If you're moving house you've got two choices. Pack yourself or hire the professionals. Usually, you'll do the packing yourself and leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, which is a good way to keep costs down and make moving achievable.
So, here are some general packing pointers:
- Start packing as soon as you find out you’re moving. If you're not a regular thrower-outer of stuff, start throwing away or selling stuff immediately too.
- Keep boxes to 20kg or less. The heavier the item the smaller the box. 20kgs is also a heavy load so try for even less if possible.
- Pack one room at a time
- Pack items first that you don’t use often
- Take your time to pack everything carefully. Proper packing will help reduce the likelihood of damage or breakages. Use generous amounts of paper on the top and bottom of each box to provide cushioning.
- Separate breakables and non-breakables.
- Pack boxes tightly. Boxes that are overfilled don't stack properly and boxes that are not filled can collapse.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom of boxes, and lighter items on top otherwise they're tricky to balance.
- Label each box. Write contents, room and box number on the outside. Colour coding can be useful. eg. Green labels = kitchen but remember to communicate the code to your removalists!
- Mark all boxes with breakables as “fragile” and keep these boxes in a separate area.
- Write “open first” on boxes which contain stuff you'll need (you guessed it) first ie kitchen utensils and toiletries.
- Set up an area in your home, which will contain the items that are not being packed.
Packing up your electronics & appliances
- Original boxes are best for packing these - because they are perfectly made for protecting the appliance/electronics. If not possible, wrap the item in bubble wrap and place in well-padded box.
- Major appliances like airconditioners should be switched off and disconnected 24 hours prior to move day to cool down. Remember to defrost your fridge a couple days before.Check with your removalist for specific instructions for the removal of that appliance.
- Computers need to have all data backed up and disks stored in safe location away from the computer.
- Drain all petrol from lawn movers, whipper snippers/weed-whackers, chainsaws and other equipment. Empty/remove gas tank from barbeque and secure lids and any moving parts. Thoroughly clean gardening tools and strap together in a bundle. Place smaller items in a box and wrap thoroughly to prevent injury. Discard any flammable items and any rags or equipment that cannot be shipped.
Tips for specific things
- Clothing - leaving clothes on hangers is a massive time saving and they're just as easy to pack into suitcases or even plastic bags this way. Putting a pile of clothes inside a sheet or doona cover is convenient but remember you'll have to wash the sheet/cover before using! Light clothes could be left in drawers but remember to tape the drawers shut and not make a chest too heavy.
- Books and media - these are really heavy but easy to pack. Books and CD's or DVD's can be packed together, and one great tip is to use recyclable bags from Coles or Safeway to move media - perfect size and weight!
- Dishes and Glassware - wrap each piece individually and then in threes. Never pack dishes flat, always pack plates on their edge.
- Disassemble furniture too big to transport whole the day before. Tie bed frames together with tape or rope. Most removalists will have blankets to protect bigger items but if you've got one, put it on and tape it up.
Moving is a pain but we all get better at it as we get older. Problem is, we also have more stuff too so it probably evens out in the end. If you need removalists quotes or more advice post a job today or read our other helpful articles.
Tips for moving house and how Service Central can help
Tips for keeping moving costs down