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does anyone have a system for packing when moving house?

(26 Posts)
sleepytime Mon 05-Oct-09 16:19:13

Moving for the first time and have booked the removals people. I have no idea when I should begin packing. I've got all the boxes but wondered do you do lots in advance or do you wait until much nearer the day so that you're not packing stiff that you might need before the actual day. Argh, any advice, anyone?

sleepytime Mon 05-Oct-09 16:20:20

ahem, packing 'stuff' not 'stiff'! grin

MrsBadger Mon 05-Oct-09 16:20:29

have you not booked them to pack too?

this is the most vital bit imo - any numpty (including me) can move full boxes but filling the boxes is the PITA

sleepytime Mon 05-Oct-09 16:25:53

trying to save money so we are packing ourselves...

SoupDragon Mon 05-Oct-09 16:26:13

Oh yes, get them to pack!

If not, there are always things you can pack now. books, out of season clothes, about 95% of the children's toys, the contents of your loft...

toja555 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:29:08

We were going for a very cheap packing option - packed 70% into black bin bags and put notes on it saying what is there. But it was probably easier for us, because we don't have furniture and moving within our area.

OOOOOOOOOOOpsacoconut Mon 05-Oct-09 16:35:27

I was very fussy when packing. Each room was colour coded and all boxes from that room had an appropriate coloured stickeer on. e.g. DD's room was red so all her boxes had red stickers on. the neach box was generally labels with contents e.g. soft toys - top of wardrobe. I packed things she wouldn't need first. I started about 2 weeks before we moved and did rooms we rarely use first (spare room, DH's 'study') then we packed stuff we could live without about a week before we moved and finally the day before I packed everything except the clothes we needed and put the kettle, tea, mugs, sugar in an open box to be moved 1st.

frumpygrumpy Mon 05-Oct-09 16:49:51

Have had others pack for me and IMHO, it wasn't worth it. They packed everything, I didn't have a clue where everything was. They unpacked at the other end but the rooms were topsy turvy for months.

Moving is a time to shed all the crap you don't need. We've just moved, I packed everything myself, knew where most things were and it unpacked fairly well at the other end. Didn't bother with lists and colour codes, does anyone really do that?????!!!! shock grin

We did get guys, and their van, to do the all the heavy furniture stuff but as for cupboards etc.....all me.

Its always vital to have a survival pack:

scissors x 2
plastic bags
tea cloth
toilet paper
packs of biscuits/crisps
water and juice
tape measure
old towel x 2
notepad and pens
phone charger

never unpack the survival pack and make everyone return items to it straight after they've used it.

A full cleaning kit is good too. I bought everything that I normally use and loaded up an old bucket with it, that way I could still use my own cleaning kit up to the last and have one for the new place all ready.

Make a couple shedload of meals for the freezer so you can always have something ready when you have had enough of moving house.

I lived with plastic boxes in the kitchen, the ones with the flippy lids. I would pack as I used stuff I knew I wouldn't need again i.e. blender. You can pack all your glasses/cutlery/dishes well in advance except for the ones for the number of people you have in the immediate family.

I'm rambling grin
We've just moved grin

cece Tue 06-Oct-09 13:34:28

As you pack the boxes number them. So the first box you pack is number 1 and the second box number 2 and so on. Then when you get to the new house unpack the boxes in reverse order.

ampere Tue 06-Oct-09 14:51:26

Good list, frumpy.

I sort of do the colour coded thing but for me, I find writing on each box where it came from (not where it was destined) was more useful as I knew where everything was, even though it might end up in different rooms in the new house.

We had professional packers once, a 'company' move so we didn't pay for it. I sat in wonder as they carefully wrapped the (clean enough!) contents of the glass recycling bin, from under the sink!

I like to use moving as an opportunity to chuck out rubbish.

We're moving in 5 weeks BUT we have 10 days to do it in and it's 500m so a bit different, however, I DID once emigrate with a house full of stuff!

NorbertDentressangle Tue 06-Oct-09 14:55:17

Have you asked how much it would be for them to pack for you?

Its just that when we moved (about 7 yrs ago now) it wasn't actually that much more expensive for the removals company to do the packing.

Its probably easier for them in the long run too as they pack things safely, don't overload boxes, have a system etc

Agree with Norbert that it was only very slightly more last time we moved to get the removals people to pack for us -- I think because they prefer to move stuff they've packed themselves as they know it's been packed "properly" (the time before last when I moved we had to take time out to take a friend who was helping to A&E after she got injured by an improperly packed kitchen knife, so I can kind of see their point) so they price the packing services pretty low.

JohnnieBodenAteMyHamster Tue 06-Oct-09 14:59:44

Blimey. We're moving in a week and I have no intention of packing anything. I'd think that getting the company to do it was money very well spent.

Frumpy's list is very helpful, though. I shall print it out!

sayanything Tue 06-Oct-09 15:10:43

I second the need for survival boxes - I also always mark the boxes that need to be opened immediately.

I don't have a scheme as such, so can't help much. The only thing I would suggest is that, if like us, you have a lot of books, I would line all boxes with a layer or two of books to make sure that we/the movers don't end up with boxes full of books that are so heavy they can't be shifted.

