If you have resolved to pack your own house for an imminent move, get organised as early as possible. Gather together the materials and tools you will need to complete the job well in advance, and rid your house of any unwanted furniture or possessions.
If your whole family is moving together, designate jobs for family members and involve children in packing their own rooms.
You can start early by packing things you are not likely to use during the few weeks leading up to the move, and boxes can be stacked at one end of the room or in a spare room if possible.
The essentials can be packed last, and will be the first things you unpack at the new house.
Things you will need
- Boxes. Collect from local supermarkets and shops, or buy boxes for the move. Try to get a variety of sizes to make packing easier.
- Bubble wrap and packing materials. These are indispensible and you will need plenty of packing materials to wrap fragile items and pad out boxes.
- Tape. Get several rolls of tape, so everyone can get on with packing and sealing boxes.
- Marker pens. Marking boxes with their contents and which room they should go to in the new house will save a lot of time at the other end.
How to pack boxes
Choose the right size box for the job. Heavy items like books and CDs should be packed in smaller boxes, while wardrobe boxes are best for clothes. You can reinforce the bottom of boxes with extra tape to increase their strength and lower the chance of them splitting open.
In general try to pack the heaviest items at the bottom of boxes, and lighter items at the top, boxes can be padded out with towels and clothing to use all the available packing space,
Boxes need to be stacked on top of each other during the move, so fill them all to the top so they can be sealed flat; and do not overfill boxes with heavy items making them awkward to carry.
Think about how you are going to complete your move, and how you should go about packing. Lay out a plan of action for the packing from the weeks in advance up to the moving day itself.
One option is to move systematically through the house and pack one room at a time; you can leave the boxes in each room until it is time to move.
This may not be viable if you have children, or you will need some of the things in those rooms; another way is to slowly pack items as soon as you no longer need them over the course of a few weeks before the move.
When you load up the removal van put the boxes and furniture from the room you will unload last onto the van first. By planning the order in which you unload the rooms, you can make the move much smoother at the other end.
General packing tips
Garages and sheds can seem awkward to pack but there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Your bicycles will be easier to pack if you turn handlebars at right angles to save space, and cover the chains with corrugated paper to avoid damaging other items.
Drain out any fuel or oil from lawnmowers before the move, and disassemble them as much as possible. Make sure the blades are well covered and protected. Hoses should be drained and coiled and packed in a box; the space in the middle of the coil can be filled with smaller garden utensils.
Long handled brooms, rakes and garden tools can be bound together with tape so they can be carried easily.
Delicate china should be wrapped individually with several sheets of tissue paper. Start from the corner and wrap diagonally continuously tucking in the edges as you go.
Wrap again several times in wrapping paper for further protection and pack tightly into boxes with plenty of bubble wrap. The boxes should be clearly marked fragile.
After taking apart a lamp, pack the base in a box with plenty of packing paper or bubble wrap, and pack the lampshade in a separate box. Avoid using newspaper as it can leave marks on the shades, use tissue paper or bubble wrap for the best protection.
When you dismantle furniture and beds keep all bolts and screws in a bag and tape to the furniture for safekeeping. Wrap chair and table legs with corrugated paper to avoid scratching.
You can fill draws removed from dressers or wardrobes with clothes and bedroom items, then cover and tape securely; taking advantage of the space in the drawer when moving it separately.
When moving large appliances pack all loose fittings and accessories separately, and tape doors shut. Utilize the space inside appliances like tumble dryers and washing machines by packing them with towels, and wrap the appliance with furniture blankets to keep it safe.
Dishes and plates should be wrapped separately with tissue paper, and can be stacked in boxes piled up, as they would be in kitchen cupboards. Cups and bowls can be wrapped inside each other, three or four at a time with a layer of bubble wrap in-between each one.
Quilts and pillows can be tied securely and packed in large boxes, and you can use the cushioning to pack breakables in-between; just make sure you remember that they are there.
How to Pack to Move House – Summary
Packing your whole house can seem like a marathon task, but with a bit of careful planning you can make it a simple, orderly process.
Be well prepared by getting all the tools and materials you need well in advance, and work out a plan of how you are going to deal with packing each room.
There will always be a little bit of last-minute packing of the essential items, but if you have everything else taken care of the move itself will be much easier on the day.