How to Pack When You’re Moving House

By Manny Sahmbi || Posted August 31, 2020

We’ve all heard the old adage that moving house can be one of the most stressful times in your life (although to be perfectly honest, here at Happy2Move we see absolutely no reason why it should be!). One thing we can all agree on, though, is that packing your belongings ahead of a move can be a bit of a chore.

As long-established moving experts, we’ve learned a few things over the years about how to pack for moving house – and, as ever, we like to make things as simple as possible for anybody tackling a change of location.

Hack your packing

With that in mind, here are just a few of our favourite moving house tips and tricks. You can think of them as packing hacks, moving trade secrets, whatever you like…as long as they help smooth things along when it comes to packing up your items for a move, then we’re always happy to share!


Prioritise to downsize

Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of when you move is tough. Giving it the full Marie Kondo (or even William Morris, i.e. ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’) is a nice idea on paper, but it doesn’t really account for emotional attachment.

Moving house can be an emotionally choppy time, making it difficult to see the woods for the trees when trying to declutter. We’ve always found it helpful to think in terms of priorities when packing for moving home – if you had to choose just one box, what would be in it? Ok, now what about if you were allowed another three boxes?

Keep going like that, and before long you’ll be left with the stuff you really don’t feel strongly about either way. Arriving here through a process of elimination can be easier and more instinctive than trying to plan it all in detail from the outset.


Schedule in advance

Of course, one obvious caveat for the method outlined above is that you’ll want to keep using some of your favourite items right up until the day of the move. This is not (honestly, take our word for it) the ideal time to start your packing…so what’s the solution? Simple, really – once you’ve made your priority lists, there’s nothing stopping you actually packing in reverse order!

As a general rule, the earlier you can begin, the better things will go. And, if there are things you absolutely can’t bear to put under wraps until the last possible moment, simply assign them to one of the last box loads. Either way, provided you sit down nice and early with a calendar and really plan out which things can be moved on which days, you’ll be in pretty good shape.

Do your best to stick to this timeline as rigidly as possible; that way, you’ll always have a good idea of where (and, importantly, when!) certain things were put away, and avoid struggling to keep track of specific valued or handy items in the midst of all the upheaval.

Box (and label!) clever

Putting a clear and workable packing plan/schedule together should also help to ensure you’ve got all the materials you need close at hand.

Don’t underestimate the importance of making sure all your boxes and labels are assembled in advance: a ‘make do and hope for the best’ approach can be worrying when you’re talking about especially treasured possessions.

Having to wrap a family heirloom in an old t-shirt and half a roll of sticky tape because you ran out of rigid cardboard tubing won’t do much for your moving day stress levels, so always make sure high quality packing materials are a priority during the planning stages.

Assign a packing zone

Rather than trying to go room-by-room, packing up in various corners as you go, designate a single, relatively clutter-free area of the house as your packing station. Bring all items being packed up into this area in order to box and label them.

There are two good reasons for doing this: it helps keep things organised and tidy, but moreover it allows everyone involved in the packing effort to gain a more cohesive overview of exactly what’s going on around the house.

Arguments and disagreements tend to crop up more easily when various people are working independently under pressure, and nobody is entirely certain who’s put what where. Using an agreed central hub or station to do the bulk of your packing gives everyone a chance to feel a bit more involved and included in the decision-making process – and hey, if you do forget where you put something, at least there’s a chance somebody else might remember!

Sensible groupings for ‘extra care’ items

Certain sorts of goods around your home will need packing a bit more carefully or specifically than others. This includes electronics, jewellery, delicate fabrics, glassware and flatware, ornaments, musical instruments…the list goes on and on.

However, just because they all require a bit more attention or protection during packing, it doesn’t mean they’ll do well all lumped together. Keep them separated into like groups, and make sure you’ve looked into the best wrapping/padding approach for each subtype of fragile or valuable item. (Our experienced Happy2Move packers and movers are real experts at this, so you can always probe them for insider tips and tricks once they’re on the job!)

Feel free to get in touch at your earliest convenience if you’d like to chat to us about help with any aspect of an upcoming move – including packing and removals services, man with a van courier options, or long- and short-term secure goods storage in London.

You can contact our team from 9am to 5pm seven days per week, or send us an email enquiry any time. We look forward to giving you a hand!

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