Moving house – Essential packing tips

The contract is unconditional, and settlement date is looming. You can’t put off packing any longer!

These tips will help you through the thick of it, and make moving day a whole lot easier!

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  • Start as soon as you can. You are going to be busy over the next few weeks, so any books, games or non-essential kitchen items are unlikely to be needed until you are comfortably settled into your new home.   Once you start to par down the contents of your home, it’s amazing how little you actually need! A week or so before the move, you can even put your day to day toiletries in your wash-bag and pack up the rest (stop toiletries from leaking by unscrewing the lid, cover with gladwrap, then screw the lid back on).
  • Organisation is key! Keep a box of everything you need – packing tape, bubblewrap, marker pens, newspaper etc in each room, so everyone who is helping to pack has everything to hand. It also helps to put a coloured sticker on each box, using a different colour for each room, and number them. When you getto the new property, put the corresponding colour onto the door of each room so that the removal guys and your friends know which room to put the boxes in.
  • Buy one or two clear plastic boxes  for priority items that you will need within a day or two of moving in. Label these as Priority, with the room and box number on. Keep them separate from the rest of your packing so that they can be loaded into the van first and kept separate at the other end.  Being clear will help separate them from the other boxes as well as being able to see what’s inside.
  • Keep an inventory of your belongings, especially if you are using a removal company. Otherwise, it may be months before you notice something is missing! An easy way to do this is to keep a notebook specifically for this purpose. Write the list box by box, room by room, as you pack. Once the box is labelled, note the room and box number next to the items. Be specific in your descriptions – ‘Sundae glasses’ is better than ‘Misc kitchen.
  • Ask if the removal company can supply wardrobe boxes. These make it so much easier to pack and unpack your hanging clothes. You can also put light items in the bottom of the boxes before you fill with clothing, and even fill with sweaters etc around the coathangers.
  • As much as possible, be logical in what you pack together. As you take bookcases and beds apart, tape the brackets, screws and nuts to them. Keep a small box labelled ‘Parts’ for any odds and ends that you can’t attach to the item they came from. Make sure they are bagged and labelled so that you know what they are for. Keep the drill, screwdriver,  wrenches, power cords etc in here so that they are easily found when they are needed. Label the box well, and put it in the Priority Items stack.
For further tips on moving house, take a look at the fantastic check list at, which lists all those easy-to-forget jobs that need to be done before, during and after moving day.