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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

Packing Paper for Moving

Packing paper and cardboard boxes are the bread and butter of packing supplies. They both are staples without which the packing process doesn’t really begin. Just like there’s no wedding without the bride and groom present!

If you’ve taken up the project of safeguarding your belongings on yourself, it’s absolutely essential to get your hands on stacks of packing paper. It’s a vital item that’s cost-friendly, easy to find, and plays a fundamental role in keeping your items intact. Let’s look at how you can use packing paper for moving and why you shouldn’t make do without it.


Why You Should Use Packing Paper For Moving

Works Like A Buffer

Packing paper prevents items from bashing into each other and breaking. It’s a protective cushioning for fragile items. When you fill the box with packing paper you won’t hear any rattling sounds or the contents of the box moving and shifting.

A Primary Padding Material

Before you pack items like kitchenware, toys, or decor into a box, it’s necessary to wrap them with packing paper for its own safety. It’s like wearing a life jacket to keep yourself afloat but in this case, it saves the item you pack from breaking into pieces.

Fills The Void In Boxes

When you fill the gaps in a box with packing paper, you’re practically taking a precautionary measure to ensure it’s the same pristine condition post transit. You basically immobilize the products you’ve packed from moving around by filling all the empty spaces.

It’s Recyclable

Packing paper does less damage than bubble wrap to the environment and is a more sustainable approach to take as it’s also reusable. Trust us, styrofoam packing peanuts or bubble wrap can wreak havoc for Mother Nature but packing paper won’t. It can be recycled and even repurposed in several ways.

Doesn’t Take Up A Lot Of Space

When you buy packing peanuts, bubble wrap or foam sheets, they can take up ample space but that isn’t the case with packing paper. It’s lightweight, thin, and flexible so you can crumple it to take up less space too. With the use of packing paper, you’re maximizing the space in the box.

Shields The Item From Scuffs

Once you wrap an item in packing paper, it’s protected from attaining scratches. It also keeps out dust, so you can unpack with ease instead of wiping the surface of the item all over again.

Better Than Newspaper

Sometimes you think it’s okay to make do with newspapers when you run out of packing paper but trust us, avoid doing that at all costs. The reason is that newspapers can leave ink marks and stains on the things you pack while packing paper won’t.

It’s Easily Available

Be it Walmart, HomeDepot, or Amazon, you should easily be able to get packing paper at any home improvement store. You can also ask your move for it if they happen to sell it. There’s no chase or hunt for packing paper so you don’t have to worry about finding it.

It’s Cost-Friendly

There’s no matter of debate here but you’d find the cost of packing paper the most humble from the lot of packing supplies you purchase. It’s truly inexpensive so you stock up on as much as you need for the move.

Let’s look at costs in detail so you have a fair idea of the amounts you’d need to budget for.


How Much Does Packing Paper Cost?

Like we mentioned earlier, the good news is that packing paper is affordable. Here is a breakdown of costs based on quantity:

  • 240 Sheets (24 by 36 inch) Unprinted packing paper - Average cost $15 and easily available at Walmart.
  • 640 Sheets (27 by 17 inch) Unprinted packing paper - Average cost is $33. We suggest 640 sheets if you're packing more than 1 bedroom. You’d be able to bag a better deal for larger stock on Amazon.
  • 300 Sheets (24 by 36 inch) Unprinted packing paper - Average cost is $23 at Home Depot.

All in all, expect to spend somewhere between $22 to $33 for 300 to 640 sheets of packing paper from big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot. You can also try local home improvement stores to check if you’re getting a better deal.

Do note this applies to smaller-sized paper that’s ideal for kitchenware and small decor. If you purchase the large sizes for large items then the cost range bumps up to $45. To get a better deal with the retailer, we suggest that you club your order with other packing essentials.

Another tip is to ask your moving company if they sell packing supplies, you can probably ask for a discounted offer since you’ll even be using their moving services. Also, if you want to strike a really worthwhile deal on packing paper, we suggest trying your luck at a local newspaper printing press. It’s a long shot but they could have a ton of unprinted paper that didn’t make the cut for printing but these rolls of unused paper could be super handy for you.

