Top tips for perfect packing when moving home

So you’ve bought a new home, sorted the mortgage arrangements and booked the removal firm. The next thing to do is pack, but that can be a stressful process – so here are our top 10 hints and tips that will take the hassle out of packing for you...

A guide to perfect packing

1. Pack a box with the absolute essentials

One of the most frustrating things about moving into a new home is failing to find the simple everyday items you usually take for granted because everything’s packed up in different places.

Bin bags, toilet paper, phone chargers, kitchen roll, eating utensils, select cookware, extension leads, screwdrivers/tools, probably even your laptop or a change of clothes – put them in a box at the start of the day and keep it handy so these items are always within easy reach whenever you need them, saving you the trouble of opening half a dozen boxes and muttering the customary phrase: “I’m sure they were in here somewhere.”

2. Get rid of that old junk

Something that can save a lot of time and hassle on moving day is sorting through your stuff beforehand and dumping the junk you no longer need. Again Pickfords endorses this approach, suggesting you start small, with one wardrobe, chest of drawers etc, and sort into three piles – keep, donate, junk – and go on from there throughout the house.

The donation pile can be taken to a local charity shop, and junk items can be discarded by either taking them to your recycling centre, giving them away to friends or family (first dibs going to anyone who’s helped you pack/move!), or selling them at a car boot sale or on eBay.

3. Defrost your fridge in plenty of time

Many leave this far too late and the removal firm are far from impressed if they have to delay putting the fridge on the van because water is still dripping from it. It’s best to start defrosting your fridge at least 24 hours before moving out.

4. Sketch out a floor plan

This tip comes from removal firm Pickfords (for more details click here). By drawing up a floor plan of your new home, you’ll save bags of time and avoid potential confusion on moving-in day.

Pack room by room, clearly labelling all boxes with the room those possessions will be going in, and you could even use a different colour label for each room. As soon as you walk into your new place, put a corresponding coloured label above each door so the movers can quickly see where each box belongs – it’ll save you from having to think on the spot when asked what goes where!

5. Put heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in large boxes

Sounds simple but this plan can often go to pieces, especially with items like books that don’t weigh much when holding one at a time, but in bulk become remarkably heavy for their size.

Always stick to small boxes when packing books, as you never want too many in a box. If you place heavy items in big boxes, it often leaves you searching for soft ‘fillers’ like pillows and cushions to make up the space – meaning you’re more likely to break the golden rule above about packing room by room.

6. Keep a roll of plastic bags handy for those small screws and bolts

Every time you take something apart/down like a curtain rail, a wall-mounted TV or even a portable garden shed, place all the screws, bolts, nuts and nails etc. into a plastic sandwich bag, keeping each one separate and clearly labelling them of course.

7. Use decent tape

Closing boxes properly is just as important as packing them correctly, so don’t scrimp when it comes to tape. You need strong tape, at least two inches wide, to do the job. Masking tape, or those cute transparent rolls of office tape, will just rip apart when stacking boxes on top of each other.

8. Pack plates vertically

Rather than stacking plates face up like you do at home, place them into a box – once wrapped in bubble wrap or plain paper – vertically. Not only do you save space, they’ll be less likely to break.

9. Use clothing if you run out of bubble wrap

Protecting those fragile items is always important, but you won’t be alone if you find yourself running out of bubble wrap on your final night of packing and find it’s too late to buy any more.

Worry not. Wrap your clothes around items such as mirrors, which will provide ample padding. By the way, one thing you mustn’t use to wrap things like crockery and glasses in is newspaper – the ink will leave stains.

10. Take a photo of those mangled wires

We live in a wireless age, but looking at the back of your TV you’d never believe it. Take a quick snap of how your TV, Sky/Virgin box, On Demand connector, DVD player, broadband booster/router and any other consoles are all connected so you don’t have to remember how and where everything goes.

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