10 Packing tips for your next move

Discover expert tips and tricks to pack like a pro for your next move. Our guide covers everything you need to know on how to pack for a move, ensuring a stress-free move within Sydney.
Packing to Move

Moving to a new home is exciting but there’s a fair bit of work to be done. One of the most challenging aspects of the moving process is packing up your belongings. Questions you might be asking include what’s the best way to pack everything efficiently and safely, without spending too much time or money? Also, how do you avoid damage, loss, or clutter during the move? In this blog post, we will delve into some expert tips on how to pack for a move, whether you are moving locally or long distance, and whether you are DIY or hiring professional packers.

We will cover things like getting started, general packing techniques and tips for moving, and specific advice on how to pack different types of items. We also write about the benefits and costs of using professional packing services, and how to find them in Sydney.

Getting Started

It may be boring but before you start the packing process, like other aspects in life, you need a packing strategy you prepare a couple of months before you need to move. That is, have a clear idea of what you are moving, and how much time and resources you have. Below are considerations to prepare for the packing as a first step in the overall moving process:

Assessing Your Belongings

Step number one is to spend a couple of days thinking about and sorting out your belongings and deciding what you want to keep, sell, donate, or discard. This helps to reduce the amount of stuff you need to pack and move and also saves you money on moving costs. It’s a good idea to create an inventory and separate it into categories like furniture and valuables. You can use coloured stickers to label your items according to their destination or create separate piles for each category.

Ideally, you should start this a couple of months before your move, so you have enough time to sell or donate your unwanted items and dispose of any rubbish or hazardous materials properly. It may sound like a lot but the inventory list will keep you organised and in control and it’s surprisingly efficient if you follow these steps. 

Gathering Packing Supplies

The next step is to get the essential packing materials you need, such as cardboard or plastic boxes, tape, bubble wrap, paper, scissors, markers, box cutters, etc. Do this early so you can tick one item off your packing checklist. You can get these from Happly’s box shop or you can get packing supplies online from local stores, online retailers, or moving companies. You can also look for free or cheap boxes from supermarkets, liquor stores, bookstores, or friends and neighbours who have recently moved.

Make sure you get a variety of sizes and shapes of boxes, but also that they are sturdy and clean. It’s not great if boxes start breaking on moving day! You should also get some special boxes or containers for fragile or valuable items, such as wardrobe boxes, dish packs, wine boxes, or plastic bins. Last, but not least, get enough packing supplies to avoid running out of them in the middle of the packing process, but not too many to waste space or money. 

General Packing Techniques and Tips for Moving

Once you have your belongings sorted and your packing supplies ready, start packing your items. Here are three general packing techniques and expert tips for moving that will help you pack faster, safer, and smarter using the most efficient packing methods available: 

1. Start with Items You Won’t Need

A good packing strategy is to start with the non-essential, low priority items you won’t need until after the move, such as seasonal clothing, books, decorations, or hobby equipment. This way, you can pack them in advance and store them in a spare room, garage, or storage space or storage unit, and free up some space and time for the rest of the packing.

You should also pack a box or a bag of essentials that you will need on the first day or night in your new home, such as toiletries, bedding, towels, clothes, medications, snacks, etc. You should keep this box or bag with you during the move, and label it clearly so it doesn’t get lost in the move and it’s ready for future use.

2. Avoid Mixing Items Across Rooms

Another packing tip is to pack items by room and avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box. This will help you stay organized and make unpacking easier. You should label each box with the name of the room it belongs to, and a brief description of its contents. This will also help you and your removalists identify where each box should go in your new home.

3. Put the Heavy Items Below, Light on Top

When packing your boxes, you should always put the heaviest items on the bottom, and the lightest items on top. This sounds obvious but it’s amazing the number of people who ignore this. This helps you balance the weight of the boxes and prevents damage to your items.

In addition, avoid overloading your boxes, and make sure they are not too heavy to lift or carry. A good rule of thumb is to keep the weight of each box under 20 kg, or 50 lbs. You’ll find it hard to overload boxes given their size unless you are packing boxes with really dense material e.g. filling it with olive oil bottles. It’s also a good idea to fill any empty spaces in the boxes that contain breakables with packing paper, bubble wrap, or soft items like towels or clothes, to prevent the items from shifting or rattling during the move.

For more smart solutions and smooth moving tips, keep reading!

Packing Effectively and Efficiently

Different types of items require different packing methods and materials. Here are some specific tips on how to pack some common household items effectively and efficiently:

How to Pack Clothing

One way is to use wardrobe boxes, otherwise known as port-a-robe boxes, which are large boxes with metal bars that allow you to hang your clothes inside. This is a good option for suits, dresses, coats, or other items that you don’t want to fold or wrinkle. That said, these boxes are not cheap so you probably don’t want to go overboard with these.

