Ok, so you are moving house and either you have decided to do the whole move yourself or just the packing. You may have chosen to pack yourself to save some pennies. STOP.
Before you go any further have you got a quote for a full packing service? You may be pleasantly surprised and decide it is an affordable option which will not only save you many hours of bent over endless boxes but also ensure your belongings are transported as safely as possible.
REMEMBER: If you have employed the services of a Removal Company to handle the task of moving house but have opted to pack yourself to save money it could potentially be a false economy. Any BAR certified (British Association of Removers) will be able to show you the level of insurance cover on offer. However if you have opted to pack (and also unpack) your belongings yourself the insurance cover will be limited.
The reason for this is there is no way of determining if an owner-packed box is done so in a way to maximise the safe relocation of its contents. To the same extent, there is no way of determining if it was unpacked safely. Talk to your estimator about your options and the implications of each.
Before you start packing, carry out a thorough de-clutter. Old clothes, books, toys, packets of food and paperwork that you no longer need should be identified and thrown out BEFORE you start packing and ideally BEFORE the estimator appointment. Surplus items that you no longer require will add to packing time, increase packing materials and, loading time and load volume.
When packing relatively heavy items (such as books, DVD’s and LP’s) make sure you restrict the size of the box. Make sure you are able to lift the boxes safely. The best way to transport electrical items is in their original packaging. If you have kept these in the loft, use them. Cushions can be used for extra padding for electrical or delicate items, in boxes when you don’t have the original packaging materials they came with.
Always take shades off of lamps and transport them in their own box – clearly marked with what is in there.
A flat-pack box, taped at the ends act as the perfect sleeve for pictures and paintings. If they have delicate frames you may want to protect this with some extra cushioning in the sleeve.
Keep items in draws as much as possible. There is no sense in taking linen or clothes out of drawer units only to pack and unpack them. If the draws contain any fragile items, jewellery or delicate items remove them and pack them separately but clothes etc. can be left in.
Check your T&C’s carefully as some items cannot be covered by insurance or claimed for. Items such as coins, stamps and jewellery are not covered and it is best they are packed separately from everything else.
Kitchens are a haven for old, unwanted, out of date foods, utensils and crockery that take time to pack/unpack, load/unload and also use space in a lorry. The kitchen is often the most time consuming room to pack. Now is a good time to throw out any old jars, tins or packets of food.
If you have children, get them to gather up any old unwanted toys, books, games, CD’s and films. Straight down to the charity shop with these or if it’s possible, the children can host an impromptu garage sale for neighbours –a chance for them to earn a bit of pocket money whilst downsizing your pack job at the same time!
Nearly every man has a shed or area of the garden for all of the useful bits of wood or odd and ends that might come in handy one day! Again, try and downsize this stash before you pack.
Garden tools such as spades and forks etc. can be tapped together. If they have sharp edges you may want to cover these with a bit of card to prevent any accidental injuries.
Potted plants and garden ornaments require a lot of floor space in transit. To save space, if possible and you are confident to do it, take plants out of their pots and seal the root ball in a black bag (with a glug or water). Do this the day before move day. Then, taking care and using cardboard to protect them, the pots can be stacked in one another and save masses of space in the lorry.
To get started, take a look at our packing materials page.