Packing to Move House

For most people, packing up their house can feel daunting and overwhelming and just the thought of it puts people off moving in the first place.   To help, here are some packing tips that I’ve picked up over many moves and several years.

1. Start Early

As soon as you start to think about moving to a new house, start to think about whether you need all your current possessions?   De-cluttering will help de-stress your move as there won’t be so many boxes to move and find homes for.  Ask yourself if you really need to keep the item.  This is especially important if you are downsizing.  I wrote several blogs on De-cluttering in August:

Also start to keep old newspapers as they make great packing material.

2. Break down your house into bite sized chunks.

Tackle one room or one cupboard at a time.  When I decide to move, I tackle a spare bedroom first.  Boxing up all the items I don’t use on a regular basis, ensuring that I label each box with it’s contents.  I then use the spare bedroom as a ‘box room’.  Adding all the boxes from the loft and other top floor rooms as I fill them.

3. Try to keep similar things in the same box. 

It is always tempting to fill a gap in a box with items from another room that may fit.  i.e. putting a few scarfs on top of a box marked ‘books’ just to fill the space.  I recommend filling the spaces with old newspaper rather than items.  As once moved, you will discover that finding the scarfs on a cold day will become very stressful.  ‘’It’s in one of these boxes somewhere!!!!!!’’.

4. Always put heavy items into small boxes

It might be tempting to fill a large box with your magazine collection or a lot of books, but remember that they will need to be carried removals and maybe yourself if they find themselves in the wrong room.

They could also be placed on top of lighter items in transit and cause damage.  It you do have heavy boxes, try to put them all together and mark them up for the removals.

5. Use a RAG labelling system  

Twenty years in Project Management means that I can apply the tools and techniques learned in that environment to the packing process.  I use a traffic light, also known as a RAG system.

  • Red – unpack now.  These items are needed straight away or within the first day or two of unpacking.  e.g the kettle, crockery, cutlery or clothes for work.
  • Amber – unpack over the next week or two.  These items are not as urgent as the red ones but will be needed in the course of a normal week.
  • Green – unpack when you have time.  These can be left for weeks or months, depending on how busy you are.


6. Freezer

You’d be surprised how many people forget about the food in the freezer.  Removal companies won’t carry freezer food as it risks spoiling other items.  Equally if you are moving a long distance, you risk spoiling the food if you take it yourself. So, start eating it up, as soon as you decide to move.


7. Get in a packer

Packing everything up can take weeks or your time.  It maybe more time effective to bring in packers to pack everything up for you on the day before your move.  Several removal firms provide this service, which can take 1-2 days depending on the size and contents of your home.


I hope you’ve found these tips useful.  Are there any packing tips that you would like to share with others?