Most of us don’t realise quite how much stuff we have accumulated over the years until it’s time for us to move house. For most people, packing is by far one of the least enjoyable parts of the house moving process, taking hours to complete and causing drama when it’s done wrong. Sadly, unless you don’t own any belongings, or are going to pay a professional packer to pack up your home for you, then you’re going to have to go through the roller coaster that is packing up and unpacking your house yourself, so here are some top tips that just may help to make it a little easier.
Get your materials together
Although it’s possible to move house in suitcases, bin bags and plastic bags, having the right supplies will make your life a hell of a lot easier not to mention safer for your more fragile belongings. You can usually source packing supplies directly from your removals company, or if you are moving house yourself, then you can find them online. It may also be worth looking on Facebook Marketplace or eBay for people selling their second-hand packing boxes locally as these will often be a lot cheaper.
Start well in advance
Because packing is a job that people don’t want to do, they often leave it to the last minute. Putting off packing until the day before your move is a guaranteed way to add unnecessary stress to your life and the extra pressure will mean that you’re also more likely to make a mistake. As a general rule we suggest leaving two months to pack up a large family home, and one month for smaller homes or apartments. By giving yourself plenty of time to pack you can consider carefully what you want to take, pack your items away safely and organize yourself to make unpacking easier.
Have a clear-out
Having to manually pack up all of your belongings tends to be the perfect motivator for having a clear-out. Packing and streamlining your life go hand in hand, so as you start to pack try to decide what’s worth taking with you and what you can donate, sell or throw away. By starting your packing early you will have plenty of time to sell unwanted items before your move and the extra money can be put towards decorating your new home or a well-deserved treat when the process is over.
Start by packing your least used rooms
One of the reasons why people put off packing is because they don’t want to spend weeks without things that they use every day. The key to getting your packing done in a timely manner while not sacrificing the things you need, is to pack your least used rooms first. The loft or attic is often a great place to start, and with things already in boxes, it can be one of the quickest rooms too. Once again don’t forget to use this as a chance to reorganise, re-label and to throw away items that you don’t need.
Colour code or number your boxes
Boxes all look the same, so when it comes to unpacking at the other end you’ll want to have a system in place so that you know where each box wants to go to be unpacked. Some people like to colour code their boxes by the room in their house they came from, others prefer to number them. Whichever system you use, stick to it and make sure that it can be clearly seen by your removal team.
Keep an inventory list for each box
To some people, having an inventory list for each packing box may seem a little extreme, but if you end up needing to find something, in particular, it can save your hours rummaging through boxes. Your list doesn’t need to be too detailed, books, CD’s, and DVD’s will do just fine and then simply tape the list to the corresponding box.
Put liquids into ziplock bags
There’s nothing worse than unpacking a box and realising that your shampoo, washing up liquid or detergent has leaked all over the rest of your belongings. To keep liquid items safe, separate them from other items and store them in a sealable plastic bag, that way, if they do leak, they will only make a mess of themselves. It may also be worth adding a fragile or liquids label to boxes containing open liquids, as this will help you and your removal company to know not to stack them at the bottom.
Roll your clothes
Packing up clothes can be a nightmare but don’t let it get the better of you. Roll your clothes rather than folding them – it takes less time to do and also takes up less space in the box. If you have a lot of clothes, you may also want to consider vacuum bags to compress the air out of them and to make them easier to transport. Vacuum bags also work really well for pillows and duvets and other bulky material items like coats.
Create an essentials box
Perhaps the most important box of all will be your essentials box, which will contain the items that you will need as soon as your move is over. If you are a big family, then you may need more than one essentials box, or even, one box per person. Here are some things that you may want to put in it:
- A clean pair of clothes
- Bedsheets and duvets
- Canned or boxed food that can be easily cooked
- A can opener
- Basic kitchen items
- A first aid kit
- Essential toiletries (a roll of loo paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant)
- Pet food if you have a pet
- A mini tool kit for fixing things
So there you have it, these are our top tips for packing like a pro. Remember, everything is easier when you give yourself plenty of time to do it, so don’t rush, allow yourself to enjoy the process and you can thank us later!
We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Fleet Removals. For more features, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.