Packing tips for moving house

With the average UK household owning £35,000* worth of contents within their home, it’s no wonder moving house is one of life’s most stressful events.

But when it comes to getting ready for a move, what’s the best way to pack? To help you out, we’ve put together a few tried-and-tested moving tips to help save you time, money and stress during this transition.

If you’re in need of extra space while you get settled into your new home, our flexible short-term storage plans are there to help.

Packing tips for moving house

1. Take an inventory

Before you even start to think about putting things into boxes, make a list of the belongings you’re taking with you, as well as anything you’re giving away. This will make it easier to track and keep on top of items during your move.

2. Keep costs down with materials you already have

To keep packing material costs to a minimum, use items you already have to pack your contents securely. Wrapping glassware or delicate china in your towels or kitchen cloths helps you transport fragile items safely, while also reducing the total number of boxes you’ll need to pack and unpack.

3. Avoid using bin liners and plastic bags

We have all heard a horror story when it comes to moving house; one of the most frequent is somebody mistaking a bin liner packed with precious clothes for rubbish and throwing it out. Not only is using cardboard or reusable plastic boxes better for the environment, but it also reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made and will better protect your belongings.

4. Use vacuum storage bags

Useful for storage as well as your move, you won’t regret investing in vacuum storage bags. Perfect for transporting bulky materials such as sofa cushions, duvets and bedding, vacuum storage bags will reduce your belongings to less than half their original size. These bags are also waterproof, prevent dust building up on your contents, and will stop any snagging during the move.

What’s more, once the big move is complete, these bags can then continue to be used for storage in your new home.

5. Seal your liquids

If you plan to transport liquids, make sure they are securely sealed and placed within reusable plastic bags to prevent spillage and damage to your other items. Group bathroom and kitchen items together to make things easier once you reach your new home.

6. Safeguard important documents

Gather all your important documents, such as legal papers and passports, and make sure they’re kept together, in a recognisable bag. You never know when you might need these, and so you should keep them on-hand in a safe, protective wallet.

7. Roll, not fold

It’s a tip you’ve likely heard time and time again, but for good reason. Rolling clothing up before packing can help save valuable space and also prevent harsh wrinkles from forming.

8. Protect corners

The largest items in our home are usually the trickiest to move safely. It’s important to protect the corners of any large items of furniture being moved, as these are the most likely parts to get scratched or cause damage to another piece of furniture – or even your home – during the move.

Consider investing in some cost-friendly cardboard corner protectors, or as an alternative, you can use strong adhesive tape and bubble wrap.

9. Take extra care with anything sentimental

When it comes to precious jewellery, photos, books and other sentimental items, you should wrap them carefully in bubble wrap or towels and secure with a strong adhesive tape. Also consider covering the outside of the box in fragile tape, so you or your removal service remember to take extra care.

10. Pack an essentials box

After a full day of moving boxes from one location to another, the last thing you’ll want to do is unpack all of your belongings in one go. With this in mind, building a box full of daily essentials you can easily reach for will make your first day in your new home that little bit easier.

11. Disassemble furniture

Where possible, you should attempt to take apart your larger furniture. This will make them much easier to pack, handle and transport, particularly if you’re moving solo. You should also consider removing light bulbs from standing lights and bedside lamps to protect the bulbs during their journey.

12. Carefully organise your hardware

If you do plan to dismantle certain pieces, it’s crucial you keep any smaller screws and bolts in labelled bags attached to their corresponding items. You’d hate to move into your home just to find a few tiny parts stopping you from sinking into your sofa once you’ve unpacked.

13. Keep a toolbox to one side

Remember to pack a toolbox when organising your belongings. There are plenty of things it might come in handy for, from last-minute adjustments and disassembling your furniture to quick fixes.

14. Make use of your holiday suitcases

Consider packing items in suitcases as opposed to boxes; this is a great way to help compartmentalise your belongings, making unpacking much easier on the other side. Also, if the suitcase has wheels, it will remove the need for lifting boxes up and down, helping your move go that bit smoother.

15. Pack heavy items strategically

When it comes to packing up your boxes, try to always place your heavier items at the bottom. This can help maintain stability and prevent lighter items from being weighed down and broken.

16. Fill in the gaps

To keep your belongings from moving around in their boxes, fill any gaps with extra cushioning in the form of blankets or other soft furnishings. This is an important step, as no matter how securely you wrap each individual item, you might still find them damaged or broken from interior collisions.

17. Label your containers

When packing up your belongings, it’s crucial you label your containers or figure out a system that acts as a visual reminder. Not only will this help you or your removal service identify which boxes need to be handled more carefully, it will also help you quickly locate items once you have made the move. The last thing you want is to be rummaging through boxes once the move is complete.

18. Triple-check removal boxes are secure before moving

Don’t risk your carefully packed contents becoming broken or damaged because you’ve squeezed as much as you can into one box. It’s always worth reinforcing the bottom of any heavily packed boxes with a strong adhesive tape to make sure your belongings stay safe and sound for as long as they’re packed up.

19. Bring in the experts

As tempting as it is to recruit a couple of friends and family members to help you move house, hiring a removal service will help take the hassle of the big day away. As experts in the industry, they can help make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible, providing the necessary equipment to move your belongings safely and securely. What’s more, most will offer some sort of cover or insurance for that extra peace of mind.

Planning your moving day ahead of time will make sure you and your belongings reach your new destination in one piece. Browse our packing glassware guide for more moving advice.