Following these tips will help to take the pain out of packing and will make for a smoother moving day.
1. Plan ahead
If you can, avoid moving on Fridays and weekends. These tend to be the busiest moving days so removal firms are likely to be more in demand and more expensive.
It can be difficult to pin down exchange dates in advance, but some firms let you pencil-in provisional dates to make sure you don’t miss out.
Moving home is a great opportunity to de-clutter. There’s little point moving items from A to B that you rarely or never use. Be realistic about what you do actually use and give yourself time to properly de-clutter. After all, less stuff means fewer boxes and less heavy lifting at the other end.
3. Pack in advance
Start the packing process as far in advance as possible, getting non-essentials packed up and out of the way. As you get closer to the move, try and pack at least a couple of boxes a day so that you’re not packing right up to moving day itself.
4. Label the boxes
Label each box with the name of the room it is destined for – lounge, kitchen, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, bathroom and so on. This will allow the removal firm to know which box belongs where and save a lot of frustration when you start unpacking at the other end.
5. Protect against breakages
The last thing you want is to open up a box of items and find they have been damaged or broken in the move. To prevent this from happening, follow the steps below:
- Art and collectibles – You can buy specific fragile-packing materials from removal firms, but if you’re doing it yourself you’ll need plenty of bubble wrap and padding. Wrap up the items well and if you find they loosely fit the box, fill the spaces with more padding. To prevent any glass from shattering, tape an X to mirrors and glass-framed pictures. Clearly label each box as fragile.
- Appliances – Check for any special packing instructions first. Make sure inside and outside the appliance is clean, tape down anything that could come loose such as electrical cords or doors on fridges and washing machines. Use towels and linen to wrap up smaller appliances. Bigger appliances should ideally have securely fastened furniture pads around each edge to prevent scuffs and scrapes.
- Furniture – Dismantle what furniture you can to make it more manageable to move, but remember to keep nuts, bolts and screws together and tape them to the item so there’s no lost pieces when you come to put it back together again. For chests of drawers, you can take the drawers out, secure cardboard over the contents within and move them separately to the chest. This will save on packing time as drawers can be slotted back in quickly at the other end.
- Plates and glasses – Place layers of bubble wrap or newspaper between each piece. Ensure heavier items are placed in the bottom of the box and label the box as fragile.
- Electronic equipment - Ideally you should pack electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers in their original boxes with their original packing material. But if you can’t, get the bubble wrap out again and ensure larger appliances are protected at each edge and corner. Double layer the front of TV screens and apply extra padding, if possible, to avoid screen damage.
Other things to consider
- If you are taking larger appliances such as gas cookers and specialist light fittings with you, enlist registered experts to turn off the relevant supplies for you.
- Make sure everything you are packing is clean and dry, especially if it is going into storage for a while.
- Keep important papers and essentials with you – don’t put these into general moving boxes. Passports, bills, birth certificates and financial details should ideally travel with you on moving day.
- Check your contents insurance covers you for moving day. If you’re not sure, get in touch with your insurer, who will be able to advise on any specialist provision for the move.
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