How Much Will Moving Supplies Cost me in Raleigh-Durham?

family packing up house for a move

Packing up the family and relocating to a new home in Raleigh-Durham is an exciting adventure, and this vibrant area offers a wealth of reasons to call it home. Whether it’s the booming job market, excellent schools, local businesses, or a family-friendly atmosphere, Raleigh-Durham attracts families seeking a dynamic and enriching place to live.

But amidst the excitement of a fresh start, don’t let the cost of moving boxes and supplies catch you off guard. When budgeting for rent, potential renovations, and other relocation expenses, it’s crucial to factor in the price of packing materials.

This article explores moving box costs, gives helpful packing strategies, and teaches you how to find the best deals on essential supplies.

Why Use Top of The Line Moving Boxes?

At first glance, quality moving boxes might seem expensive. However, several factors contribute to their cost. Unlike the flimsy cardboard containers you can pick up at any supermarket, moving boxes are designed for durability. They’re constructed with sturdier cardboard grades to withstand the kinds of belongings that typically feature in a house move, minimizing the risk of damage. Features like double-walled construction, reinforced corners, and secure closures further enhance their strength and protect your valuables. The size of the box also influences the price, with larger boxes naturally costing more due to the materials used in their manufacturing.

How Many Moving Boxes Will You Need?

Estimating how many boxes you’ll require is crucial for budgeting. Several factors come into play, including the size of your dwelling, the number of occupants, and the overall volume of your possessions. As a general rule, consider allocating 10 to 20 moving boxes per room. For instance, a two-bedroom apartment in Raleigh or Durham might necessitate 20 to 40 moving boxes. However, this is just a starting point. Decluttering beforehand is vital. Ruthlessly sort through your belongings and discard or donate anything unused or unwanted. This not only saves money on boxes but also reduces the overall moving load.

Understanding the World of Moving Box Sizes

Moving supplies might seem straightforward, but choosing the right boxes for your belongings can make all the difference. Here’s a breakdown of some common moving box types to help you pack efficiently and ensure your items arrive safely:

Standard Cardboard Moving Boxes

These versatile boxes come in various sizes, making them suitable for a wide range of items.

  • Small Boxes (18″ x 12” x 12’) are ideal for heavy items like books, dishes, and cookware. Their compact size helps distribute weight evenly, minimizing strain when lifting.
  • Medium Boxes (18’ x 18’ x 16’) can handle household items that can be compressed or reshaped, like clothes, linen, toys and small appliances.
  • Large Boxes (18″ x 18″ x 24″) are best for lightweight, bulky items like blankets, pillows, lamps, and soft toys.
  • Extra-large Boxes (24″ x 18″ x 24″) are for voluminous, lightweight items that don’t require special protection, such as pillows, comforters, stuffed animals, or large lampshades. However, be carefull not to overload these boxes, as their size can tempt you to pack too much – this makes them difficult to lift and maneuver, and causes the base to sag or even burst open.

Book Boxes

These smaller, sturdier moving boxes are specifically designed for books, CDs, DVDs, and other media. Their typical size is 18” x 12” x 12″, offering a compact design that distributes weight evenly and prevents damage to fragile items during transport.

Wardrobe Boxes

Tall and slender, wardrobe boxes are lifesavers for clothes that typically hang in your closet. They measure up to 21” x 18″ x 48”, allowing you to minimize wrinkles when transporting garments on hangers, and saving you time ironing upon arrival.

Dish Packs

These double-walled moving boxes are designed for the unique needs of packing dishes and glassware. They often come in various sizes, with a common option being 18″ x 18″ x 28″. These boxes frequently include dividers or inserts to provide extra cushioning and prevent items from shifting during transport.

Mattress Boxes

Protecting your mattress during a move is crucial. Mattress boxes come in various sizes to fit twin (38″ x 75″ x 9″), full (54″ x 75″ x 9″), queen (60″ x 80″ x 9″), and king-size (76″ x 80″ x 9″) mattresses, keeping them safe from dust, dirt, and potential tears during transport.

Picture Boxes

These specialized moving boxes are designed to safely transport framed artwork, mirrors, and pictures. They are typically made of sturdier cardboard and may come with additional padding or inserts to prevent frame damage and glass breakage. Sizing varies depending on the item, but common options will allow pictures up to 40” x 60” x 4”.

Additional Packing Supplies

Moving boxes are a crucial part of any relocation, but they’re just the beginning. To ensure your belongings are secure during the moving process and arrive safely, you’ll need a variety of additional items beyond the boxes themselves. Here’s a breakdown of some key items and where you might find them at budget-friendly prices:

Protective Padding:

  • Bubble Wrap: A classic for a reason, bubble wrap cushions fragile items like dishes, glassware and electronics. Look for deals at big-box shops like Costco or Sam’s Club.
  • Plastic Wrap: This versatile material comes in handy for all kinds of objects during a move. Wrap furniture legs for protection, secure your moving boxes on pallets, or use it as a secondary layer of dust protection for mattresses alongside mattress boxes. You can find plastic wrap at grocery stores or hardware stores at reasonable prices.
  • Packing Peanuts: Great for filling empty spaces and absorbing shock, these peanut-shaped polystyrene pieces can be found at office supply outlets like Staples or Office Depot. Consider eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable packing peanuts made from corn starch.
  • Foam Padding: Sheets of foam offer a more substantial layer of protection for valuable items. They can be purchased at U-Haul locations or packing supplies dealers.

