Correctly packing and shipping your furniture and household items helps ensure zero loss of important and beloved items due to breakage or spoilage. Packing your belongings is not as simple as willy-nilly dumping everything in a few boxes and hoping for the best. There are a number of ways in which you can maximise space in a box, as well as optimise the use of each box in such a way that all your belongings stay in one piece throughout the move. Here are 12 tips to pack your household items in the most efficient way.
Decide If You Need a Packer
If you have very little furniture and no large items around the house, you probably won’t need a packer. On the other hand, if you intend to carry your house items and furniture along with you, then a good mover and packer is a great idea. Whether it's for international removals to the USA, Spain, Canada, Germany, or any other country across the globe, a professional shipper with experience in long-haul removals can go a long way. A reputed shipper like 1st Move International, for example, can really make your overseas move to the US much smoother. One of the UK’s largest privately-owned international removals companies, they offer faster sailing and arrival times, and safe shipping with minimal handling by intermediaries.
Cut Down the Clutter
To truly save your peace of mind, make the packing as easy as possible by decluttering your home. Get rid of the things that have been gathering dust on your shelves for ages without a single look-see from you. Take a hard look at all your belongings. Anything you haven't used in a long time, have almost forgotten about, and isn't valuable, simply bin it. Purge mercilessly to limit your belongings to the things you'll actually need and use. Consider putting some things in storage if you don’t want to take it with you. Donate or sell everything else.
Start in Advance
The things you want to keep but won't be using in the lead-up to your move, just pack them away instead of waiting for the actual day of packing. Packing, even with the help of movers, can be a long and time-consuming activity. Try to make it as easy as possible for you on the day, by keeping ready the things you can. Also, make sure you book your mover in advance, so you don't miss out on a popular moving service due to the unavailability of their people. Prices also tend to be higher closer to the moving date. So, book early.
Pack the Must-Haves By Yourself
Pack the items you'll need to carry in person, on your own. This way, you can store them exactly the way you want to. This list can include the toys your kids need, your towels and toothbrushes, overnight clothes, medications, passport, etc.
Group Your Belongings
Bunch together the items that can go in the same boxes. You can not only save on time taken by your movers for packing by doing this, but it will also make unboxing all your belongings in the new country much easier and less stressful. You’ll be able to put away items much faster this way. Finding something you need will be much easier.
Look for the Right Equipment and Materials
DIY packing is challenging, but not impossible. Plan for and buy or rent the correct tools and materials in advance. You'll need boxes of the right sizes. Pack heavy objects in small boxes. You also don't want to dump everything in a few large boxes, since large, heavy boxes are extremely inconvenient while moving. You'll also need box cutters, tape, and permanent markers. Depending on the extent you want to do it yourself, you might also need a furniture dolly, a truck with a ramp, pallets, covers, and straps.
Plan Your Box
You want the heavier items at the bottom of the box, with the lighter ones going on the top. Don't leave gaps inside your boxes. Fill up empty spaces with packing paper, towels, or used/old clothing. Small but essential objects can be packed together in small, see-through plastic bottles or transparent zip-lock bags for easy retrieval. Also, check to see if you have the original boxes of your electronic or kitchen items. The original packing boxes usually come with very good protective materials.
Label As Much As You Can
It's a good idea to label your boxes. Go beyond 'Kitchen', 'Living Room', etc. Drill down to what's inside each box. Finding and retrieving objects in your new place will be much less nightmarish. You'll need a few days to unpack all your belongings. Noting down everything to the last item in every box will save you from losing your mind at a time when you’re already tired from the move.
Seal the Boxes
Make sure you or your movers use enough tape to seal both the bottom and top openings of the boxes. You don’t want to spend a ton of time figuring out the best way to fill up a box, only for it to have a weak bottom or a less than firm top. So, stock on the tape. You'll need a lot of it to truly secure your boxes.
Pack Specialty Items with Care
Your mover should be able to provide special crates of pallets for the items that are especially fragile and/or expensive. Items such as glass, crystal, art, silverware, china, ceramics, keepsakes, etc. need bubble wrap, cushioning, padding, and special kind of packing such as cardboard dividers to keep them safe. So, keep an eye on that. Expensive TVs also need to be packed in special crates or pallets. Designer or expensive clothes can be packed into special wardrobe boxes where the clothes can stay hung. Packing them this way also saves you from the hassle of having to get them back to a wearable state in the new country. Similarly, shoes with heels, buckles, embellishments, and delicate handbags should each be packed separately to save them from tangling up or damaging other objects, or getting damaged themselves.
If you're disassembling furniture or electronics for space-saving, take photographs of hinges and doors cables, sockets, wires, plugs, etc. before disassembling them. You'll need to spell less time when you have to re-assemble everything back once you've moved. On a related note, make sure you carry all the product manuals too.
Spill-proof Your Boxes
Use plastic wrap on anything that can leak through or spill. Shampoo bottles, perfume, moisturisers, conditioners, other toiletries, and liquids should all be packed in a spill-proof manner even though they might seem perfectly packed inside the box. Anything that can spill, usually does, unless securely packed. You can also Saran wrap the caps of the toiletries. Uncap the bottle, tightly wrap a small square of plastic wrap or a ziplock bag over the top. Then, screw the cap back on.
With these tips, you can pack your belongings in a much more efficient and secure manner. Keeping these tips in mind and planning for a smooth packing and shipping experience will help you transition into your new life at your new place in a much more positive and happy way.