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How to Pack for Moving House

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It’s a well known fact that moving homes is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. This is especially true if you’re also buying and selling as well, though even moving rental properties comes with its fair share of headaches and sleepless nights. With this in mind, there’s often a lot of preparation which goes into moving, so much so that packing itself can sometimes take a back seat.

Packing up your home is a difficult and time consuming aspect to moving and it’s important to be organised with it. Here, we explain how to pack for moving house to ensure the process is as stress free as possible.

Start Early

Packing up your life will often take longer than you anticipate, especially when you’d move abroad. The last thing you want to do is leave this until the last minute and have a mad rush to get everything in boxes. This is how fragile items get damaged, your belongings can get lost and the week of your move becomes painfully frantic.

If you know that you’re serious about moving home and are wondering how to move house, it’s worth starting packing as early as you can. Why not spend a few hours each weekend organising and packing away items that you know won’t need to be used in a pinch.

Be Tough About What You Keep

We all own a lot of items which we really don’t use all that often. Sometimes these are sentimental belongings that sit in a box in the loft, or can even be clothes that you never quite get around to wearing.

Even if you are upscaling, moving can be a great excuse for taking stock of what you really have and getting rid of anything that isn’t needed. This can be tough, you may sit there questioning whether you’ll regret throwing these belongings away, but it’s important to ask yourself ‘when was the last time I actually used this?’ Questions like this can help you remove the clutter and start afresh in your new home.

Remember, the items that you don’t want to keep anymore don’t need to be thrown to landfill. There are plenty of charities that will happily collect your unwanted goods for free (as long as they’re in a reasonable condition). You may even know of friends or family who would happily rehome some of your belongings. It’s always better to find a new home for your items than simply bag them up for the next weekly bin collection.

Get Enough Boxes, Wrapping and Supplies

It’s very difficult to determine how many boxes and moving supplies you’ll need until you actually get packing. But there are some things you could do to keep the cost downs, just follow these tips on moving home. It’s always a good idea to start sourcing boxes as early as possible, especially if you want to avoid paying for this.

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It’s a good idea to visit local businesses towards the end of their working day to ask if you can take any boxes from them for free. Most businesses will be happy to help, though it’s often better to visit independent stores than larger chains for this.

Ideally, you should look for a variety of sizes and shapes to ensure you can pack your items accordingly. For example, books will be heavier so should go in smaller boxes to make carrying them easier. Try to avoid boxes which are too large for one person to carry alone. It’s also worthwhile checking all boxes to ensure they’re stable enough to carry your belongings, especially if they’re recycled.

Even after hunting for boxes from your local area, you may still need to purchase boxes for your move. Boxes bought as new will likely be more sturdy.

Don’t forget to label your boxes when moving, this will help identify which room each box should be placed in when the move takes place. Also, it can help to label anything fragile which should be handled with care.

Beyond boxes, you’ll also need enough tape and wrapping for fragile items. Make sure the tape you get is strong enough to keep your boxes tightly sealed and sturdy. Brown parcel tape is usually a good idea. Be generous with the amount of tape you use when building boxes – it’s always better to use too much rather than too little.

Buying a few rolls of good quality bubble wrap is always a good idea when it comes to wrapping fragile items. Some people recommend using newspaper as a cheaper alternative for fragile items. This can work well at times but is less secure than bubble wrap. This means that there’s a chance your favourite dinner plates and glasses could arrive at your new home chipped or damaged.

If you have any furniture which you’d like to keep from being damaged, such as dining room chairs or tables, it might be a good idea to use bubble wrap on the legs. This can give you that extra bit of security from knocks and bumps. Additionally, bubble wrap works great on paintings and frames.

Need to order boxes? We can help, get affordable packing boxes and moving supplies delivered to your door here.

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Be Systematic in Your Packing

We mentioned earlier about the importance of starting early. It’s also a great idea to be systematic with your packing. By this, we mean starting with the rooms and items which you use the least. For example, you can begin with storage, garage or loft spaces, then move onto items in your bedroom which you don’t need at a pinch, then your living room and finally kitchen. 

Seasonal items like gardening equipment or Christmas decorations can be the first to be packed away safely. Naturally, there will be plenty of household goods which you will need prior to moving. The closer you get to the moving date, the more this list can be reduced as you gradually pack away more of your home.

Take Inventory of Your Belongings

When moving house, lists will become your new best friend. Make lists of what needs to be packed, when it can be packed and how much time you should allow for this. This will ensure there’s nothing missed when packing for your move and will also ensure you don’t take anything necessary with you. Ensuring you clean before you move will make this job easier.

Don’t Make Your Boxes Too Heavy

This is absolutely crucial, irrelevant of whether you’re using a removals company or doing the move on your own. Boxes which are too heavy will become a hazard to anyone that carries them, the last thing you want is a visit to A&E on moving day. You might have heard some moving house ‘horror story’, where things might have gone wrong on moving day. But boxes that are too heavy, create the possibility of them being dropped, valuables being broken or frantic last minute repacking.

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It’s a good idea to ensure your boxes aren’t heavier than about 15kg, though some removals companies will sometimes specify a maximum weight limit. By this, we don’t mean having a scale at hand to weigh every box you pack. Once you’ve finished with a box, give it a lift and determine whether you think someone would be able to carry this up and down a flight of stairs. If the answer is no, it might be worth thinking about doing a bit of reorganising your boxes to spread the load.

Avoid Leakages with Plastic Bags

You know that plastic bag collection you have sitting under your sink which you’ve been waiting to reuse? Now’s the time. Any items like toiletries or kitchen products which contain liquid should be wrapped in plastic bags to ensure they don’t leak in the move. No one wants to carry a box that’s dripping with shampoo or washing up liquid.

Roll Up Your Clothes to Save Space

Anyone who has spent time travelling will tell you that the best way to save space is to roll up your clothes. This is a handy way to reduce the space taken up by clothes and can actually reduce the amount of wrinkles that form while they’re in boxes. There are a lot of guides out there on fancy ways to fold clothes to save space but generally rolling usually comes out on top.

Keep Your Valuables Together

Everyone has a collection of valuables which would be heartbreaking to lose or damage. Take stock of these and pack them all together carefully. This means you know exactly where they are at all times. If you don’t want to let them out of your sight, you can always tell the removals company that you’ll take them to your new home yourself. Though, having said this, removals companies are usually trustworthy and it shouldn’t be any problem for them to transport your valuables for you. Be mindful to mark the box as fragile.

Keep Important Documents On Hand

Passports, birth certificates, driving licences, bank statements and all other important documents you have in the home should be pulled together in one place and be on-hand at all times. The same goes for any documentation relating to your move. These all need to be easily available in a pinch, not get lost and safely moved from one property to the next. We recommend taking these in the car with you. You certainly don’t want to be diving through box after box to find paperwork that’s needed when you get to the other side.

Pack an Essentials Box

It might take you some time to unpack properly when you move house, as there’s lots to do when moving into a new home. Also, there are plenty of items that you’ll need on the day of moving which need to be packed last and unpacked first. We’re talking toothbrushes, tea and coffee, phone chargers and more. Make sure each person in the household has an essentials box or bag which has everything they need easily available. Again, this is a good idea to take with you in the car to ensure you’ve got them on-hand at all times.

Need a Removals Company Quote?

Moving can be tough at any time, using a removals company can take a lot of the stress, strain and heavy lifting out of moving day. Get your no-obligation, affordable removals quote here.

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Last Updated: January 19th, 2024