Moving house with a hire van

Easy Guide to Packaging

If you haven't moved house or done much packaging before, knowing how to safely packing all of your belongings (included china, glass and electronics) can be difficult.

However, it's simple if you know how - and having the right boxes and packaging materials ready will make it much easier.

In this Packaging Guide, I'll provide some suggestions to get you started with packaging for a house move and show you the different types of packaging that are available - such as mattress bags and wardrobe boxes.

1. The Basics - Removal Boxes

One of the easiest ways to equip yourself with a set of strong, sensibly-sized boxes is to buy a pack of removal boxes from a packaging supplier. This doesn't cost much and is infinitely easier than tramping around local shops asking if they have any boxes going spare (they frequently don't - many companies now have recycling contracts in place that require all packaging to be recycled). Removal boxes come in many size sets including, flat moving kits, 2 bed house moving kits and s-4 bed house moving kits.

2. Extra Boxes

Wardrobe Boxes

Wardrobe cartons are very useful - think of a miniature wardrobe with a rail at the top and enough room for shirts, trousers, skirts and suits to hang freely. For almost no extra cost, they save all your smart clothes being mangled in a box and needing pressing or even cleaning.

Furniture and Mattress Bags

Furniture & mattress bags. These are polythene (plastic) bags that you simply put your furniture inside, protecting it from water and from dirty marks where it is pushed up against other items. Available in a range of sizes for chairs, sofas and mattresses.

These giant plastic bags are well worth buying - the dry cleaning cost for one sofa alone would probably be several times the cost of all the bags you will need:

Bottle Boxes

Bottle boxes - designed to hold bottles safely, often come with built-in dividers to stop bottles banging against each other.

Picture Frame Boxes

Picture-frame boxes come in a variety of sizes and are designed so that each one holds just one picture - making sure your picture, the glass and the frame don't get damaged by anything.

3. Parcel Tape - Don't Use Sellotape

Packaging tape is the strong, wide and shiny brown tape you get on commercially-packed boxes - e.g. mail order. It's not expensive and you can often find it cheap at car boots, etc.. It is about a hundred times better for packaging than regular sellotape:

  • It's wider
  • It's stickier
  • It's stronger

Proper parcel tape will hold a heavy cardboard box together and keep it closed. Normal sellotape won't.

For the ultimate packaging accessory, why not get a tape dispenser, too - it makes applying and cutting Packaging tape a doddle.

4. Bubble Wrap & Tissue Paper

The final, essential ingredients in your DIY home removal toolkit are bubble wrap and tissue paper.

Bubble wrap needs no introduction - and can be used in several ways:

  • Wrap around fragile items before packing - this way, you can put light, fragile items like glasses on top of each other in a box, without risk of damage.
  • Use a single layer of bubble wrap to separate items you don't want to vibrate/bang together.

For example, wine and spirit bottles are fairly strong - but you don't want them knocking and vibrating together constantly. Put half a dozen bottles in a box together then thread a sheet of bubble wrap around them so that there is no glass-glass contact.

While bubble wrap is great at protecting things from damage, it can sometimes cause problems itself.

The plastic used to make bubble wrap is quite 'sticky' and can easily get caught on the corners of ornaments and other delicate objects. The result can be damage.

Tissue paper prevents this as it is nice and smooth and slippery. Proper packaging tissue paper is also acid free. Inferior tissue paper may contain acid that may cause colours on china and pottery to fade, over time. This also applies to clothes - especially wedding dresses!

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