When To Start Packing For A House Move?

July 05, 2024

When To Start Packing For A House Move?

Moving house can have an impact on our mental health as it can cause significant amounts of stress. Whether it is due to the change taking place, the financial side or just that there is so much to do, feelings of stress and other psychological effects can develop. There are many ways to alleviate the stress with one being to start your packing for your move nice and early. But the question still remains – when to start packing for a house move?

When to start packing for a house move. Image shows a man in a blue top taping up a cardboard box

Within this article we are going to try and answer the questions – when to start packing for a house move? – with the hope that it will help to make your next move less stressful. 

Understanding the Best Time to Start Packing

Assessing Your Timeline

To begin, you will want to assess your moving timeless. Working backwards from your moving date, you should create a detailed timeline of when things need to be done – when to buy or find boxes, what is the earliest (or latest) you can start packing. 

Having a detailed timeline will allow you to see this in black and white and give you times and dates you need to stick to. 

Factors Influencing Packing Start Time

Whilst working on your timeline you need to take into account some factors. 

Firstly, the size of your home. The size of your home is directly linked to how long it will take you to pack and will thus give you an indication of when you need to start packing. 

Secondly, you need to think about your work schedule and personal commitments. Your work and personal life can’t fall by the wayside because you are moving home. This will only add more stress because, if you miss work, you will worry about your finances or maybe even your job security. If you deny yourself your personal life, social outings and fun events, you will only feel more stressed as you aren’t letting yourself have a break. You need to make your moving timeline work around your life. This may mean beginning packing even earlier than you thought, if you can only pack on evenings or weekends. 

The final factor you must consider is the distance of the move. This will affect your moving date and time as you or your movers will need more time to travel to your new home. This, in turn, will affect your packing as you will need to be packed sooner. 

Make sure to consider all these factors whilst working on your moving timeline. 

Early Packing Tips: What Can Be Packed First?

There are many items that can be packed nice and early. Within this section we are going to talk you through what can be packed first. 

Non-Essentials and Seasonal Items

There are many non-essential and seasonal items that can be packed way before your moving date. These include things like:

  • Christmas decorations
  • Off-season clothing 
  • Off-season sport equipment
  • Books
  • DVDs, CDs, Records
  • Ornaments 
  • Photographs, Artwork

When you are packing these items, you will want to make sure to label each box in a clear and detailed way. Packing early is great but you do run the risk of forgetting what’s in boxes unless you have clear labels. 

Packing these items early will mean that you will have to live the last few weeks in your house surrounded by boxes. If you don’t want to do this or feel that the boxes will just get in your way, self storage is an excellent solution. It will give a secure place to store these items so you can get on with the rest of your moving timeline. 

Sorting and Decluttering Before Packing

As well as packing non-essential and seasonal items early, it is a good idea to have a declutter before you move. You do not want to bring a bunch of unwanted or unnecessary items to your new home. 

A great way to declutter is The 4 Box Method. You simply need to get four boxes and label them Throw Away, Give Away, Keep and Storage. And then you go through each room in your house putting items into the correct box. 

You will need to be ruthless. Decluttering is not easy and nostalgia or ‘what ifs’ can halt your progress. Simply ask yourself – When was the last time I used this item? Or wore this item of clothing? Do I really need this to remember that great day or person? 

When it comes to packing and moving, you will be so happy that you did this and reduce the amount of items you need to move. 

Essential Packing Strategies as Moving Day Approaches

Packing Fragile and Valuable Items

When it comes to packing fragile and valuable items, you will want to take your time, making sure to pack these items securely. You will want to use bubble wrap to protect and cushion items and you will want to add some bubble wrap or packing peanuts to the box to fill in any gaps and add extra cushioning. 

You will also want to label these boxes as FRAGILE so everyone who is dealing with these boxes knows to handle them with care. 

This article goes into detail about packing fragile items – Essential Packing Tips for Storing Fragile Items. 

Preparing an Essentials Box

You will also want to pack an essentials box. Within this box should be all the items that you need with you to make the last days in your old house and the first days in your new house nicer and easier. 

Your essentials box should include items such as:

  • Clean underwear and socks
  • Clean clothes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash 
  • Kettle
  • Teabags and/or coffee
  • Food, including moving day snacks 

You should also keep personal documents, such as your purse, mobile phone, passport and driving licence, on you at all times. You do not want these items to go missing in the move. 

Last-Minute Packing: One Week Before the Move

There are some items that do have to wait until the last minute. In this section, we will talk through these items and how best to handle them without it becoming too stressful. 

Handling Furniture and Large Appliances

Furniture and large appliances, such as washing machines and fridges, will need to be moved later in your move timeline, one week to a few days before. 

Furniture you will be able to move one week before. Disassemble any items that you can and make sure to cover it all with either furniture covers or sheets. Bed sheets will do the trick but you will want to make sure to add bubble wrap or corner protectors to any valuable or fragile furniture pieces. 

With things such as fridges, you will want to leave them moving as late as possible because they don’t like being moved. You have to be very careful about moving them, making sure to clean them down first. When it comes to the examples of fridges, you will want to defrost them in the week before the move and, once you begin moving it, make sure to keep it upright. 

Final Packing Checklist

You will want to write a checklist of all the last minute items that you need to pack. This will help you to not forget anything and make those last days go more smoothly. 

Once everything is packed, make sure to go room to room and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Check any built in cupboards and kitchen cupboards. 

Once this is done, you are ready to move and start your life in your new home. 

When To Start Packing For A Move

So, when to start packing for a house move?

We recommend that you start packing as early as possible but you will want to be organised about it. Create a detailed timeline of your move, working back from your moving day, making sure to think about important factors such as the size of your house and your work and personal commitments. 

When it is time to start packing, consider doing a declutter first and then start with all your non-essential and seasonal items. These can be packed a few weeks before your moving day. Take your time with fragile items and do not forget to pack an essentials box. This will make the move a lot nicer. The day before your moving day, make sure to walk around your old house, checking rooms and cupboards to make sure you haven’t missed anything. And then you are ready to go.

It is so important to not leave packing to the last minute. Leaving it to the last minute will only cause you more stress.

 We hope you have found our tips helpful and we wish you a stress free house move. 

If you feel self storage would be a help for your house move, please click here to find your local store. 

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