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Moving House Packing Tips

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

3rd Nov 2022 (Last updated on 28th Feb 2024) 11 minute read

When it comes to moving house, the thing that everyone dreads the most is packing. This is one of the more time-consuming parts of moving. It can be a stressful task, especially if you don’t know where to start. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the best moving house packing tips for moving house for you to follow. From how to pack boxes when moving home to utilising items you already have, we cover everything you need to know.

  1. What Do I Need to Pack For A House Move?
  2. How Long Before A Move Should I Start Packing?
  3. What Do You Start Packing First When Moving?
  4. What Items Must Not Be Packed When Moving Homes?
  5. Packing Services
  6. Here are our top packing tips:

What Do I Need to Pack For A House Move?

When packing to move house, you will need to use the following items:

  • Boxes - You will need boxes to pack your items in.
  • Wrap - Wrap will allow you to protect your items and to help transport things such as full drawers.
  • Labels - Labels are useful for labelling items and boxes. They speed up the unpacking process.
  • Inventory - An inventory is important to ensure you’ve successfully moved everything you need to. You can tick off the items as you unpack them in your new home.
  • Sellotape - Sellotape is essential when packing. It will secure your boxes and ensure your items remain undamaged during transit.
  • Bubble wrap - Bubble wrap is another important

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How Long Before A Move Should I Start Packing?

It’s useful to start packing for a move at least 7 weeks before your moving date. This allows you to have enough time to complete everything without having to rush. You can begin packing the items you’re unlikely to need at this time, such as things from your garage or attic.

As it gets closer to your moving date, this is when you can start to pack items such as clothes, technology, and kitchen items.

When it comes to the week before moving to a few days before your move you will want to begin to pack the items you tend to use the most. Your essential items can be packed on moving day and kept separately from your other items.

What Do You Start Packing First When Moving?

What you pack first when moving is ultimately up to you. However, it’s recommended to begin packing non-essential items. This is because it’s unlikely you’ll need them in the weeks prior to moving.

The more often you use an item, the later you should leave packing it. This can include things such as hairdryers, kettles, toiletries, and cutlery.

What Items Must Not Be Packed When Moving Homes?

There are a number of items you’ll want to avoid packing when moving home. This is due to them being potentially dangerous.

Here are some examples of what not to pack when moving house:

  • Lighter fluid
  • Fireworks
  • Matches
  • Aerosols
  • Perishable foods

The majority of removal companies will refuse to move these items. If you’re looking to move yourself, you may want to consider avoiding transporting these items too.

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Packing Services

As mentioned, many removal companies offer packing services in addition to moving services. These are useful to utilise, especially if you’re looking to move more specialist items.

Here are some additional packing services they often provide:

1. Furniture Packing

    Furniture is one of the most difficult things to pack, especially if you have large and bulky items to consider, such as settees or cookers. Moving kitchen appliances can require professional help and you may be unsure of how to move a bed.

    Removal companies have access to specialist blanket wraps for furniture that cannot be taken apart.

    2. Part Packing

      If you want to pack some of your items, but are unsure of how to pack more specialist items, you can opt to receive a part packing service.

      This is cheaper than the full packing service and allows you to pack most of your items yourself.

      3. Full Packing

        If you’re short on time, a full packing service is useful to consider. While it’s a more expensive option, the removal company will do everything for you.

        It’s great if you want your items professionally packaged instead of doing this yourself. It will save a significant amount of time, and it’s fantastic for those unable to pack themselves.

        4. Arts and Antiques Packing

          When it comes to arts and antiques, you’ll want to ensure these are packaged safely and correctly. You don’t want these to be damaged during transit.

          Some removal companies will offer this service and will wrap and transport your valuables efficiently and safely for you.

          If you’re happy with the specialist packing services you’ve received, you may consider tipping the removals company.

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          Here are our top packing tips:

          1. Declutter Before Packing

          Before you begin packing, you should declutter your home. While this will make the process longer, it will help you to save time when you’re unpacking. It provides you with a better idea of what you want to keep and what can be donated to charity or thrown away.

          Decluttering helps to ensure you’re not taking unnecessary items to your new home with you. There are many charities that will accept clothing items, electronics and furniture, so the items you no longer want won’t need to go to waste.

          If there are items you can profit from, you can also look to sell these. Facebook marketplace and websites such as Gumtree are useful for this. After you’ve decluttered you know that everything you move into your new home will be useful to you.

          2. Use a Removal Company Packing Service

            As moving is such a time-consuming process, a lot of people struggle to pack, especially if they have children or a full-time job. The packing process that may have only taken a few days to complete can turn into a three-week venture instead.

            A great way to alleviate the stress of this is to use a removal company. In addition to helping you move home, many removal companies will offer packing services too. While there is a charge for this, it’s worth the money, especially if you’re in a rush and need to save time.

            The professional packers will arrive at your home ahead of your moving date and will pack everything into boxes for you. The process is quick and as they are experienced, your goods will be packaged safely and correctly. The materials they use to pack with will be of professional quality, and they will be on hand to provide you with packing advice.

            If you’re looking to enlist the help of a removal company's packing service, check out our top picks for the UK’s 10 best movers and packers.

            3. Wrap Delicate Items Like Plates in Bed Sheets/Towels

              It’s so important to ensure you protect valuables when moving. If you want to save money, you can use bedsheets and towels to protect fragile items. This is also better for the environment.

