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How to pack up a 3 bed house in 4 days?

(24 Posts)
caitlinohara Mon 29-Feb-16 17:10:42

Is this doable?

We are hoping to exchange this week and complete on 16th March, but what with work and other commitments I can't actually start packing anything until the middle of next week. Dh is totally snowed under and will be away this weekend so no help there.

Is there a best practice here? It's so long since I've done it and we had a fraction of the stuff last time and only 1 dc. I was thinking of packing a couple of suitcases with stuff we would definitely need as if we were going on holiday and then boxing up the rest. But what about kitchen stuff and food etc?

Dh and I both work from home as well so all the files, books, computer equipment etc will have to be done last minute.

I honestly don't know where to start! Any tips?

Artandco Mon 29-Feb-16 17:15:34

I would start this were tbh and charity shop anything you don't want so aren't packing stuff you no longer want. Spend 30 mins each evening sorting clothes/ toys/ books. Then when you arrive at new house your only putting away what you want

almostthirty Mon 29-Feb-16 17:20:19

Yes it's doable. I packed up a 4 bed house in 48 hours with an 8 week old (situation was completely out of our control and we needed to move into emergency accommodation after an accident )

You need bustling sacks and boxes placed in each room. Either it goes in a box or the bin and clear each room before you start the next.

Don't bother emptying drawers you (or your movers?) Can carry them full.

Wardrobe clothes into a suitcase.

Yes do the essentials unto a suitcase or holdall .

almostthirty Mon 29-Feb-16 17:20:51

Dustbin not bustling stupid autocorrect!

AnnieOnnieMouse Mon 29-Feb-16 17:28:27

Have a packing party. Call in a few friends, one of whom is on teapot duty, phone out for pizzas. Get quite a few boxes, LABEL THEM, and get going. Breakables packed in bedding, towels, etc.
Either that, or go for a full service move.

TheFridgePickersKnickers Mon 29-Feb-16 17:45:37

Having moved numerous times there are 2 ways to pack.

As normal people do and as the professional removal companies do.

Normal people - thats you me and average Jo. Will start in cupboard or room and faff, Looking for the matching X Y Z that A B C originally came with but that got seperated 20 million years ago, We will stop and get all nostalgic etc and faff around whether we want to keep it put it in the tip run pile, stuff for charity or friends pile, to sell on ebay or store for sentimental reasons pile.

Takes bloody ages.

Professional removals are fast not only because they pack all day every day and are a dab hand with a pile of packing paper sheets, the right sized boxes, have decent tape, decent marker pens etc but also because they pack as they see. They literally start in one corner of the room and finish when they get to the other side. They pack anything they see without questioning it.

If you only have a few days then really you are not going to be decluttering much as you go and packing like the clappers.

I suggest you start in the loft and shed with stuff you are not going to need again in this house. Dont under estimate and leave too much out for convenience. Pack it now and use paper plates, eat take out, dismantle furniture/beds and sleep on mattresses on the floor etc Use tupperware or takeaway tubs with lids for furniture nuts and blts and label with a makerpen. DC bunk bed bt etc etc. You will be so glad you have done everything possible come move day.

HarlettOScara Mon 29-Feb-16 17:54:11

I did a 3 bed house in less than 48 hours. We were supposed to move the following week after a series of delays but it all had to happen last minute due to our buyers' solicitor being stupid hmm. Signed the contracts on Wednesday at 5pm and were in our new house by 2pm on Friday.

Lots of runs to the tip and the charity shop with anything surplus to requirements. Be ruthless. Clear one room if possible and move things into that attic contents etc. Empty a room at a time and store as much as possible in the earmarked room. Clean each room as you empty it.

Dismantle beds as day or two beforehand and sleep on mattresses on the floor. On moving day, roll up all the bedding from a bed and place into individual black bags ready to go back on the beds in the new house.

Keep clothes from wardrobes on their hangers and slip those bin bags with tie handles over a bundle at a time from the bottom. Tie the handles around the top of the hangers at the top to hold them together.

Vacuum bags for folded clothes, bedding, coats etc.

Suitcases with wheels for heavier items like books - easier to manoeuvre.

Labels and markers to label things with contents and the rooms they need to go to at the new house.

HarlettOScara Mon 29-Feb-16 17:56:26

And as you dismantle furniture, put all the nuts and bolts eye in a sandwich bag and tape or tie it to their corresponding piece furniture.

NotCitrus Mon 29-Feb-16 18:11:10

Call a removals firm. pack what you will need in a couple cases and let them worry about it.
Best £1000 I have ever spent in my life! Ours gave us boxes and pens and said they would pack everything not packed, quote to be confirmed 36 hours before the move.

By the end of moving day you can have all your computers etc plugged in in the new house. And a full fridge!

didireallysaythat Mon 29-Feb-16 18:59:17

Get a skip. Yes you can do runs to the tip but it all takes time.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Mon 29-Feb-16 19:55:21

Could you pay someone to pack for you? It's really not that expensive in the grand scheme of moving costs.

Sorry I know that isn't what you asked blush but it would be my approach.

Cressandra Mon 29-Feb-16 22:00:05

TheFridgePickers is spot on. Just bung it all in boxes without thinking. If you want to organise/declutter, do it before you even start packing, then pack everything like a machine. Don't think too much about labelling either. Label every box, but with stuff like "bedroom 2" rather that "lampshades & throws"

Chests of drawers may well not need to be emptied. They can be moved as they are, or full drawers moved separately and put back in the chest in the van.

