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Packing for a house move

(55 Posts)
thesoundofthepolice Tue 01-Sep-20 00:50:44

How do you do it? When do you start? This is our first proper house move and I'm clueless. We'll be moving out and in on the same day-if that makes any difference.

I'm not an organised person in the slightest, literally leave thing to the last minute and hope for the best!
I want this house move to be as stress free as possible! The other issue is we don't have a date for moving only that it might be around 3weeks. I keep thinking that's loads of time, however DH and I both work shifts (not the same pattern so very few days off together) and we can't take holidays because god forbid we have a life outside of work!
I'm literally going to be coming off a nightshift, moving house and going back in for another nightshift if it all goes to plan for the provisional date so I need to be on the ball!

OP’s posts: |
Pantsomime Tue 01-Sep-20 01:09:59

Pay packers - decide what each room in new house is called and label the boxes/ packages accordingly. Pack a bag for what you need for work the day after you move then work backwards to bedtime, tooth brush, perhaps sleeping bag and pillow for the first night, so you can put pjs on, do teeth, bed up and work (makeup hairbrush etc) poss pack towel and soap for a shower. Let the packers do the rest.
Before the packers come Start in one room and sort - keep(which room label In new house), bin or charity shop and do that room by room.
Put kettle coffee tea and milk in your car plus toilet roll, dishcloth, fairy and tea towel for when you arrive in new home and you can have a cuppa and do bit washing down as you arrive. Perhaps have the hoover and bleach packed last or in your car so if needed on arrival you can clean down ahead of the unpacking- also maybe bin liner handy for tidying up - hopefully they are decent people and leave it tidy for you. If you have a black out stick on blind have that handy incase they take the curtains so you can get some sleep without having to hang curtains immediately

hastingsmua1 Tue 01-Sep-20 01:12:22

Packers is the least stressful option

Otherwise bulk order sturdy boxes on Amazon and lots of packing materials and make sure you google how to pack each individual item before you do so - books and glassware have special considerations for example. It’s generally safer to pack things in their retail packaging if you still have it.

I labelled all boxes with the room and colour coded each one for ease

thesoundofthepolice Tue 01-Sep-20 01:17:30

Packers are not an option unfortunately, it's going to be DH and I doing it alone, not great but be money left in the budget for removals.

I've got boxes, post it notes and markers, a load of bubble wrap and news paper for delicate stuff and loads of tape.

Tomorrow I'm having a massive clear out and tip run so I'm only taking/packing things we use/need.

OP’s posts: |
thesoundofthepolice Tue 01-Sep-20 01:18:56

We're moving to a new build so it will no doubt be dusty as hell and absolutely nothing else!

OP’s posts: |
WhereOnEarthDoIStart Tue 01-Sep-20 07:08:52

Any important documents and valuables can go in the car with you so pack them separately. Likewise for computers/laptops.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 01-Sep-20 07:18:29

If you have your boxes, start now. Park as you sort. Start with stuff you don't use regularly (books, ornaments, winter clothes etc). As you get closer to the date, you can get down to minimal stuff unpacked, such as a bowl, plate cup and glass each.
Are you having a removal firm, or literally just hiring a van and completely doing it yourself?

PurBal Tue 01-Sep-20 07:25:35

This sounds stressful OP. I would seriously look again at your budget and consider packers not least because you're going to be useless going into work a night shift after a day of moving. If you can't take time off work I would have suggested 6 weeks to declutter, sort and pack in a "stress free" way. 3 weeks is of course doable but I'd get started ASAP. Good luck and congratulations on your new home.

devildeepbluesea Tue 01-Sep-20 07:27:57


If you have your boxes, start now. Park as you sort. Start with stuff you don't use regularly (books, ornaments, winter clothes etc). As you get closer to the date, you can get down to minimal stuff unpacked, such as a bowl, plate cup and glass each.
Are you having a removal firm, or literally just hiring a van and completely doing it yourself?

This. Cheapest, most stress free way to do it. If you have a lot of de cluttering to do Packers isn't a great option anyway.

