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How to Use Plastic Wrap When Moving

Plastic wrap, which is also known as shrink wrap and stretch wrap, is an important resource for your do-it-yourself move. Stretch wrap can solve a number of moving-related problems, from protecting your furniture to securing furniture pads, as well as loose wires and doors.

We've put together this movers guide to help you learn:

  • Why plastic wrap is important when moving
  • How to use plastic wrap for your move
  • What size shrink wrap is recommended for your move
  • How much does plastic wrap cost
  • Where to purchase plastic wrap

Why is Plastic Wrap Important When Moving?

a man and woman wrap a green couch with plastic wrap

Plastic wrap is one of the most affordable and useful tools at your disposal during a move. In fact, with the exception of a moving dolly, shrink wrap is your most versatile move resource.

Plastic wrap allows you to secure furniture blankets, protect fabric furniture from dirt and stains as well as secure annoying drawers, doors, and cords. Best of all, unlike tape, clear stretch wrap won't leave a residue or damage your furniture. Colored stretch wrap, especially green, can stain your cloth furniture.

How Do I Use Plastic Wrap For Moving?

a white couch is covered with plastic wrap

  • Use shrink wrap to protect fabric furniture from dirt and stains. Notably your couches, dining room chairs, recliners and similar
  • Secure moving blankets (furniture pads) to your furniture to keep them in place. Your furniture pads should always be secure to protect your furniture from scratches and other damage. This is very handy for wood furniture, such as dressers and table tops
  • Most larger furniture pieces have doors and/or drawers. Use plastic wrap to secure them to prevent opening or falling out during movement
  • Keeps wires and power cords in place so they don't drag. This is very important because you don't want your friends, family or the movers tripping over a loose wire while moving heavy furniture
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What Size Shrink Wrap Do I Need for My Move?

a roll of clear plastic wrap

Shrink wrap has two size specifications- length and width. Length is most commonly 1000 or 1500 feet. Width is the most important, as this can vary from 5 to 22 inches. The wider the roll the less effort it takes to properly wrap your furniture. There aren't very many scenarios where a 5 inch roll makes much sense, and we highly recommend purchasing a roll that is at least 15 inches wide. So what size plastic wrap is right for your move?

  • The majority of small to medium-sized moves (think 1-2 bedroom apartments and homes) will do just fine with a single roll of 15" x 1500' or 20" x 1000'. If you have more furniture than the average home of the same size then you might want to get two rolls to be safe
  • Larger homes, or moves that have a lot of furniture, will want two rolls of 20" x 1500' or 22" x 1500'. If you happen to find a roll with 2000' then you can probably get away with just one

Shrink wrap is most often clear or green. I always recommend the clear roll, unless you have a good reason to buy green shrink wrap. Over the years I have learned that the green tint can stain furniture and fabric, especially if you're moving during the summer.

How Much Does Plastic Wrap Cost?

As you might expect, the price of plastic wrap varies depending on where you purchase it. Retailers and big box stores, like Lowes and Wal-Mart, will charge a few dollars more than an online retailer like Amazon. In most cases, a roll of 20" x 1500' is going to be around $20.

Where can I Purchase Plastic Wrap?

You'll often be able to find the recommended sizes of stretch wrap at major retailers, but you may find that the quantity and size options in stock are limited. Purchasing stretch wrap online is often your most convenient and affordable option. Because of this, we recommend purchasing shrink wrap on Amazon. And let's face it, who doesn't use Amazon these days?

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