Moving home - Downsizing - Preparing to sell

How to pack for moving house

4 min read

Wondering how to pack for moving house? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned mover, ensure a smooth move with our top packing tips for moving house.

  • Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist at My Home Move Conveyancing
    Arti Dhamu

    Move Specialist

    Published June 14th 2024

a young couple packing up their belongings ready for moving house

Make a checklist

It can be tough to know how to start packing when moving house, so the best thing to do is make a plan. Before you do anything, get yourself organised and download or print off a moving house checklist. Listing all the rooms in your home as well as spaces such as garages, lofts, cellars and gardens, this will give you a clear idea of everything you need to pack up. You can detail which items or areas still need to be packed, and tick off each room when it’s done.

Prioritise how you can pack

Not all your possessions are created equal. While you can probably last longer without access to some items, such as your favourite childhood cuddly toy or those vinyls stored in the loft, the same can't be said of other things. Like your bed, for example, or most of your kitchen utensils, pans and crockery.

Prioritise what you can pack initially, and then what becomes important to pack closer to your move.

Go from top to bottom

Moving your way down through the floors of your home, starting with the loft if you have one, is a good way to help you prioritise. Doing this, also helps to create order when it comes to unpacking the items in your new home.

Declutter and have a clear-out

Once you’ve realised what’s integral to your daily life, you may realise how much stuff you have which never actually gets used, or even seen. Having a ruthless clear-out can be a great way to help yourself with packing a little later down the line. You could even make a bit of cash by attending a car boot sale, or selling some of your stuff on eBay or Vinted. Alternatively, you could donate any unused items to charity.

Get your packing supplies in

No one ever moved house without a box. Cardboard boxes are often integral to packing for a house move, and you can usually get free boxes from the supermarket, while you’ll also need things like tape, bubble wrap, old newspapers and a marker pen. Read our article to find other packing ideas to help make your move eco-friendly.

Work out when to start packing for a move

Starting as early as possible, and packing little and often can be a good way to spread the chore of moving. Especially if you have a large home and lots of things. Starting a around two months in advance of your move will allow you to do this, as you begin to pack up rooms and items you don’t use very often. This would include things like your big coats and Christmas decorations if you’re moving over the warmer months, or your garden tools if it’s winter.

RoomWhen to start packing
Attic/ loft, cellar and garage/ outhouse8-6 weeks before move
Spare rooms6-4 weeks before move
Main bedroom and children's bedrooms4-2 weeks before move
Dining room, living room and entertainment spaces3-2 weeks before move
Utility room, kitchen and bathrooms2-1 week before move

Label as you go

There’s nothing worse than having to sift through boxes and boxes of your things looking for something, especially after a potentially long and likely stressful move. Label your boxes according to what room they’ve come from, along with an outline of what’s in them. Keep boxes from the same room together, and label things like wires for appliances by wrapping some masking tape around them and writing on what they’re for.

Label your furniture

Putting furniture such as beds, cupboards and even sofas back together can be tricky, especially if you don’t have the original instructions. Label everything from the largest parts to the smallest screws and write a set of instructions as you work backwards if you feel like you need to, or take photos on your phone of each stage. Keep all screws and fittings in a labelled bag, and don’t forget some bubble wrap for things like chair legs which can easily damage walls.

Get a clear plastic box for essentials

Make essentials such as your toothbrush, phone charger and laptop easy to spot amongst a sea of brown cardboard boxes by placing them in a clear plastic one. You could even include a change of clothes, towel and some essential kitchen items in there too. Pop in important documents such as your passport and birth and marriage certificates, and keep a close eye on this all-important package.

Don’t pack too heavy

The easiest way to stop yourself from packing big, heavy boxes that are going to be at risk of breaking and a chore to move, is to get several smaller boxes for things like your books and other weighty items. Label boxes as heavy if they are, and put them at the bottom of any piles to avoid damage to lighter, breakable things.

Pack smarter, not harder

How to pack clothes

Leaving your clothes on their hangers is the easiest way to pack them up. Tie the hangers together with elastic bands or string, make a hole in the bottom of a bin bag and pull your clothes through so the hanger hooks poke out the other side. Remove with a flourish at the other end and hang them straight back up in no time at all.

Don’t let your toiletries spill

You can avoid any unwanted spillages by covering up the openings of your shampoos, creams and makeup with cling film. Pop the tops back on and your toiletries will be protected from what can be a bumpy journey to their new home.

Packing fragile items

It’s always a good idea to remove drawers from furniture before you move. You can pack your fragile items in these, along with some clothes to give them the protection they need. Wrap some cling film around each drawer and you’re all set. For things like mirrors, artwork, crockery and pots and pans, use paper to wrap them and then tape on a layer of cardboard if necessary. If you put fragile things into a box, label it.

Moving your kitchen appliances

A few hours should be enough to defrost your freezer however try to leave as long as you can in case it takes more time. You may be comfortable with disconnecting your washing machine yourself, but you’ll need a qualified gas engineer if you’re taking a gas oven with you. A jack can be useful for moving big appliances, while a tool kit can also prove valuable on moving day.

Using a house removals service can help reduce stress and save you time on moving day. They’ll help with the heavy lifting and put everything and will ensure your belongings are moved safely and efficiently. Get a house removals quote for your move.

If you're concerned about the environmental impact a home move has, read our top tips for an eco-friendly home move to get lots of helpful ideas to make your move more sustainable.

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