Smash the move, not your breakables
Let’s face it. Unless you’re one of those people who has to move every few years; a Premier league footballer or MP for example; you won’t need to pack up your worldly goods very often. So chances are, you probably won’t quite be Tyson Fury when it comes to boxing skills. Most of us are happy to throw our worldly goods and chattels into the nearest bin bag and hope for the best. In fact, by this stage we just want to be in our new home and getting on with the next exciting chapter of our life story. But this way danger lies. Shoddy packing is asking for trouble and can cause breakages, damage and loss along the way that may well take the shine off the big day. You could always pay for the pros to pack for you and make sure the job’s done right. Or, you could find out their tricks of the trade and get it wrapped up yourself. Exactly what Smoove Move did to gather these packing hacks and trade secrets to help you keep your prized possessions safe and sound en route. Smashing.
One room at a time
It’s easy to get carried away or uber-organised and try and organise all your belongings into categorised groups. Wrong. Work out where it’s all destined to live in your new abode and then box it up room by room. Then mark clearly on every box which is going where to help you and the movers put everything exactly where it’s needed.
PACK HACK: Colour code your rooms in the new house and mark up the boxes accordingly for easy recognition.
Carry that weight
Try and stick to a limit of around 14kg or 30 pounds weight for every box. Your movers and your back will be very grateful indeed as this a good workable weight, particularly if you have a lot of boxes to shift. Don’t forget, really heavy ones tend to get thrown around, so this can also help minimise breakages. Not sure? Use your bathroom scales to weigh them.
Mind the gap
Gaps cause movement. Movement causes collisions. Collisions break things. Simple physics, but one that’s often overlooked in the rush to get going.
PACK HACK: Fill gaps with clothing like t-shirts and socks to save on bubble wrap and packing material.
Be friends with your old China
Fragile plates and bowls are often the first casualties of moving. Use the correct packing techniques and you’ll minimise the chance of chips and cracks be eat your first meal off your best crockery, not paper plates. The secret here is to use the correct packing material. This means lots of crumpled paper (newspaper is fine) and packing chips; also known as packing beads or packing peanuts. These are available in polystyrene and biodegradable material and are essential if you have fragile china or ornaments to move. Finally, make sure you have plenty of bubble wrap.
- Use small boxes or even better, specially designed cartons called ‘dish barrels’
- Line the bottom of the box with scrunched up paper or packing chips.
- Individually wrap the plates in groups of four. Put a piece of bubble wrap in between each plate
- Tape up the box securely and make sure you clearly mark ‘Fragile’ on the side
PACK HACK: Always stack fragile plates sideways and never flat, to help them absorb shocks without shattering
Cardboard boxes are our best friends when moving. Try and ask a local shop if they have any unwanted ones that are destined for the dump. Good luck with this, as most of the larger stores now flatten them as soon as they’re emptied. Try checking freecycle or Craigslist for free boxes. If you’re feeling flush, buy the sturdy self-assembly ones designed for the job. You may well find you’re still using these as storage years after moving in. Whatever boxes you use, here are a few tips from the removers:
- If you are using large boxes, try not to completely fill them. They’ll be way too heavy to move
- Always pack heavy stuff at the bottom with lighter items on the top
- Use plenty of tape to seal and wrap round the box top and bottom to add strength
PACK HACK: Use one clear plastic box with a lid to carry all the important things you’ll need on arrival. Tape it so it’s easy to open and keep this with you!
Do it by the book
Unless you own a collection of anvils or lead ingots, books are pretty much the heaviest thing you’ll move. So, if you can’t bear to be parted from your library it’s going to come with you. The secret here is to remember your weight limit (around 14kg) and divide your books accordingly. Now, to keep them safe and sound during the journey, fill all gaps to prevent movement. Use packing material if necessary, never other books, to keep the weight manageable.
PACK HACK: Always pack books with spine facing down and open part facing up to minimise damage in transit.
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