Another way is to use vacuum bags, which are plastic bags that you can seal and compress with a vacuum cleaner. This is a good option for bulky items like sweaters, jackets, or blankets, as it saves a lot of space and protects them from dust and moisture.

A less high-tech way is to use garbage bags or duffel bags but this might result in a lesser result so maybe restrict this to things like socks and underwear. A third way is to use regular boxes or suitcases, and fold clothing or roll your clothes neatly. This is a good option for casual or everyday clothing, or items that you don’t mind getting wrinkled. You can also use some of your clothes as padding for other smaller items, such as dishes, glassware, or electronics.

How to Pack Shoes

Save your sole (pun intended!). Shoes can be tricky to pack, as they come in different shapes and sizes, and can get dirty or damaged during the move. Here are some tips on how to pack shoes for a move: Clean your shoes before packing them, and remove any dirt, dust, or stains. Stuff your shoes with socks, paper, or bubble wrap, to help them keep their shape and prevent them from getting crushed. Wrap each pair of shoes in plastic bags or some other material, and secure them with tape. 

How to Pack Books

Don’t punish your shelf (sorry, bad joke). Books are heavy and can take up a lot of space, so you need to pack books carefully and efficiently. Here are some tips on how to pack books for moving: Use small or medium-sized boxes, and avoid overfilling them. A good rule of thumb is to limit the weight of each sturdy box to 15 kg. Pack your books flat, spine to spine, or upright, with the spines facing the sides of the box. Do not pack them with the spines facing up or down, as this can damage the bindings. Fill any empty spaces in the boxes with paper or bubble wrap, or other non-breakable lightweight items and tape the boxes securely.

How to Pack Dishware

Dishware along with glassware is some of the most frustrating aspects of your house to pack as it really requires special care. Firstly, it’s fragile and prone to breakage, so you need to pack it with extra care and protection which will slow you down. Here are some tips on how to pack dishes for a move: Wrap each dish individually in butchers paper (otherwise known as packing paper) or bubble wrap, and stack them vertically in the box, with the heaviest items on the bottom. Place a layer of paper or cardboard between each layer of dishes, and fill any gaps in the box with paper or bubble wrap. Label the box as “fragile” and “this side up” – labelling like this will hopefully prevent breakages. Also, you should be using a small or medium cardboard box as this will restrict the space the items have to move around.

Alternatively, and only if you can find them, use dish packs to pack dishes, which are special boxes with double walls and dividers that provide extra cushioning and support for your dishes. Alternatively, you can use regular boxes, but make sure they are sturdy and reinforced with heavy-duty packing tape. Lastly, make sure you have some good music on while you’re packing as this may take a while… 

How to Pack Glassware

If dishware is annoying to pack, glassware is double annoying to pack. Glass items are also fragile and prone to breakage, so you need to pack them with extra care and protection. Here are some tips on how to pack glassware for a move:

Firstly, make sure your boxes are sturdy and reinforced with tape. Wrap individual items in paper or bubble wrap, and place them upside down in the box, with the stems facing up. Take extra care with stemware. Place a layer of crumpled paper or cardboard between each layer of glasses, and fill any gaps in the box with paper towels, bubble wrap or tea towels. Label the box as “fragile” and “this side up”.

Alternatively, you can use wine boxes, which are special boxes with dividers that separate and protect your wine glasses, or other types of glassware. Note that other breakable items like food items in glass jars or other glass kitchen items should also be protected similarly. 

How to Pack Toiletries

Toiletries are essential items that you will need during and after the move, but they can also be messy and leaky (no one likes toothpaste all over your items!), so you need to pack them carefully and securely. Here are some tips on how to pack toiletries for a move: Use a plastic bin or a waterproof bag to pack your toiletries, and make sure they are sealed and closed tightly. Wrap any bottles or containers that contain liquids, creams, or gels in plastic wrap, and/or toilet paper for protection, and tape them shut. Place them in ziplock bags, or travel toiletry bags, and separate them from the rest of your toiletries. For extra protection wrap this in bath towels.

A final recommendation is to pack your toiletries in a separate box or bag from your other items, and label it clearly as “toiletries”. Keep this box or bag with you during the move, and do not put it in the moving truck or storage unit. That way if it leaks, it won’t be going all over the rest of your stuff. Don’t forget also to pack your everyday essentials in a separate box as described above. 

Using Professional Packers

One investment in your move you may not have thought of is to use professional packers. In our experience spending money on packers is probably the best investment you can make during your move. Particularly, if you are too busy, too tired, or too overwhelmed to pack your items yourself, this can be a real lifesaver.

Professional packers are trained and experienced in packing all kinds of items, using the best packing materials and techniques. They can pack your entire home, or just a part of it, depending on your needs and preferences. We recommend at the very least just getting packers in to pack up your glassware and dishware. This will break up the monotony of your move and let you get on with more important things. They can also unpack your items at your new home, and reduce the number of breakages by ensuring things are packed properly.

Check out how this all works in our compare packer quotes video here.

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