Relocating, whether it’s to just around the corner or to halfway across the planet, can often be a difficult and frustrating process. Leaving to one side the labyrinthine business of exchanging your property for another, there’s the arguably even more stressful process of packing up all your things and cramming them into the rear of a removal van.
Fortunately, there’s a sizeable body of wisdom concerning how best to approach the task. In this article, let’s look at some of the ways in which your packing process can be made as efficient as possible.
Moving House Supplies: A Checklist
Before you start packing, you’ll want to gather a few items that you’ll need to get the job done.
The best approach is to make a checklist and go shopping before you begin. That way you won’t have to plan an impromptu trip halfway through when you run out of tape. Let’s take a look at the items you’ll need:
Of course, you’ll need somewhere to pack the items you’re taking. Assemble a variety of boxes of different sizes, but be sure that each of them is sufficiently substantial before you get started. These can normally be secured for free; just ask nicely at your local supermarket or corner shop.
You’ll also want a means of sealing each box. Get a tape that’s hard-wearing and substantial. The kind of tape that you use to wrap presents won’t be strong, or sticky, enough, so invest in a roll or two of proper packing tape. The last thing you want is for boxes to come open when the truck is hurtling down the M5.
Protect fragile items by cushioning them against shock and vibration.
Bubble wrap is effective, as is scrunched up newspaper. Bubble-wrap can be purchased very cheaply online, or if you’re forward-thinking you might save the wrapping you receive from online orders; it’ll come in handy during a move.
Markers and Labels
As we’ll see, it’s very useful to keep track of the contents of your boxes. The best way to do this is with a good set of marker-pens and labels. If you’re feeling especially organised, you can even devise a system of colour-coding to make unpacking fool-proof.
What to Pack First When Moving House
It might seem obvious that the first things you should pack are the things that you’ll be using the least.
These would include items you’re not using at all; decorations like paintings and photographs should be packed first, and then table ornaments and vases. Use your bubble-wrap to ensure that each item is properly protected. If you’ve a sizeable collection of Games Workshop miniatures, or something similarly non-essential, then get them packed up now.
If you’ve a considerable bookshelf or two, then it makes sense to get all your books into storage right from the start – after all, there’s only so much reading to be done over the course of the fortnight or so you’ll spend packing.
The same is true of clothes you won’t be wearing. If it’s the height of summer, then you’ll be able to safely pack your scarf and woolly hat without fear that you’ll be caught short by a sudden blizzard. Naturally, the reverse is true in winter.
Specialist kitchenware that you don’t often use can also be packed relatively early on in the process. Garlic presses, pizza cutters, and barbeque tongs should be among the first candidates – you can always crush those cloves with the flat edge of a kitchen knife in the meantime.
Once you’ve made your way through these items, you’ll be able to move on to more useful things. Certain sorts of toiletries, like rarely-used perfumes and beard-trimmers, can be packed, as can non-perishable foods and office supplies.
Top Packing Tips for Moving House
Packing is more science than art. As such, packers over the years have accumulated a wealth of wisdom concerning how to approach the task. Let’s run through some of the worthiest pieces of advice.
Getting all your possessions neatly catalogued and stored in cardboard boxes always takes quite a bit longer than most people suspect. If you don’t want to avoid a mad rush near the end of the procedure, it’s therefore best to start early. Make time each evening to do a fixed amount of packing, so that everything is ready to go when the day of the move arrives.
Keep Essential Separate
When you first move into your new house, there will be a few items that you’ll want to be able to access right from the word go. It’s no fun, after all, to spend hours hunting through a dozen cardboard boxes in search of an errant toothbrush. Get around this problem by packing all the items you consider ‘essential’ into the same box. You’ll then be able to access those items straight away. Toilet paper, toothbrushes, bed sheets, and a change of clothing should all be considered mandatory.
Likewise, you’ll want to be able to see what’s inside each of your boxes without opening them. Using a marker pen, write a description on the outside of each box. You’ll be glad of this step when it comes to unpacking everything.
There are some items which your delivery driver won’t be able to carry. These might include dangerous substances like motor oil and antifreeze. Unless you can arrange to have these transported separately, it’s best to have used them all up, or have given them away, before the move itself arrives.
Put Heavier Items at the Bottom
This one might seem like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning. First load heavier items, like books and furniture, before moving onto lighter ones. This logic also applies within the boxes themselves – if everything is top-heavy, then your possessions are sure to be slightly crushed when the emerge on the other side of the move. Similarly, you’ll want to double-check that everything is tightly packed so that it doesn’t have room to move during the trip.
With all of these pieces of advice followed and noted, you’ll be well on your way to a move that proceeds smoothly – and you’ll be able to save yourself a great deal of stress in the process!
Image Source: Stefan Rayner via Unsplash