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Packing Materials - Rent, Buy or Borrow?

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When you’re getting ready to move you, you’re going to need a lot of packaging materials. Boxes, packing tape, protective wrap, packing paper, furniture covers … there’s a lot on the market to help you pack your household belongings safely. It can also end up costing a great deal. But the good news is, there are now a lot more options available to you. You don’t necessarily have to buy all of it upfront: there are hire options, reused boxes and a lot more out there.

The cheapest option is to borrow off a friend or neighbour and collect boxes from shops, of course. Yes, you can get plenty of packing boxes this way … but never underestimate how much you’re actually going to need. It’s a rough estimate that the average house, with four or five rooms in total, you will need about fifty boxes. Fifty boxes, for a 2 bedroom home. You need to make sure you can borrow or be given enough. Then, there’s box quality. A box is not just a box these days. Some, for example ones that a supermarket or local shop may happily give you, may not be designed to protect your more valuable or heavy items. To avoid the bottom falling out of your boxes and potentially damaging everything inside, you really need two or three ply cardboard boxes, designed for house removals. You also need a whole variety of boxes, from short book boxes to big linen ones, file boxes and more … to suit the different things you have to pack.

So you might be tempted to just buy a house removal packaging kit, and that’s a popular option. Many firms, including internet based ones, offer different combinations of boxes, tape, bubble wrap and more. You can choose the kit that looks closest to your estimated needs: usually based on the number of bedrooms. You can also top up with any other things you require, such as cable ties, corner protectors, wardrobe boxes and more – plus any additional boxes you think you’ll need. There’s often free and fast delivery, which means things even easier. But this can work out to be quite expensive, particularly if you err on the side of ordering too much rather than too little (as is recommended). You’ll also be buying brand new items, which you may well only use once. You may well pay around £60 for a kit for a three bedroomed house.

There is another option. You can now hire boxes for less money, being more environmentally friendly. You rent, reuse and recycle. Plus, you don’t need to keep the boxes stored away in some corner, garage or loft where they just gather dust. Good companies will deliver the boxes, and then pick them up when you’re finished. There should be no hurry, with a good firm letting you keep them for around three months. It’s also a good incentive to get the unpacking done … or you may find yourself moving, years later, with some boxes never unpacked. You can also rent more durable plastic crates, which last longer – for over a hundred uses. It’s eco friendly and more affordable than buying outright, guaranteeing you get fit for purpose packing materials for your house move.

There’s nothing wrong with any of the three solutions, each of which is used by movers each and every day. If you want the cheapest, it’s borrowing. If you want the most variety of bespoke moving boxes with added extras like tape and bubble wrap, it’s buying new. And if you want affordable, with the boxes collected after and being more environmentally friendly, it’s hiring re-used. The choice is yours.

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