Packing Tips For DIY House Removals

Moving house yourself, packing tips

It may seem daunting if you haven't moved house or done much packaging before, but moving house yourself in a hire van doesn't have to result in broken, lost and jumbled possessions!

Knowing how to safely pack all of your belongings including china, glass and electronics can be difficult, but follow these simple packing tips to ensure that all your belongings are packed in the right sort of packaging and survive the move in one piece. It's that simple!

  1. Make a plan of how you are going to pack things before you start. That way you won't just throw things into boxes randomly and never find them!

  2. Make sure you have a variety of different-sized 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 - many companies have recycling contracts in place that require all packaging to be recycled.

    Removal boxes come in different size sets such as flat moving kits and house moving kits. These kits are often based on the number of bedrooms in your home. You can also buy:

    • Wardrobe boxes - 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 & 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.
    • Picture-frame boxes - These 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.

    When packing make sure you can still carry the boxes when they are fully packed. Books are a classic example - they weigh a lot and should be packed in fairly small boxes. If you haven't got small enough boxes, just fill the bottom of a box with the heavy items and then top it up with light stuff such as cushions or clothing.

  3. When packing glass and china, ensure that anything fragile especially glass is individually wrapped in newspaper or bubble wrap before being packed.

    Bubble wrap is great for protecting fragile items like glasses and crockery. However, 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, causing damage. The solution to this is to wrap items in tissue paper first and then bubble wrap. Good quality tissue paper should be 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!

  4. Remove anything heavy that might move from furniture such as from wardrobes and chests of drawers. They don't need to be completely empty, though. Remember, you can always take all the drawers out and carry them to the van separately - then put them back in. See our How To Load Your Hire Van for further information.

  5. Tape each box closed with strong parcel tape - don't use sellotape it's often not strong enough. Parcel tape is not expensive and you can often find it cheap at car boots, etc. It's wide, very sticky and very strong. Once your box is taped closed, write a brief description of its contents on the outside. That way, when you start unpacking you will at least have an idea of which boxes go where! Now your box is ready to be stacked and loaded into your van!

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Disclaimer: We hope the information on this page will be useful. But will not be held responsible for any damage to your possessions while they are in transit, nor for any damage or losses resulting from the use of a rented vehicle.

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