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When to Start Packing for a Move

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

16th Jun 2022 (Last updated on 17th Nov 2022) 5 minute read

You should gradually pack your belongings from 7 weeks before your moving date to ensure a stress-free packing process.

Avoid packing everything too early as you’ll only need to unpack things, and don’t pack everything last minute. In this guide, we explore the best time to start packing when moving house.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Timeline by Room
  2. What to Do Before you Start Packing
  3. Packing Supplies you will Need
  4. How to Pack for a Move
  5. Packing Kitchen Items
  6. Packing Sheds and Garages
  7. Packing Electronics
  8. Packing Furniture
  9. Using a Removal Company

Timeline by Room

Packing for your move room by room is a great way to gradually pack. According to our packing tips, starting with the room and items you use the least, packing room by room also makes it easier to unpack at your new home. The table shows when you should start packing each room and why.

RoomWhen to PackWhy

Garage

6-7 weeks before

Storage spaces such as garages and attics are an ideal room to start with as we often use these rooms the least.

Attic

5-6 weeks before

Like a garage or shed, your attic is often a space stored with lots of clutter or items we use a couple of times a year. This can be packed up and ready to go well in advance.

Spare Bedroom

3-4 weeks before

Spare bedrooms aren’t used daily and are often used to store clothes or books. Most things in the spare bedroom can be packed up 3-4 weeks before the move.

Living Room

2-3 weeks before

We use our living rooms daily but there will be a lot of items we can pack away such as items on shelves and sideboards.

Bedroom

1-2 weeks before

A couple of weeks before your move you can start to pack away clothes that you don’t often wear and any bedding or towels.

Kitchen

1-2 weeks before

You can start to pack the items you use the least in the kitchen 1-2 weeks before. Make sure you have a set of cutlery, plates and glasses for the last week on hand.

Bathroom

Week before

The bathroom is probably the most used room in the house. You should avoid packing this room until the week of the move to save constantly unpacking items.

What to Do Before you Start Packing

There are a few things you should do before you start packing to help save you time and money.

  • Declutter - Decluttering is the most important thing you should do before you pack. It’ll save you time and money as it means you’re only packing the items you’re going to use in your new home.
  • Clean and organise your house - Organising your home before you start packing will help make room by room packing a simple task. By organising your belongings, everything will be in its place and you won’t be packing things not needed. You can use moving house apps like Packing Pro to make this process easier.
  • Get rid of old furniture - Furniture will take up the most space in the removal van, making your removals cost more. If you’ve still got old furniture that doesn’t have a place in your new home, consider selling it or putting it into storage.

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Packing Supplies you will Need

If you’re packing for your move yourself, you’ll need to prepare with all the essential packing supplies.

Packing materials and supplies could include:

  • Small boxes
  • Medium boxes
  • Large boxes
  • Packing paper or old newspapers
  • Tape
  • Labels
  • Protective covers
  • Bubble wrap

Rest assured, your removal company can provide a full packing service for you. If you still want to pack your items yourself, they can usually supply you with packing materials.

How to Pack for a Move

Here are our top packing tips on how to pack for a house move.

Give yourself enough time -

Getting a head start on your packing will make it seems less daunting. Packing bit by bit will be less stressful than packing everything last minute.

Starting with the least used rooms -

Start packing the rooms you use the least. By doing this you won’t be constantly unpacking items when you need them. Garages and loft spaces are ideal to start with as they often hold seasonal items.

Create an inventory -

Creating an inventory to note down what you’ve packed and where you’ve packed it will be really helpful when it comes to unpacking.

Label boxes -

It’s important to label your moving boxes so you always know where items are. It’ll also help the moving company know which rooms to unpack the boxes in.

Pack an essentials bag with you -

Keep any essential items with you so you have them to hand at all times. This includes phones, chargers, medication etc.

Keep important documents with you -

Put all the important documents in a binder and keep them with you throughout the move. This could be your booking confirmation for the removal company or important documents from your estate agent or solicitor.

Use clothes to protect items -

Use clothes, towels and bed sheets to wrap fragile items to protect them during the move. You can also roll clothes to save space when packing.

Don't exceed maximum weight on boxes -

Don’t overpack boxes as they’ll only be too heavy to carry and risk damaging your items.

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Packing Kitchen Items

Our top tips for packing kitchen items:

  • Stack plates and bowls with paper in between
  • Don’t pack too many plates or bowls in one box
  • Wrap sharp knives in old towels to avoid any accidents
  • Pack items together that are in the same drawers or shelves

Packing Sheds and Garages

Our top tips for packing sheds and garages:

  • Sheds and garages should be the first place you start
  • Consider self-storage for large items as they’ll take up a lot of room in the van
  • Clear out any items you don’t use anymore to save space

Packing Electronics

Our top tips for packing electronics:

  • Take extra care with electronics - use bubble wrap to prevent scratches
  • Remove cables from televisions and pack safely
  • Photograph cables so you know where to connect them

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Packing Furniture

Our top tips for packing furniture:

  • Packing and loading furniture is best left to the professionals
  • Many removal companies offer furniture dismantling and reassembling services
  • Use protective sofa and mattress covers if attempting yourself

Using a Removal Company

Your removal company will be able to offer a range of extra removal services to really help with your move. The main services we recommend are:


1. Packing services:

Removal companies usually offer a full or part packing service or they can provide you with the materials you need to self-pack. Using their packing service will save you valuable time during your move.

To learn more, read house removal packing services.

2. Furniture dismantling:

This is an ideal service for large pieces of furniture such as beds and wardrobes. Your moving company can take apart your furniture and put it back together in your new home.

3. Self-storage:

Many removal companies can offer self-storage for items you’re not ready to move to your new home. Save money on your removal costs by putting items into storage.

To learn more, read moving house storage.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.