All About Packing Paper

Jon Fesmire | March 4, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

When you need to pack for a move or to put belongings in storage, it’s important to use some kind of packing material to make sure the contents don’t shift around too much. There are different types of fillers, including bubble wrap and packing peanuts, but we think that nothing quite does the job like packing paper. It can be used to wrap items or crumpled to fill space.

Here’s how to use it right.

Types of Packing Paper

Packing paper is similar to newsprint paper. However, it’s more durable, holds its form when bent or folded better, is acid-free, and is also free of ink. When you start packing boxes, it may be tempting to use newspapers as a substitute for packing paper. However, the black ink used for newspapers, newsletters, and the like is bound to rub off on your belongings. While it’s not harmful, it can put ugly smudges on books, toys, kitchenware, and everything else.

Since packing paper won’t harm your belongings, or even leave smudges on them, it’s a much better material to use.

Amount Needed

You can purchase packing paper in rolls or sheets. So, to explain how much you’ll need, we’ll go by weight.

For a one-bedroom place or a studio, get 10 pounds of packing paper. For a home with two to three bedrooms, get 25 pounds. For a home with up to five bedrooms, 50 pounds of packing paper will have you covered. If your place is even larger than that, we suggest adding in 10, 25, or even 50-pound increments, depending on just how big it is. You may also want to get extra if you have delicate items, like crystal or china.

Sheets are easier to use than rolls. They are typically 24”x36”, an ideal size to wrap and protect many belongings, from cups to plates to figurines.

Packing paper holds its shape. This is helpful because when wrapping items, you won’t always have to use tape to secure it. Once you make a crease around an object, it normally stays put, making packing simple.


Let’s go over packing a theoretical cardboard box.

First, lightly crumple two or three sheets of packing paper and use them to pad the bottom. Then, wrap each item before you put it in. You don’t have to do this with some things that stack well, such as books, but you should do it for anything delicate. Once the box is full, fill the extra space with crumpled packing paper. This will keep things from shifting around.


You can either reuse packing paper or recycle it. You can unwrap it from items and give it to a friend who’s moving, saving them money. If you have recycling bins at home, you should be able to simply put your used packing paper into regular paper recycling. Or, you may need to bring it to a recycling center. Make sure you follow the rules outlined by your recycling program.

While other packing materials have their uses, we hope this explains why packing paper should be the first go-to. Best of luck on packing for storage or your move.

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