5 Moving Essentials to Buy at the Dollar Store

published Aug 19, 2018
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(Image credit: Ben Harding)

Over Fourth of July Weekend, I was running errands with my mom while visiting in suburban Chicago, Illinois. We headed to the Dollar Tree (also known as her and my grandma’s “favorite store”) because she wanted to pick up some plates she had been longing after. Bless my mother for practicing the “only buy if you think about it after you leave the store” trick even at Dollar Tree.

Though I was on my way back to New York and thus had no room in my suitcase for any of the alluring products, I still chose to come inside and peruse while she beelined to the kitchen aisle. Honestly, I was kind of shocked at what I found (though I will admit I tend to have larger emotions than most people,) so I thought I’d share in the name of citizen’s journalism and all that.

When you’re moving, the last place you’re probably thinking of going to is the dollar store. Known for its very logical impulse purchases and well-intended project fodder, much of what’s purchased at the dollar store can end up being much of what you’re trying to throw out during moving. But guess what—Dollar Tree has cheap yet reliable versions of things that can come in handy while moving into a new house or apartment—and it’s not just packing tape and bubble wrap. (Actually, I would advise not buying their bubble wrap and tape because the amount they give you for a $1 actually ends up being more expensive than if you were to buy a regular roll from Target!)

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

But things you should buy? Felt pads, mattress covers, extension cords, weatherproofing tape, and over-the-door hangers. Yes, they have all that and multiple bags of chips—each for only one buck-a-roo!

Felt furniture pads

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

If you’re not willing to invest in some permanent furniture sliders for moving—but do want to protect your floors from everyday furniture maneuvering, there were some felt pads to put on the legs for only a dollar! I quickly Googled and found that if you were get these via Amazon, they’d run you closer to $5-$8. The savings!

Mattress Covers

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

Got a new mattress to celebrate your new place? Make sure it’s protected against all the gross things and wear and tear that can happen over the years with a mattress cover. While you’re gonna get what you pay for (it’s only $1 after all) I think this is an especially great option if you’re planning to put on a mattress topper over it. They had them in twin, queen, and even king!

Over-the-door hooks

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

The amount of over the door hooks available at the dollar store BLEW MY MIND. There seemed to be a new option in every aisle. You can get a new hook for every door in your home and still have money to buy things to hang on them! These usually run closer to $3-6 at department stores, so the fact that they were ONE SINGLE DOLLAR was something I talked at my mother about for the rest of the trip.

Wall taps and extension cords

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

The rule of moving seems to be that you will always have fewer outlets at your new place and more things to plug in. So load up on Dollar Tree’s incredible assortment of wall taps and extension cords. There were at least three options in one aisle alone. This wall tap was especially exciting to me (even though I couldn’t buy one) because a) they ran out of them at Target in Brooklyn and I’ve been looking for them and b) they’re flipping $6 on Amazon! I’m not paying $6 just to plug in my phone AND my alarm clock! It’s 2018—it’s shocking that I still have to plug in anything at all!

Foam insulation tape

(Image credit: Liz Steelman)

Drafty windows are also something you don’t necessarily think about until it’s too late. Even if your windows end up shutting completely fine, I think it’s a great idea to invest one hundred cents plus tax in a roll of foam insulation tape in case you start dating someone who lives in a drafty ass apartment because in the words of that show I don’t watch: “WINTER IS COMING.”

Note: Dollar Tree inventories differ by store, so if you really want something pictured above—call your local store to check stock before you go!