Packing up your belongings for a move/removalcan be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Here are a few tips that can help you through it. Some may sound frustratingly obvious, but when you’re in the thick of it, you’ll probably be more interested in speed than technique!
To get you started, here is a basic checklist of packing materials:
- Cardboard boxes (or packing crates)
- Marker pen
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tape
- Tape measure
Tip 1 Get the right tools for the job
There are boxes, and there are boxes! Go for the best-quality boxes that your budget will allow. Boxes made of corrugated cardboard are best. These are much stronger and more durable, and will offer much better protection during your move. Use strong, wide packing tape to secure your boxes; it works much better than sellotape!
Tip 2 Everything in its place
Extra-large boxes should be used for packing large and light items like bed linen and towels. Large boxes are ideal for general household items like kitchenware. Use plenty of bubble wrap or packing paper for sharp or odd-shaped items, and to prevent them from moving about in transit. Standard-sized and smaller boxes are best for compact, heavier items, for ease of handling. It may sound obvious, but, within each box place, heavier items should go on the bottom and lighter items on top! A small space on top can be filled with a towel or cushion if necessary. Be careful not to overfill cartons, as they cannot then be sealed properly or stacked. Under-filled cartons tend to crush when stacked.
Tip 3 Take care with breakables
Use plenty of bubble wrap for fragile items. Wrap items individually, and place them inside a box that has been lined with paper, newspaper or bubble wrap. Use clean paper or tissue for the first layer when wrapping an item, rather than newspaper, to prevent print marks. Acid-free tissue is a good option for delicate and polished surfaces such as silver. Plates should be packed vertically, as if in a dish rack, while glasses should be packed in an upright position. Use lots of bubble wrap or paper with these items. Pillows, blankets and sheets can be very useful for wrapping fragile items, and for protecting furniture from scratches and dents.
Tip 4 Dealing with books and files
Gather all your books together, and sort them by size. Group magazines, large books (for example, coffee-table books) and smaller books, like paperbacks, together. When packing them into boxes, place the big/heavy books at the bottom of a sturdy box, but don’t fill it up to the top. Depending on how heavy the box is, fill it to about a third or half full. Make sure that the books are even and level, so that you can pack things on top of them. Cover with layers of paper or newspaper, and fill the remainder of the box with items that weigh less, like clothes. As an alternative, consider archive boxes for books and complete files. These are strong and durable and have been specially designed (with handles and lids) for storing and moving these items.
Tip 5 Consider plastic crates
Plastic packing crates are a great, cost-effective option for packing up your household items. They are robust, easy to carry, and safe to stack and store. They are also an environmentally-friendly option, as they are reusable/returnable and remove the need for cardboard. Packing crates can be purchased from specialist suppliers, or rented by the week from online providers. The relevant number of crates may be ordered in advance, and then delivered direct to your home. At the end of the rental period, the empty crates are collected from your stated collection address. If your belongings are going into storage, crates can be secured with security seals.
Tip 6 Label, label, label!
Use a felt pen to label each carton clearly with its general contents and the room it is to be placed in at its destination. Put labels on the sides, rather than on the tops, of the boxes, sothey can be seen when the boxes are stacked. If a carton contains breakables, then mark it as ‘fragile’ or use ‘fragile’ tape. Draw on arrows for which way up the box should be stored.
www.pickdropgo.co.ukcartons come with house grids printed on both the top flaps, enabling the contents to be identified and directed quickly and easily.
And finally … it`s a really good idea to keep an inventory of the contents of each box. This comes in handy if a box goes missing and you need to make a claim.