Moving can take a lot of time, especially if you’re doing it on your own. Moving also involves careful planning. Before you think about what to pack, you need to organize and set yourself up for the packing process itself. With all of this planning and organizing, you need to know how to pack your things for the move. You don’t want your precious and fragile items to get cracked or broken. The most commonly used material in packing objects of all sizes is packing peanuts

Here’s what you need to know about them.


What are Packing Peanuts?

Stated by packers in Dallas, packaging peanuts are often used for boxes of delicate or fragile items that get shipped in long distances. Commonly, peanuts are made of polystyrene material. They are shaped in multiple ways, but it is always created to settle around items and to prevent them from moving during transportation. 


Two Types of Packing Peanuts

There are two types of packaging peanuts. Though both are just as effective, they do have pros and cons. 

Polystyrene or Styrofoam Peanuts

Pros: These are the packing peanuts you often see and use. They are very lightweight, plentiful, and inexpensive. 

Cons: Due to the material of these styrofoam peanuts, decomposing takes a long time, and they often end up in the landfill undecomposed.

Starch-Based Packing Peanuts

Pros: Starch-based peanuts are easily biodegradable. They are made from natural, non-toxic sources, including wheat and cornstarch. These peanuts do not collect an electrostatic charge. So, you will never have to worry about them sticking to your clothes or other items due to “static” electricity. Finally, these peanuts dissolve entirely in water. To breakdown, all they need is water, which makes them incredibly eco-friendly

Cons: Because they are made from specialized ingredients, they are heavier and more expensive than regular Styrofoam peanuts.

packing peanut alternatives

When Do You Use Packing Peanuts?

Packaging peanuts can be used at any time when you are shipping or moving an object that you want to protect from getting cracked or broken. By using plenty of peanuts, you can keep an object from moving altogether during the shipping process. 

Since peanuts are so light and small, you can fill the entire box with as many as will fit after you have added the item you want to ship. They won’t add much weight to the box, so you won’t have to worry about increasing shipping costs. Thanks to their versatility, you can use them to pack nearly any item and any sized box. 

Best Uses for Packaging Peanuts

While you can use packing peanuts for nearly anything, there are a few circumstances that you’ll find them to be just the solution you need, especially if you’re using a moving company to ship your items to a new location.

  1. Shipping small items in a big box. Fill your box half-way with peanuts, place your item inside, then fill the rest of the box. Shake it gently and add more peanuts until your item is secure in the middle without any settling.
  2. Shipping awkwardly sized items. When you need to keep an item from moving that can’t be wrapped, packing peanuts are perfect. Thanks to the way peanuts can settle around an object, they’re perfect for unevenly sized objects.
  3. Shipping vases, china, ceramics, and fragile home décor. Ensure you have plenty of peanuts all around the item in your box. Fill up the bottom then place your item inside. Make sure that the item is in the center. Fill up the rest of the box, ensuring both sides and the top are filled up with peanuts. 
  4. Shipping of photos, artwork, or statues. When shipping flat items, put a layer of peanuts on the bottom of the box. Slide in the artwork or photo then, fill the rest of the box up with peanuts to keep the items in place. 

Alternatives to Use for Packing Peanuts

If you don’t have packing peanuts readily available, or you want to use supplies you already have on hand, you’re in luck. There are several items that you can use to replace packing peanuts, and they’re just as effective depending on the items you’re moving.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap comes in sheets and rolls, perfect for wrapping squared off items such as electronics, or other items you can easily wrap. The air-filled bubbles protect items from getting pressed from other items and form a barrier. Bubble wrap comes in several sizes, from small air pockets to large ones depending on the items you need to wrap. Things like mirrors, frames, and glass tabletops benefit from being wrapped in bubble wrap during transport.

Packing Paper

Packing paper can be a dedicated role of white paper you purchase from a packing supply store. You can also use any thick paper that you have at home. Even newspapers, with enough wadding, can be used for packing paper. 

Packing paper is ideal to use when you need to pack many smaller items that don’t need bubble wraps such as mugs or plates. Paper is also suitable for ensuring flat items with glass or polished wood that won’t get scratched when lying flat during transportation. 

Clothing and Towels

When you can, make use of items that you need to ship as packaging material such as clothing, towels, sheets, and linens. What can you pack with clothing and towels? Use plush towels to provide a buffer around delicate items such as picture frames, kitchenware, and other things that need extra padding that isn’t fragile.

When you use items that you’ll naturally transport anyway, you’ll not only save money and time, but you’re also being as eco-friendly as you can get!


Packing Made Simple

As we mentioned and you probably know, moving takes a lot of time to plan in addition to packing your things or fragile items for the move. We hope this information helps you to know what items to use for packing your things and the best way to transport them to your new location in one piece. Now that you have an idea of how to use packing peanuts for your things, you’re ready to start the packing process!