              You can use this technique for many items, such as plates, glasses, and vases. Anything that can potentially be broken during transit.

              4. Look on Gumtree/Marketplace for Free Packing Materials

                Packing materials are essential when packing. If you’ve used everything you have to hand, such as bedsheets and towels, and you want to save money, take a look on Gumtree and Facebook marketplace. They are both useful apps to using when moving home.

                People are always moving home. There’s a high chance that people will be giving away free cardboard boxes and plastic bags or selling packing materials at a low price. It’s a great way of helping the environment by reusing items too.

                5. Roll Clothes to Save Room

                  Rolling up your clothes is such a useful thing to do, and you can apply this tip to packing for a holiday too. Clothes take up far less space when they are rolled instead of folded, so this is a great way to save on boxes and extra packing materials.

                  6. Wrap Furniture to Avoid Scratches

                    The last thing you’ll want to happen when you’re moving home is for your furniture to be scratched or damaged during transit. While you can be as careful as possible, this can still happen. To help avoid this, you should wrap your furniture.

                    You can choose to use old bedding for settees or make table and wardrobe boxes out of large boxes. Ensuring the items are covered will help to prevent scratches from occurring.

                    7. Use Egg Cartons for Jewellery

                      When moving home, it can be difficult to know how to transport your jewellery. While a jewellery box is the safest option, you can alternatively use an old, clean egg carton.

                      This is a great way of keeping your jewellery separate and preventing any rings or earrings from getting lost during transit. Simply put the jewellery in the egg sections and secure the egg box shut with packing tape.

                      8. Pack an Essentials Bag and Keep it With You

                        Packing an essentials box or bag is a good idea when moving house. There will be items you’ll want to use up until moving day and won’t want to pack. This includes important documents needed for moving house and other items such as toothbrushes, clothing towels and toiletries.

                        The best way to keep them separate from your other packed items is to create an essentials bag or box. Instead of putting this box with your packed items, you can take this box with you to ensure you have all your essentials to hand.

                        When unpacking, you’ll have everything you need and you won’t have to worry about rooting through unpacked boxes. It’s best to keep this box organised and strictly filled with essential items.

                        9. Disassemble Lamps and Furniture to Avoid Damage

                          If you have lamps and other furniture items that can be dismantled, this is useful to do before you move. This will help to ensure that they aren’t damaged in any way. These items should be fairly straightforward to dismantle and it will save space in your removal vehicle too.

                          10. Stack Pans and Pots

                            Stacking pans and pots is a great way to save space during the packing process. If you can store the pans and pots inside each other you’ll have room for other items.

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                            11. Pack Heavier Items First in Boxes

                            If you pack heavy items in small boxes, this will help ensure other items don’t become damaged. It will make moving the boxes easier too.

                            12. Make Use of All The Box Space

                              Making use of all the box space is important. You can do this by strategically packing your items. It’s useful to know how to pack items from books to shoes to ensure you’re using the box space correctly.

                              Stacking items and placing smaller items in the boxes will help to ensure you’re utilising the space correctly. The neater the boxes are, the more you’ll be able to place inside the boxes.

                              13. Don’t Pack Boxes too Heavily

                                Following on from packing heavier items first, you don’t want to overload your boxes with heavy items. Not only will this make it more difficult to carry and move, but the boxes will be at a higher risk of breaking. Spreading the heavier items across the boxes evenly is the best option.

                                14. Use Existing Items to Pack With

                                  When moving, you’ll want to make as much use of any existing items you have as possible. This includes suitcases and storage boxes. As these items cannot be folded, it’s useful to fill them with your belongings to move. This will help to save space and money as you’ll need to use fewer boxes.

                                  15. Use Cling Film for Drawers

                                    When moving house, using cling film to wrap up drawers is particularly useful. The cling film keeps everything in the drawers in place, and it means you don't have to take everything out and place them in boxes. It makes use of the drawers themselves, and it helps to save you time when packing too.

                                    16. Pack By Room

                                      Another useful packing tip is to pack up your home by room. This helps to keep everything organised and it cuts down the time it will take you to unpack in your new home. In addition to this, it means that boxes can be placed easily in the relevant rooms of your new home.

                                      17. Keep Relevant Items Together

                                        Similar to packing by room, you should try to keep relevant items together. This is helpful for the unpacking process, and it helps you to know where to place the boxes when you move. It will also save time when you’re packing too.

                                        18. Use Removal Company Packing Materials

                                          In addition to using a moving company’s packing services, many will provide professional packing materials. This will come at a charge, but it’s not typically too expensive. On average, packing services and materials will cost around £250.

                                          19. Label Boxes

                                            Labelling boxes is one of the easiest, yet most important packing tips for moving house. By labelling the boxes, you will have a clearer idea of what each box contains. This makes placing the boxes in your home easier, and it will allow you to find things when unpacking quicker too.

                                            20. Make a Moving House Packing Checklist

                                              When packing to move house, don’t forget to make a moving house packing checklist of everything you need to do and want to pack. Whether you’re moving into an apartment or a larger home, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking everything you need with you.

                                              Read more on Moving House Checklist

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                                              Ashleigh Williams

                                              Having written book reviews and content for For The Love of Books for over five years, Ashleigh now creates advice articles for Compare My Move, focusing on all things home-related.

                                              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.

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