Packing up your entire home is a mammoth task. There are multiple things that could end up going wrong and several items that can break or go missing if the packing is not done the right way. Hiring professional movers and watching them perform their magic would be the easiest way to deal with it. But don’t forget that hiring full-service movers isn’t a cheap affair. Moving on a tight budget requires you to DIY most of the work and that’s why you need to think of all the possible tricks that could make packing easy, efficient, and cheap.
Using plastic wrap for your move is one such basic yet incredibly useful trick. You might have seen a roll of plastic wrap in your kitchen that you might use while cooking. Many people might even know it as saran wrap or stretch wrap instead of plastic wrap. You can’t even imagine how many purposes a plastic wrap can serve! Here’s your guide that answers all your questions on how to use plastic wrap for moving.
What Exactly Is Plastic Wrap?
As the name suggests, plastic wrap is essentially a packing material that’s made out of plastic. It helps one to easily and efficiently bundle, tie, and protect belongings while they are being shipped or being put into storage during a move.
You always worry about your stuff getting scrapped, nicked, or even coming in contact with oil or dirt during a move. But you can throw all these worries and fears away when you use plastic wrap. The best part about plastic wrap is that it sticks to itself. This means that you don’t have to worry about it leaving behind residues and damaging your stuff when you use it for packing.
Why Do People Use Plastic Wrap?
We agree that plastic wrap might seem too simple and using several packing supplies might seem to be a more reliable way of packing. But trust us when we say that once you discover the advantages of using plastic wrap for your packing, there’s no going back. Want to know why plastic wrap is so important? Here’s why you should always buy plastic wrap when you purchase packing supplies.
- Affordability: You don’t have to worry about overspending while buying plastic wrap as it’s super cheap and affordable. To add to that, it is available in a variety of sizes. So go ahead, choose a size, and buy as much as you want!
- Flexibility: What can’t you do with plastic wrap? Not only can you wrap stuff in it to keep it safe from damage, but your stuff will also stay away from dirt if you use plastic wrap. To add to that, plastic wrap can be used to segregate and pack similar items together, prevent liquids from spilling, keep loose wires together, keep your necklaces from getting entangled, and so on. Plastic wrap can be used for absolutely anything and it’s you who has to figure out what you want to use it for.
- Non-Adhesive: Many people don’t like packing tape as it leaves behind gluey, sticky residues on their stuff. But if you use plastic wrap, you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting spoilt as it sticks to itself.
- Sturdiness: Plastic wrap looks extremely thin and fragile but let us tell you that it is anything but weak. The material is surprisingly tear-resistant and strong, and you can rest assured that your stuff is safe when it’s wrapped in it. To add to that, it is also very stretchy and can absorb tension. It can be stretched and used to wrap all kinds of objects firmly.
- Recyclable: If you want to keep your move eco-friendly, using plastic wrap is the right way to go. That’s because the plastic wrap is totally recyclable.
Prepping Your Household Items For Plastic Wrap
As we already mentioned, using plastic wrap leads to easy and effective packing. As useful as plastic wrap is, there are a few factors that significantly reduce its efficacy. Here’s how to prepare your things so that the plastic wrap can work effectively during the move.
- Thoroughly clean the surface of whatever you are packing. This ensures that you don’t have any dirt or moisture trapped between your item and the plastic wrap and thus prevents your items from getting damaged.
- If the item you are about to wrap has some detachable pieces, don’t forget to disassemble the item. Packing each piece separately ensures that each and every piece gets a protective layering. Wrapping an item without disassembling it first might be a mistake as one of the pieces might end up getting bent, loose, or damaged.
- Items like wooden furniture can grow mold and mildew if there is any moisture trapped under the plastic wrap. In this case, it is advisable to first wrap your item with packing paper, moving blankets or any other packing supplies, and then wrap them up with a plastic wrap. You won’t face the moisture problem when you wrap upholstered furniture or other items made from materials like plastic.
- Use cardboard, packing tape, and bubble wrap to cover the corners and exposed edges of an item.
- Lastly, wrap the entire item from top to bottom in plastic wrap so as to ensure that they remain unharmed during the move.
Read Also: Best Packing Materials And How To Use Them
How To Use Plastic Wrap For Moving?
1. Securing The Packing Material Around Your Items
Needless to say, you generally wrap all your belongings with some sort of packing material, be it something as big as a dining table or as small as a TV remote. You might wrap all the smaller items in your house just with packing paper. On the contrary, you might use bubble wrap, moving blankets, etc., to safeguard the bigger items like furniture pieces.
Irrespective of what material you use to protect your stuff, you need something to secure these packing materials to your items. What can you use to fasten all this material? Items like strings, straps, chords, packing tape, etc., might pop up in your mind. But let us tell you that nothing is as effective and safe as plastic wrap.
