How to pack like a pro!
With a brand new year ahead of us, it's the traditional time for homeowners and first-time buyers alike to start looking toward pastures new, and planning their next step up the all-important property ladder.
Often one of the most distinctive and memorable periods of our lives, it's little wonder we all get a little caught up in the excitement of online property searches, house viewings and exchanging contracts ...not to mention all the fun of planning the delightful new décor, and watching your ideas become a reality.
As with many things in life though, a healthy dose of pleasure is almost always accompanied by a light sprinkling of pain, and there's a reason moving home is known as one of the most stressful things you can do.
Whilst we can't help you check your meters, contact your utility companies, or clean your home, we can share some helpful hints on how to pack up your house for your move.
What will I need?
If, like us, you like to run a tight ship by keeping your precious possessions organised, it's vitally important that you pack your goods in strong, sturdy boxes that are fit for purpose.
In many ways, packing the boxes is the easiest part, because the mark of true house moving success, is knowing exactly where to find everything when you get there! Our handy House Moving Packs are just the thing then, as they not only include a free marker pen and tape, but also come with a helpful Room Key, ensuring they find their way to the room they belong to.
Protection and security of your goods in transit can be achieved through a snug fit, so you'll need a good mix of small, medium and large boxes …together with heavy duty boxes for your most treasured items.
You'll also need bubble wrap, stretch-wrap, sticky labels, and plenty of old newspapers, so start saving copies of your daily paper today.
When should I pack?
There's no time like the present, so if you've made your mind up you're moving on, start packing immediately! Research shows that it takes a minimum of two months to pack up a large house, so why not set yourself a target of packing one box every day.
This also gives you a great excuse to start decluttering items that are taking up valuable space. Be ruthless with the things you don't need and don't use - so if you haven't used an item for more than three years, find it a new owner, as it's highly unlikely you'll use it again. Clothes that have been unworn across a full summer and winter season should also be moved on.
With a little time and patience, you'll recover some of the money you've spent via eBay and car boot sales, and you can clear your social conscience by donating any unsold items to charity.
Where do I start?
Start with rooms you use the least, making sure you pack the items you don't use on a daily basis first. Seasonal items that are not currently required, such as garden tools, coats, paddling pools and Christmas lights are all perfect examples.
If you have a cat or a dog, the light chaos this causes will help settle any anxieties, as they begin to explore all the new and exciting packing materials that have suddenly appeared in their domain.
Pack one room at a time
This is one of the most common mistakes people make, as packing multiple rooms at once can be the root cause of mayhem, and often lead to stress and conflict further downstream. Work with your family as a team, so you can all take joint responsibility for the whereabouts of items, and ensure one another's valued possessions are looked after in the same way you'd care for your own.
Light is right
If you're creating heavy boxes, you're on a hiding to nothing.
As well as running the risk of causing back injury, overpacking even the strongest of boxes puts your delicate items at risk falling through the base, and crashing to the ground in disaster.
The rule of thumb is to pack light items in large boxes, and heavy items in smaller boxes. If you have any empty gaps, make sure they're well filled with light materials, using anything from old newspapers and cardboard peanuts, through to soft textiles including tea-towels and balls of socks. The latter items will not only secure your items for the ride, but also reduce the number of additional boxes you need to pack too!
Stack your pack
When it comes to stacking your load for the road, start by layering your heaviest items at the bottom.
Whilst this might seem like common sense, putting your heavy boxes underneath the lighter boxes, will ensure breakable items will not get crushed during the move. Boxes full of books and robust furniture parts are great examples of items that should be first on your van.
Buy Some Time
They say time is the most precious commodity, and with a 'to do' list as long as your arm, particularly when you're leaving a house behind as well as preparing to move in to a new one - you'll need all the help you can get. Before moving in to your new home, it makes sense to give it a thorough Spring Clean, ensuring all the skirting boards, cornices, picture rails and floors are pristine clean before putting your furniture in place. And most home owners like to leave their previous abode in a respectable condition too.
But with time at a premium, it can be difficult to squeeze all this cleaning in. Local cleaning professionals can be a cost-effective way of ensuring both homes get a proper deep-clean, without causing additional stress at such a hectic time.
Prepare a box of essentials
Because you've been so organised and started packing so early, it's wise to begin an ‘essentials box' - your go-to container for all the stuff you're probably going to need between now and the day you're sat on the floor eating a bag of chips on the first day in your new home.
Include snacks, canned or boxed food, a can opener, cutlery, tea towels and a dishcloth, toiletries, baby supplies, pet food, your first aid kit ...and keep that all-important tool box handy too!
So there you have it; everything you need to know and more about packing your belongings like a seasoned pro. And don't forget, if you want to stay just as organised when you reach your final destination, we've also got a great selection of Filing and Storage boxes too!