Compose a list of your possessions
Before you make a decision to pack yourself or get the removal company to pack your possessions on your behalf you need to know what you have that needs packing. It may not be essential to list every minute item in the house but the more you have accounted for the less hassle you will incur later on.This process also gives you an idea of how many and what type of boxes/packaging material you will need.
If you choose to take on the task and pack your possessions yourself there are certain things you'll need to do.
Organise each room
Begin to clear out each room and removal all clutter and unwanted things. The less you have to pack the better and packing items that you really don't need anymore is not the best plan. It will also help save you money on boxes and packaging material and you may even be able to make some money if any items are sellable.
Packing Boxes and Packaging Material
You need to get the right amount of packing boxes and other packaging material like wrapping paper, sellotape, protective wrap etc. There are a myriad of companies out there that sell cardboard boxes for packing and prices do vary from one company to another. There are also a few "packing calculator" applications on the web that will approximate for you how many boxes you will need depending on the size of your house and your possessions however they are not very accurate. The best advice is to order less than what you're estimated and start to pack early. If you fall short you can always order more.
Anything that may be dangerous/flammable/hazardous around the house would be best out of the way during your house move especially if you have children. Put all these things in a box well out of the way.
When to start packing? This is a difficult question. If you start too early you may find you are 'living out of a box' for a while but if you start too late you will be rushing and will inevitably lose or misplace something. There is also the worry of the sale not going through or being delayed for whatever reason. The best advice is to start early and pack non day-to-day items and continue to do so until you have exchanged contracts for your new house. Once you have a completion date you can go full steam ahead with the packing.
Things to remember when packing
Don't overfill boxes especially large boxes because you will find it difficult to move them later on.
Heavy items should go in small boxes. It makes them easier to move.
Be methodical. Go room by room or allocate rooms to members of the family.
Pack your personal things yourself. Don't leave the important stuff to someone else.
Always label the box with it's contents especially if it contains valuables. You should also number boxes and assign a room in your new house to each box number. This will make life easier for you in your new house.
Use plenty of wrapping paper and newspaper. Don't break a valuable item for the sake of saving some paper.
Provide plenty of padding for boxes with breakables in them. You can use bubble wrap or newspaper to stuff the sides of the box and cushions or pillows inside the box.
If you can get the right box for the right item e.g. wardrobe boxes for clothes etc. It does make life easier but is not a necessity
When packing note which boxes are able to bear loads (like boxes full of books). Place these at the bottom when loading the van.
Wrap crockery individually in tissue paper/wrapping paper. Stack plates on their sides to avoid breakages.
If items need dismantling do it in good time. Keep all the screws, nuts and bolts together.
Freezers,Washing machines and refrigerators will need draining a couple of days before you move.
Tips - How to pack certain items
China, Ornaments And Breakables
Before packing the box, place a layer of screwed-up packing paper approximately two inches thick in the bottom of the box to act as a cushion, then place a layer of strong or heavy china across the bottom, add another layer of china, each separately wrapped in a sheet of packing paper, continue until the box is almost full, then add another layer of screwed-up packing paper approximately two inches thick before sealing removal box with packing tape and marking.
Plates should be packed one on top of the other with a sheet of packing paper between each. Place in the corners of the box with the largest at the bottom and work upwards. Wrap cups, mugs, bowls etc and place in the centre of the box.
Cutlery should be wrapped in small bundles with packing paper, all sharp knives facing the same way.
Jugs, teapots and items with handles should have extra padding and be packed upright. Do not overfill boxes or leave items protruding from the top, as this will make them harder to handle and increase the risk of damage.
Boxes with breakable contents should be clearly marked "FRAGILE".
Linen and bedding on the morning of the removal should be placed in black plastic liners.
The hanging garments in wardrobes should be left for your removal men to transport in wardrobe box on the day of your removal, however if you are moving yourself a good way is to take approximately ten items on hangers, place a black plastic liner upside down over them with a hole for the hooks to come through, then place packing tape around the hooks of the hangers to keep them together.
Irons, Fryers, Coffee Makers
Empty, drain and dry out prior to your removal.
Washing Machines and Dishwashers
Un-plumb and drain the day prior to your removal. If you need help with this you may be able to ask your removal company for assistance.
Fridges and Freezers
Before to your house removal you should try to dwindle any freezer stocks. Defrost and drain the freezer the day before your house move.
Cookers and Fires
Disconnect gas and electric cookers and replace fittings with proper plugs and caps.
Hi-Fi, DVD and Computer equipment
The drawers should be empty of all disks, as when they are re-started they may jam. Record players should have the turntable and playing arm secured.
Once removed from their fittings they should be packed as breakables if glass, plastic liners can be used for ordinary shades.
Tacks should be removed and the carpet then rolled up, try to avoid bending the carpet. Advise your removal company if you are taking any or all of the carpets.
If they are fuel filled they should be emptied prior to your removal and packed separately and marked. Other hazardous things may include: paint, petrol canisters, gas bottles (full or empty) garden chemicals etc.
Important - What you will definitely need
Things that are essential include:
Prepare a survival box that has essentials in it. These are the things you will need up until the day you move and the first night of moving into your new house. Everyone will have different things they will put in this box but some things will be:
Prepare an 'Open First' box
For each room you should have a box that will be opened first on arrival at your new house. For each room you will need things on the first day and night but if they are scattered throughout your boxes it will be difficult to find them.
Keep Important documents together
Don't lose your important paperwork, it's easily done! Keep everything together and close to you.
Moving is a stressful experience when things go right but if they go wrong the move can not only become very stressful but also more expensive. For this reason you should make sure that the packing stage of your move is done carefully and all your possessions have been secured for transport.
Removals companies will often provide a packing service for an extra cost which will be reflected in the removal quote. If, however, you wish to save money and get complete peace of mind you should start well before the move date and pack as much of your possessions you can yourself.
In order to aid you in this process we have provided you with the essential tips and techniques you need to make sure your personal possessions are safe and secure.