How do you go about using plastic wrap? All you have to do is wrap your items at least four times using plastic wrap. Make sure that you stretch the plastic wrap and wrap the item firmly. But keep in mind that don’t pull as hard as to make the plastic wrap tear. Make sure that the entire thing sticks together and you’re good to go! Not only can you wrap some smaller items entirely with plastic wrap, but you can also ensure that all your stuff stays away from dirt and moisture till the very end of the move.
2. Wrapping Up Valuables
We don’t need to tell you how heartbreaking it would be if some of your valuable items sustain damages during the move. While you are packing something valuable like artwork, you want to ensure that it reaches your new home safely. But that doesn’t mean that you have to add 10 layers of packing material to it. There is a simple way in which you can ensure the safety of your valuables and let us tell you how!
Make sure that you never use newspaper or packing tape near the surface of your valuable items. That’s because the horrible marks left behind by the ink and the adhesive can surely end up spoiling your valuables. All you have to do is wrap the valuables with packing paper or foam padding (depending on what the item is). Once that’s done, wrap it a few times with plastic wrap and you are good to go!
It is advisable to check whether you have left any gaps open. That’s because the smallest of gaps can end up causing major damages. If you feel paranoid about your entire plastic wrap coming off during the move, simply secure the ends of the wrap with small strips of tape. Using packing tape on the wrap won’t cause any harm to your item. However, do ensure you are gentle and don’t rip off the tape and the wrap during the unpacking. That’s because rough handling can certainly cause harm to your valuables.
3. Keeping Loose Stuff Together
Imagine how annoying it would be if certain smaller items come loose during the shipping and end up scraping and banging against your belongings! Plastic wrap is extremely useful when it comes to keeping similarly-shaped objects together. Here’s a quick summary of how to accomplish this:
- Wires: Keep all the important wires wrapped in plastic wrap and protect them from moisture.
- Parts Of Appliances: Whenever you disassemble any appliance, you want all the parts to be packed securely. Use plastic wrap to wrap all the parts and store them together in a moving box.
- Hangers: Packing hangers can tend to be difficult due to their odd shape and you might end up misplacing them. Bundle up hanger sets and wrap them together before you pack them up in a box.
- Hanging Clothes: Some clothes can’t be folded and need to be kept in garment bags during the move. Instead of purchasing costly garment bags, use plastic wrap to safeguard them against dirt and moisture.
- Jewelry: You can very well use plastic wrap to keep your jewelry from getting entangled, especially if you don’t own a jewelry box.
- Small Items: There will be no dearth of small, oddly-shaped items in your house. There are doorknobs, screws, hardware tools, curtains hooks, and whatnot that can easily get damaged or lost if you don’t pack them properly. Just wrap them all up in plastic wrap and store them safely for a move
4. Keeping Your Drawers And Doors Shut
When your furniture pieces are getting shipped or when they are being loaded and unloaded, they most likely twist and turn and move in every direction. This will happen especially if you are clumsy or if your movers are working a little haphazardly. Among your furniture pieces, there might be some items that can open and close and cause mayhem during the move.
Not only will your furniture pieces and the stuff inside them get damaged, but all of this might also end up injuring the person who is loading or unloading these items. That’s why you must ensure that items like closets, cabinets, and drawers are closed shut tightly. But don’t you worry! We got you covered! The problem of doors swinging open and the drawers sliding out can be solved instantly by just wrapping the entire unit with plastic wrap.
Just make sure that you wrap the items with plastic wrap a few times so that the doors and drawers remain shut firmly. If you are going for a short distance move (less than 50 miles), you can always keep some items inside the drawers and closets and ship the items to your new home. This will save you a lot of packing time and trouble.
However, make sure that the stuff that’s inside these furniture items isn’t very heavy. Similarly, make sure that you aren’t placing any valuables inside them as well. To add to that, don’t place any sharp-edged objects inside as they might fall out and hurt those who are moving your stuff. Lastly, make sure that you use enough layers of plastic wrap to fasten the doors and drawers of these furniture items.
5. Save Your Stuff From Spillage
If you are moving bottles and tubes that contain liquids like acetone, nail polish, creams, aftershave, face toners, etc. with your household items, it’s all just a disaster waiting to happen. Many times, the caps of these containers might come loose or the containers might even burst open under pressure during transit. This results in leakage of the stuff that’s inside these bottles and eventually, your items bear the brunt of it and get damaged.
Instead of worrying over waterproofing all that you have packed, it would be wiser to take steps and avoid these leaks altogether. Luckily, plastic wrap is completely waterproof. You can place absolutely any kind of bottled liquid inside it and it will certainly not leak out. Wrap all the bottles and tubes in 3-4 layers of plastic wrap, tape the ends, and then you are good to go!
6. Protection From Bad Weather
Those who are moving on a tight budget might choose to move during the off-season in order to save some money. Although that might seem like a good decision, remember that it’s the off-season for a reason. Although the weather forecasters might predict that the day will be sunny, you cannot completely rely on these predictions.
