Your moving date is sorted, you might have even already picked up the keys to your new home, and you’re already poring over interior design magazines to pick out the best color scheme for your new bedroom.
But have you thought about how to start packing to move?
Putting your life’s belongings into boxes can seem like an overwhelmingly daunting task at first, especially if you have lived in your current home for a long time. Years of clutter and hoarding habits can make deciding when to start packing for a move a task that you tend to put off for as long as you can avoid it.
Luckily, we’ve put together a ten-point “preparing to move” checklist to help you with the packing process, filled with helpful hacks to make it a lot less stressful.
1. Start Early
Avoid panic by starting to pack up all of your belongings well in advance of your moving date, so that there are no last minute dashes the day before.
Writing a to-do list for moving is a good idea, and it will allow you to set packing deadlines according to each room in your house.
Start by packing up the rooms you use the least — these could be empty bedrooms or perhaps the attic if you have one — and gradually move onto the main rooms, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, as your moving day approaches.
Writing up a packing schedule by room also helps you to avoid packing up objects that you might end up needing in the final days before you move, which could mean wasting valuable time unpacking and repacking boxes.
One of the best packing techniques is to have a deep spring cleaning of your current home, which will encourage you to dig out items you may, or may not, have seen for months or even years!
The last thing you want is to be moving houses armed with all the clutter that you have amassed over time, so the best solution is to create three piles — one each for keeping, donating, and tossing — which will allow you to sort through everything.
Be ruthless! You will always need less than you think, and there will always be someone who needs your belongings more than you, so be generous when you are separating items to donate to charity. If objects are damaged or faulty, don’t hesitate to put them in the trash pile.
3. Obtain the Right Packing Supplies
A good tool to use for obtaining packing supplies is Moving.com’s packing calculator, which helps you work out how many boxes you’ll need according to the number of people and rooms in your current home.
And when it comes to boxes, don’t forget you can reuse them instead of buying new ones. This will not only help you to save money, but also keeps the carbon footprint of your move to a minimum.
Read our guide on where to find free moving boxes here. We’ve provided an exhaustive list of the top 26 places where you can usually find free boxes.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
When planning a moving checklist, most people wouldn’t hesitate to book a removals company to bring in extra hands to help on moving day, as well as to provide transport big enough to fit all of their belongings.
However, if the thought of packing up your house is too much, why not consider hiring professional packers to come in and do the job for you as well?
Although the service is an extra spend to factor in, it could be worth weighing up the investment in order to save both time and stress.
5. Avoid Misplacing Items
Losing belongings in a house move is inevitable. With so much to think about, it’s common for some items to be misplaced in all the chaos.
To help with this, it’s a good idea to label each box as clearly as possible, and even take photos of what’s in each one, so that when you arrive at your new home it’s easier to know where to find everything.
It could also be a good idea to take photographs of complicated wire setups — such as behind TVs — or pieces of furniture that may have to be dismantled and put back together again, to remind you exactly how they were before.
6. Save Time
When packing to move houses, saving time tends to be a top priority for most people.
Time-saving moving hacks could include simply taking drawers out of cupboards and putting them straight into the moving truck, as opposed to unpacking clothes or objects into boxes and repacking the drawers at your new house.
Another tip is to leave clothes from wardrobes on their hangers and store them in suit carriers, which can be hooked onto a rail or laid over the top of boxes. This saves both time and space.
7. Avoid Breakages
Another inevitable part of moving houses is for delicate items to be broken as they are moved around. Whether it’s down to clumsy handling, sloppy packing, or the journey on the road, anything can happen to your possessions as they are packed up and transported to their new home.
A wise way to avoid damages is to wrap all delicate items, no matter how sturdy you might think they are, in tightly-sealed bubble wrap or various sheets of newspaper if you’re looking for a more environmentally-friendly option. Read our guide on bubble wrap versus packing paper for more info on the topic.
When packing the moving truck, make sure you store heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top, just in case.
8. Think About Putting Items into Self-Storage
Are you downsizing? Moving to a new home with less storage space? Perhaps you used to have an attic or a garage, and your new home doesn’t have these options?
Instead of cluttering up your new living space, or trying to squeeze all of your belongings into a corner where they don’t fit, have you thought about investing in some storage?
If you’re looking for affordable self storage, we pair homeowners with space, with people in need of storage for a cheaper alternative to self storage companies.
9. Redirect Your Mail and Update Your Billing Address
Although it’s not technically part of the packing process, redirecting your postal address so that your bills continue to arrive at the correct house should be near the top of your preparing-to-move checklist.
Avoid potential inconveniences by paying for a redirect postal service that will automatically forward mail from your old address to your new one.
Alternatively, you could also come to an agreement with the new owners of your current home to arrange to pick up old mail on a weekly or monthly basis.
Another important task to bear in mind is to change your billing and delivery address on credit cards, drivers insurance, any bank loans you might have taken out, or regular subscriptions you pay for.
10. Pack an Essentials Box
As moving day approaches, you might start to realize that there are items you need which have already been packed, and could potentially be tricky to take back out again.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you leave one box that you can fill with essential items that you are likely to need access to right up until the moment you move.
We hope this list will come in handy when it comes to structuring your thoughts around how to start packing to move, before the idea of it becomes overwhelming.
So if you’re asking yourself when should you start packing to move, make sure to consult this checklist beforehand, so that when the time comes around the job is as quick, easy, and as stress-free as possible!