How to Pack for a Move

Whether if it’s glassware, tools, or furniture, these packing tips for moving house will help you avoid potential pitfalls that could leave you with headaches long after moving day.

Published on February 14, 2020
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Getting ready for the big move? While it may be easy to let your mind wander to life in your new home, there’s still an important process you shouldn’t overlook. If you’ve been putting off packing, this comprehensive checklist will walk you through every aspect of how to pack for the big move. Whether if it’s glassware, tools, or furniture, these packing tips for moving house will help you avoid potential pitfalls that could leave you with headaches long after moving day.

couple packing for a move

Preparation is key

After providing years of professional exit cleaning services, we know the thought of packing can leave tenants feeling overwhelmed. We’re here to say, you’re not alone. For most people, packing can be an exhausting and tedious process. However, with proper planning, it can become an enjoyable part of moving.

Each room presents its own challenges, so documenting what you have will help determine what you should pack and also what you can get rid of. Lastly, getting all your packing supplies together will help you work through each room more efficiently.

Create an inventory list

Creating something as simple as an inventory list is a great way to document all of your belongings. When you move into your new household, give your inventory list a quick scan to determine if anything has been lost, stolen or damaged. If you do find something wrong, you can quickly notify your moving company or file a claim with your insurance.

  • Determine all items of value (art, jewelry, electronics, and collectibles)
  • Note item name, description, condition and an estimated value
  • Take photographs of serial numbers

Declutter your life

Moving home is the perfect time to take stock of all the belongings in your home. By decluttering your life, you can drastically reduce the number of items that will need packing. In the process, you’ll give yourself a chance to start fresh with an empty floor plan and a sparse wardrobe. Here are just a few ways you can help lighten the load.

  • Donate to a local charity
  • Hold a garage sale
  • List items on eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook
  • Throw away anything you aren’t donating or selling

Find the right supplies

You’ll need more than willpower to get through packing your entire apartment into cardboard moving boxes. By having all the right supplies, you’ll be able to pack more efficiently so you can focus on crossing off other items on your to-do-list.

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Labels
  • Markers
  • Newspaper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts

A guide to packing

Start with a packing strategy

You might consider packing by difficulty or by usage, but we recommend using the same system as the professionals — packing by room. By packing one room at a time, the problem becomes more manageable with the added benefit of knowing exactly where to place boxes for unpacking.

  1. Create an inventory list As outlined above, document all of your valuable belongings.
  2. Label boxes by room and category In addition to the room name, label each box with the category of the contents (e.g., books or appliances).
  3. Number boxes by count Note how many boxes you have in total, adding a “count” to each one as you pack. This will help identify any missing boxes when you arrive at your destination.
  4. Add a fragile sticker Lastly, add fragile stickers to any boxes that require special attention during delivery. The last thing you’ll want is to open boxes only to find your glassware shattered into a million pieces.

Packing tips and advice

You’ll want to ensure that your fragile items are packed safely, your tools won’t be damaged, and your clothes are packed efficiently. To maximize your time and space, follow these expert tips when packing each room.

packing tips for moving house

How to pack kitchen items

  • Pack dishes vertically
  • Use Styrofoam plates between dishes to avoid breaking
  • Cover tops of bottles with saran wrap

How to pack glassware

  • Wrap all glassware with packing paper
  • Place glasses in moving boxes mouths faced down
  • Place heaviest items on the bottom
  • Plates and bowls should be loaded on their side

How to pack clothing and shoes

  • Leave clothing in dresser drawers
  • Keep clothes on hangers
  • Fill shoes with multiple pairs of socks
  • Fill suitcases and hampers

How to pack furniture

  • Tape nuts and bolts directly to furniture
  • Protect fabric by wrapping with plastic wrap
  • Wrap table legs with bubble wrap

How to pack tools

  • Pack hand tools in original boxes
  • Use towels or blankets to wrap tools with sharp edges
  • Keep tools near hardware

Hiring packing professionals

Many renters are surprised to find out that there are professional packing services available for hire. With years of experience, experts packers will be able to label, organise, and pack much more efficiently than the average tenant. Some of these companies also offer secondary services, such as decluttering, unpacking, and home organisation for when tenants move in. We reached out to the team from Hire A Packer to get their thoughts on how long it might take a professional packing team to fully pack house.

Our professional packers wrap all breakables in butchers paper, and items are packed to ensure they are safe during transit. Boxes are also labelled, making it easy for the movers to place the boxes into their respective rooms. We typically recommend 2 packers for 4 hours, which will include a kitchen and 1-2 other rooms. For larger homes, another popular option includes 3 packers for 5 hours.

A guide to unpacking

woman packing up belongings for moving house

Unpacking strategy

You’ve packed, moved and all that’s left is to put everything away. You might be tempted to haphazardly empty all your boxes, but please don’t fall into this trap. Follow this unpacking strategy, and you’ll enjoy your new digs in no time.

  1. Place boxes in a corner Placing all your belongings in one corner will give you the room needed to unpack, assemble furniture and move around.
  2. Set up a garbage can in each room As you’re unpacking, you’ll quickly create a mess of bubble wrap, packing peanuts, newspapers and more. Set up a garbage can in each room and you won’t have to make round trips to the bin as often.
  3. Assemble furniture You’ll want a home for all your belongings before unpacking, so stage your room beforehand by assembling any furniture.
  4. Unpack your belongings Just as you packed one room at a time, unpack similarly. Remove the contents and flatten each box to avoid clutter and confusion.

Dealing with mishaps

We all know things go wrong sometimes and you might find that some of your valuables haven’t made the journey intact. If you find damaged items, take action immediately to resolve any disputes.

  • Notify your removalists – Professional removalists will own up to any issues that have occurred during the move, especially ones that they might’ve caused. In cases like this, they’ll either cover the cost of the items or refund the difference from your move.
  • Claim with your insurance – If you followed our advice by creating an inventory list, documenting serial numbers and have receipts for your belongings, you should be able to claim with your insurance provider.
  • Throw it away and move on – Lastly, some things aren’t worth the stress. If all else fails, embrace the karma, throw the items in the trash and move on with your life.

Now that you’re all ready and packed, read through our moving checklist to find out everything you need to accomplish before, during and after your big move.