Things can go sideways quickly and you will end up facing problems due to an unexpected rainfall or snowfall.
However, don’t forget the easiest solution to this problem is something as simple as plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is one of the finest things to use to protect your valuable possessions from the weather due to its flexibility and waterproofing abilities. After all the packing material has been secured to your items, make sure you wrap each and every item with several layers of plastic wrap.
If the thought of your stuff coming into contact with moisture scares the bejesus out of you, here’s what you can do. Wrap all your items in plastic wrap. Once that’s done, secure the necessary packing materials to them. Lastly, wrap the entire items with a thick layer of plastic wrap once more.
Remember that you will have to deal with the growth of mold and mildew if in case your items do end up coming in contact with moisture. That’s why it’s very important to ensure that you wrap your items securely with plastic wrap and leave behind absolutely no open gaps and space. We recommend renting out climate-controlled storage if you can’t unload your stuff due to bad weather.
See Also: How To Make Packing Easier
What Size Plastic Wrap Should You Purchase?
Whenever you want to purchase plastic wrap, you should know both the length and the width of wrap that you would need for your move. When it comes to the length, you will most likely find plastic wrap rolls in two sizes, namely, 1000’ and 1500’. On the other hand, the width of the plastic wrap roll ranges from 5’ to 22’.
Now it’s only common sense that bigger rolls will come in handy when you have to wrap bigger items like furniture pieces. Rolls with a width as small as 5’ might not be useful when you are moving because most of your household items tend to be big. We recommend that you take into account the average size of your household items before you buy a roll of plastic wrap. To be on the safer side, it would be wise to buy a roll that’s at least 15’ wide.
What Size Of Plastic Wrap Role Is Right For Your Specific Move?
If you are moving larger homes (3+ bedroom apartments) that have a lot of furniture pieces and other household items, it is quite obvious that a smaller roll won’t suffice. You might have to purchase at least 2 rolls of the dimensions 22’ x 1500’. If this size isn’t available, feel free to purchase a 20’ x 1500’ roll.
If you are moving a 1-2 bedroom apartment, you can just buy one 20’ x 1000’ roll or a 15’ x 1500’ roll and you should be good to go! If in case you own more furniture pieces and you feel that one roll might not suffice, consider purchasing 2 rolls just to be on the safer side.
Where Should You Buy Plastic Wrap From?
All you have to do is visit the nearest hardware stores like Home Depot, UPS Stores, Lowe’s, or any other moving supplies retail store. You can even choose to purchase plastic wrap online from websites like Amazon. You should know that purchasing plastic wrap online might be cheaper than purchasing it from retailers. You can expect to spend about $20 on a big roll of plastic wrap.
Also See: How To Find Free Packing Supplies?
Things To Remember While Using Plastic Wrap For Moving
- You will realize that you generally use plastic wraps of smaller dimensions in the kitchen. Don’t forget that smaller-sized rolls won’t be helpful at all especially if you are packing large items like furniture pieces. Do consider pre-ordering bigger-sized rolls so as to ensure that you get the right plastic wrap size for your move.
- Using plastic wrap to directly pack wooden or leather items would be a big mistake. Plastic often traps moisture under it and your items might grow mold and mildew if they come in contact with moisture. Always use alternative packing supplies like packing paper to wrap these items and then pack them with plastic wrap.
- Plastic wrap sticks to itself. But it might just lose all the clinginess if it comes in contact with dirt, oily surface, or moisture. That’s why make sure that all your items are clean when you wrap them with plastic wrap. Similarly, do secure the loose ends of plastic wrap with small strips of tape if you are scared about the wrap coming off.
- Consider wrapping your items horizontally as well as vertically with multiple layers of plastic wrap for maximum protection.
- Do make sure that you have at least 1-2 helpers whenever you are wrapping furniture pieces. The clinginess of plastic wrap makes it challenging for one person to get the entire job done. Make sure that one person holds out the wrap, the second one is cutting the wrap and the third one moves the furniture piece while it’s getting wrapped.
- Instead of cutting through the plastic wrap, try to unwrap your items whenever you start unpacking. This ensures that the plastic wrap remains unharmed and in one piece which in turn ensures that it can be easily recycled. Additionally, make sure that all the waste plastic wrap is dry and clean. That’s because spoilt, unclean, and wet plastic wrap won’t be accepted by recycling centers as it can’t be recycled.
Is Stretch Wrap The Same As Saran Wrap?
Stretch wrap resembles saran wrap in most ways. It is most often used for bundling up several smaller items together. It is also used to strengthen and waterproof shipping packages. Moreover, this material is most commonly used to wrap and secure household items during a move.
What Do You Use To Wrap Furniture When Moving?
You should know that plastic wrap and bubble wrap are your best friends when you want to move all your items safely. Bubble wrap ensures that your items don’t get scratched or damaged during the move. Plastic wrap ensures that the packing material is fastened to the items and your items stay away from dirt and moisture.
Also Read: Top-rated National Movers