That said, I am a big advocate of getting the packers in. Removals are expensive but getting them to do ALL your packing on top is not much extra and they'll do it with one or two people in a day. Considering how expensive buying a house is generally, removers packing for you is absolutely the biggest "bang for your buck" you can buy. I once moved house with my work's relocation package. One thing they absolutely insisted on was I had to get removers and I had to get them to pack. It meant every member of staff could move with just a couple of days off, and the impact on the business was vastly less. Worth considering with reference to your own businesses.

wowfudge Tue 01-Mar-16 07:09:52

I agree with pp saying paying the removals company to pack - it really doesn't cost much more and means you can concentrate on decluttering between now and moving day.

Savagebeauty Tue 01-Mar-16 07:21:50

I've just put the house on the market and have totally decluttered already. Even the loft space.
I reckon there's one more tip run and then I'm done.
Five bed house and I'm.planning to pack myself as I've got rid of so much. Moving to 3 bed.

JT05 Tue 01-Mar-16 07:34:30

Use the removal packing service. It's a fraction of the cost of the whole move! It also saves rows, bad tempers and exhaustion, especially if you are working and have little ones.

We're going into storage so though professional packing was worth it. Boxes are in short supply because shops now crush them as they empty, for recycling.

Books are heavy, so we've bought those 'laundry' zipped bags from cheap £ type shops, to put books in and then they can be carried. Also putting bedding in them, with the addition of a moth killer!

KayJBee Tue 01-Mar-16 07:51:35

Pay the removal firm to do it. Best money we ever spent. We moved from a 2 bed and it took them a day to pack absolutely everything except the bed and sofa. They came back next day, did bed and sofa and out we moved. Only cost £200 more than the packing ourselves. Well worth it. We really didn't have to lift a finger.

IvyWall Tue 01-Mar-16 08:00:12

Another vote for a professional pack by the removal company. For all the reasons stated before

Hennifer Tue 01-Mar-16 08:19:44

It depends on how much stuff you have, as to whether it's doable or not. Our last place took me months to pack, but then, we had months because it took 9 months to exchange.

First tip - leave clothes in drawers. I think you have to take them out of wardrobes because of doors opening etc but drawers should be left full.

Second - leave the kitchen till last, and some clothes etc as you said. Go to the bathroom and pack away everything you don't actually need, leaving just the absolute minimum. Pack all the spare shoes you won't need to wear. Coats, hats, etc - just keep out one or two per person depending on necessity and weather.

Same with the kitchen - pack all the thing you never normally use much, stuff that lurks in cupboards for months. Leave a subsistence amount of cookware and cutlery and so on. You can pack that on the last day.

Have you got boxes? If so start right now. Do a bit every day. Even ten minutes emptying a cupboard is useful. Stack up boxes out of the way.

As you go along, keep anything you may need to one side - torches, keys for things, important documents, batteries. Put these in a separate box that you can add to - see through plastic one with a lid if possible.
We bought a load of really useful boxes from staples when we moved and I packed things that were going in the attic, in them.

Also get started on ornaments and other stuff that serves no actual use.

it's quite addictive when you get going smile

Hennifer Tue 01-Mar-16 08:21:31

Yes I agree the zipped laundry bags are excellent for duvets, bedding and clothes.

Only pack books in smaller boxes, otherwise they can't lift them.

If you have stuff you can give away, do that at the same time...lots of our books went to the Oxfam book shop.

redhat Tue 01-Mar-16 08:23:15

Just start. Every bit of time you have should be spent packing. Even if you only have a quick 10-15 minutes pick up something and pack it. Then clear one room and start storing the boxes in there.

You can do it in four days but you'll have to be strict with yourself and just get on with it without faffing about and looking at items you haven't seen in a while.

zipzap Tue 01-Mar-16 08:23:17

And another vote for paying packers - they whizz through it so quickly and easily and it costs peanuts on top of everything else - plus they provide all the boxes and paper that you'd otherwise have to pay to have.

One thing to remember - if you do use bin bags to put stuff in then be very careful - because although they're incredibly useful to do things like put a set of bedding in as mentioned, I know people that have done that - and somebody else has seen a bin bag and thought - I'll be helpful and throw that in the bin - and out goes your stuff!

If you can use see through bags (our recycling bags here are transparent pink which is helpful and you can use them again afterwards) it helps!!

caitlinohara Tue 01-Mar-16 09:36:20

Some good advice here, thanks! smile

It's tempting to just pay packers, but it's £400 extra and I'm thinking, I could buy a new fridge with that! They'll do the fragile stuff for £250, but frankly there's not an awful lot of that anyway.

I just want to get on with it but feel paralysed by the whole "but I don't know where to start/don't want to start too early and live amongst boxes/oh but I don't want to leave it until the last minute" thing. Also panicking about it all falling through, since we haven't actually exchanged yet because the people we are buying from are waiting for a search back on the property they are buying.

I don't think I have a massive amount of decluttering to do because I did most of it when we put it on the market.

Might go and have a look in the loft and start there as FridgePickers suggests. Thanks ladies smile

Hennifer Tue 01-Mar-16 09:52:22

Yes that sounds like a great idea. If there's still an element of uncertainty, but you know you will be moving at some point, then pack only the stuff you never really use, like what's in the attic, ornaments, things that are 'on display' but not actually required in a practical sense.

Make sure you have loads of boxes. It is great seeing them stack up.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 01-Mar-16 10:12:35

It would be £400 well spent in my view. You will quite honestly have enough else to do with utilities etc if you have more than one small DC, both work FT and only one packing weekend available.

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