Below is an inventory list of packing supplies you can buy at local home improvement stores:


Boxes (Various Sizes)

Advantages to purchasing cardboard boxes are that they are durable and clean. These boxes are new and have not been damaged or weakened by moisture, heat, dust, age, or other items previously stored in them.  Having said that, it is always best practice to save and reuse the original undamaged box that an item came in.  This benefits the environment and custom-designed packaging will be a better safeguard for any item.

Special Boxes for Dishes

Cube-shaped cardboard boxes are great for stacking dishes, glassware, china and other fragile items.

Mini China Boxes

Small cube-shaped boxes, often with handles, designed for holding smaller plates, fine china and other fragile items.

Lamp Boxes

Various sizes, tall and narrow, specifically designed for holding both lamps and lampshades.

Wardrobe Boxes

Tall or short, with a bar for hanging clothes to keep them safely spaced for air circulation, and crinkle-free. Lay-down wardrobe boxes used for folded clothes, Christmas trees, wreaths and accessories.

Television Boxes

Various sizes and doubled in thickness for added durability. These can also be used for storing microwaves, computers, stereos and other electronic devises.

Mirror/ Picture Boxes

Vary in size. Some are all one piece while others are two-part boxes designed so that one box slides over the other box for added durability.

File Boxes

Small cube-shaped boxes with flat removable lids, the right size for storing documents.

Mattress Boxes

Mattresses are highly susceptible to mildew, microscopic insects, and structural damage, which is why putting it in a box is a good idea.  Ideally, mattresses and box springs will be stored flat (not on their sides), wrapped in fabric, and protected in cardboard.

Utility Boxes

Narrow boxes designed to hold brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners.

Corrugated Boxes

Durable yet affordable for heavier items, resist breakage while carrying.

Poster Tubes

Rolled posters can be placed in tubes to ensure longevity during storage.

Corrugated Wrap

Single-face corrugated rolls made from smooth fiberboard on one side and raised corrugated flutes on the other. It offers great protection for irregular shaped items and the interweave protects against scratches.  Corrugated wrap conforms to any shape and absorbs shock.

White Tissue Wrapping Paper

Great for wrapping fragile items that could break. Colored papers tend to bleed and damage items, therefore are not recommended for long-term storage. Tissue paper is soft and will prevent scratches.  Look for acid-free paper when storing vintage textiles, scrapbooks, a wedding dress, and similar precious items.

Sofa and Chair Covers

Covers furniture during storage and helps protect it from dust, nicks and scratches.

Styrofoam Peanuts

Great for protecting lightweight fragile items.

Bubble Wrap

Wrap entirely around fragile items and electronics to help eliminate dust and static. For added security, wrap the item more than once so small moveable objects are sure to remain stationary. Secure the plastic bubble wrap in place with string or packaging tape.

Shrink Wrap

Use to wrap boxes together for added protection during a move and to help protect items from moisture, dirt and theft.

Foam Egg Crates

Place between fragile items such as dishes for storage.

Good, sturdy scissors and Box Knife

Must-haves for both packing and unpacking.

Packaging Tape

Tape is available in hundreds of shapes, sizes and brands.  Almost any tape is fine for sealing boxes, except masking tape, which does not age well. If you are going to apply tape directly to, for instance, an appliance door, you will want to choose something that comes off easily without too much residue, like blue painter’s tape.


Use permanent markers to write on boxes and labels.  Word to the wise: use code words to label expensive or precious items. It’s an added precaution on the very unlikely chance that a thief breaks in.


Use to write on the outside of a box the name of the owner of the box and what is inside.


Used to move refrigerators, stoves, other large appliances, stacks of boxes and similar bulky items.