Moving house soon? Here are a few trusty tips to help you pack like a pro…
● Packing up and moving is so much easier when you have less stuff. So clear out the clutter and get rid of what you don’t need beforehand.
● Give yourself at least six weeks before moving day to plan and start packing. A good idea is to pack up one room at a time and to set a daily ‘box quota’ to prevent exhausting weekends of non-stop packing.
● Stock up on enough packing supplies before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop halfway through a packing session to go out and get more tape. Gather together boxes in various sizes, packing tape, rolls of bubble wrap, black markers, scissors, garbage bags and anything else you may need.
● Number and label all your boxes clearly. Note the contents of each box (board games) and its ultimate destination (playroom) on the top and all the sides so that the box can be facing in any direction and you’ll still know what’s inside and where it belongs. You can even ‘colour code’ by room. Also mark any special instructions, such as ‘fragile’, ‘this way up’, ‘open first’ or ‘open last’. Try to avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.
● Don’t make your boxes too heavy. If you end up with any ‘overweight’ boxes, make sure you mark them clearly so that no one gets hurt trying to lift them.
● Tape the boxes well. Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then wrap tape all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges. Make sure all the boxes can close properly and be sealed so the tops are flat. If you over-pack a box, you risk damaging what’s inside.
● Don’t use newspaper when packing glassware – the ink rubs off.
● Tape any stray items, such as brooms, mops and lampstands together into one bundle for easy carrying.
● For pictures framed behind glass, mark an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and to hold it together in case it shatters. Then wrap the pictures in paper or bubble wrap and put them in a frame box, with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece for protection.
● When packing crockery, put packing paper or bubble wrap around each item, then wrap bundles of five or six plates together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides (never flat). And use plenty of bunched-up paper or bubble wrap as padding all around. Cups and bowls can be placed inside each other, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four together.
● If there are any small items, like screws, that are vital for your furniture to be put back together, place them inside a bag and tape them to that furniture so they don’t get misplaced. Also keep the tools you’ll need to reassemble furniture in a separate box that is clearly marked. There’s nothing worse than wanting to put the bed together on your first night and not knowing where the screwdriver is.
● Only use garbage bags for trash. This will keep you from accidentally throwing something valuable away.
● Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes. Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, linen, packing paper or bubble wrap. Wherever possible, use a pillow to cushion the bottom of the box, with another one on top.
● If you have small children, ask a grandparent, friend or babysitter to keep them occupied while you work.
● Pack a separate box with items you know you’ll need for the first few days in your new home.
● The sooner you get unpacked and organised, the sooner it will feel like home.