Plastic wrap is a useful addition to your packing supplies list

There are plenty of good reasons why professional packers use plastic wrap when packing your home for moving.

It makes packing faster, leaves no residue on things like packing tape does, is quick and easy to use, protects and bundles things together easily, provides a level of weatherproofing, and is not only versatile but extremely cost-effective.

If you are planning on doing your own packing for your home move then packing wrap is a really useful addition to your packing supplies.

Packing Tip: Plastic wrap is most commonly available in clear and black. We would recommend using the clear wrap for a couple of reasons:

A) Wrapping your moving boxes in clear plastic allows you to easily see the box labels you have made

B) Should a box get damaged in transit it is easier to see if the box corner has been crushed for example.

You may like to read: How to Label Moving Boxes the Easy and Foolproof Way. Labeling your moving boxes is essential to make loading and unloading the removal van and unpacking as easy as possible. Here we look at a simple and easy way to ensure your moving boxes are properly labeled.

What is Stretch Wrap for Moving?

Don’t confuse industrial packing wrap with kitchen film, it is very different

Stretch wrap is a strong plastic film that is used to secure and protect things when moving home.

When researching packing wrap you will come across various names for it, but they are essentially the same thing. Stretch wrap is also known as:

  • Plastic Wrap
  • Pallet Wrap
  • Pallet Stretch Wrap
  • Plastic Shrink Wrap
  • Industrial Cling Film
  • Shrink Wrap (note that shrink wrap does not adhere to itself)
  • Industrial Shrink Film
  • Industrial Cling Film
  • Stretch Plastic for Moving
  • Stretch Wrap
  • Movers Wrap
  • Wrapping Plastic for Moving

It should not be confused however with kitchen cling film.

Unlike kitchen cling film, Industrial plastic wrap is extremely tough and will not rip or tear, making it perfect for protecting your things when moving home.

You may like to read: Alternative Packing Materials for Moving Home in which we look at the items commonly found around the home that you can use for packing up your things for moving which will save you money on your packing costs.

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Why Use Stretch Wrap for Moving Home?

If professional packers use plastic wrap then there must be good reasons for doing so

Using plastic wrap to cover your moving boxes and furniture has the following benefits:

  • It will protect against dust, dirt, and water damage
  • You can bundle loose things together
  • It will securely hold furniture pads in place
  • It helps prevent things from being stolen out of boxes
  • It does not leave any sticky residue when removed
  • It is quick and easy to use
  • It is economic compared to using multiple reels of tape

#1 Plastic Wrap Protects

By wrapping your furniture in plastic wrap you will prevent scuffs and scratches.

It will also protect the fabric from getting dirty or dusty, and if it rains on moving day, your boxes and furniture will be protected from the worst of the water.

Plastic wrapping on a mattress is particularly important to keep it clean during the move and is far cheaper than buying the usual mattress covers. 

#2 Plastic Wrap for Bundling

You can make bundles of items that would normally take multiple trips to the removal van, saving you time and energy.

For example, you could bundle together long-handled garden tools or shelves keeping them securely together and making them far easier to carry.

It is especially useful for bundling carpets, rugs, and mats together so that they do not get dirty.

#3 Securing Furniture Pads in Place

Corners of furniture are easily damaged during a home move.

Use pieces of cardboard or furniture pads to protect the edges of your furniture then secure them in place with plastic wrap.

Use plastic wrap to secure furniture blankets, protective cardboard, or furniture pads in place.

#4 Security

Just as people use plastic film on their suitcases at the airport, use plastic wrap on your moving boxes so that you can immediately identify if that box has been tampered with.

#5 No Sticky Residue

Packing tape, if not taken care to apply properly can leave a residue on furniture and fabric.

There is no such worry when you use plastic wrap as it clings to itself.

This is particularly important when you want to secure drawers or doors on a cabinet or the fridge door to prevent them from opening when moved.

#6 Quick and Easy to Use

You can get plastic wrap that comes in rolls with a handle.

This makes it far quicker and easier to apply. If you use the larger rolls then it is best to have a helper.

#7 Cost-Effective

Including the handles for easy use, you can get a twin pack of plastic wrap, 20cm x 260m for less than £25 online at places like Amazon for example.

Good quality packing tape will cost you about £10 for 60 metres.

Useful Packing Tips: In 12 Space Saving Packing Tips for a Cheaper Home Move we look at how you can pack in the most efficient way to save not only time and money packing, but space on the removal van.

How to Plastic Wrap Furniture for Moving

It is not always necessary to plastic wrap every piece of furniture for your move, but equally, the more protection you give your things the less worry you will have when moving them.

As a minimum, it would be wise to plastic wrap:

  • Any furniture with drawers or doors
  • Rugs, mats, and carpets
  • Curtains and soft furnishings
  • Upholstered furniture

Note: Do not directly place plastic wrap onto wood or leather, especially if they are going into storage or will not be unpacked for a few weeks.

