Plastic wrap for movingIf you’ve made up your mind to pack your things by yourself – that is, without hiring professional packers to do it for you, then you should be well aware of which packing supplies you should use to get the job done quickly and safely.

Your decision to pack your stuff on your own is a clear indication that you feel pretty confident that you can accomplish the arduous task without having to resort to professional packing services. And in most cases, the reason for such high level of confidence is the fact that you’ve done it before sometime in the past.

As a person with previous house packing experience, you must know quite well the various packing materials: cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, furniture blankets, and even packing peanuts. And yet, it’s quite likely that you won’t be familiar with the packing power of plastic wrap.

The truth is that plastic wrap (aka stretch wrap, shrink wrap, or cling wrap) can do wonders for you during the packing process thanks to its remarkable versatility, great resistance, surprising ease of use, relative affordability, and good recyclability.

Read on to learn the best way to use plastic wrap for moving, including all the advantages of stretch wrap when packing for a move and useful information about where to buy plastic wrap for moving.

Why you should use plastic wrap when moving

It’s no surprise that plastic wrap is an essential packing material and you should definitely consider buying it and using it when protecting your household items for the road ahead.

The thing is that stretch wrap will make the packing job so much faster and safer that you’re likely to wonder why you haven’t used it before that moment. In a way, using plastic wrap for moving will feel like a great packing hack that’ll change for the better the way you view the house packing process in general.

Here are the major reasons why you should use plastic wrap when packing for a move:

  • Versatility. Luckily, stretch wrap is very versatile and can be used in many situations when packing for moving: protecting furniture against scratches, keeping dirt and dust away from household items, securing loose cables and wires, keeping drawers, doors, and panels secure, keeping protective pads fixed to the items they are protecting, bundling various items together, and more.
  • Durability. Plastic wrap is very thin (roughly 0.0005 inches) but it still offers a great level of strength and tear resistance when wrapped around delicate items for stronger protection. Thanks to its natural resistance, shrink wrap can withstand a lot of pressure, thus keeping your fragile things safe.
  • Ease of use. Packing plastic wrap is extremely easy to use. Unlike standard packing tape, stretch wrap has no adhesive side and will not leave sticky residue on surfaces when removed after usage. As the name suggests, cling wrap clings to itself and is later easy to remove without fear of damage to any delicate surfaces whatsoever.
  • Affordability. Stretch wrap for moving is fairly affordable, ranging from around $10 (5 inches x 1,000 ft) to roughly $25 (15 inches x 1,000 ft), and more for rolls of heavy-duty stretch wrap. Needless to say, wider rolls of plastic wrap should be used for wrapping larger household items such as furniture and appliances.
  • Recyclability. Plastic wrap used for packing is perfectly recyclable after the move so your relocation will still be green when you use the extra thin plastic packing material for various purposes as explained below.

How to use plastic wrap when moving

The good news is that plastic wrap can be used successfully in various packing situations during the house packing process. Below you will find the major uses of plastic wrap for moving but you yourself can find even more useful applications of clear plastic wrap when packing up your things without the assistance of professional packers.

1. Use plastic wrap to secure padding materials

The most common use of plastic wrap when packing for a move is to secure furniture blankets, bubble wrap, or other types of protective padding materials onto the furniture pieces, appliances, specialty items (a piano or a grandfather clock, for example), or other large household items you’re trying to protect.

The padding materials will have to stay snugly wrapped around the fragile items and that’s exactly why you should use stretch wrap to secure those pads. Unlike packing tape, packing plastic wrap will not leave any sticky residue on any of the delicate surfaces.

As a bonus, the plastic wrap will create an extra outer layer of protection for your belongings.

2. Use plastic wrap to protect mattresses and upholstered furniture

Plastic wrap for moving furniture

Plastic wrap is just the next level of furniture protection.

Another useful application of plastic wrap when packing for a move is to protect mattresses. In the best-case scenario, you will have a special mattress bag in which you will insert the mattress for safekeeping. But if you don’t have such a mattress cover, then you can easily create one by stretch-wrapping the entire mattress from top to bottom.

Also, plastic film is great for protecting upholstered furniture as long as the upholstery is made of fabric. Do NOT use stretch wrap on furniture pieces with leather upholstery because the leather won’t be able to breathe under the layer of plastic wrap and may “sweat” – that is, form a thin film of moisture.

How to Move a Mattress by Yourself

3. Use cling wrap to protect items against dirt, dust, and moisture

One of the best uses of plastic wrap when moving house is to protect household items against dust, dirt, and moisture.

When it’s wrapped tight around objects, stretch wrap creates a thin yet durable protective layer around the items you’re trying to keep safe during the move. Therefore, no dirt and no dust can penetrate through the plastic coating which basically means your things will reach the new place exactly the way they have left the old one.

The plastic wrap will also keep moisture and water away – something that can be extremely useful if you happen to be moving out on a rainy day. Just be careful not to trap any moisture inside the protective layer.

4. Use plastic wrap to secure furniture drawers, doors, and panels

Clear plastic wrap for moving can also be used to keep furniture drawers, doors, and panels secure during the move.

