Professional movers use generous amounts of packing material because they know that proper cushioning, combined with a strong outer container, will help protect your belongings. A general rule of thumb is to use enough packing material so the items cannot move easily when you shake the box. A few inches of padding material (usually unprinted paper, like butcher paper) all the way around the inside of the box should be enough.
Packing begins with using the right boxes and packing them carefully. Start collecting boxes early. You will be surprised at how many you will need. The more free boxes you can collect, the more money you will save!
You can get recycled boxes free from local stores, but they should be clean, strong and have covers so they can be closed and sealed. Copy paper, computer and liquor boxes are excellent choices. They are sturdy, have lids and contain dividers which make them ideal for packing glasses and vases. Beware of food boxes from your neighborhood supermarket. They are not nearly as strong or padded, sometimes harbor bug eggs, and tend to come in odd sizes that makes loading more difficult.
Stainless locks can be purchased for $24.99.