Securing Your Belongings:

  • Packing Tape: Opt for heavy-duty tape that won’t tear during transit. Dollar stores often have surprisingly good deals.
  • Straps and Ratchet Tie-Downs: Secure larger furniture pieces or boxes on pallets with straps and ratchet tie-downs. Hardware specialists like Home Depot or Lowe’s will have a good selection.
  • Stretch Wrap: This versatile film can be used to wrap furniture legs, secure boxes on top of each other, and protect porous items from dust. Grocery stores often sell stretch wrap in bulk at reasonable prices.

Organization and Labeling:

  • Permanent Marker: Clearly label your boxes with their contents and exact destination, such as the room where they’ll be placed. This makes for easy unpacking. Look for multi-packs of permanent markers at discount stores.
  • Colored Packing Tape: Use different colors of tape to designate priority boxes or rooms for faster unloading. Office supply stores should have options for colored tape.
  • Box Cutter: Essential for opening boxes without damaging the contents, box cutters are readily available at hardware stores.

Budgeting for Boxes and Extras: Estimated Costs of Moving Supplies

Expect a range of $200 to well over $500 for packing supplies in the Raleigh-Durham area. This range takes into account the variability of loads based on demographics. A one-bedroom apartment with a single occupant will of course require fewer boxes and protective materials compared to a four-bedroom family home. And is it a family with small kids or with teenagers? The latter probably have much more extensive wardrobes than the average toddler.

Here’s a likely budget breakdown for a small to medium-sized move:

  • Moving Boxes (50): $100 – $250
  • Packing Tape (4 rolls): $20 – $30
  • Bubble Wrap (2 rolls): $10 – $20
  • Packing Peanuts (1 bag): $10 – $15
  • Foam Padding (2 sheets): $10 – $40
  • Tie-Downs (basic set): $15 – $20
  • Stretch Wrap (1 roll): $10 – $20
  • Markers & Colored Tape: $10 – $20
  • Box Cutters (2): $2 – $10

Total Estimated Cost: $200 – $1500


This is just an estimate, and your actual cost will vary depending on the size of your move, the quality of supplies you choose, and whether you utilize cost-saving strategies. Bigger moves will require more moving boxes and other supplies, pushing the cost towards the higher end of the range.

Packing Smart for Your Move: Essential Tips

Packing efficiently for your upcoming move requires strategic planning. Here are some key tips:

  • Gather your supplies: Stock up on essential packing supplies like moving boxes of various sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper. Raleigh-Durham offers numerous options – explore local retailers like U-Haul, Lowe’s or The Home Depot, or check online stores for competitive pricing.
  • Label meticulously: Clearly label all moving boxes with their contents and the room they’re intended for. This makes unpacking at your new residence a breeze.
  • Space-saving techniques are your friend: Utilize clever techniques to maximize space within boxes. For example, pack smaller items inside larger ones and fill empty gaps with packing materials like packing peanuts or packing paper to prevent items from shifting during transit.
  • Consider reusable bins: While cardboard boxes are standard, explore eco-friendly alternatives like reusable plastic bins. These durable bins offer a sustainable solution and can be used for storage long after your move.

The Power of Medium Boxes

Medium-sized boxes deserve special mention because they are suitable for such variety of items, they facilitate better weight distribution and optimize packing space. If you depend too heavily on large boxes, you risk filling them with items intended for different rooms, whereas medium boxes can be individually labeled, making unpacking more straightforward. Medium boxes strike the right balance between efficiency and convenience, removing stress from your relocation experience.

Beyond the Basics: Cost-Saving Hacks for Raleigh-Durham Movers

While the cost of moving supplies can quickly add up, there are clever ways to save money. By planning ahead and exploring some smart strategies, you can navigate the world of packing materials without straining your moving budget.

  • Seek heavily discounted moving boxes: Retail stores like grocery stores sometimes offer deals on used cardboard boxes. Ask around at local Raleigh-Durham stores or check online marketplaces for discounted boxes.
  • Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace: These online platforms are treasure troves for finding affordable moving supplies. People frequently list barely used moving boxes, packing tape and other supplies at discounted prices.
  • Freecycle groups: Look for local Raleigh-Durham Freecycle groups to see if anyone is giving away unwanted moving boxes. This can be a great way to score free boxes and packing materials.

While this article offers guidance on acquiring moving supplies, it’s important to remember that many moving companies also sell packing materials. If you’re considering hiring a moving company for your relocation to Raleigh-Durham, inquire about their moving boxes and compare prices with retail stores or online options.

Unpack Your Dreams in Raleigh-Durham

Relocating can be an emotional rollercoaster ride, and at Armstrong we know that endless boxes and complex logistics can quickly become overwhelming during a move.

But worry not! We offer a tailored moving experience designed to transform your relocation into a stress-free adventure. Whether you envision a full-service approach, from packing to unpacking, or simply require expert disassembly and reassembly of furniture, our experienced crews can handle it all. Contact Armstrong today for a free quote, and let’s unpack your dreams of settling in Raleigh-Durham!