How To Pack For Moving | Fast, Stress-Free Packing Tips

In any one year, roughly 20 per cent of Australians will move house. That’s a lot of packing boxes, bubble wrap and removalist trucks moving around the country! To help take the stress out of your next move, we’ve pulled together this guide on how to pack for moving.

How to pack for moving

Moving is one of the most stressful things many of us will do in our lifetimes. But by starting your packing early, and being as methodical as possible, you can help make moving a breeze. Below we outline nine simple packing tips for moving.

1. Start early

No matter how organised you are, packing up your belongings always takes longer than you think it will—particularly if you’ve lived in the same place for a while. Given that most of us know we’ll be moving weeks, if not months in advance, it pays to start as early as possible.

2. Confirm your moving timeline

Before you start packing, determine exactly how much time you have until the date you need to be moved by. Then, work backwards from the moving date to develop a moving schedule that includes key dates, such as when your packing needs to be finished by. Key milestones it can be helpful to identify include:

  • The day your packing needs to be completed;
  • The day you have access to your new house;
  • The day the removalists are arriving;
  • The day the final clean is taking place; and
  • The day you need to vacate your current house.

While it might sound like common sense, marking these dates on the calendar can help keep you on track.

3. Develop a simple packing plan

Once you’ve developed a moving schedule you can focus on how to pack for moving. Developing a simple packing plan that identifies what order you want to pack items in can be an effective way to keep you organised. Your plan doesn’t have to be super detailed, but it’s a good idea to identify the following:

  • Which items can be packed early and which you’ll need to keep with you until moving day;
  • Which items can be kept in storage for a while and which you’ll need to unpack as soon as you’ve moved; and
  • Which rooms you want to pack up first.

Thinking through each of these questions before you start pulling everything out of the cupboards will help to ensure you pack everything in the most effective way possible.

4. Declutter

Realising how much ‘stuff’ you own, once it’s been unleashed from its normal storage space, can be one of the most overwhelming parts of moving. Before you start packing, take the time to look through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need. Not wearing that skirt anymore? Donate it. Still haven’t used that kitchen appliance you got as a wedding present? Re-gift it. After all, the more stuff you get rid of, the less you have to pack!

5. Boxes, boxes and more boxes!

Packing as much as possible into moving boxes is the best way to transport the majority of your items because they stack well, helping to minimise dead space in the moving truck. It’s a good idea to get an assortment of different sized boxes so that you can pack your items according to weight. For instance, it’s best to pack heavy items (like books) into smaller boxes because they will max out the weight capacity of the box before they fill the volume. By contrast, you’ll want larger boxes for items like bedding, which are lightweight but take up a lot more space.

As much as possible, keep items organised within the boxes. Plastic bags, or smaller boxes are ideal for this. For example, emptying the contents of a drawer into one bag before putting it into a box with other items keeps the contents together making unpacking straightforward at the other end.

6. Pack like with like

Chucking your things into a box in a rush and hoping for the best is a recipe for moving disaster! Instead, try to pack similar items into the same box. A good rule of thumb is to only pack items from the same room into the same box. It’s also helpful to pack items together according to when you’ll need to unpack them. That is, pack items you need straight away in a separate box from those you can unpack when it’s more convenient.

Having said that, it’s also important to minimise the amount of empty space in your boxes, as this makes for a more efficient move. If you find you have a lot of spare space in some boxes, items like cushions and bedding can be good to add—just make sure you clearly label the box so you know where to find them!

7. Learn how to pack glasses for moving

Chances are you’ll have a range of fragile items, such as glassware, that you’ll need to take extra care with when packing. Knowing how to pack glasses for moving is vital for ensuring your precious items don’t get broken in transport. When packing glasses and crockery into moving boxes, it’s important to ensure they are wrapped up well, so they won’t rub against each other in transit, and that there’s sufficient cushioning in the box to both prevent the contents from moving around inside the box, and protect them in case the box is dropped. Bubble wrap, tissue paper and packing peanuts all make great packing materials for fragile items. And always remember to label the box as ‘fragile’!

8. Label your boxes

Labelling your boxes is arguably the most important part of packing. Not only will it ensure you can find things when you need to, but also help to schedule your unpacking at the other end. It’s a good idea to label each box with:

  • The room the items came from, or are going to;
  • A short list of the contents of the box;
  • The word ‘heavy’ if the box is particularly weighty; and
  • The word ‘fragile’ if the box contains precious items.

There are a range of options you can use to label your boxes. Some people prefer simply writing on the boxes with a marker pen, while others opt to use different stickers, where each colour represents a different room. If you have a particularly large number of boxes you could even develop a simple alphanumeric index. For instance, if you have 10 boxes of kitchenware, label each one K1, K2, K3 etc. all the way to K10.

Ultimately, you want to choose a labelling method that will help you to quickly confirm the correct number of boxes arrived at your new house, and identify where particular items are in case you need them.

9. Protect your furniture

There’s nothing worse than getting to your new house only to find that your belongings have been damaged in transit. For items like furniture that don’t neatly fit into a box, it’s a good idea to protect them from scratches and scuffs. Old bedding is great for covering tables, bookshelves and other items that might have other things stacked on top of them. Similarly, it can be helpful to keep a few broken down storage boxes to use as padding between furniture items to prevent them from rubbing against each other in transit.