Also See: How To Find Free Packing Supplies

How To Use Packing Paper When Moving

Secure Your Kitchen Items

Kitchens are filled with the most oddly-shaped items and because packing paper is so flexible to use, you can actually put the paper to work in the kitchen. Items like plates, crockery, bowls, or spoons can be secured with a sheet of packing paper.

It’s ideal for small items and we’re sure there are plenty of pieces that will benefit from the security of packing before. Wrap the items in packing paper or bubble wrap (if it’s very fragile) before you place kitchen items into a box so that the surfaces of the pieces are not damaged in transit. We suggest cocooning the more precious items in an additional layer of packing paper.

Also Read: How to Pack Your Kitchen For Moving

Use It As A Buffer In Boxes

Before you begin to load a corrugated box with items you’re taking to your new home, ensure that you create a bed at the bottom of the box with packing paper. This acts as a cushion for the item you are packing.

Post that individually wrap items with the paper and fill any void in the box with some crumpled paper. Before you shut the lid of the box, place some more crumpled paper at the top. This is just a precautionary step so that the bowls or plates packed don’t feel the weight of another box.

Wrap Home Decor In It

At the time of packing your house, you’re bound to find small pieces of home decor like frames, candle stands, or a souvenir from when you traveled across the country. The easiest way to secure such pieces is to mummify them with some wrapping paper.

Even if these pieces are oddly shaped, you can tear the wrapping paper and place it accordingly so it covers the entire item. Wrapping paper works perfectly to pack Christmas, Fall, or Halloween decor as its use is flexible.

Use It To Layer Items On Top Of Each Other

If you have a bunch of bowls or similar-sized plates, you can individually wrap them in packing paper so that you can stack them all into a box. It helps you efficiently use up all the space inside a box because it’s not as thick as bubble wrap.


How To Reuse Packing Paper

After you’re done using the packing paper it can seem like you over purchased and there’s just too much of it everywhere. But don’t worry, you can always reuse the packing paper for small tasks around the house. To reuse the packing paper the first thing you should do is straighten it out. This makes it easier to store it neatly in a stack. Here are ways in which you can reuse the paper:

Use it to clean mirrors and glass items in your house - Packing paper does wonders to a dirty mirror that has fingerprints on it. Just use some cleaning spray and then wipe it down with packing paper. You can also apply the same trick when you need to wipe the windows and mirrors of your car.

Use the excess paper to line drawers - You can place sheets of packing paper in drawers and shelves since this would make cleaning much easier. If you have pets like birds, you can line their cage with packing paper. This also applies to picking poop when you walk your dog.

Protect your floors during a renovation project with packing paper - Whether you're painting your walls or simply drilling a hole in the wall, use the packing paper as a layer of protection for the floor. The cleaning process will also become easier and you end up reusing the paper.

Stuff shoes and bags with crumpled packing paper - Stuff your shoes, boots, most loved bags, and even clutches with packing paper so that they retain the shape you bought them in. This is an easy way to use up the packing paper that’s torn or way too crumpled to be straightened out.

How To Prep Items For Packing Paper

Packing paper probably does just 80% of the job of securing the item you pack. But in order to make sure there’s 100% effort in wrapping the item properly, you’d have to do a little more planning. To have success with the packing process we suggest the following:

  • Clean the items you wish to pack before wrapping them in packing paper. This way there’s no dust trapped in the item you pack and it also makes the unpacking easier.
  • Decide on a staging area because it’s necessary to have a designated place where you pack. Keep a stack of paper ready and tape nearby as these two would go together in the process of packing.
  • Set some ground rules that the staging area is a no kids or pets zone so that you prevent an unfortunate event from occurring.
  • Once you’ve wrapped an item, secure the paper with tape so that the paper is not left half-open.
  • You may find it necessary to disassemble items that are complicated to pack as a whole. In such cases, it’s easier to wrap individual pieces inside of the whole piece, so take a call accordingly.
  • Once you pack the items into a box, fill the empty spaces with more crumpled wrapping paper. Lift the box to reconfirm that none of the items are clashing with each other.
  • Lastly, shut the lid of the box, tape it down and don’t forget to label the box so you know what you’ve packed inside.


