Moving house is a process that requires lots of time and hard work, not to mention strong nerves and willpower. This is why the Fantastic Services team has made this handy list of packing tips for moving house, to ease your day.
Packing tape. Another much-needed supply item. The packing tape is your most valuable helper, so get as much as you can.
Fillings. The boxes will have gaps of air that would increase the possibility of damage. To fill the gaps, you need bubble wrap, old newspapers, packing paper, packaging peanuts, old rags, or even items of clothing you have no place for.
Stretch wrap. For carefully wrapping your furniture to protect it from scratching during the move.
Marker or labels. This is convenient for the unpacking phase at the new property. You can do this with specific colour-coded labels, or by simply writing on the boxes with a permanent marker.
List. After the boxes are packed, closed and labelled, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the boxes to make sure none of them gets lost.
Packing tips for moving house, the living room
Once it’s time to pack, start with the place with the most space, the one you won’t mind having boxes laying around. This is usually the living room.
Flat-screen TV. Unplug the TV and place all detachable cords, wires and remotes in a single plastic bag. Use the cardboard box your TV came in, along with the protective foam. If you don’t have it anymore, find a different box and line it with a soft blanket, making sure there are no gaps. Place the plastic bag with all the cords inside and secure it tightly with packing tape.
Couch and armrest. Use stretch wrap along the entire frame to protect the surface from scratches. You can also wrap the couch in soft blankets and secure it with packing tape for extra protection.
Table and chairs. Disassemble everything you can. Keep the screws, nuts and bolts you remove in a separate plastic bag. Tape all the parts of each piece together, so you don’t mix them up and attach the bag with screws to the respective piece. Wrap the parts of each piece in a blanket and secure with packing tape.
Framed pictures. Take each picture frame and wrap it three times in the shape of a six-pointed star. Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and place the frames vertically in the box.
Rugs. Roll each rug, until it takes up the least amount of space and secure it with packing tape or a piece of rope. You can also wrap with a blanket or stretch wrap to prevent it from getting dirty.
Books and bookcases. Choose a small box for books. Line the box with newspapers. Pack the books flat. Don’t overfill the box, leave a gap of about two centimetres between the books and the top. Fill the gaps with newspapers. If you have a large collection, you can also read our complete guide on how to pack different types of books.
The bedroom has a few tricky items that should be packed with care but the rest of it shouldn’t pose any difficulty.
Mattress. Take out the mattress and make sure it is 100% dry. Place it in a thick polyethene mattress storage bag. You can purchase one from a specialised furniture store. Tape the plastic protector’s ends shut with packing tape. Consider having the mattress cleaned before installing it at your new place, here is how much it will approximately cost you.
Bed frame. Once the mattress is gone, it’s time to disassemble the bed frame. Tape all the parts together. Place the bolts in a small plastic bag and tape that bag to the bed frame parts. You can also take photos or a video of the way you disassembled the bed frame in order to see how to put it back together again.
Wardrobe. Take out all the clothes along with the hangers and place them in a wardrobe box. The wardrobe itself should be disassembled, much like the bed frame. You can take a video of the process, so you can easily put it back together later on.
Linen, bedding and curtains. Use three big cardboard boxes for each. Line the boxes with packing paper. Put all linen in a large plastic bag, the bedding in another large plastic bag and the curtains in a third plastic bag. Shut the bags tightly and place each in the cardboard boxes.
Lamps. Reinforce the bottom of the box with packing tape. Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box. Disassemble the lamp, wrap the base with bubble wrap and secure with tape. Place the lamp in the box base down and fill the gaps.
Packing tips for moving house, the bathroom
Since most things you find in the bathroom aren’t likely to be removed, there isn’t much you can do here. The most obvious are:
Toiletries. The worst part of packing toiletries is the fear of them spilling in the box. This is why toiletries are best packed in plastic boxes. Additionally, you can avoid spillage by using a small piece of the stretch wrap when closing the lids of each bottle.
Bathroom mirror. If you have a cupboard mirror in the bathroom, the best way to pack it is by finding a small cardboard box with approximately the same size. Line up the box with a soft cloth and place the mirror inside. Cover the upside with another cloth and close the box. Label the box “FRAGILE”.
