Free Professional ways to make house packing and unpacking a hassle-free experience along with expert removals tips and hints on how to pack clothes, cutleries and crockeries using packaging supplies, and tricks on how to wrap furniture when moving home. Sincere advice to help prepare for an easy move experience, pack professionally and keep stuff organised.
When to start packing house prior to Move
Don't save all your packing for the last day.
Begin packing items not needed well in advance of the moving date. Packing becomes more and more tiresome over a period of time, so it’s good to jump-start the packing as much as possible. Disassemble items that need to be taken apart and carefully save any hardware involved. Sometimes lost hardware is virtually impossible to replace, so be very careful where you save it.
Important Packaging Supplies that you'll need for your move.
It is essential that you order plenty of packaging materials. Don't order less, or you may have to pay additional delivery charges for reordering a small amount. To cushion the ups and downs of moving your belongings; packing material provides additional protection.
Use white tissue paper for linens as newspaper will leave black marks. Use bubble wrap for fragile and breakable items, and lots of scrunched up paper for filling spaces between items in the cartons. Another excellent investment for packing material are large plastic mattress bags for mattresses and couches / chairs. They will not only keep dust out, but will also protect the furniture during the bouncing in the truck.
Use heavy-duty tape (not masking or scotch) for the boxes as well as for taping items together (like broom handles, etc.). Safe storage companies sell inexpensive, clear sealing tape for all your packing needs.
Another "can't do without"
During packing are good marking pens to label your boxes. Elephant Removals also recommend cord or rope to further secure cartons and doors on appliances and dressers, a padlock for the truck's rear door (if you want), and gloves to protect your hands. To help you move large appliances, we recommend renting an appliance trolley. Furniture pads are also extremely important for your move and can be rented inexpensively. They will allow you to pack your belongings and protect your furniture without ruining your own linens.
How to Pack Your Belongings When Moving Home
How to Pack Kitchen items
Individually wrap each piece. If you use newspaper, wrap first in plastic bags to save dish washing later. Place saucers, plates and platters on edge - do not stack flat. Cups and bowls can be placed inside each other with wrapped paper on all and wrapped together in threes or fours in a bundle.
Thoroughly wrap fragile items individually with paper, bubble wrap or foam wrap depending on the item (newspaper print residue must be hand washed off of all things it touches as dishwasher washing will not remove it). Special care must be taken with small items so as not to misplace them in packing materials. Taping over the wrapping is a good technique to highlight a small item as not being merely a bunched up piece of paper. Glassware and china should be wrapped so as not to clatter within the box. Use plenty of paper to line the top, bottom and side of each box. Plates should be individually wrapped and stood on their side in the box- NEVER lay them flat; all the weight will then be on the bottom plate and if the box is set down too strongly, the bottom plate could break. Glasses should also be individually wrapped and packed standing up; they're stronger when standing than if laid on their side. Any boxes with staples in it should be removed or taped over to safeguard surfaces such as wood floors, counter tops, and furniture, where cartons may be stacked prior to pickup and after delivery. Do not interlock box flaps together - always tape bottoms and tops with at least three strips of tape and at least halfway up or down the sides of the box for strength. Remember that taping reinforces the strength of the box, and can easily be cut with a blade later when unpacking.
Fridges & Freezers
Should be emptied and defrosted. Fridges and freezers should be washed out with detergent and dried thoroughly inside. If any of the items are not cleaned and dried, mildew will form during long-term storage. After the move, fridge or freezers should be turned on the next day (be sure to let the unit stand upright for at least 24 hours before plugging it back in.), you must let the liquid settle properly before it is used again. The contents may be left in freezers provided they’re bagged and the journey is short. The bags will be taken out immediately prior to the freezer being moved and replaced when the freezer is inside the removal vehicle. Whilst freezers can be plugged in overnight at our depot, the contents are not covered by our insurance. Please also refer to manufacturer’s manual for any other special requirements.
