I Tried It — This $20 Amazon Buy Made Packing for An Out-of-State Move That Much Easier

This flat twine, also known as stretch wrap, saved my life when I moved. Here's why

an apartment being packed up to move
(Image credit: Getty Images)

So I've been keeping a secret. If you are a dedicated Livingetc reader and you happen to love shopping content, you probably know by now that I live in a tiny shoebox apartment in New York City. Well, used to live. That's right — as of a little over 48 hours ago, I am now a full-time Pennsylvania resident.

In lieu of Manhattan, I am shacking up in Pittsburgh, a city best known for its once-booming steel industry and an infamous urge to put fries on sandwiches. It's a comforting change — I grew up here — and one I must admit excites me no matter how much I'll miss the omnipresent sirens of Eighth Avenue and my favorite corner bodega. (And don't you worry — I can shop all the best home decor brands just as efficiently and feverishly from here.)

But what certainly didn't excite me was the prospect of moving. And I'm not talking about the emotional damage, although I wasn't looking forward to that part either. I'm referring to the physical and logistical toll of packing your whole life into a few suitcases and cardboard boxes, lugging those suitcases and boxes down five flights of stairs (greatest city in the world!), then shoving everything in the back of the Toyota your parents' so generously let you borrow for the drive home. It is truly enough to make one 28-year-old go insane.

But I'll tell you what — the experience went much smoother this time thanks to a product known as Flat Twine, something I had never tried but will now never move without.

The miracle moving buy

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A true moving miracle, flat twine is nothing more than a roll of deceptively strong plastic that binds one item to another or wraps multiple items together. Think of it as saran wrap for your furniture. Are you moving a bunch of medium to large-sized frames? Flat twine. Transporting all of your bed pillows, but looking to carry them all at once? Flat twine. Stacking chairs on top of one another, but wanting to secure them in place? You guessed it — flat twine.

The wrap sticks to itself so there is no need for tape or adhesive, and it doesn't leave a mark or residue once removed. Not to mention one roll would have lasted me forever. It's a common solution for event companies during set-up and breakdown, as well as palette operators bringing supplies in and out of grocery and convenience stores, so think of it as an insider trick.

I found the twine particularly helpful when packing the large frames from my gallery wall. It was so nice to pack and store them together without the smaller portraits slipping and sliding all over the place. The wrap lasted the whole 7-hour drive, too; no rips or tears, and everything stayed in place.

frames wrapped in a plastic wrap

(Image credit: Brigid Kennedy)

It might not look pretty, but it certainly got the job done. And when you're moving, that's really all that matters.

Although I experimented with this particular brand, there are similar options all over the internet; I'm sure any brand of stretch wrap would work just as well, even if it's meant for something more heavy-duty.

Don't get me wrong — I'm sure there are plenty of people who have tried a product like this before. But I was not one of them. And any hack or tip that eases a move is a hack or tip I have to share, especially if it costs just $20 to replicate. What kind of style editor would I be if I didn't?

Moreover, the use case goes beyond packing for a change in address; I could see this proving helpful when organizing a storage unit or attic, wrapping Christmas and Halloween decorations together for easy access, or securing a stack of old chairs in place. So go ahead and give it a whirl — I promise you'll be surprised at just how helpful it really is.

6 additional moving tools

They might not be that stylish, but let's be honest — moving tools aren't meant to look good. Here are 6 buys you can 'add to cart' to make the process a bit smoother.

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.