Packing for your move can seem daunting, mainly because it feels like a mammoth task. You imagine all the belongings you’ve accumulated over x number of years and wonder where on earth you’re going to start. But fear not – we’re here to help you break it down into manageable steps. So, let’s get started. Here’s how to pack for your move…
Wait until the exchange has gone through
While you’re probably keen to get stuck into packing as soon as possible, it’s important to wait until the exchange has taken place. We’ve seen it happen – people all packed and ready to move…and it falls through! Then it’s a choice of living out of boxes or unpacking everything until the next house comes along – not ideal.
Give yourself plenty of time
When you’ve got the green light to go ahead, it’s time to get stuck in. The more time you can give yourself, the better. We recommend at least a couple of weeks, but naturally, it’ll depend on how much stuff you have. If you don’t have the luxury of time, see if you can rope in family and friends to help (promises of unlimited drinks and biscuits might help!).
Create dedicated packing rooms
To help minimise the chaos of packing, create dedicated packing rooms to store your boxes and smaller pieces of furniture – ideally the rooms you use the least, such as the spare room, garage or dining room. You can then gradually add boxes and belongings from other rooms as you pack. This keeps chaos confined to certain areas of the house so you’re not constantly tripping over boxes (organised chaos!).
Start packing the rooms you use the most as early as possible
In our experience, the most used rooms take far longer to pack than most people factor in, so it’s better to tackle them early on if you can. As a general rule, start by packing items you won’t need before the move – then you can prioritise the remaining furniture.
As a guide:
- Kitchen – generally one of the longest rooms to pack. Get out the essential equipment and utensils you’re going to need for the few weeks before the move and put them on the work surface – kettle, enough plates and cutlery, glasses, mugs, pans, etc. Treat it the same way you would if you could only take hand luggage on your holiday – only the items you absolutely need. With the essentials out, you know the rest of the kitchen can be packed up. Try to run down food supplies so you can prepare the fridge/freezer for transportation
- Dining room – think of all the chinaware, crockery, glasses, etc. – it’s no wonder it can take a while to pack it all up, especially if you’ve got a sideboard full of fragile items. You’ll need to allow time to wrap these items individually, so they are well protected during transit (take a look at our ‘how to’ videos)
- Living room – start by packing any books, DVDs, CDs, pictures and ornaments
- Main bedrooms followed by spare bedrooms – start by packing pictures, ornaments and out-of-season clothing/shoes
- Bathrooms – usually one of the quickest rooms to pack
Use it as an opportunity to declutter
There’s no better time to declutter! An easy way to do this is to create four separate piles – ‘sell’, ‘donate’, ‘recycle’ and ‘bin’. As you pack, any items you no longer want, need or use can be added to the appropriate pile and disposed of before you move, so you don’t end up taking clutter to your new home. Don’t forget about the loft – a classic place where items sit and gather dust.
Moving house is also a good time to consider getting a new bed, especially if you’ve had it for six years or more. Out with the old and in with the new (our friends at The Bed Factory, Leamington Spa offer a collection service for old beds).
(Most) drawers can be left full
Good news if you were dreading packing the contents of numerous chests of drawers around the house. They can be left as they are, provided they aren’t too heavy and there’s nothing breakable or spillable in them. Anything other than drawers will need to be emptied (cupboards, wardrobes, sideboards, etc.) as they’re more prone to damage.
Pack a box of essentials
A box of essentials is handy for your first night/few nights to save you having to unpack everything straight away.
Items such as:
- Toilet paper
- Change of clothes
- Kitchen cloth
- Bin bags
- Phone chargers
- Light bulbs
Make sure you keep your essentials box separate from the rest of the packing, so it doesn’t get lost with the main furniture. Don’t forget to keep important documents handy too.
Use quality moving accessories
To give your items the best protection possible, it’s worth investing in quality moving accessories.
Key points to remember:
- Check the weight – half a box of books will be far heavier than a half a box of DVDs. If a box has reached its maximum weight but there’s still space, fill it with a cushion or other lightweight padding instead
- Wrap individual items using paper, bubble wrap and tape, as necessary – don’t forget that corners of drawers, etc. are particularly prone to damage
- Create padding between items to offer added protection
For purpose-built boxes, covers (sofa, mattress, etc.) or other moving accessories (tape, paper bubble wrap), take a look at our Box Shop.
Label as you go
Save yourself the headache of sifting through boxes by labelling the contents as you pack them, as well as the room they’re going to in the new house. Creating an inventory helps with organisation and allows you to check everything is present and correct when you arrive at your new house.
If you’re dismantling furniture yourselves, keep the nuts and bolts in a clearly labelled container. On that note, keep aside any gas keys, instruction manuals, etc.
And of course, if you’d prefer not to do the packing yourselves, you can always opt for our packing service when booking your move.