Preparing for a move can be draining, but having the right moving supplies can make the process go much more smoothly. So what supplies do you need? Well, before you can answer that question, ask yourself the following:

– How far am I moving?

– Who will be handling the move?

– If I’m hiring a mover, are they also doing the packing?

Once you’ve answered those questions, take an inventory of your belongings to determine your packing and moving needs. Make lists and take measurements. For example: 500 books; 2 beds, 1 double, 1 California king; 3 irregularly or awkwardly shaped items (e.g., 32×66 refrigerator, washing machine).

Once you have a handle on how much you have to move and how you’re planning to do it, figuring out which moving supplies you’ll need is a fairly simple process. If you’re hiring movers but doing your own packing, you generally don’t have to worry about equipment like dollies and hand trucks. Just make sure you know what the moving company will supply. For example, if they don’t plan to bring extra moving blankets to protect your floors and carpets, you might want to invest in a few of your own.

On the other hand, if you’re handling the entire move yourself, your list of moving supplies will be more extensive. And you might want to think about how easy it’s going to be to lift or certain items. For example, you could get smaller book boxes so that each filled box will weigh less and be more easily manageable. Even if you’re hiring movers, you’ll still have to unpack at your new location, so it’s a good idea to consider the weight of individual boxes regardless of how the move will be handled.

In addition to boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape, here are some additional moving supplies to consider for a do-it-yourself move.

– Moving blankets to protect your belongings from dings and scratches

– Rubber mover bands to secure the moving blankets

– Stretch wrap for keeping items from shifting

– Forearm or shoulder moving straps to give you leverage and make it easier to handle heavy items

– Safety flags if you’re going to be driving with an oversized load

– Cargo straps (e track or ratchet) to secure items to the van or trailer

– Moving dolly and/or hand truck to transport items from your dwelling to the vehicle

With careful planning and the right moving supplies, your move can be almost painless.