Packing checklist when moving house

Starting to pack up any house prior to a move is a daunting task, but by making sure you give yourself plenty of time and using our packing tips, you will feel more organised and in control.

Where to begin

Start by having a clear out and get rid of any unwanted items that you don’t wish to take with you when moving house – the less you have to pack the better and it will cost you less in removal fees as prices are based on the volume of possessions as well as the distance. It could be worthwhile hiring a skip at this point as you never know what you’ll find lurking in sheds, garages and loft spaces!

If you’d rather donate your unwanted items to a good home then you can post them on – users of the site will email you about your items and arrange to take them off your hands. Alternatively, if you would rather sell your unwanted items, try a local car boot sale or websites such as or See our decluttering guide for further ideas.packing

Getting the measurements right

Measure the spaces in your new home to make sure your furniture fits. Pay special attention to the sizes of the door frames and stairs to make sure all your furniture will fit through, or you could find your possessions are on the street all night. It’s much easier to arrange storage of a few large items to move at a later date if you expect to have some issues getting them into your new property.

General packing tips

  • Before you start packing, get together all the bits that you will need including boxes, tape, scissors, labels, pens and pads (for lists and records). Put all of these items in one box then every time to have the opportunity to pack a box you know where to find all the things you’ll need.
  • Start to collect packing boxes and material as soon as you can – ask friends or family if they have any spare or buy them online or from storage unit companies. It’s highly likely you’ll need more than you first thought, so make sure you over order. Keep around 10 large boxes aside for all those last minute essentials that you’ll have to pack on the day of your move such as bedding, towels and toiletries. See our Last In, First Out
  • Use smaller boxes for ease of lifting. Place a few heavy items at the bottom of the box and then fill with lighter items. Make sure you are comfortable lifting the box, the last thing you want to happen is to strain or hurt yourself on moving day. A great alternative for heavy items is to use a suitcase on wheels.
  • Pack your boxes by room and label them. Place an inventory in each box and keep a copy yourself. If any boxes get lost in transit you will need this to make a claim.
  • Bubble wrap delicate items – socks and other small material items also make good extra padding.
  • Pack plates vertically – they are less likely to break this way.
  • Ensure all boxes can be sealed securely. Any boxes with bulges in the top or bottom will not be able to be stacked and may damage the content. All boxes should be packed to the top.
    Half-filled boxes may weaken once stacked.
  • Small items should be placed in smaller boxes and then into larger boxes so that items don’t go missing or get tangled up.
  • Ensure all sharp items are packed with plenty of padding and will not puncture the box. This could damage other items or even people when being moved.
  • Do not use standard rubbish bags, they will tear very easily, use heavy duty ones or double them up. Ensure your removal company will take bags before you begin using them. Large zip bags are available from most high streets and offer a great alternative to bin bags as they are reusable and handy for storing things under beds, in lofts, garages and sheds.
  • Irreplaceable items, important records and documents, or items carrying a high value should be kept with you at all times, and that includes photo albums and memory cards.

Cosmetics and jewellery

  • When packing powder cosmetics such as eye shadows, put a cotton wool pad inside the case, this will protect them from breaking during transit.
  • Press and Seal or Cling Film is the ideal material to use when moving jewellery as they help to avoid tangling and small items going missing. Place the first item in the material and roll,
    then add the second and roll, continue until all items are packed.
  • Ensure all liquids are in a sealable container and are watertight. When moving liquids, where possible put cling film over the opening and then screw the lid back on, or place sticky tape over lids, this will help to prevent spillages in transit.
  • Pack a personal moving bag with all the clothes and items you will need for the day of the move and the following day. There’s nothing worse than rooting round for your toothbrush at night after a full day of moving.

Packing furniture

  • Use sandwich bags for holding small parts such as screws, fixings and bolts. Secure these to the furniture frame with tape.
  • Take a photo of how your electronic devices connect, this way you can make sure all the cables go back in the right places with ease.
  • Ensure all tools that will be required to assemble furniture are in a separate box, clearly labelled.
  • When moving your wardrobe, place a bin liner over the bottom three quarters of your clothes that are hanging up. Place another bag over the exposed clothes and place in a box or bag for transportation. This keeps them all together and makes hanging up at the other end much easier.

Transporting white goods

  • Clean your oven before moving, any grease left on the exterior of the appliance will leaves marks on anything that it touches.
  • Un-plumb your washing machine and dry thoroughly, disconnect and drain the hoses. Leave the door open for a few days to ensure the drum is completely dry – there’s nothing worse than getting your other boxes soggy!
  • Instruct a gas safe engineer to disconnect all your gas appliances prior to removal day – this is a specialised job and removal companies will not do this for you.
  • Defrost fridges and freezers and dry them out inside before your moving day. Your freezer will need at least 48 hours before your planned move to defrost and it will need to stand for 24 hours once it has moved to allow the gases to settle. In the lead up to switching them off, plan your meals around the contents so nothing goes to waste.

One last thought…

Whoever you use to move your possessions, remember to compare your quotes on for reliable, cost effective removal services.