If a drawer, a door, or a panel of a furniture item happens to open during transport, then that could lead to an accident, which in turn might result in either property damage or a personal injury (or both!). Therefore, it’s critical that no removable part of a furniture piece gets to move while the furniture is being carried around.

Plastic wrap will simply secure the removable element to the main furniture structure. You can also use painter’s tape to the same effect but never regular packing tape due to the sticky residue it’s likely to leave onto the delicate furniture surface.

How to Protect Furniture When Moving

5. Use cling wrap to wrap up drawers together with their contents

wrapping plastic for moving

Stretch wrap can let you seal the content of a drawer or a bookcase.

Sometimes a few packing hacks here and a few packing tricks there can speed up the packing process significantly.

After all, the task of packing for a move takes many, many hours to complete, so anything you can do to finish it up more quickly is more than welcome.

One awesome trick to speed up packing is to use stretch wrap over the opening of a drawer with its contents still inside, thus turning the drawer into an instant packing box.

Mind you, this packing tactic is only possible when the things inside the drawer are non-breakable – for example, pieces of clothing, bedding, or other soft items that won’t get damaged when they are being shifted around the drawer during transport.

How to Pack Drawers for Moving

6. Use stretch wrap to bundle things together

You’ll be glad to learn that stretch wrap is also good at bundling similar items together during the packing process. Doing so will enhance the overall level of organization you should be aiming at when packing for moving.

  • You can stack a few small cardboard boxes and bundle them together using plastic film for faster handling;
  • You can bundle together detached pieces of furniture such as legs, boards, etc.;
  • You can bundle and secure small items, especially kitchen items such as silverware;
  • You can group together and secure items with long handles such as tools or mops;
  • You can bundle together soft, lightweight items such as stuffed toys, pillows, etc.

Packing Checklist: Packing Timeline For Moving

7. Use plastic wrap to prevent nasty spills

Plastic wrap can be extremely helpful when you’re packing up your bathroom items. Why? It’s simple: the clear plastic wrap will prevent any spills from bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and so on.

Here’s what you should do to make sure no spills occur when packing up your bathroom products:

  • Remove the cap of a bottle, a tube, or a jar, then position a sufficient piece of plastic wrap right over the opening, and finally – close the cap again. This way, all your containers will become leak-proof;
  • Insert each bathroom product into a plastic Ziploc bag for double reassurance that there won’t be any nasty spills during transit.

How to Pack a Bathroom for Moving

8. Use stretch wrap to secure power cords and cables

Safety on Moving day is of paramount importance and you must do all in your power to ensure the Big day goes accident-free from start to finish.

When moving electric appliances, one possible risk to the general safety on that particular day is for a person to trip on a power cord, a cable, or a wire that has not been secured. And that’s exactly where plastic wrap can come in to prevent such mishaps from happening.

Use cling wrap to secure power cords and cables to the side (usually the back) of an appliance so that any tripping hazards are eliminated.

9. Use cling wrap to keep rolled-up rugs from unfolding

Clear plastic wrap for moving

Plastic wrap can be pretty useful during a move… but you don’t need to go THIS far.

If you’ve decided to take some of your area rugs with you, then you can use stretch wrap during the packing process to protect the carpet rolls.

Here’s what you should do: once you’ve rolled up an area rug correctly (follow the link below to learn the best way to pack rugs for moving), use plastic wrap to secure the ends of the carpet roll from unfolding by itself. Alternatively, you can use pieces of string for the same purpose.

Do NOT plastic-wrap the entire carpet roll for fear of trapping moisture inside. Instead, wrap large sheets of packing paper around the rug roll until you cover it completely.

How to Pack Rugs for Moving

10. Use plastic wrap to secure jewelry pieces

Saran wrap can help you greatly when you’re packing your jewelry for moving.

When you’re packing earrings for moving, one packing method is to use cardboard cards to organize your long earrings. Once you’ve attached the earrings to a cardboard card by inserting their hooks through the cardboard holes, use plastic wrap to secure the bundle and seal the earrings in one place.

Also, when you’ve placed and secured your earrings in an egg carton (that’s right – an egg carton), wrap the entire carton with plastic wrap to seal it, thus keeping each individually paper-packed ring in place.

How to Pack Jewelry for Moving

Where to buy plastic wrap for moving

And now that you know all the clear advantages of using plastic wrap when packing for a move, it’s only natural that you’ll be interested in where to buy plastic wrap for moving.

You can buy plastic wrap directly from one of the large home improvement stores in your town or city, either by visiting those places in person or ordering plastic film online:

Of course, you can also check out Amazon when you’re looking to buy plastic wrap online.

How much plastic wrap do you need though? It depends on how big the home is and how many items (especially furniture items) you plan to move with you. As a rule of thumb, 1 roll of 5 inches x 1,000 ft and 1 roll of 15 inches x 1,000 ft should be enough for your packing needs when you’re moving out of a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom home.

When in doubt, it’s always better to buy one extra roll of shrink wrap – after all, you can surely find the plastic film useful even after you’ve moved into the new home.