Gas or Electrical Cookers
These types of appliances should be cleaned thoroughly as grease can lead to accidents. Electric cookers can be disconnected by the householder. However, Gas cookers should officially be disconnected and most importantly reconnected by a corgi registered and certified plumber. This is to rule out any leaks which can lead to catastrophic consequences. If in doubt, seek professional advice. Remove any loose fittings from the cooker and pack separately. The glass base plate from your microwave oven should also be removed and packed separately. You must disconnect gas from the mains supply by an appropriate professional, prior to removal. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions or check with a local dealer.
Have the gas company disconnect (Some may do this for free).
Wrap each glass separately in paper or bubble wrap. Wrap it in plastic first to save washing or cleaning later! Pack in sturdy boxes with dividers. Dish packs are perfect for glassware as well as dishes. They may cost a bit more than regular boxes, but it doesn't take many pieces of "saved" glassware to make up for the cost.
Irons, Fryers, Tea or Coffee Makers
Empty or drain thoroughly and dry out prior to your removal.
Should be removed and packed separately. You can leave normal light bulbs. Tall lamps must be dismantled. and when all lamps are packed in the carton, fill out the carton with plenty of wadded-up packing paper. Be generous. Mark "FRAGILE" and "LAMPS" in large, clear letters on all sides of the carton. DO NOT just bubble wrap a lamp and consider it packed.
You may wish to pack the tea kettle and some cutlery at the end, as removal men often work a lot more efficiently when supplied with tea or coffee at regular intervals. Alternatively, energy drinks (e.g. Lucozade, Supermalt or Red Bull etc.) would help expedite the overall work and save time and possibly money too, especially when an hourly rate is quoted by a reliably good removal company.
Place knives and other sharp objects in a container such as an old biscuit tin.
Washing Machines & Dishwashers
These white goods should be disconnected with their contents emptied. Washing machine drums must be secured with brackets to prevent damage. A drum-locking bar should be fitted to automatic machines to also prevent damage. Although Elephant Removals move thousands of machines without locking bars as not everyone keeps this bespoke made, and have no problems, it should be noted that fitting the bar is a part of the manufacturer’s warranty.
How to best pack your Bedroom
Linen and bedding on the morning of the removal should be placed in black plastic liners. If beds are large in size, disassemble the bed frame and separate the mattress. Tie rails and crosspieces together with rope or tape. Be sure to mark on tape where pieces fit together for reassembling purposes. Use mattress protection bags to keep mattresses clean.
Dresses, coats, suits - anything hanging in closets - travel best in special, reusable wardrobe boxes, which can be used seasonally as "extra closets" for storage. Other clothes can remain folded in their regular dresser drawers.
Small or light chest drawers can be left filled with linen and clothes, but ensure that any heavy, fragile or valuable items are emptied. Drawers in divan beds should be emptied. Plastic bags can be provided for linen and clothes with advance notice. If possible, try to secure drawers with string than tape as they can remove the paint.
Wardrobes or Clothes Rails
Wardrobe cartons can be provided for clothes with hangers to prevent re-ironing. Please make sure all hangers are the same way round as this makes transferring them onto the rails much easier. All other small effects in wardrobes should be packed into boxes. Another method is to take approximately ten items on hangers, place a black plastic liner upside down over them with a hole for the hooks to come through; and then wrap the packing tape around the hooks of the hangers to keep them together.
DIY Wardrobe dismantling
Should only be carried out where necessary. The old-style wardrobes divide through the middle, so all the pieces which cross the joint will have to be removed. Modern wardrobes dismantle into panels; great care must be taken with the sections, as chipboards are very easily damaged. Start by removing the back, and then if possible, lay the wardrobe on its back. Tape any fittings to the relevant sections, as this will help with the rebuilding.
Self Assembly Furniture (wardrobes / beds / sheds / greenhouse etc)
It is the customer’s responsibility to dismantle and re-assemble this type of furniture. However, should you require any assistance don’t hesitate to ask for advice during the visit. Please note, that due to the nature of compressed chipboard types of furniture, insurance cannot be provided for the assistance in dismantling and re-assembling this furniture.
