Let’s face it – moving house can be pretty darn stressful. After all, there’s just so much to do and remember! Too often, the dreaded job of packing gets relegated to the last minute, which just exacerbates the stress. So, it really pays to have an efficient system to keep you organised and on-track.
Here are 10 moving house packing tips to help you do just that.
Declutter Before You Move
This first tip is arguably the most important. You really don’t want to have to transport a load of junk or unwanted items you should have thrown out, donated or sold 20 years ago. If you want to start off on the right footing in your new home, save money on removal costs, and retain your sanity, then decluttering before you move is crucial.
Make it a priority to clear out the attic, the shed and the garage, and any cupboards that might be housing items that are broken, unloved or out of date. Take any that others might appreciate to a local thrift store, sell any high-value items on Facebook Marketplace (great for quick and easy local collections), and throw out anything that is literally or metaphorically past its sell-by-date.
Gather Your Boxes & Packing Materials Well in Advance
We’ve all been there. It’s two days before the move, the packing has been left to the last minute, and you realise you have no boxes. Cue desperate and futile requests on Facebook, and scurrying out to beg the local shops for any type of boxes they can spare you, however unsuitable they may be.
If you want to avoid this scenario next time around, it’s best to get organised well in advance. Order up plenty of packing tape, packing paper and bubble wrap, and use a packing calculator to work out how many boxes of different sizes you will need. Put the word out on social media that you’re looking for good quality boxes in specific sizes, and you may well hear from people who have recently moved and will be only too happy to offload them.
Give yourself a cut-off date for sourcing boxes this way. Once this date arrives, calculate the shortfall and order up the remaining boxes on ebay or Amazon. You can get some great deals if you buy in bulk – remember that these will arrive flat-packed though, so you will need to factor in the time and extra tape for assembling them before you can begin packing.
Pack efficiently and creatively
As well as using boxes for packing, look around for containers you already have that will need to come with you anyway.
Of course, suitcases can be used to transport clothes or bedding, and duvet covers can be stuffed with towels or other soft items, such as children’s cuddly toys.
Perhaps you have a drawerful of Tupperware that can be pressed into service as containers for food or spices in half-opened packets. And empty pots could be used to transport ornaments, small gadgets and nick-nacks.
Get creative, and have a look around you to see what else might be packed in similar ways.
Leave your wardrobe clothes hanging
Of course, you shouldn’t actually leave your clothes in the wardrobe, as these pieces of furniture are quite heavy enough in the first place and will be impossible to move. However, there is another way to avoid spending time taking everything off hangers, having them all get creased during the move, and then spending more time ironing and hanging them all up again at the other end.
The answer is a wardrobe box. These amazing creations are designed specifically for the job. They’re sturdily constructed, are the right shape and size, and many of them even feature a door on one side, to enable easy access to the hanging rail. You can find them to buy online on ebay and Amazon, or through reputable packaging and removals companies, and you won’t regret it, guaranteed!
Leave items in drawers
Wherever possible, use your bedroom and desk drawers as containers by leaving the contents inside. Simply remove the drawers and cover the contents with sheets, blankets, or large plastic bags. This will also save you time at the other end when you come to unpack.
Wrap glassware and other breakables in fish and chip paper
The secret to wrapping glassware and other fragile valuables safely is to wrap each item thoroughly, pack them with as few gaps between as possible, and fill in any small gaps that remain with screwed up paper or bubble wrap. The large sheets of paper used to wrap fish and chips is great for the job – you can buy these in bulk online. Unlike newspaper, it won’t leave ink print all over your glasses and your hands either.
Don’t overload your boxes
It’s always tempting to fill boxes as full as you possibly can, in an attempt to reduce the number of items you’ll need to transport. However, this can often be counter-productive, since boxes become much more difficult to lift and you also run the risk of them collapsing if you expect them to carry more weight than they’re designed for.
It’s much safer to move two lighter boxes confidently and easily than to attempt to move one very heavy box which may give way, or even damage your back.
Use vacuum sealed storage bags for bedding, etc.
Vacuum packing is a method of packaging that removes all the air from the bag and compresses its contents, which greatly reduces their bulk. Vacuum sealed storage bags are great for packing and transporting bedding, towels and soft furnishings.
Roll up rugs and carpets with bubble wrap
Rolling up your rugs in bubble wrap will prevent them from unravelling when being transported, whilst also protecting them from rips, tears, and inclement weather.
Similarly, it’s also a good idea to protect your mattresses by placing them inside a zipped bag especially designed for the job.
Label boxes clearly and accurately
Most people are familiar with the idea of labelling boxes to signify which room of the house they are destined for at the other end. But what about colour-coding your boxes with stickers, according to which room they’re for instead? Colours are much easier to see when you’re faced with a wall of boxes.
If you’re really organised and have the time, you can also avoid later confusion by writing a brief summary or list of the contents on the side of each box. After all, you may have 10 boxes colour-coded red for the kitchen, but you can guarantee that when you’re finally in your new home and desperate for a well-earned cuppa, the kettle will be in the 10th box you choose to open.
So, there you have it – 10 easy-to-implement house-move packing tips. These tips are by no means exhaustive, but hopefully they will help your move to proceed more smoothly. By removing some of the packing stresses and strains, you should be much more relaxed once moving day arrives. Who knows, you may even enjoy the experience!