In This Guide

Coping

It's a dirty job

Move countdown

On the day

Plan your move

   1. Advanced planning

   2. Golden rules of packing

   3. How to pack

   4. Tell the world

   5. Preparing the new home

Removal services

Storage services

Plan your move

Golden rules of packing

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It is a struggle to make a section on packing interesting, because in truth, it's a job most of us would probably rather not do. So why not leave it all up to the professionals? At least that way you are hopefully guaranteed that the transit insurance will cover your belongings in case anything happens to them (things you pack yourself can be excluded). The trouble is, paying the additional fee for packing is out of the reach of many people, especially with all the other expenses of the move to cope with.

Even when you do get the removal people to do it for you, they can't do everything. There are a lot of things you will probably have to do to get the household contents in a fit state to be packed by someone else. Make sure that you check the detail of the Service Specification with the remover to ensure you understand what packing will be done by the firm and what you will have to do yourself.

The nine golden rules of packing are:

1. Pack as much as you can as early as you can.
Think of what you need most on a day-to-day basis, then week-to-week, and start packing in reverse order. You should end up with only the things you really need as your move approaches.

2. Make sure you have enough packaging.
Hire removal boxes or tea chests for packing if the removal firm does not supply them. Start collecting newspapers a few weeks before you move. Go to supermarkets or Cash and Carry shops and ask if they have any palettes, crates, boxes or bubble wrap you can use.

3. Try to pack like with like.
Don't throw your CDs in with kitchen utensils and bath products. This will fast become a logistical headache when you unpack as you end up running downstairs to put a spoon in the kitchen, back up to the bathroom to put some shampoo away, into the lounge to drop off the video remote controller and on to the garage to stow away that old rope you couldn't get any money for.

4. Create a floor plan of your new home.
Colour code the rooms and draw on it where you want different pieces of furniture to go. It is a tried and tested way of making it easier to put the right objects and boxes in the right places when it comes to unloading the van. As long as you remember to colour code the boxes too, otherwise you've wasted your time.

5. Label absolutely everything.
It may seem a bit manic, but you can't go wrong if you have detailed labels on everything along with the general room colour code. It will make it easier if you need to find anything you have packed accidentally and also to find what you want when you're unpacking. This should include stating which boxes contain fragile items. A good way to do this is by writing fragile on them in big red letters.

6. Try to borrow a paper shredder.
This can be very useful for converting low quality newspapers into high class bedding for your fragile items.

7. Try to distribute weight evenly amongst boxes that are destined for the same room.
Don't put all your books in one box and don't put all your eggs in one basket.

8. Make sure that any boxes you use are going to be strong enough to support the weight of other boxes being stacked on top of them in the van.
Self-explanatory really.

8. Dont leave open boxes.
When packing, if the lid of a box wont close neatly, take the offending item out and repack the box until it does close.

Open boxes with bits sticking out:

  • are highly prone to having the contents damaged
  • are difficult to carry
  • dont stack well in the van

Long or awkward items should be grouped together and dealt with separately.

There is always room for one more golden rule of packing in our easy eight. That is why it is easy. We can have as many as we want. If you have any neat ideas, please e-mail them to us.

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