One of the most stressful tasks when it comes to moving house is packing all of your possessions and belongings. When you look around your house it may seem like a daunting prospect to box up the contents of every room in the space of just a few weeks; but if you take an organised, systematic approach, you can make the process seem much easier.
A good idea before you even think about starting to pack is to de-clutter your home; go through all of your things and decide what you want to keep and what you don’t need.
By getting rid of the possessions you no longer want, you will reduce the amount that needs to be packed and transported, and crucially, the house will already look more organised when you come to packing.
Packing on your own or using a removals company?
Many people choose to pack their own house rather than using a removals firm to do it for them. It gives you an element of control, and some prefer the knowledge that they have safely packed their own possessions.
The advantages to using a removal company are that all of your belongings that they packed are covered by their insurance, their staff should be fully trained to pack correctly, and they have access to suitable boxes and packing materials.
If you are moving large pieces of furniture, which need to be dismantled, or you have specialist items such as a piano, it is recommended that you hire professionals for the move.
Where to get house move boxes
You can usually get free cardboard boxes for moving house from local supermarkets or shops, but make sure you take boxes, which are in good condition and also of reasonable strength. You will need a variety of different sized boxes; small boxes for heavy items such as books and DVD’s, and larger boxes for large, lighter items such as linen and clothes.
If you can’t get your own free or cheap boxes for moving house, you can buy packing kits from several retailers, which are specifically designed for the job of moving house. Box suppliers such as PacknMove.co.uk offer a selection of kits for different sized properties; as an example a standard kit costs £61.72 including VAT and includes:
- 15 Medium boxes (45cm3)
- 15 Small boxes (36cm3)
- 50 sheets of tissue paper
- 2 x packing tape
- 20 metres bubble wrap
- 2 x wrapping paper (50 sheets)
- Marker pens
- Tape gun
You can order packing kits online and have them delivered to your property, which gives you one less thing to worry about.
There are a variety of different materials you can use to help with packing, and if you are taking on the task yourself it is worth investing in plenty of protective wrapping materials to assist you.
- Wrap dispensers are rolls of cling film with a dispenser, which allows you to easily wrap items together, or wrap padding securely to large, awkward items.
- Tissue paper is acid-free and will not mark or damage delicate items. This is useful for packing ornaments and glassware, and it is small enough to stuff between small gaps to protect precious belongings.
- Bubble wrap is an essential, and can be bought with different sized bubbles. It is perfect for protecting items and for filling out boxes.
- You can also buy brown wrapping paper, which is similar to newspaper, but will not leave marks. Stronger wrapping paper can be used for packing out boxes and is designed to withstand more impact than standard paper.
- Corrugated paper offers good protection when wrapped around chair and table legs, hat stands, or stand-up lamps.
- Polystyrene chips or pellets are another way of packing out boxes and offer excellent protection from impact.
How to pack moving house boxes
There are some general rules to follow when packing your boxes, which will reduce the risk of boxes collapsing and possessions being damaged. Don’t over pack boxes; the lid should be taped shut, even and flat so boxes can be stacked on top of one another. Remember that you and your family will have to carry the boxes to and from the removal van, so make sure they are not too heavy.
In general try to pack heavier items at the bottom of boxes and fill with lighter items at the top; completely fill each box with packing materials to make sure it will not collapse when stacked. Some tips for individual rooms are as follows:
- Sharp knives can be wrapped and packed together in a knife block.
- Use the space inside pots and pans for other kitchen items, then invert the lid and pack handle down. Pack the pots together in a box with tissue paper or packing material.
- Wrap glasses separately, and wrap so that the stem is the same width as the bulb and base of the glass; this shape is easier to pack, and gives glasses better protection.
- Protect mattresses with mattress covers or large plastic sheets to avoid and soiling during transportation.
- Wardrobe boxes are ideal for dresses, coats and suits, which would normally hang on a coat hanger; and you can also pack shoes in the bottom.
- Set aside any jewellery, valuables and important paperwork and back it in a small box to travel with you when you move.
- Box TV’s and stereos in their original boxes if possible, and make sure they are well protected and remain upright.
- Tape an ‘X’ of masking tape across mirrors and glass framed pictures, bubble wrap them and mark boxes ‘fragile’.
- Wrap furniture in bubble wrap or protective covers to prevent scratches to wooden items or tears in material.
- Wrap chair and table legs with padding or corrugated paper; and pack chairs in pairs, seat to seat, with a blanket or padding in-between.
- Large tables should be dismantled and the legs and tabletop packed separately.
- China and silverware should be wrapped individually with plenty of tissue paper or bubble wrap, and packed in boxes marked ‘fragile’.