Pro packing tips for moving house

Nine in ten of the UK population has moved home in the last 30 years, according to recent data from Master Removers. Moving house means lots of packing – and lots of packing means lots of planning. Here are some of our favourite pro packing tips for moving house…

Make your lists

The best way to kickstart the packing plan is to write down the rooms you have in the home and prioritise them from the one you use the most to the one you use the least. You can then create a plan of attack, so to speak, starting with the room you use the least. 

For example, your list may look like this:

Guest bedroom / office

  • Sort out what you want to keep / throw away
  • Pack smaller items first (stationery, papers, books, etc)
  • Safely pack away fragile items such as lamps and ornaments
  • Safely pack away pictures, canvases and frames
  • Dissemble larger pieces of furniture and pack up in boxes as possible 

It’s usually a good idea to clean each room after you’ve moved everything out, as moving items out of the room can make a mess! 

Don’t forget to make a list of the things you’ll need for a safe, easy move. This includes boxes, masking tape, permanent marker to label the boxes by room/items, newspapers, bubble wrap and so on. 

5-5-5-5 rule

Decluttering your home can be overwhelming at the best of times, so why not make it a little more fun? The 5-5-5-5 rule is one of the most eco-friendly ways to sort out your belongings. All you have to do is set aside four piles:

  • Items you want to donate to a charity shop
  • Items you’d like to sell
  • Items you’d like to give to friends and family
  • Items to throw away 

Start off by assigning five things to each pile, then ten, then fifteen and so on, until you’ve gone through everything in your house. You may be surprised at how many items you’re happy to pass on to your loved ones, as well as how many items you’re prepared to sell or donate. 

Calculate how many boxes you need

If you’ve kept the original boxes for your appliances – great! But what about the belongings that need to be packed away in boxes, such as clothes, kitchen utensils, books, ornaments and so on? This is where you’ll need to work out how many boxes you’ll need. If you have all the boxes to hand in advance then you can save so much stress in the long-run. Don’t fill boxes up to the brim as they will be too heavy to carry safely, it’s better to have a few more boxes than overly heavy ones! 

To work out how many boxes you need to move house, you should consider:

  • The number of people living in the house
  • How many years you’ve lived in the property 
  • What kind of lifestyle you have
  • Reason for moving (e.g. upsizing, downsizing, etc)

It’s difficult to generalise just how many boxes you’ll need for your home, but on average a three bedroom semi-detached home with two adults and two children needs at least 40 medium boxes, 30 large boxes and 10 extra large boxes. You can also get “wardrobe boxes” where the clothes can stay on their hangers in the box, saving you so much time and effort! 

Thinking ahead for the first night in your new home

There’s nothing quite like staying in your new home for the very first time! So it’s a good idea to make sure you have everything to hand for your first night. 

Make sure you pack an essentials box and keep it near to you when you’re travelling to your new home. This includes a kettle, tea, coffee, milk, plates, mugs, utensils, antiseptic wipes, phone chargers, a roll of bin bags, a change of clothes, toothbrushes, PJs, toiletries, medications, first aid kit, toilet paper, flashlight, batteries and so on. It’s also useful to keep the bigger things close by too – such as duvets, blankets and pillows. The easiest way to do this is to get everyone in the family to pack an overnight bag, as if they were all going on a short weekend break.

If you have pets, then remember to pack their essentials too such as food bowls, collars, leads, crates, toys, food, litter boxes / scoopers / waste bags, blankets and so on.

How to pack like a pro

There are a few general tips you can use to strengthen your packing game. The earlier you can start packing, the better. Moving house is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, as there’s so much to do! Start packing as soon as you can, so you can focus on other tasks such as changing your address with utility providers and bank, as well as sorting out schools for your children (if applicable) and a new GP surgery / dentist for the family.

OK, so you know you should start packing as soon as possible, but where should you start? Top to bottom is generally a good strategy, so if you have a loft then you could start there. If not, start with the guest-room, study or whatever room you use the least, then move onto kids bedrooms, your bedroom, the bathroom, then onto the downstairs rooms. 

Of course, we’re sure you already know this but pack heavier items first and then lighter items on top – just as you would with food shopping! Keep the boxes for each room in the same place so you can easily move them to the right rooms in your new house. Wrap any fragile items in bubble wrap and then newspaper, so it doesn’t leave print marks on your delicate glass or china. Keep important documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates and so on, in an easily accessible folder. 

Are you planning to move soon? Make sure you know how much our conveyancing costs will be with our calculator! 

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