Detachables. If you have a detachable showerhead, you can easily remove it from the bathroom and wrap in stretch wrap, or a soft cloth. Place it in a box labelled “BATHROOM”.
Packing tips for moving house, the kitchen
The kitchen will be the most difficult because its time consuming to pack utensils and heavy appliances. Start small.
Plates. Use packing paper between each plate and stack them on top of each other by placing a plate over a sheet of paper. Wrap the loose ends and place in the box vertically. Fill the gaps in the box and label it “FRAGILE”.
Glasses, cups, bowls. Put a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and separate the tableware by shape and size. Like with the plates, place one over the other, and wrap in packing paper. Stack from the edges to the middle of the box, lips down. Fill the gaps.
Pots and pans. Tape the bottom of a large box, making it as sturdy as you can. Place a soft cloth on the bottom. Choose a few pots or pans that can be nested inside each other, while separating them with packing paper or old newspapers. Wrap the entire bundle with a large piece of newsprint and seal with packing tape. Put in the box as many of these as you can and fill in the gaps.
Utensils. Separate the utensils and wrap them with a soft cloth. Secure with packing tape and put inside the box. If possible, use the bundle of utensils to fill in the gaps of another box with kitchen items.
Fridge. Leave the packing of the fridge for the second last day before the move. Eat or dispose of all the food inside, and make sure to defrost the appliance the night before the move. After that is done, clean the inside well and close the doors securely with packing tape. You can wrap the fridge with stretch wrap if you’re worried about scratches.
Washing machine. Make sure the machine is completely dry -do not use it for at least 24 hours. Next, shut off the water supply and unplug the washing machine. Disconnect and drain the hoses to make sure there is no residual water inside. Remove the water hoses from the washing machine. Secure the lid and attach the cords to the back of the machine with stretch wrap or packing tape. Wrap the entire washing machine with blankets to avoid scratches and secure those blankets with packing tape to keep in place.
How to make a box of essentials
The box of essentials or “Overnight bag” is the first thing you will open in the new place. The box or bag that has all the important items you’ll need right after moving in your new place. All the toiletries you might need, a spare set of clothes, snacks and many other items should be present. Read our full guide on packing your overnight bag. There is a free downloadable checklist included, as well.
Moving out of an old place is never just moving out. As a tenant, you’re also obliged to bring the place back to the state you got it from your landlord. You can clean it up yourself and lose a full day, which unfortunately wouldn’t guarantee your deposit back. An estate-agency approved end of tenancy cleaning service like ours, however, gets the job done. Speaking from experience, we would say that a London landlord would prefer to get a pro in.
Visit the main website to learn about our end of tenancy cleaning solution for when you move out.
Last, but not least, here are a few more tips on packing to move house, specifically for those odd items that need extra care.
Piano. Pianos don’t need much packing, the best you can do is wrap in stretch wrap to avoid accidental scratches. Or you can resort to blankets fastened with packing tape. And have at least three strong helpers with you, because it’s a heavy item.
Aquarium. First, take the fish out, empty the water and remove all of the decorations. Find a cardboard box that is relatively the same size as the aquarium. Line the bottom and the walls of the box with a soft cloth and place the aquarium inside. Secure with packing tape and label the box “FRAGILE”. You can read our extensive guide on how to move with fish for more tips.
Irregularly shaped sculptures. Use bubble wrap to cover every part of your sculpture at least twice. Secure with packing tape. Place the sculpture оn a piece of cardboard, and bend as much as you can to cover all of your sculpture, wrapping it tightly in packing tape. Label the new irregularly shaped box “FRAGILE”.
Hopefully, moving day will not make your day too problematic, and if you follow these rules, it will be easier. Of course, you can always leave this job to a professional moving team who can even move a server room when needed.
You can start by packing the living room, as it’s probably the space you wouldn’t mind be filled with boxes for a while.
If you have the original appliance boxed, use them. If not, find a box of a suitable size.
You can take videos or photos of the way you have disassembled an item to make putting it back together easier.
Take extra care when packing kitchen items.
Pack a box of essentials that contains all the things you need after the moving day has passed (food, toiletries, etc.)
*** Did you find our tips on moving house helpful? Do you have any tips of your own? Please, share your knowledge in the comments below.