This is because the plastic can sweat and cause warping, mold, or mildew.

Place moving blankets or paper padding around the item first then plastic wrap it.

Tips on How to Plastic Wrap Furniture for Moving

When plastic wrapping furniture note that the film must be kept taught so that no moisture is trapped inside it.

But equally do not pull it too tight as you may damage your furniture. This is especially true for IKEA-type furniture which is likely to break as you pull the wrap tight.

  • Thoroughly clean the item being wrapped ensuring the surfaces are dry so that no moisture is trapped between the furniture and the plastic wrap.
  • Remove anything that is detachable such as shelves that can be wrapped separately. This will make the item lighter to move and prevent any damage should they move around inside the furniture.
  • Place pieces of cardboard or foam on any protruding parts such as edges to prevent damage to them or your walls.
  • If the item is fragile or you want to give it maximum protection, wrap the item in moving blankets.
  • Purchase the handles that slip inside the roll of the wrap as it makes it far easier and quicker to use. If not you will have to slip your fingers in each end of the roll so that the wrap unfurls freely. Ensure you wear gloves as you will get friction burns if not.
  • If the item has non-detachable legs then tie the end of the wrap to this. This will prevent the plastic from slipping off and make it easier to do the first wrap. If you cannot attach the end of the wrap then have someone hold the wrap against the item for the first wrap-around.
  • Now just walk around the furniture multiple times wrapping the entire piece of furniture in several overlapping layers of wrap.
  • Keep the film tight as you go around the item. The film will cling to itself as you walk around.

You may also like to read: How to Move Heavy and Large Furniture. In this guide, we look at not only packing techniques but how to safely lift and move heavy furniture to your new home.

How to Plastic Wrap a Chair for Moving

Giving a chair maximum protection during a home move

If your wooden chairs are going into storage or will not be unpacked for a while it is essential that the wrap does not come into contact with the wood as it will sweat and cause mold.

Therefore, always wrap them first in thick paper or a furniture blanket.

  • Clean the chairs ensuring that they are perfectly dry
  • If possible, remove the legs of the chairs and wrap them separately.
  • Protect any edges and the arms of the chair with cardboard or a furniture blanket before wrapping
  • Once the furniture or cardboard is in place, secure the end of the plastic wrap to the chair or have someone hold the wrap against the furniture for the first wrap-around.
  • Keep the plastic wrap tight as you wrap it but not so tight that you end up snapping off a leg or arm from the chair.
  • Overlap each layer of the wrap so that the item is completely encased in film.

You may also like to read: Home Packing Services. Are They Worth the Cost? By now you are probably realising what a huge undertaking it is to pack your home for moving yourself. Most people would agree that hiring a professional packing service was the best money they could spend during their move. Here we look at what packers do, how much they cost, and whether it would make sense to hire packers for your move.

How to Plastic Wrap a Fabric Sofa for Moving

It is particularly good to encase your fabric sofa in plastic wrap if rain or snow is forecast for moving day. It will keep the fabric dry and clean.

  • Thoroughly hoover your fabric sofa to remove dust and dirt.
  • Remove the legs if they are detachable so that the sofa is easier to maneuver through tight spaces.
  • Bundle the legs and fittings together so that nothing gets lost.
  • Place moving blankets over the most vulnerable parts such as arms.
  • Secure the end of the plastic wrap and then wrap the entire sofa in plastic with overlapping layers to protect it from dust and dirt during the move.

How to Plastic Wrap a Leather Sofa for Moving

Padded, plastic-wrapped, and moved with a shoulder dolly. The proper way to move a sofa

If you are only moving a short distance or will unwrap your leather sofa immediately then there should be no risk of mold forming between the leather and the plastic wrap, but to be absolutely on the safe side we would recommend that you always place moving blankets around your leather sofa before shrink wrapping it.

  • Clean and condition the leather ensuring it is perfectly dry before wrapping it.
  • Remove the legs so that it is easier to get through tight spaces when you are moving it to your new home. Bundle the legs and fittings together so that nothing gets lost.
  • Cover the entire leather sofa in thick paper or furniture blankets.
  • Secure the end of the plastic wrap and wrap the sofa multiple times
  • Keep the plastic wrap taut so that it clings to itself, and use multiple overlapping layers which will give your sofa maximum protection from dust and dirt.

You may also like to read: What is the Best Way to Move a Sofa? An essential read explaining how to dismantle, pack, and safely move a sofa to your new home.

How to Plastic Wrap a Mattress for Moving

Mattresses are notorious for getting ruined on moving day if they are not protected properly so even if you are moving locally it is still worth the time and effort to shrink-wrap your mattress.