How to Pack Contents of the Living Room
Wrap arms and legs to prevent scratches. Bundle armless chairs in pairs, seat to seat with a folded blanket or other padding between, and tie seats together.
Electronic Equipment, Computer, Hi-Fi, DVD, Radios and TVs
Should be padded and boxed so that the knobs are not broken off and the finish is not scratched. The drawers should be emptied of all disks, as when they are re-started they may jam. Record players should have the turntable and playing arm secured and boxed upright in a carton and well padded on all sides. Mark with arrows pointing up and write UP on all sides. For console equipment, surround with furniture pads and move and load upright.
Take pictures of your electronic items before you disconnect for easy reconnecting. Pack a first-night box with necessary items such as tea kettle, cups, etc. Plastic Wrap Your Drawers with everything inside to help make life easy.
Please ensure that you secure your sofa beds so it does not spring out while moving. Unsecured sofa bed can cause terrible and serious accidents and can also harm the people carrying it. For large tables, remove the legs (if possible) and tie together. Put hardware in small plastic bag and tape around one of the legs or to underside of table top. Pad table top all around and position it upright against the side of the truck. Pad and tie spare table leaves. For smaller tables, pad top and strap legs to prevent scratching.
Stereos, CD Players, and other Electronic Equipment
Separately pack components and pack in well-padded cartons marked FRAGILE. Pack CDs upright in their cases in a sturdy carton with a reinforced bottom. They get heavy so use small boxes. Tie CDs is small bundles when packing, the fill air with wadded paper. Mark FRAGILE. Cassettes can be packed in the same manner, although you can group them in larger bundles. Cables should be placed in the same cartons as their components to avoid misplacing them later.
How to Pack Study Room
Books & Records
These can be deceptively heavy; use the small boxes for these. As an alternative, half fill the larger cartons and place light items on top. Alternatively, pack books spine down, or pack books flat, alternating bindings, and fill empty spaces with wadded paper.
How to Pack Garden, Shed & Garage
Equipment should be cleaned, as they will be going in the same removal truck as your furniture. Please note Elephant Removals team normally load these last to keep them as far away from your household items as possible.
Contents of Garages / Sheds / Loft
Under no circumstances will our moving crew move any flammable substances, old tins of paint, creosote, paraffin, matches, gas bottles or similar items as these invalidate any insurance cover.
Cycles & Baby Carriages
Loosen, lower and turn handlebars at right angles to save space. Clean and cover chains and pedals to protect other items from being snagged or soiled. Pedals can also be removed with a simple wrench on most bikes.
Pack 5/6 smaller plants into a carton with packing material between the pots, so they won't fall. Seal the box with the flaps up to give extra protection. Leave larger plants for us to deal with. Whilst our moving company will take every care of your plants, they are not covered by insurance. In winter, on longer journeys frost can be a problem for more delicate plants. Garden plants/shrubs can be taken, but please ensure the roots are well bagged-up to avoid loose soil in the back of the van.
Swings & Slides
Will have to be dismantled. Apply oil/WD40 into the nuts/bolts/screws a few days before you intend to dismantle them.
Sheds & Greenhouses
Should be dismantled in advance. Wrap the glass individually and tie in manageable bundles. Furniture is highly inflammable so no fuel or gas bottles can be loaded. (See the storage section page for details of items that cannot be stored).
Packing Miscellaneous Household Goods
Carpets, Rugs and Pads
After vacuuming rugs and pads, sprinkle with moth balls. Roll up and tie in three places with twine. Tacks should be removed and the carpet and then rolled up. Try to avoid bending the carpet as this will make it more difficult to relay.
Curtain / Shower Rods
Remove the hardware from the walls and put inside a small plastic bag. Tape the bag around the rod and place inside a dresser drawer.
Items Not Moving
Please use 'Do not Move' stickers on items that you are leaving behind or are taking with you in the car. They should be clearly marked with coloured stickers or use a marker pen to write on the items. This is particularly important where storage is involved.
