How to pack when moving home

Ah, packing. It’s all fun and games when it’s for a holiday in the sun, but when it comes to packing for a move to a new home, it’s a whole different ball game. Thankfully, with a little organisation and effort, it’s a lot less painful than you might think. We explain all in this ultimate guide to packing for a house move…

Get the right supplies in

To make packing for a move as efficient and stress-free as possible, you need to make sure you have all the necessary supplies upfront. That doesn’t just mean lots of boxes, but boxes and containers in all shapes and sizes, plus the right kit to help protect the items inside them. Wardrobe boxes, protectors for sharp objects such as knives, a proper storage box for tools. Packing tape, stretch wrap, bubble wrap, Styrofoam. The list goes on and on. On a budget? Don’t stress – there are loads of alternatives. For instance, you can use towels and blankets as padding for delicate items.

The golden rule? If you’re reusing old or second-hand boxes, make sure you test their strength and durability before you get going. And if you’re using new boxes, read through instructions in advance – you don’t want to be putting them together on the big day and get caught short because you’re missing certain sticky tabs needed to hold the sides together, for instance.

Most removals companies can supply the necessary packing equipment, which you can have delivered in advance of the big day.

Start packing as early as you can

The worst thing you can do is leave your packing to the last minute – just ask Monica and Rachel. Begin with rooms and items that you don’t use as often as others, and work your way through to the key items that are used every day, like TVs and sofas. For obvious reasons, save beds until last!

We’d recommend starting to pack around a month before you’re scheduled to move out. Begin with seasonal items. For example, if you’re moving in the summer months, then it makes sense to pack up Christmas decorations first.

Declutter as much as possible

By starting early, you can also declutter effectively. Far too often, last-minute packers will take heaps of things they don’t need or want with them, so run through all your items ahead of time to determine what you want to keep or toss before the move. By decluttering via the likes of eBay or Vinted, you can also make money by selling the items you no longer need, which can help contribute towards those removal fees.

Get rid of dangerous items

There are certain hazardous items that removal companies simply aren’t allowed to shift. If your removals company doesn’t send you a prohibited list of items upfront, be sure to ask them so you’re clear before you start packing up. Here are some examples: 

  • Bleach and other cleaning solvents
  • Lighter fluid
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Paint
  • Paint filler
  • Petrol
  • Aerosols
  • Propane gas cylinders
  • Batteries (home and car)
  • Matches
  • Fireworks

Make a packing inventory

Our top tip for making packing to move home a breeze? Make a detailed packing inventory – a spreadsheet that details which items are contained in which box and from which room. We've included an example above.

Not only will this approach help you make sure you’ve packed everything, but when you’re unloading, it’ll help you place items in the right rooms, giving some order to the unpacking process.

We’d recommend printing off copies of your inventory and sticking it to your boxes, with the relevant names and items highlighted on each one. It means you and your movers are crystal clear on what’s in each box, and which room it should be delivered to at the other end.

Pack boxes sensibly

Remember, you’re not only going to be packing those boxes, but you’ll also need to unpack them at the other end, so make sure they’re light enough for you to do so. Heavy boxes can cause serious injuries, so keeping them below 13kg is a must. Another top tip is to pack heavy items in smaller boxes (easier to carry) and light items in larger boxes. Start with the heaviest items at the bottom of the box, spreading them across the bottom so the weight is evenly distributed.

Prepare electrical items

Make sure you’re clear on what’s expected when it comes to electrical items. Most removals companies, for example, won’t disconnect and move dishwashers or washing machines, as these are connected to a water line. Clarify things with your removals firm, defrost freezers in advance, and give everything a good clean before moving day.

Plan ahead for specialist equipment

Aquariums, pianos, antique ornaments, exotic pet cages – these aren’t the easiest things to move, and you’ll need to seek out a specialist to do it safely and responsibly. There can be long waiting lists for the right kind of firms, so be sure to book as early as you possibly can.

Keep nuts & bolts handy

Dismantling the likes of tables, bookcases and cabinets usually means you’re left with a trail of screws, nails, and bolts. Lock these in a labelled zip bag, and then tuck that inside the box along with the furniture – along with any instructions for re-assembly. You’ll be glad you did when you get to your new place!

Start separating valuable items

There are certain items you wouldn’t want to stash on a moving truck – no matter how close your new home is or how organised you’ve been with your packing. We’re talking passports, birth certificates, precious jewellery. These are the kinds of things you should keep on your person on moving day. We’d also recommend packing a ‘moving day survival kit’ containing things like children’s toys and snacks. 

Moving home with Rezigo

Decluttering, deep cleaning, removals and storage – whatever type of service you need, Rezigo’s got you covered when it comes to moving home. Get up to three quotes per job to compare before you book, and book them all for the same day if it makes life easier. Click here to get started.