10 tips for packing it yourself

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Packing tips for moving house

Although I highly recommend a professional packing service, not everyone wants to use this option.

If you prefer to pack your effects yourself here are ten tips to help your relocation go smoothly.

  1. Get many more boxes than you think you need. You always need more boxes than you expect, especially in the kitchen.
  2. Label each box with its contents and also which room the box is to go in on arrival. Number the boxes and assign a room in your new house to each box number to make life easier for you in your new home.
  3. Most rooms should have an ‘Open First’ box. Make sure it’s easy to find by using colourful tape or other markers. Into this pack items you’ll need on your first day and night (or week!) so include items such as towels, mugs, special toys and so on.
  4. Put bedding into one box and mark it clearly so you can make up the beds on your arrival at the new home.
  5. Be methodical. Empty one room first before moving onto the next room. Leave the kitchen until last.
  6. Use plenty of packing material such as bubble wrap or newspaper, especially when packing breakables. You can also use clothing, towels, bedding or other soft furnishings to provide extra padding.
  7. Don’t overfill boxes. You don’t want them too heavy to lift so mix heavy items such as books with something light but bulky, like cushions or clothing.
  8. Leave the kitchen until last. You can survive a few days without most items except food and drink.
  9. In your new home, unpack the kitchen first so you have refreshments readily available. Next, unpack your bedding and make up the beds ready to fall into after a long day. Then unpack room by room.
  10. An ‘Essential Box’ is a great idea; pack it with a kettle, tea, coffee, long-life milk, toilet rolls, etc. It’s always nice to include a little treat in this box too, so include some nice biscuits, chocolate, and wine.

What would go in your ‘Essential Box’?

How to organise your packing to help make your move abroad a success from the start

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  1. I have a couple of things to add. I always pack in my suitcase a photo album of special photos or sentimental picture (small) to unpack when I arrive so that I can immediately make it feel like home. I tend to pack my suitcase with a duvet and sheets and pillow slips and a picnic set with plastic cutlery and one good knife for the kitchen. If you have room add your favourite frypan and a saucepan. If your stuff doesn’t arrive for months (as is often the case!) you won’t have to double up by buying a new frypan etc whilst you’re waiting for it to arrive.

    1. All very good points. I do like the idea of the plastic cutlery and have that noted for our next move. We tend to move into furnished and temporarily equipped accommodation so have to make sure our bits and pieces don’t get mixed up with the stuff that needs to be returned. We have accumulated loads of forks, but lost knives and teaspoons.

      For one of my moves (all very complex) my parents packed some of my stuff and sent it on. I was thrilled to receive a box marked “Open First” which contained all sorts of wonderful goodies including a bottle of wine and two glasses. I can highly recommend creating a box of treats.

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