For many of us the prospect of packing up the contents of our home in order to move house is the stuff of nightmares.
You’ll need to contact all your bill providers and clean the house top to bottom, not to mention pack all your belongings ready for your removals company to move.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of quality packing tips for moving house that are guaranteed to make moving day run that bit smoother.
Before you start
The biggest piece of advice we can give is not to leave everything to the day before the move.
Whether you’ve got a timescale of two months or five days, take the time to plan carefully what you need to pack and ensure you have got everything covered.
There’s nothing worse than leaving something behind or incurring additional time and expense for an item that you had not accounted for.
Our top packing tips before you start include:
- Plan early – assess how you are going to pack the contents of each room, draw up a plan and stick to it.
- Collect boxes – estimate how many boxes you are going to need and source quality prepared ones from your removals company, friends or recycling centres.
- Declutter – You want to start getting rid of things before you move, not during. Try to set sentimentality aside and assess what you will have practical use for in your new home.
- Donate or sell – consider donating unused but still functional items to charity or sell them on handy apps like eBay and Shpock.
- Take photos – taking photos is great way to take stock of what’s in each box. You can also take photos of electronical items as a reminder of what goes where.
- If renting – take photos of everything before you start to move items.
- Take down artwork – Start taking down decorative items first, especially those which need additional care and consideration.
- Back up your data – Before unplugging computers and electronical devices back up your data on hard drives and in the cloud, etc.
- Defrost – Run down the contents of fridges and freezers and defrost them before attempting to move.
Before you approach the actual packing away make sure you have all the right materials to get the job done. The most obvious items are study boxes, seal tape and markers and labels.
But don’t forget additional items which can help keep things all in one place either.
For example, wardrobe boxes for clothing. With these handy boxes you can take items straight out the wardrobe without taking the hangers off and transfer them into the box ready for loading. If you want to save money you can even get crafty and make your own.
Our essential list of packing materials includes:
- Tape, bubble wrap and other protective materials
- A variety of boxes/cartons in different shapes and sizes
- Clear plastic boxes are useful for storing items you need to use straight away
- Markers and labels
Additional items which may come of use, include:
- Wardrobe boxes
- Bins and wash baskets can double up as boxes
- Stretch wrap
- Cable ties
- Sandwich bags for small parts like nuts and bolts to furniture
- Old newspapers and magazines – gap fillings which can protect fragile items like glass and china
Preparing For The First Night – How to Pack An Essentials Box
Many house movers are so busy trying to pack everything away that they fail to prepare for the first night in the property.
To ensure you get off to the best possible start it is advisable to pack certain items you think you might need easy access to in a separate box to take with you rather than the removals team.
What this box will contain precisely will vary depending on your circumstances but typically it may include:
- Food – Plan your meals for the initial week and bring lots of non-perishables like snacks or canned food
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toilet paper, shower gels, shampoo, hygiene products
- First aid kit
- Eating utensils and paper plates
- Baby supplies and pet food (if applicable)
Packing Tips for Moving House – The bathroom
Probably the least favoured room when it comes to moving house. Which is perfect reason to tackle it first.
A lot of things are actually fixtures which can’t be moved but if there is anything you are taking with you, like detachable shower heads, then make sure you take apart these components carefully.
Below are some useful tips for tackling the bathroom:
- Cover the opening of toiletries before placing into boxes.
- Place all toiletries in clear plastic boxes rather than cardboard boxes in case they leak.
- Remove mirrors carefully and coat with protective cloths before putting in boxes.
- Dispose of any hazardous materials correctly.
Packing Tips for Moving House – The Kitchen
Kitchens are one of the most difficult rooms to pack away. Firstly, if you haven’t moved home in a while you’re likely to have accumulated a lot of duplicate items.
Remember that china dining set you received from the in-laws in Xmas 93? Well now might be the time to get rid unless you are going to be using it.
Start small and gradually make your way through the cupboards. Below are some useful tips:
- Stack pots and pans
- Wrap and pack plates vertically like they are vinyl records
- Wrap utensils in cloth and secure with packing tape before placing in the box. Don’t forget to hold some back for your Essentials box to use straight away.
- Label boxes with delicate glass and china as ‘Fragile’ and add any instructions for your removals team.
- Use cellophane wrap to keep the contents of single drawers from sliding out of place.
Packing Tips for Moving House – The Living Room
Seeing as it’s the area you ‘live in’ most, the living room is often left to last. But as it contains some of the heaviest and most difficult to move items the earlier you can pack these away the better.
Below are some useful tips when approaching packing the living room:
- Obey weight limits on furniture and hard to move items – if you don’t think you can lift it get help or ask your removals team.
- Use stretch wrap to protect sofas and chairs from scratches.
- Disassemble tables and chairs were possible – use sandwich bags to keep nuts and bolts and tape these to the item they go with.
- Use soft cloths other non-adhesive materials to transport picture frames and art work
- Use bubble wrap for delicate items like ornaments and TV screens.
- Roll up rugs tight and tie with string or another binding material.
- Pack books into small boxes – place the heaviest at the bottom.
- Use cable ties to wrap wires and electronic devices together.
Packing Tips for Moving House – The Bedroom
Much like the living room, the bedroom contains a few difficult items which may need extra care and attention. Plan how you are going to approach and pack these items in plenty of time.
Below are a few general packing tips to help you pack away the bedroom:
- Put mattresses in original boxes or use protective covers before transporting.
- Strip the bed of linen and covers and put in large plastic bags.
- Vacuum pack clothing into bags that you don’t intend to wear straight away.
- Use wardrobe boxes to transport clothes on hangers.
- Pack important items together, such as birth and marriage certificates.
Hire A Removals Company To Help With Packing
Packing is a tiresome and stressful task.
Of course one of the easiest ways to ensure your packing goes to plan is to hire help.
Many removals companies offer bespoke packing (and unpacking) services in addition to regular removals solutions.
Removals companies also possess specialist equipment and have the training and knowledge to deal with difficult to move items like pianos and antiques.
They can also supply you with all the packing supplies you need, including purpose-built boxes delivered straight to your door.
Why Choose White & Company For Packing Solutions?
White & Company use a modern range of environmentally friendly, purpose-made packing materials.
Our team will pack all your possessions ready for moving, reducing the burden on your family significantly during your house move. We can also provide the following:
- Double-thickness cartons and special paper to wrap china, glassware and other delicate items.
- Made-to-measure crates to pack away antiques and other specialist care items.
- Furniture assembly/disassembly with bubble-wrap for extra padded protection.
You may also wish to use our unpacking service to unpack your belongings onto flat surfaces and dispose of all packing materials.
To find out more about our tailored packing solutions or any of the other services we provide please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Max is a seasoned writer and blogger in the real estate and home moving sectors, as well as a knowledgeable source of information for expatriates living and working abroad. His detailed insights have helped thousands of people move and live abroad with greater simplicity and ease.