Small mirrors can be well wrapped in paper and packed in cartons. For a large mirror, make a cardboard case by cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard about the same size as the mirror. Mark GLASS on the outside in several places to prevent mishandling. If you have other paintings, mirror or framed items that are roughly the same size, you can put all these together inside your custom box.
Please use a cat basket for your pets. Dogs, for example, may well think that the removal men are stealing your furniture so please keep them out of the way! Fish tanks should be drained to the gravel and the fish taken in the car in a sealable bucket half-filled with water.
Oil pictures should be covered over with a no acidic clear wrap, and then bubble wrapped or wrapped in blankets, and then placed inside a picture box or a flattened out box with the ends taped. Pictures in glass frames or mirrors should be wrapped in blankets and packed in picture cartons or flattened out cartons. Lamps and lampshades should each be placed in separate boxes. If two lamp shades are put together a piece of plain paper should be put between them so that they can be easily pulled apart. Do not use newspapers with print or it will permanently mark the shades.
Set aside jewellery, important papers and safe deposit box contents. Pack it yourself so that you can keep with you throughout your journey. Don't pack your chequebook, passport, visas or airline tickets! If you are putting your goods in storage, don't pack important papers like passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates, etc.
- Car registration certificate
- Irreplaceable photos and snapshots (negatives)
- Car ownership records
- Tax return records
- Children's school records
- Insurance policies
- Traveller's checks
- Medical / Dental records
- Contact phone number
Best Hacks on how to best pack your moving boxes
Consider a Colour Code System or Use Marker Pen
You may want to consider using coloured labels or else marking your boxes and items with a different colour for each room. This will allow the removal men to place the items in the appropriate room satisfactorily.
It is the most important thing that you can do to save time, money, and aggravation! Pack heavier things like books into smaller boxes, and pack lighter things in progressively larger boxes. Never make a box heavier than one person can handle.
The Biggest Packing Tip
Pack small items in removal boxes. It would not be wise to try and save money by avoiding the purchase of specially made moving boxes, or worse by not using any boxes at all. This is because it can cause damage to your belongings, some of which may be irreplaceable. Compare the price of packing materials vs your sentimental china, buy the packaging supplies.
Elephant Removals recommend strong, sanitised packing cartons that are designed and built especially for moving. By buying all the boxes that you use, you will be assured that they are clean and of uniform size. That will make packing the truck much safer, easier and faster, and you will save plenty of time.
Do Not Overfill Boxes
Please ensure that you do not overfill your boxes or cartons. Keep in mind that they have to be lifted. The top and sides of each box should not bulge or swell, nor should they cave in when closed. The removal men are fully trained to carry out lifting in a safe manner. Also, do not under fill: This may appear unintelligent after the previous tip, but partially filled boxes may collapse if heavy items are placed on top of them. Try to distribute your belongings evenly in the available boxes.
When packed custom made removal boxes
- You can Ensure that your items are i) Marked ii) Sealed and iii) Secured
- Boxes can be numbered i.e. 1/20 (1 of 20) 2/20 (2 of 20) etc. No Chance of Losing.
- Make sure you do this at the end because boxes do increase.
- It becomes safer, easier and faster to load and unload.
- Removal trolley’s can also be used, carrying several boxes at each time.
- The space in a removal vehicle can be utilised more effectively.
- An enormous amount of time is saved, when a removal firm quotes an hourly rate.
- Convenient, Accessible, Affordable
Mark the top and sides of all cartons/on-the-tape, with contents and destination location (such as bedroom, kitchen, or basement). This will make identifying where items belong more easily when they are stacked on top of each other whilst moving and transportating. If the box is reused, then using fresh tape over marked taped easily eliminates old markings.
Happy packing! Use moving boxes cleverly, de-clutter junk, create a schedule and keep it organised so you do not get overwhelmed. Put non-ironed clothes in bin-sacks.
Best of luck of with your Move
Thank you for helping us to help you. We hope that you find this information useful throughout your forthcoming move and wish you every success in this venture.