Top 10 Packing Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Moving house is stressful at the best of times. Needing to inform service providers of the address change can be a headache, particularly when it’s easy to forget just one important contact – and you can, say, have important bills or bank details arriving at the old London address, months after you’ve moved. Tracking down the most cost-effective removals company ahead of time can be a minefield, with some hidden extra costs. And this is all before you’ve even started thinking about packing your belongings. There are some moving services in London that provide packing services to make the process a little easier, but these can be costly. You can save money by putting in the time yourself, so here are some tips to do just that without taking on too much extra stress.
Begin packing early
The average London householder will move three times before they’ve reached the age of 45. Most movers learn knacks like beginning to pack early, some even months, yes months ahead of time. Time is money, as they say. Some hire packers as optional service extras from a removals company, but many will want to keep costs down as moving home to London is already expensive as it is. We recommend starting around two months ahead of your move in date, perhaps one box completed per day of varying sizes. A couple of months ahead of the house moving date should suffice for a large home, but a small one or two bed flat may only need a month’s preparation.
Collect boxes of all sizes
Source as many sizes of boxes as you can from different supermarkets in London. It would be handy to know what day or time of day the shop has its deliveries, as some grocery providers get their consignments on certain days or maybe on only one day of the week.
For any medium to sizeable home, you will realistically need small, medium and large moving boxes as well as heavy duty and wardrobe boxes. You can find DIY assembly tutorials if you need to online, so why not combine and staple larger boxes together to create a wardrobe box. Make sure the cardboard is substantial enough for the job, and search for cheap metal railing which should come in varied lengths. Amazon, eBay or even your local Facebook marketplace should yield some results. Freegle, Preloved and Freecycle are excellent places to look for bit and pieces like these for free. You can ask the removal company if they offer cheap removal boxes as some London movers offer such a service.
Pack the things you use least often, first
You would be surprised at how often many forget to put items away in a useful order, mainly because you can be so overwhelmed with the sheer number of belongings as to not know where to begin. Seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, summer gardening tools, lights, excess coats you don’t want to throw out, bunting and parasols, deckchairs, etc. all need to be the first to be moved. These are for the time being non-essential items that you won’t need to access when you try to settle the first few weeks in your new home.
Declutter while you work through each box or room
If you aim for a box a day or a couple of very small boxes a day, you should find you build up a range of possessions that either need to be thrown out or put aside for a car boot sale. If there is a local car boot sale in your London area around moving time, this will be a great opportunity to make some extra money getting rid of the clutter. If it is convenient to in your area, a yard sale or garage sale is a good alternative. You could even create or post in an online sale group if you don’t to rack up eBay seller fees. Then give the rest away. Have friends help move things, and see if they could use some of the things you don’t want or no longer have room for.
Pack room by room
When you get to packing some of the things you use a little more often, keep to working on one room only at a time, not moving on to another room until everything in one room is accounted for or disposed of. As this will help you to more quickly relocate your possessions to the right room in the new London dwelling, it should make the whole process of house removal far less chaotic. Label as you go along, so you don’t end up mixing any boxes. If you can stick to packing one room at a time it saves immensely on time otherwise wasted finding items for repositioning or wrongly thought lost in transit.
Pack boxes thoroughly with filler
Regardless of the size, it is important to fill any spaces within filled boxes to minimise the chances of contents damage on the journey. Shred or tear and then scrunch up old newspaper, junk mail, or even old cloth before patting down into any gaps in the boxes. When you tape the lids closed, there should be some spring or resistance from the packing paper as there needs to be just enough tension for it to absorb the impact of knocks and bumps on the road. Only use bubble wrap for brittle and higher value items as if you splurge on too many packing materials, removal costs could start to add up. If you order a lot of home essentials online, try and periodically save the wrapping, polystyrene and air cushions form these as they come in handy for selling or packing old belongings later on.
Heavy boxes first
This is surprisingly often forgotten in the bustle of moving house, but it helps to reduce the chances of lighter items being damaged by the heavier ones. When loading onto a removal van, heavy moving boxes should go first. It also means that some of the larger items you will need to place first in the new home are easily located.
Arranging to have things like furniture or furniture parts removed first means they are laid down in the new home first, so hiring moving services for the very bulkiest of items before moving anything else prevents disorganization, and enables you to arrange other items around them more easily.
Don’t place hazardous materials all in one box
Cleaning fluids, paint stripper, household paint, and batteries are examples of items that many London removal companies won’t transport. If they do, you may end up paying a premium.
To move items like this yourself, avoid mixing them up – keep the paint together and tightly sealed, the cleaning fluids sealed and packed in such a way that they cannot mix, and seal the boxes well to prevent leakage even if the container of one item happens to fail. These need to be labelled clearly as well as well sealed.
Pack a box of essentials for the move
Pack items you will need ready access to, this means dried food, smash resistant (even plastic) plates, drinking vessels and cutlery, easily prepared tinned goods and tin openers, pots, pans and toiletries. Also have a plentiful supply of clean cloths and towels to hand. It might be a good idea to fill up a first aid box and put it in with these, and a small tool box for any emergencies, like having to cut or break things open, or make mall repairs like replacing a plug fuse. Then keep this box of supplies with yourself for the journey and have a small bag of any essential medication and over the counter pain relief in your glove compartment of hand luggage.
Limit the weights in boxes to what you can easily carry
You will likely be making repeat trips up and down stairs or in and out of doorways carrying boxes. It is important to keep the boxes at a manageable weight so that you don’t get tired after just a couple or a few. For the very heaviest duty of non-furniture boxes, and if you know how to safely do repeat lifting, make these no more than 25kg per person, assuming two per box – whether you are moving these or you have left them to professional movers to load.
For medium boxes, allow up to 30lb or 13 kilos. This will ensure that the bottoms don’t fall out of the boxes or other packing material doesn’t otherwise fail.
If you decide to leave the whole packing process to removal services, make sure to shop around; make comparisons that account for packing materials charges, hourly rate packing service charges, and any extras incurred through factors like ease of access to properties or per mile distance charges for removals in London.