Ten tips that'll transform packing up

Couple moving house pexels-ketut-subiyanto-4246191

Moving into a brand-new house is an incredibly exciting time in your life, but it’s preceded by the unique challenge of ensuring your life’s belongings travels with you. Whether you’re moving out of the family nest, relocating to a new postcode or downsizing after decades in a bigger property, your life’s possessions will shortly be condensed into a removal van that’s always smaller than you expect when it pulls up outside, before being moved into your blank canvas of a new home.

This process can be immensely stressful if it’s not planned with care. However, there are ways to transform the process of packing up which cost little or nothing – and which can handsomely repay any time investment…

  1. Start early. Don’t leave everything to the last minute – spreading the packing across a period of weeks means it has a fairly small impact on your day-to-day free time.
  2. Source cardboard packing boxes. These are incredibly strong and can be stacked in quiet corners before being assembled into space-efficient towers in the removal van
  3. Also source wardrobe boxes. These tall boxes have reinforced card tubes capable of supporting clothes on their hangers, eliminating the need to iron them after you move.
  4. Mix light and heavy objects in each box. Standardise weight across each packing box or crate – don’t use black sacks, which split without warning and can’t be stacked.
  5. Only pack essential items. If clothing, memorabilia, entertainment or furniture has spent the last year in a box/garage/attic, would you be better donating or dumping it?
  6. Pack in ascending order of priority. Spare bedding goes first, toothbrushes go last. Books before phone chargers, tins before fridge contents. Logic dictates the order.
  7. Start a master list of boxes and itemise everything you put into each one on a notepad. This means you’ll always be able to find something if you need it before moving day.
  8. Number each box on all six sides with sticky labels or a marker pen. Wherever it ends up being stacked or left in the new house, you’ll be able to locate it at a glance.
  9. Decide where each box’s contents are going. Study the floorplan of your new home and determine where your current belongings will be housed – and what will house them.
  10. Use coloured stickers or symbols to identify which room each box is going into. This means the right boxes are deposited in the right rooms, simplifying unpacking. 

First among sequels

One bonus tip is to gather everything you’re likely to need in the new house together into a dedicated first-day box, which will be invaluable in those hectic and stressful first hours after you collect your keys. Necessary or valuable items vary depending on your circumstances, but typical examples include hand soap and tissues, some premade sandwiches and bottles of water, a kettle and mugs with teabags. Crucially, this is where the master list of every other box should be safely stored, so you can easily track down essential first-night objects after the removal van has disgorged its collection of identical-looking boxes…

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