly try to find where the roll begins again. Do yourself a favor and splurge a few extra dollars on a dispenser.
  • Labels – A marker is imperative. This will allow you to write room names and special handling instructions on the boxes. You can also use colored stickers to label boxes according to room, and for the most organized move, use packing labels.
  • Covers – Mattress covers are essential! They usually run around $10, depending on size and they will protect your mattress as it is dragged across a muddy lawn or rained on. You can also buy covers for sofas and chairs, as well, but these items do not seem to ever take the abuse a mattress does. Do not forget one for your box spring, too!
  • Packing Products – Most people looking for a list of moving supplies needed in addition to boxes know they need packing products, but are not quite sure what. Bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and glass packs all generally come to mind. However, you probably have a lot of supplies around the house you can use, as well.
  • Scissors or Knife – You do not necessarily need scissors or a knife for packing, but you do want to remember to pack one in your essentials box, so you have something to cut boxes open with at your new place.
  • Moving Blankets – The best moving companies will have these available to wrap your television, glass cabinet, wood table, etc., but they will likely charge for them. It will be cheaper to just buy them.

Moving Timeline: 1 Week Until Moving Day

Hopefully you created a moving checklist that you have been using to stay organized and on top of everything you need to get done. If so, then once you are at the one-week point in your moving day timeline, you will not have too much left to do. If you haven’t, or if you just are not sure if you have remembered everything, this list will come in handy. Remember, seven days flies by, so do a little every day. You do not want to wait until the day before to tackle these chores or you will be stressed out for your big, exciting day.

  • Confirm appointment with your moving professionals. Even the best movers have scheduling errors from time-to-time.
  • Refill any necessary prescriptions.
  • Unplug fridge and freezer to defrost 24 hours prior.
  • Change address.
  • Confirm utilities installation.
  • Empty locker at gym, country club, etc.
  • Make childcare and/or pet sitting arrangements for moving day.
  • Dismantle furniture and disassemble electronics not already done.
  • Pack an essentials box to get you through the first 24 hours. This is one of the most important tasks on your one-week moving day checklist.
  • Confirm storage facility, if applicable.
  • Go to the bank or ATM to get cash to tip your local movers. NYC is an expensive place to live; these hardworking folks rely on their tips!
  • Verify that you have enough moving insurance.
  • Notify magazines, newspapers, and other subscriptions of your new address.
  • Pick up snacks and bottles of water for the move.
  • Confirm travel arrangements, if making a cross-country move.
  • Decide what you are doing with plants. If you are not taking them you can give them away or donate to a hospital or charitable organization.
  • Clean as much as you can, so you do not have a lot to come back and do.
  • If you can get the keys to your new place early, go in and thoroughly clean. This way when the movers leave, you can start unpacking right away.

First Time Home Buyers: Moving into Your New House

If you are a first time home buyer then you are likely anxious to get settled into your first house. Of course, since you have never done this before, you can probably use a few helpful moving tips that most people forget the first time around.

  • Get Keys Made – First of all, if you did not change the locks already, this needs to be done. You never know how many spare keys to your home are floating around out there. You should also get extra keys made now while you are thinking about it. KeyMe is an app you may find helpful.
  • Install an Alarm System – Don’t wait to have an alarm system installed. You will feel so much better knowing your home is protected from the very first night.
  • Cover Windows – Even if you intend on buying window treatments in the near future you should still cover the windows now for the time being. You do not have to invest in anything expensive. Simple curtains will ensure thieves will not be peaking in to see what the new homeowners have.
  • Have a Toolkit Handy – If you have a toolkit already, then great! If not, you can assemble one with the essentials that you will need, such as a tape measure, hammer, nails, level, and power drill. A ladder will come in handy, too!
  • Check for Signs of Pests – Before you hire a moving company to load everything into your new house, you should do a final check for pests. If you need an exterminator, now is the time to hire one.
  • Move In Day Tips – If you are a first time buyer, moving into your new house, you are probably running on adrenaline. However, you will hit a wall eventually. One of the first things you should do after your Austin movers leave is make the bed and hang the shower curtain. So, when you suddenly feel your energy deplete, you will be able to jump into the shower and finally enjoy a night of rest in your new home.

Do it Like a Pro! The Only Moving Checklist You’ll Ever Need

There are a lot of moving checklists floating around the internet, but they all seem to be missing something. You have to essentially print several lists to create one master list, and then you have to deal with duplication. Forget all that nonsense! If you want to move like the pros, this is the only moving guide you will need!

One Month Prior

  • Evaluate your belongings and determine what size moving truck rental you will need. If you are using moving pods instead then you will need to figure out how many you will need delivered.
  • Pick up all your supplies. You can get free boxes from local stores and restaurants or you can order recycled ones online. You may even choose to use plastic, environmentally-friendly bins. You will need packing materials, a mattress cover, blanket, tape, and marker.
  • Start packing early. Anything out of season will not be missed. Plus, things like book collections, antiques, etc., can be done early, too. It is a good idea to get rid of everything you do not need or want. You can donate it, or if you have time, have a garage sale.

Two Weeks Prior

  • Deal with paperwork. This includes everything from transfer school, medical, and vet records to gathering important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, and insurance papers.
  • Change address with the post office, credit cards, employer, bank, and subscriptions. Cancel the newspaper and pay the delivery boy, too.
  • Schedule start, stop, or transfer service with utilities, waste, cable, and internet providers.
  • Recruit help! Let family and friends know your moving day, so they do not make plans. See if someone can watch your children and/or pets.

One Day Prior

  • The most important chore on this moving day checklist is to make sure an essentials box is packed for everyone in the house. It should include all the clothes, toiletries, toys, etc., needed for the first 24 hours.
  • Disconnect all appliances. Be sure to unplug the fridge and freezer 24 hours in advance so they defrost.
  • Use tape to secure cords or all appliances.
  • Clean as much as you can around the boxes, so there is less to do later.
  • Pick up your moving truck rental. This way you will not have to deal with it in the morning. You may even want to carry a few loads out, if you have time.

Moving Out? Guide to Getting Your Security Deposit Back

Many people just assume that they will not get their security deposit refunded to them, so they do not even bother trying. This is unfortunate. Even if you only get a portion back it will still help offset the cost of your moving truck rental, or professional movers, if you hire them. Do not let your landlord keep your hard-earned money. All you need is a few tips to get back your security deposit.

  • Don’t Break Your Lease – Obviously the one thing you do have to do is make sure you honor your lease.
  • Clean – Spending a few hours scrubbing the place from top to bottom is vital. You do not want to know what your landlord might say it will cost him to hire someone. Sometimes it is close to $250! Clean as much as you can before you move, so it doesn’t seem like such a big job.
  • Clean the Carpet – Cleaning the carpet is not a huge job. You can rent a carpet cleaner at many grocery stores, and you can typically do an apartment or small house within hours. Again, your landlord will likely take several hundred out of your deposit to cover this, even if it only costs him a fraction of this.
  • Handle Minor Repairs – One of the easiest things you can do to ensure you receive your rental deposit back is take care of minor repairs. Fill holes in the wall, replace the screen your cat scratched, and the molding your dog chewed. Even if you have to hire a handyman for an hour or so, it will be money well-spent.
  • Take Pictures – After you or the movers have removed everything and the place is clean, take photos of every room to prove what it looked like when you left it.
  • Schedule a Walk through – If your landlord lives out of town or if you are moving house to another state, a walk through may not be possible. However, if it is, arrange for a time when you can go through the place together. Do make sure you hand in all sets of keys and garage door openers, as well.