At Boxall Brown & Jones, we know how stressful it can be to pack up your home and move. Today we have decided to create a step-by-step guide on how to pack properly!
Packing is undoubtedly one of the biggest tasks associated with moving properties. Often the prospect of packing seems so overwhelming that people will put it off until the last minute. We want to take the stress out of properties, that is why we are suggesting that you start as early as possible and follow our tips below:
Choosing your packing materials
Always try and use high quality, strong packing boxes. If you do not have the extras to go with your packing, you may find it useful to buy a moving home kit online, which will include bubble wrap, tape, and various sized boxes.
If you are reusing old boxes, check that they can hold weight, and cover any previous labelling to avoid confusion with the contents.
Putting together your boxes
Most boxes have clear instructions for putting them together but be sure to look at any ‘this way up’ signage on the sides. Fold in shorter tabs first, followed by the longer ones and always secure with tape going around the corners and edges. Make sure you get enough boxes for your items, so you’re not left overfilling them and putting you and your items at risk of damage.
Labelling your boxes
Make sure to label your items not only with the room you want them to be placed in upon arrival, but whether they are fragile items, and which way up they should be held. Be specific with your labelling – you do not want to have to rummage through ten boxes labelled kitchen to find your cutlery. You could even list the contents if you have time.
It is also important to note on the box whether it contains any hazardous items, such as knives, chemicals, or anything else that needs to be handled with care.
Top packing tips
A few general tips before we break down the process by room…
- Make sure to use small boxes for heavier items, and bigger boxes for light items. Otherwise, you risk overfilling the boxes and breaking them. Pull along suitcases are good for things such as books.
- Paper and bubble wrap are great items for packing, but you can also make use of your clothes, towels, and blankets or any other soft items to provide padding around more delicate items.
- Be sure to pack heavy items at the bottom of the box, evenly distribute them across the base, so that everything is not placed on one side or in the centre.
Packing your bedroom
When packing your bedroom, you may want to save time by making use of a wardrobe box, which would allow you to simply move all your hanging clothes, and then take them off and put them in the wardrobes at the other end. Check with your removals company if they have these available.
When breaking down bedroom furniture, be sure to keep all screws and bolts together in a sandwich bag, taped to a piece of the furniture. If you want your removals team to disassemble and reassemble these items, make sure you have organised this in advance.
Wrap your mattress in a dust sheet, old blanket, sheets, or you can use stretch wrap to protect it. Your bed is one of the first priorities when arriving at your new home – if you leave it until late in the day you will be tired. Ensuring you get a decent night’s sleep in your new home is a priority.
Packing the living room
If you are dismantling cabinets, book cases or dining tables, you will perhaps want to lay something on the floor to protect it from scratches. If dismantling seems complicated, it may be best to hire removals professionals to do it for you.
When moving your TV or other technology, it is best if you have the original box it arrived in, but otherwise wrap it as securely as possible. You can also discuss with your removals team if they have any special storage or packaging materials that may be helpful. If you have a lot of wires plugged in to your electrical appliances, take a photo before you unplug them so you will know what goes where when you get to reconnecting them.
If you have any potted house plants that you intend to move, you will need to check this with the removals team, as some will not transport potted plants, as it can get messy. If you are transporting them, make sure they are placed in a plastic container and stuff the edges to ensure the pot does not move around and the plant is supported.
Packing the kitchen
Always wash your hands before you begin to pack utensils and cutlery. Roll up all your items in wrapping paper and place them in the box before repeating this process for your other items.
For particularly sharp knives, you can purchase knife protectors to avoid injury from open blades, and a block of kitchen knives are already protected, so just wrap them securely in paper. For individual knives, make sure the blades are facing away from you and make sure they are all facing the same way round, using two sheets of paper to double wrap them.
When packing glasses, wrap them with bubble wrap and be sure to place them with the widest part of the glass facing down. Reinforce any boxes, do not overload them, and clearly label them ‘fragile.’
Pots and pans can be stacked, but you may wish to put paper or bubble wrap in between some items if there is a non-stick coating that could be scratched off. When stacking plates, try not to overload the box, and you can either individually wrap the plates, or place disposable plates in between each one to cushion them. You can even buy biodegradable ones.
Packing the bathroom
Be sure to clean out any out-of-date medicines and use up cleaning supplies, as some removals companies will not be keen to transport half-used bottles of bleach or other items that could leak.
Pack linens and towels as expected, or you could use them to wrap delicate items. Be sure to leave out enough towels for all the people in your household when you arrive.
Packing up the shed or garage
Tools will need to be cleaned and emptied before they can be transported, and any sharp tools must be stored in a clearly labelled box or solid toolbox. Be sure to keep the items you need to assemble any furniture you take on the move.
Fertilizers or hazardous substances cannot be transported, so make sure you dispose of these appropriately and do not leave it to the last minute! Previously opened pots of paint might spill so your removals team probably will not take them. Empty pots can be recycled, or you can donate half used pots to charity.
Again, plants are often not good to be transported, so make sure you can pack them to transport yourself, or if there are garden ornaments you plan to take with you, make sure these are cleaned and appropriately protected.
Packing your valuables
There are always going to be items that are of value to you, whether that is sentimental or monetary value. When it comes to packing up your home, those are the items where a breakage or a loss could really devastate you.
Jewellery/ small valuables
Make sure you focus on these items first, so you know they are taken care of. It may be worth transporting these items with you personally, rather than adding them to another box, or to be packed by your removals company.
Jewellery can easily get tangled, so storing them in the original boxes and packing these tightly in a small box can minimise mess. You can stuff paper or fabric around the edges to fill the box out and stop items moving around.
If items are delicate, make sure you wrap them carefully, and in some cases, you may require special packaging materials. Chat with your removals company, as they may have industry-standard materials you can use to provide extra cushioning and protection.
Some antiques may require specialist protection, it is best to talk to your removals company about what they recommend. It’s also important to take out extra insurance if these items are of higher monetary value than that covered by general removals transit insurance.
Many people make the mistake of expecting their removals team to disconnect their electrical items. If there is a water line connected, as with a dishwasher or washing machine, this will have to be done by you or a professional. Your removals team will not disconnect it. Make sure you have emptied items and drained them if necessary. Give your freezer enough time to defrost and leave doors open whilst this is happening. It’s always best to give these items a clean down before they are transported. You can then simply tape them shut and tape the wires and plug up so that they are not trailing behind.
Whilst you may have thought to keep items related to your move safe and accessible, it’s worth taking the time to know where all your important documents are before you move. Things like driving licences, birth certificates, bank and credit card details, national insurance numbers and so on may not be necessary now but are likely to be needed soon after your move. Instead of sticking them in a box and planning to deal with them later, keep them all together in a folder and put them in your suitcase when you move, or clearly label them in the box you place them in.
Your moving home kit
Even if you are a packing whizz and have got everything packed in an orderly and safe way, you’ll need to consider the items you need immediate access to in the first few days of your move, especially if you are not taking time off work and need to continue your normal routine straight away. Pack a suitcase with the appropriate clothing, toiletries, and things like chargers for your devices. If you’re packing for children, ensure they have items to keep them occupied as well as the clothes they need. Similarly, if you’re moving pets, try to make sure they have access to their toys and comfort items to make them more comfortable.
Also think about what you’ll need on unpacking day – having a separate box with the kettle, mugs, glasses, tea, coffee and pre-packaged snacks will make sure you’re not low on energy and you can keep going.
For more ideas, have a look at our moving day survival checklist which will give you a clear list of the items you need to survive your move.
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