Tips When Using Packing Paper For Moving

  • Replace packing paper with bubble wrap if you’re packing something that’s extremely fragile.
  • Ensure you’re storing the stacks of packing paper someplace dry.
  • Don’t randomly pack items in packing paper and then leave the task without placing the wrapped items in a box. It’s easy to forget what you packed into it and then you’d have to take the trouble to open them up. Always place in a box that you label after wrapping.
  • Come up with an orderly system that works for you so that you’re always wrapping things in categories. If you do this you won’t have a tough time unpacking.
  • Sometimes packing paper won’t provide enough security for the condition of fragile items. So if you’re packing a mirror or wish to protect your TV screen, use bubble wrap or foam sheets instead.
  • Every time you pack a box, lift it up to double-check that it’s not over-packed. The weight of the box should be manageable enough to carry to the truck and light enough to not break open.
  • Avoid reusing packing paper that your fruits and vegetables were packed in. They tend to have a smell or a stain that remains in the box. Reuse paper that you saved from online shopping orders or retail stores where the paper is clean to use again.
  • Don’t pack liquids in packing paper since it will just be a huge mess and packing paper doesn’t do as good a job with liquids as plastic wrap.


Also See: How to Pack Your Bathroom for a Move


How do you use packing paper?

You can use packing paper to secure kitchen items like bowls and plates from attaining scratches. Cocoon the item with enough paper and place sufficient tape to keep the paper intact. You can also use crumpled paper to fill the void in the box.

How soon should I start packing to move?

Try starting the packing process like sorting out the rooms you’ll pack first and booking movers 3-4 weeks in advance. You can begin the minute tasks even earlier if you have the time for them.

Where can I buy cheap packing paper?

If you’re looking for cheap packing paper your best bet is Amazon. You can also browse on Facebook Marketplace for someone giving up stacks of packing paper for a low price. We suggest asking your moving company for it at a discounted price.

What is the purpose of packing paper?

The main purpose of packing paper is to protect your items from dirt, dust or any kind of scratches during the move. It can either be used to wrap your items before placing them in your box or for creating a soft cushioning inside your moving box. People often crumple it and use it as a padding material as well to make sure things don’t shift and get damaged inside the box.

Can I use newspapers for packing?

Newspaper is good for packing only if you use it for padding your items or to create a cushioning inside your moving box. You should avoid using newspaper for packing your items as its ink can stain your items during the move.

Is bubble wrap or paper better for packing?

Both bubble wrap and paper are good for packing items. Packing paper is cheaper than bubble wrap and can be used to pack different items. But if you need to pack any of your antiques or fragile items like expensive china or glasses, then bubble wrap is your best option.

What can I use instead of packing paper?

You can use your old towels, sweaters, sheets or magazines instead of packing paper. But if you’re using newspapers or magazines, make sure you don’t use them for wrapping your items to avoid any ink stains on them.

Is packing paper the same as newspaper?

Packing paper is somewhat like newspaper, the only difference is that it is not printed. You can use both newspaper and packing paper for packing your items. But we suggest you avoid newspapers as initial protective layers because of the risk of its ink staining your items.

Where can I get free old newspapers for packing?

You can get free newspapers for packing from Craigslist, all you have to do is browse and select ‘free’. Other than that you can approach local supplies and exporters, libraries or newspaper factories for free newspapers.

Can packing paper scratch glass?

No packing paper will not scratch glass. If you use packing paper for wrapping your glasses, it will protect them from any scratches during the move.


The uses of packing paper are endless and it’s presence is a must for any move. Besides, it won’t really feel like you’re moving homes without the sight of packing paper and corrugated cardboard boxes. Especially if you’ve taken the DIY approach, make sure you have your own stash of packing paper before you dive into the process of packing.