  • Give your mattress a good hoover before packing
  • Spot clean any marks and allow it to dry thoroughly
  • Tie the end of the plastic wrap to one of the handles on the mattress (never use these handles for moving your mattress, they are not designed for that and will end up in the mattress being damaged)
  • With the help of a friend wrap the mattress multiple times in overlapping plastic wrap ensuring that it is protected.

You may also like to read: How to Move a Mattress by Yourself. An essential guide to show you have to safely lift and move a mattress to your new home.

How to Plastic Wrap Paintings for Moving

If you are moving fine art then you will need to have proper picture crates made, but for most people artwork, mirrors, and framed items can be plastic-wrapped and boxed.

  • Gather your framed art together, grouping them by the same frame size. This will help protect them more if you are packing multiple frames in one box.
  • If the frames have glass, place masking tape, not packing tape as this will leave a residue, in an “X” corner to corner on the glass face. If the glass does get damaged this will keep the pieces in place.
  • Now cut out a piece of strong cardboard and place it over the glass to form a layer of protection.
  • Place corner protectors, foam, or cardboard on each corner of the frame.
  • Wrap the frame several times in bubble wrap
  • Now group the pictures and place bubble wrap or cardboard between each frame
  • Plastic wrap them in bundles so that they cannot move about within the box
  • Pad a box slightly larger than the frames
  • Place the bundle of pictures inside ensuring that there is absolutely no movement inside
  • Add extra layers of protection to the inside of the box if there is any movement
  • Add a final layer of padding to the top before closing and sealing the box.
  • Label the box clearly that it is fragile

You may also like to read A Guide to Packing Fragile Items When Moving Home which is a comprehensive guide on how to pack various fragile items to ensure that they arrive safely in your new home.

Why Plastic Wrap Moving Boxes?

If you are moving only boxes using a pallet service then it is essential to shrink-wrap the pallet for security and to keep all the boxes together

Whilst it may seem unnecessary or even wasteful to plastic wrap your moving boxes there are some very good reasons for doing so.

Although plastic wrap comes in black and clear we would recommend clear wrap because then you can clearly see the box labels beneath it.

Good Reasons to Plastic Wrap Moving Boxes

  • It provides a waterproof covering for your boxes
  • It strengthens the boxes and keeps the bottom and top flaps extra secure
  • It allows you to instantly see if a box has been tampered with. A box sealed with just tape can easily be resealed without you noticing.
  • If a box does get damaged it will help prevent the contents from spilling out or getting lost
  • It prevents bugs from getting into the boxes if you are storing them in your garage or in a storage unit.

You may also like to read: Small Moves – Moving With No Furniture. If you are just moving boxes to your new home then shrink-wrap is really useful for securing your boxes if you are using a pallet service. In this guide, we look at why it makes sense to move only boxes to your new home.

How Much Plastic Wrap Do You Need for Moving?

Use the large rolls for wrapping furniture and the smaller rolls for bundling things together

It will depend on how many items you wish to plastic wrap, but the average 2-3 bedroom house move uses 2 rolls of 50cm x 260 mtrs wrap.

You can also get plastic wrap in smaller sizes of about 10cm x 150 mtrs which are great for bundling smaller items together and come with handles for easier use.

You may also like to know How Many Boxes Do I Need for Moving Home. In this guide, we look at the average number of boxes you will need and the average cost of moving boxes when moving home.

Useful Tips About Plastic Wrap When Moving Home

Plastic wrap is a versatile packing material that will give your precious possessions an extra layer of protection during their relocation.

Additionally, here are a few other uses that plastic wrap is good for and also some tips on using plastic wrap during your home move.

  • Do not plastic wrap directly onto wood or leather that will go into storage
  • The thicker the gauge of the plastic, the more protection it will offer
  • Always go for the highest quality plastic wrap, cheaper stuff tends not to adhere to itself so well
  • Apply multiple horizontal and vertical layers of wrap to ensure maximum protection
  • Use plastic wrap to keep bundles of cords together within a box
  • Put a piece of wrap over the neck of the bottle or jar, then put back on the lid to prevent the liquid from spilling out during the move.
  • Plastic wrap awkward to box items to help protect them during the move
  • Use plastic wrap to bundle cutlery within a drawer so that it does not move around
  • Take out drawers and plastic wrap them so that they are easier to move
  • Use plastic wrap to secure power cords, washing machine hoses, and appliance doors in place
  • Sometimes plastic wrap can make it harder to lift items as it can become slippery, so always wear gloves with a good grip.

Plastic wrap is a great addition to your packing supplies list and if you are moving in winter will be an essential packing material to protect your furniture and boxes from the wet weather.

You will find many other useful packing tips in our home moving blog as well as money-saving ideas and ways to make your home move less stressful.

Good luck with your home move and if you have any further useful uses for plastic wrap drop your ideas in the comments below. Thanks.

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