Good luck, I really don't envy you.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 07-Oct-09 10:51:16

If you definitely want to do it yourself, I would advise starting as soon as you can with bits like the loft, shed/garage if you have one etc, that way you have more time to sort stuff out as you go and get rid of anything you don't really want to move. Also if you have small children it will take much longer than you think so better to start early and do a bit every evening/nap time when they are out of the way.

I wrote on boxes what was (roughly) in them so we would be able to find important things the other end. Also, remember to use smaller boxes for heavy things so the total weight of the box is not too much (use big boxes for lighter stuff, linens etc). You may also be able to "pack" some (soft/unbreakable) things into drawers to save on boxes.

We are doing it ourselves, but only because we have to put most into storage but take some with us, so we need to decide what goes where, which the removers wouldn't be able to do!

somewhathorrified Wed 07-Oct-09 14:12:24

I always do a kind of reverse holiday bag. E.g If the moving date is 2 weeks away I pack a bag for everyone in the house as if they we were off on a camping holiday for 2 weeks (make it an adventure!) that allows you to see that EVERYTHING else can be packed up, labelled (for those emergency items that slipped through) and sorted. I also always have a bin bag or 2 when I'm packing for having a clearout (rubbish and charity shop).

tearinghairout Wed 07-Oct-09 14:21:18

I would start packing right away put it out of the way, spare room if you have it - our neighbour let us use her garage which was great on moving day & meant we weren't tripping over it.

It's amazing, when it comes down to it, what you can do without. Pack most of the bedding, books & stuff from the kitchen, pans & gadgets, then pictures etc. How often do you use that toastie-maker anyway?!

Another lifesaver for me was that on the moving day, we were up early and finished moving in at 5pm. We were totally exhausted. New neighbour offered to take in my dc's and give them their tea - what an angel! DH & I had a sandwich but I was SO grateful to that woman. Could you farm your dc's out for the day?

goldenpeach Wed 07-Oct-09 20:18:20

Don't understand what the problem is with packing, I'd never let anyone pack for me. I even buy the boxes and packing materials myself. Would you need all your stuff straightaway? We moved into rental so only needed certain stuff so marking boxes was necessary as heaps of stuff went into the garage.
Don't mix alien things, books stay with books, pans with pans, otherwise it's a nightmare to sort stuff later. If you have lots of books, mark the boxes with Bs, so you know you can keep them last.
Mark important boxes with tape and colourful pieces of paper (for documents you need and important stuff).
Think you are going for a holiday in a flat and pack the essentials in a few boxes (such as the bedding and towels for all of you in one box). Have the basic kitchenware together in a few boxes well marked. The same for children essentials.

sunnylabsmum Thu 08-Oct-09 07:57:33

watching this with interest as in a few weeks its us!! We are moving back from overseas and have stuff to send back (so without it for 6 weeks!) as well as the stuff coming out of storage- can't wait for this one.....

system of mine, is to make sure i have loads of coffee, milk, biscuits + kettle, cups and washing up bowl. Sit down and let them pack (its paid for us, so no advantage doing it ourself!) |Did once try to colour code but didn't work for me

HolyBumoley Thu 08-Oct-09 09:23:18

Lawks. Goldenpeach, you are very brave. If I were to do my own packing, it would take a month. It would take me a week to pack my study. There is no way in a thousand years that any ordinary mortal could pack up a big family house/garden/sheds/cellar/attic/outdoor stuff, surely?!

Or maybe I'm a wimp.

goldenpeach Thu 08-Oct-09 18:54:16

I packed a three bed house with three sheds full of stuff and 70 plus pots of plants in one week, on my own, with a toddler poking her fingers in the boxes.

I had to as buyer imposed two weeks completion and my partner couldn't take time off work. It was the worst experience of all my removals (I moved so many times my family thinks it's funny) as my nerves snapped every time she interfered with a box, but not the end of the world. We moved into rental and 70 per cent of that stuff is in my garage, including huge pieces of furniture. We are likely to move into rental again, but this time I'm packing little by little and freecycling what I don't need.

I go around rooms and storage spaces and pack what I don't need now, such as summer clothes, summer stuff for my child, gardening gear, etc. I like it better and my toddler is not interfering at all.

HolyBumoley Thu 08-Oct-09 21:28:30

Cor. Goldenpeach, you are impressive. We have six bedrooms, lots of other rooms, acres of cellars and so on. Would you like to come and help me? grin

goldenpeach Fri 09-Oct-09 20:35:30

I do like packing and I'm a bit of a squirrel so I can squeeze lots of stuff in places, not very popular with movers who always end up underestimating what I've got.

Pity it's not a job, I'd apply!

skymoo Fri 30-Oct-09 12:28:08

use those zipper bag type things for drawer contents etc, and label where they are to go

if you hoard 'chinese' takeaway pots, they are useful for pens, pencils etc, small toys

Rollmops Fri 30-Oct-09 13:58:09

Yep, call up a respectable relocation/removals company (depending if moving country or not) and point the chaps to the direction of ones worldly possessions making sure that they know which pieces are veeeeery precious and not, under any conditions, could be damaged.grin
Then proceed to pour oneself a large wino and admire the wrapping and lifting ....

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