Cupoftchaiagain Tue 01-Sep-20 07:28:48

Book some annual leave woman, are you mad??! Unless you have the energy of some sort of superhuman you will be 1. Miserably stressed 2. Knackered. Wouldn’t it be better to have happy chilled out memories of your first nights in your new home?

gubbbbbddaaaa Tue 01-Sep-20 07:32:11

I've down this loads on my own , start packing thee things you don't use often and sort as you go . Leave boxes boxes up and labelled in each room .. pack up whole areas that aren't used often . Then gradually decrease the space and stuff you are using / packing ..

ArtyFartyQueen Tue 01-Sep-20 07:32:18

Good luck OP, I was coming on to post about packing too - we can’t afford packers either so are in the same boat as you! The tip about decluttering while you pack is a great one so I’ll definitely be doing that! Let me know how get on! Good luck 😉

Sgtmajormummy Tue 01-Sep-20 07:32:51

If you have time, pack things in reverse order of importance. Then you will be living with less and less clutter as you approach your moving date.
Number your boxes from 50 down to 1 and keep a copybook with a list of the contents. Make sure you can lift each box easily by mixing books with soft toys etc. 15kg max. I tape around the seams and put an X across the bottom.
Bubble pack is expensive! Use clothes, blankets and towels as padding. I put cheap paper towels or napkins between fragile things and save for use on the other side. A black bin bag (again, reusable) laid in the bottom might be useful if boxes are going to be put on grass etc.

Have your own moving toolkit in a specific place. Screwdrivers, Stanley knife, permanent marker, scissors, packing tape, bin bags, paper towel roll, metal tape measure etc.

Use tablecloths for bundling plastic toys etc. No boxing necessary. Keep clothes on their hangers, tape 6 together and cover with a bin bag (Lidl have nice white ones with drawstrings). Straight into the wardrobe again.


A house move is a great way to reset your life.

Crylittlesister Tue 01-Sep-20 07:33:10

It takes a lot longer than you think!
Kitchen first. Designate a clear downstairs space for boxes then start on kitchen. Pack everything you realistically will not need over next few weeks. Clean the cupboard once it is empty. Try and get down to as few things as possible. Run down freezer.
If you have them, do not forget the crap treasured possessions in your shed/garage/understairs cupboard.

JoanJosephJim Tue 01-Sep-20 07:36:28

As you know where things are now in your house (hopefully) label boxes like that. So empty a cupboard, label that box with "cupboard under the stairs) or whatever, write on every side of the box in marker, as when the movers stack boxes you won't be able to see all sides.

I actually had a hardbacked notebook and wrote in roughly what was in each box so if you know that something is next to something else likelihood is, it is in that box too.

We used coloured squares of paper that I numbered and attached to each side of the box, each colour represented a room so red for lounge, yellow for occasional kitchen stuff, green for every day kitchen stuff like plates, bowls, cutlery. In the notebook it said under yellow "Box 4) - cupboard next to sink"

It also meant at the new house I just added a coloured square to the top of the door frame so the removers knew where they were going.

Good luck, don't declutter now if you don't have time, pack it, take it, sort it later.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 01-Sep-20 07:38:06

Tape gun. I greatly admired the tape gun our Packers had on our last move. They could assemble boxes in seconds.

SeeMyVestSeeMyVest Tue 01-Sep-20 07:46:01

We’re doing the same soon! We’ve moved several times but the last time we did use movers (we had two little DC aged 3 and 3 months).

As the movers had assembled the beds for us I put bedding and toiletries in a bag in the car so I wasn’t rooting through things to make beds when we finally got in. Also kettle and teabags/coffee in a bag in your car, so you have those! Takeaway your first night. Definitely a tape gun, check Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace for people giving boxes away.

When you’re in, you’ll need to let ~millions of people~ know/update your new address (employers, driving licences, insurances, Amazon/eBay/PayPal, online retailers etc) and arrange a mail redirect, which can be done a few days in advance.

SeeMyVestSeeMyVest Tue 01-Sep-20 07:48:07

Also for charity bags, ring the shop to check they’re accepting goods - one near us has a limit of 6 bags and you ring in advance to check they can take the stuff. We had loads collected by a BHF chap in a van when we last moved in 2017 but I’m not sure if they’re still offering this service.

