Moving House? Here are some tips to Lighten the load when Packing
Have you ever found yourself sobbing into a pile of brown tape? Or had a monster row with your other half because you accidently packed the cat? Moving house is rumoured to be as stressful as divorce and packing up the house can be a lengthy and torturous process. However, it doesn’t have to be if you know how to go about it from the right angle. Here are some top "dos" and "don’ts" to keep that blood pressure down!
Let's start with the "dos" that will make life a little easier.......
Remember that time you woke up late for that flight? It wasn’t fun running around like a headless chicken, trying to pack all your belongings in a hurry was it? Once you have succesfully sold your house after following the correct steps, you have those conveyancing quotes in and a moving date, it’s time to start thinking about getting started. Don’t leave it to the last minute!
Get a plan set, create a checklist of room items and purchase all the materials needed to make life easy.
Don’t Be Hoarder!
Be honest with yourself, you don’t really need those two computer monitors you haven’t used in years or that 9ft surfboard you’ve used twice in Newquay. Sorting through your possessions will not only make packing and unpacking easier, it will cut down on the overall costs you have whilst moving. So decide what to donate and sell, you can put the money towards improving your new home.
Start with creating an inventory, it will ensure that you keep track of all your belongings and with everything being down on paper you can construct a plan for organising everything into those all-important boxes.
Ease yourself into the process by starting with the least used room. This will prevent you from ’living out of boxes’ too much; packing the most used items last. The attic is a great place to start!
No one wants to spend a fortune on cardboard boxes either, so to cut down on costs, try not to buy all of your packing equipment. You will be surprised how many packing boxes etc. are given away for free on marketplace sites.
Once you have your boxes, label them! However, don’t make the common mistake of solely labelling the room on them. Rustling around for the toaster in multiple boxes labelled “kitchen” isn’t time well spent, so make sure you label the boxes stating items too.
Pack a ’survival box’ towards the end of your packing journey. This should contain all your essential items that you use every day, such as medicine, phone chargers and toilet paper!
Finally, keep all cupboards open. This way you will visibly see that everything has been packed and nothing is left behind.
You may think that using your own transport would be cheaper or that your friend with his van will be a viable option, but save yourself the stress. This could mean multiple trips up and down the motorway and a tightly packed car could lead to the heartbreak of broken items. Take the financial hit and book a removal company. They will have years of experience of handling and loading your beloved possessions in a safe and efficient manner. It will also ensure that everything arrives at once.
Tips by Room...
Now you've started let’s look a handful of room specific top tips to make life a little easier…
Mirrors and Glass Frames
- Keep any mirrors upright to ensure nothing is loaded on top.
- Layer all glass or mirrored surfaces with cardboard.
- Spring clean any rugs you may have. You don’t want to be covering your new Livingroom with dust when you roll it out.
- To prevent mould, don’t wrap your rug in plastic. Use thick paper and tape it up securely.
- Pack up all your goods in the original packaging if you still have it.
- Take photos of the wire set ups at the back of your appliances to make setting up your TV nice and easy.
- Don’t overload the box; many fragile items such as glasses can weigh a fair bit. Overloading will only increase your chances of breakages and/or the bottom of your box falling through.
- Contrary to popular belief, newspaper isn’t sufficient for protecting your favourite cups and saucers. Invest in some proper padding. Use bubble wrap or foam and create a “cushion” at the bottom of your box.
- Cups of tea and toast are vital sources of energy when unpacking. Do yourself a favour and pack your kettle and toaster in a box that is easily accessible, to ensure you have some fuel to get you through that first day.
- Dented doors on appliances are a common occurrence due to swinging doors. Keep your fridges looking pretty by taping the door shut along with any other doored appliances.
- Another common classic is not defrosting your fridge/freezer in time. Save yourself the hassle and do it a couple of days before moving day to prevent any wet floors.
Already thinking of how to shape up your new kitchen? See our tips on how to make the most of your kitchen space.
Possessions and Clothes
- Pack sentimental items in a separate backpack to have on you, to ensure you don’t misplace them anywhere.
- Feed necklaces and chains through straws to prevent tangling. Any other jewellery should be kept in bubble wrap.
- Suitcases are your best bet for packing up clothes. Make sure you have your favourite seasonal clothes at the ready by packing them in a separate suitcase. Rustling through multiple suitcases in January, trying to find your favourite jumper shivering in isn’t fun.
- To save on suitcase space, pack as much into any chest of draws you may have and tape the draws shut, although make sure it doesn't make the draws too heavy.
- If your back can stand it, sleep on the sofa or an air mattress for a couple of nights before. This will allow you to have all beds dismantled and ready to go on the day.
- Protective mattress covers are always a good idea to guard your mattress from any dirt or damage that they may pick up in the back of a van.
- Rather than keeping all the nuts and bolts from your dismantled bed separately, save yourself the hunt by taping them to your bed in a small plastic bag.
- Have a sort out and throw away anything you don’t use anymore to save valuable space.
- Pack all toiletries in zip lock bags and prevent your leakage risks by half by taping up lids
- Ensure medications are packed into your “survival box” containing all your essentials.
- Towels make excellent padding. Wash them and use them to pad out boxes.
- Throw away or donate any appliances you haven’t used in a while, such as that second hair dryer or that electric razor that you got for Christmas and still haven’t unpacked.
- Wrap all wires around the appliance and tape them down. Always pack the heaviest towards the bottom.
As we have covered some top “Dos” let’s lastly look at a handful of "don’ts" whilst packing up and moving.
- Don’t move by yourself. Ask friends and family for a helping hand and buy them lunch in return. This will make life a lot easier and you may even bond over it! However, make sure to ask in good time to increase your chances of them chipping in with their efforts.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to book your removal company. Doing this will end up with you paying more for a less reputable company.
- Don’t hire professional packers unless you need to pack up speciality items. This will save you a large sum of money.
- Don’t pack and move valuable items without insuring them first. Unfortunately damage sometimes can occur when even all of the correct prevention procedures are put in place. Speak to your removal company about the options.
- Finally don’t compromise your safety. Moving and packing heavy items should be approached with caution. Need to move your heavy oak wardrobe, but only have one friend to help? Save any risk of any injury and wait until another can help. Don’t be a hero, you only get one back and injuries whilst lifting are very easy to pick up.
So there you have it, a few tips to make the move easier. Remember, preparation is key and most of all, try to keep calm. Give yourself plenty of time and keep reminding yourself, it's worth it in the end. For more information on moving houses, check out our top tips for moving house and checklist for moving house.