Woodendollymix Tue 01-Sep-20 07:48:43

Are you not only packing but moving everything yourselves, packing up a van driving to new house then unloading?

If so you will be exhausted really you will, if it was me I would forgo something else and pay for removals to see to it.

I have moved more times than I can remember (UK and overseas) and have moved small amounts in a van ourselves due to different situations and its not only time consuming but hard physical work.

YinuCeatleAyru Tue 01-Sep-20 07:49:13

given you can't afford packers, the key thing to note is that the reason that packers can just come in and pack everything up the day before the move is that they have zero emotional investment in any of the things. they just go into a room and put EVERYTHING into boxes.

when people are packing their own things they tend to dally and vascilste and get side-tracked when they find something that got lost and turns up, and spend too long trying to "make things easier" by having boxes for specific categories of things such that when you find #thing47 you spend an extra couple of minutes locating the correct box to put it in, and it all adds up.

so key tip is - emotional detachment be swift by not caring, except obviously about ensuring breakables are well cushioned.

make sure you have small boxes for books. if you only have large boxes you will find you can't physically lift a large box that is full of books.

trilbydoll Tue 01-Sep-20 07:52:01

You've got twice as much stuff as you think, start packing now.

Trufflepuffpuff Tue 01-Sep-20 07:55:28

I've done this loads of times without packers.

Start early and de clutter as much as possible. Be ruthless about getting rid of things you don't need - you'll soon forget about them. Start taking stuff to the charity shop/tip ASAP.

Don't pack too much heavy stuff in each box - just one or two heavy items and then lighter items, or you risk the boxes breaking.

Mark boxes according to the (main) room they correspond to. In my last move, I numbered the boxes and had a spreadsheet with roughly what was in them so when it came to unpacking I knew what to prioritise. Bit geeky but helpful!

Use original boxes for any appliances where you have them - especially useful for TVs and more delicate items. Where you don't have them, try wrapping items in blankets or bubble wrap. You'll want to keep these boxes in future!

Have several pairs of scissors and rolls of tape around the house!

Wrap delicate items in clothes and scarves - save bubble wrap for where it's really needed.

Despite all this, you'll find yourself shoving loads of random stuff in boxes at the last minute! Never underestimate how many boxes and bags you'll need for those last minute items so keep any bags free and unpacked so you can fill them up at the last minute. This includes tote bags, suitcases, travel bags etc. They will all come in handy!

Good luck OP! It's stressful but hopefully it'll be worth it grin

The unpacking is probably worse actually...!

minnieok Tue 01-Sep-20 07:59:28

Get boxes ASAP and get the books, dvds, ornaments, winter clothes, excess kitchen stuff not used day to day done this week. At the weekend do any outbuildings, garage, garden etc and take stuff to dump as required. Next week pack remaining clothes just leaving what you genuinely need for 2 weeks, clean any spare rooms, give bathroom and kitchen a good clean including oven, pack long life food you won't need and all but essential kitchen equipment, make a list of all the bills suppliers you need to contact on moving day.

Once you get your date you plan the final onslaught so all you have is one suitcase of clothes between you and one or two crates with kitchen contents, put ice packs in freezer ready for moving day, (a cool box ready is handy if not a supermarket below zero bag). Clean every room so on moving day it's just a final once over.

user1493413286 Tue 01-Sep-20 08:00:27

I’d start early with the stuff you don’t need to use, label boxes, have clothes you need for the first few days in a suitcase and the same with a box for the kitchen.
Also the kitchen always takes longer to pack than you expect.

Sgtmajormummy Tue 01-Sep-20 08:04:18

Don’t buy a new vacuum cleaner before you move (bitter experience!).

House moving creates lots of nasty gritty and potentially damaging dust in both houses. Sacrifice all the cleaning equipment (mops, cloths, brooms etc) you have and buy new ones when you’re settled.

Have a kettle, coffee, tea, biscuits and Pot Noodles immediately accessible!

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